10 of the cheapest US travel destinations for an affordable summer trip

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Summer travel destination can be stressful, especially for families traveling on a budget.

Instead of venturing outside of the US, there are popular US destinations that families can travel to without breaking their bank accounts, like Florida and Texas.

Here are the 10 cheapest travel destinations in the US this year that SmartAsset ranked by cost of hotels, flights, car rentals and meals.

With summer starting to heat up it's time for families to start planning their summer vacations. This can be a stressful period, especially for families whose budgets are already stretched trying to afford their mortgage and saving for retirement. But while a dream trip to a distant country may be off the table, there are plenty of affordable US destinations which families can enjoy without breaking their savings accounts. Below we rank the most affordable US travel destinations.

With summer starting to heat up it's time for families to start planning their summer vacations. This can be a stressful period, especially for families whose budgets are already stretched trying to afford their mortgage and saving for retirement. But while a dream trip to a distant country may be off the table, there are plenty of affordable US destinations which families can enjoy without breaking their savings accounts. Below we rank the most affordable US travel destinations.

In order to find the most affordable travel destinations in the country, SmartAsset estimated the costs of a vacation for a family of four and for an individual. Specifically, we looked at the cost of hotels, flights, car rentals and meals for a family of four and an individual in 48 cities.

This is the fourth annual version of this study. Check out the 2017 version here.

Key findings

Sunshine State Florida has three cities in our top 15, which is more than any other states. Close competitors are Texas, Arizona and Nevada, which each have two. What is great about visiting Florida is that not only is it an affordable state, but once you're there you don't have to spend any extra money to enjoy the great weather.

More of the same Now that we have done this study for four years, some definite patterns are starting to emerge. For example, Orlando is a very affordable place to travel although your budget mileage may vary depending on if you go to Disney World and the only thing keeping you from an affordable trip to Las Vegas is your luck at the casino.

1. Orlando, Florida

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For the third year in a row, Orlando is the most affordable travel destination. We estimate that an individual traveler could expect to pay just under 800 for their weekend trip to Orlando, while a family of four would be facing a cost of just over 2,225. Across all the metrics, Orlando is an affordable place to visit. It ranks no worse than sixth in any category. One metric that helps families is the falling cost of airfare. The average plane ticket is around 4 less than last year.

As the home of Disney World, this city is especially enticing for young families but there are other great vacation options unrelated to theme parks. For example, the Kennedy Space Center would be a great place to visit for a family with a budding astronaut in their ranks.

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas repeats last year's second place finish again this year. Sin City ranks so well because of the affordable flights. According to our data, the average round-trip flight to Las Vegas costs under 234. For that metric, Las Vegas ranks first.

In total we estimate that a single traveler spending three nights in Las Vegas could expect to pay nearly 857, while a family of four making the same trip would need to budget 2,308.

3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Our top three remain the same from last year. In third, once again, is Fort Lauderdale. Getting to and getting around this city is affordable, according to our research. This city has the fifth-lowest car rental costs and second-lowest average round-trip airfare costs. What makes Fort Lauderdale fall behind Orlando and Las Vegas are the meal and hotel costs. In both of those metrics, Fort Lauderdale ranks in the middle of the pack.

This is a great city for people looking to experience nature. Fort Lauderdale sits right next to the Everglades and offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see wild alligators.

See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who works in 5-minute slots, skips breakfast, and largely avoids emailsAn island in Brazil has so many snakes that humans aren't allowed on it and it's the stuff of nightmaresIt's been 2 years since I retired at 52 with a 3 million net worth here are some of the biggest challenges of early retirementSEE ALSO: The 10 best places to go on vacation this summer in the US, according to TripAdvisor

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