In the upcoming new year, Americans will travel more, according to Hilton Hotels. Its 2024 forecast notes that 64 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they plan to spend more on travel in the new year, even if it meant cutting back elsewhere. If your new year also entails minding a budget, the following eight destinations offer on-trend travel choices around the country at affordable prices. Bear in mind that prices may change seasonally, so plan ahead to get the best deal.
According to the most recent travel trends report from American Express, food is a top motivator for travelers, and 81 percent of survey respondents said they were looking to try local food and cuisines. For exciting and diverse meals at value prices, consider Boise, where entrepreneurial refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia and beyond have found success running restaurants. Sunshine Spice Café, an Afghan bakery, has become such a fan favorite for its Turkish bagels, pistachio baklava and saffron cookies that the four Shams sisters behind it plan to open a second location downtown. A previous immigrant wave, from the late 1800s, drew Basque migrants to the region, and their contributions still spice up the culinary scene. Try the house-made chorizos plate at Ansots ($18). The new Avery Hotel revives a 1910 inn including a tavern, which can be entered from the hotel’s alley.
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About 45 minutes from Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, Buellton — once just a gas stop on the Central Coast — has new appeal in the form of wineries, restaurants and hotels. A family-friendly newcomer, the Vega Vineyard and Farm, which occupies a ranch dating to 1853, has goats and sheep that visitors can feed and live music in the gardens (wine tastings from $25). Visitors to Buellton can sample several wineries without leaving town at Industrial Way, a district of former industrial buildings now home to tasting rooms and restaurants. Between sips, head to the beach or visit Buellton’s quirky attractions, including the Mendenhall Museum, devoted to vintage road signs and gas pumps (tours $15), and OstrichLand USA, where travelers can feed the birds (admission $7). The new Hotel Hygge — named for the Danish concept of “cozy” — encourages socializing in the courtyard around a bocce ball court.