We Haven't Been Beyond LEO Since 1972
The last time we put a human past Low Earth Orbit was Apollo 17 in 1972. We'll start doing it again in a decade or two as various government and commercial Lunar and Mars programs get started.
But we're unlikely to see a $1000 trip to LEO or beyond any time soon. What we will see is the cost being cut to a tenth of what it is now, and if everything goes as planned, you will be able to buy your way onto a commercial Mars mission... you just might not come back.
The Future Is Not All Doom And Gloom
I can't say what's going to happen in the future, but it's not all doom and gloom. We don't have to be crammed onto the Earth like some sort of retirement home for humanity's dotage. We have a few things going for us.
While none of these trends are happening fast enough to avoid the not-so-great future of high population and several degrees of global warming, it looks like we'll avoid the really-bad future of continued exponential population growth, starvation, and energy shortages.
21st Century: Commercialization Of Space
Spaceflight, in a lot of ways, stagnated after Apollo. While the payloads advanced, the basic means of getting them to LEO remained the same. For decades we used the same basic rockets and engines and techniques. For example, the Atlas V rocket that launched New Horizons directly to Pluto in 2006, no small feat, was using Russian RD-180 engines which is derived from the RD-170 from 1985. It's upper stage uses an RL10 that first flew in 1962!
Part of the problem is getting to space was considered a thing only governments could do. But 10 years ago, NASA began a series of programs to farm out getting to orbit to private companies, mostly cargo flights to the International Space Station. This influx of money and expertise to the private sector, and the lifting of some legal restrictions on private space flight, injected new life into rocket design. There's a few things in the near future that will dramatically lower the cost of getting into Earth orbit.
SpaceX, and other "startup" space companies, have already driven the cost to get to orbit down. They're competing against big aerospace companies for government and commercial contracts and must compete on price. They've already taken it from \$10,000/kg to to \$4000/kg. They hope to lower the cost to \$1000/kg with reusable rockets.
The cost of getting to space has been likened to flying to Europe in a disposable jet; pretty damn expensive. The Space Shuttle was supposed to fix that, but it didn't fly often enough to recoup it's immense costs (it was supposed to shuttle to a space station, but that didn't happen until late in the program), and it was too big.
SpaceX has been successfully landing its Falcon 9 rocket for about a year now. The rocket lands on it's tail like a 50s sci-fi movie. There were many explosive failures, all part of the plan, and they seem to have the hang of it now. SpaceX has yet to reuse a rocket, it plans to do so in April 2017. This is only possible due to advances in computers and material science, as well as the commercial pressures to cut costs. While each rocket can launch less cargo, they have to hold onto some fuel for landing, their reusability will theoretically slash costs.
The other innovation for private space flight is air launched space planes. A lot of a rocket's thrust gets used up just pushing through the thick atmosphere. This is why rockets go up and then turn to gain orbital velocity, they want to spend as little time fighting drag as possible.
An alternative idea is to fly the spacecraft as high as possible with a conventional airplane, then release it in the thin atmosphere to fly to space. This is what Virgin Galactic is going for. They're currently testing a small, sub-orbital space plane (it will get to space, but not orbit) launched from a carrier plane at about 16km. The price is a cool \$250,000. They also plan to launch satellites using this system. They plan to start testing launches from a 747 this year.
Getting To Mars On The Cheap
But none of these is going to get the price of getting to orbit down to $1,000 or even $10,000. We will see $100,000, but that's still outrageously expensive. Such is life at the bottom of a gravity well.
If you want to get to space on the cheap, you could try to volunteer for a commercial Mars mission. There's various in the works, but SpaceX seems most likely. Their stated long-term goal is to colonize Mars. If they pull it off, they're going to need people to send to Mars! It might be a one-way trip, so they'll need volunteers who are skilled in multiple disciplines, mentally sound, and ok with dying on Mars.
Climb To Space!
The basic problem with all rocketry is the rocket has to carry all its fuel with it. This adds weight, so it has to carry more fuel to carry the fuel. And more fuel to carry that fuel. And so on. This is known as the Tyranny of the Rocket Equation. It means that in order to get to LEO about 90% of your mass is going to be fuel.
The Holy Grail of space flight is to somehow defeat the rocket equation. Getting out of Earth's gravity well is particularly difficult because while there's some very efficient engine designs out there, they don't have the raw thrust to reach orbit against gravity and through the atmosphere. But there are alternatives.
The Space Elevator and the Launch Loop both use the same idea: attach the craft to some sort of tether and get it into orbit using power from the ground. This avoids having to carry all that fuel, but it does involve a massive up front investment. They could, potentially, slash the cost of getting to space to something a middle class person could do as a major vacation.
A Space Elevator works on he same principle as a spinning a ball on a tether. You put a counterweight beyond Geostationary Orbit (no small feat) attached to a cable on the Earth. Centrifugal force will keep tension on the cable and if it's all balanced just right, it will remain vertical to the Earth.
Now instead of a rocket, you climb to space! Power would come from the ground, possibly from lasers. What's more, you're not just climbing up, you're gaining orbital velocity. By the time you reach space, you'll be in orbit and can just let go. No fuel required. Make the cable longer, and you can achieve escape velocity.
This has the potential to massively cut the costs to get to orbit and beyond. Unfortunately, there are two major problems. First, no known material is light enough and strong enough to withstand the tension. Second, it's still a long climb, and we're just starting to do the engineering to power things with lasers. How far out this is is unknown. With a breakthrough in material science it could be 20 years, or it could be never.
A Launch Loop looks even nuttier. It's a cable 2000 km long and 80 km high and anchored at both ends. It moves like a conveyor belt and that force causes it to arc into the air and stay aloft. Payloads ride the loop like a maglev train and let go when they reach orbital speeds.
Unlike a space elevator, it does not require exotic materials, but there's a lot of engineering to be done to show it's feasible. Also the tiny problem of finding somewhere to put a 2000 km long structure spinning with the energy of a 350 kiloton bomb and powering it.
Those are some of the near and not-so-near future technologies that will cut the cost, economic and otherwise, to get to space. Some of them, like reusable rockets and a commercial colony on Mars, will happen in a few decades. Others, like the launch loop, could maybe be done in our lifetimes with the money and the will. While things like the space elevator are indefinitely postponed pending new material discoveries.