31 INCREDIBLY AFFORDABLE travel destinations to VISIT NOW
You want to travel the world but you don’t have a lot of money? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
I’m Rebecca your go-to guide for travel tips inspiration.
How to travel around the world for cheap? One of the most common questions I get is where should I travel that’s not too expensive? In this article I made a list of the coolest and cheapest travel destinations from around the planet.
These are the cheapest places to travel in the world:
first up Cape Town, South Africa. Situated at the southern tip of the African continent, Cape Town has it all good beaches, great weather, wine, and safaris nearby, not to mention an awesome blend of European and African culture. Cape Town may be far away, but once you’re there it’s one of the best overall destinations for your money.
Number 2: Vietnam. Fifty years ago, Vietnam was torn apart by war. Today it’s one of the top travel destinations on the planet. Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, has tons of beautiful French colonial architecture. Hanoi has great street side bars that serve Bia Pho, fresh beer that costs 25cents a glass, and the one kind of expensive thing in Vietnam is sent through Halong Bay, which is worth it. It’s not the cheapest country in Asia; it doesn’t have the best beaches, but a motorcycle adventure from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi is totally worth it. I did it on a bike I bought in a bar for 300 bucks. So, can you.
Next up: Ecuador, named after the Equator, is quite an incredible country. It has the Andes Mountains; it has the Galapagos Islands; it has the Amazon rainforest not to mention beautiful colonial towns like Quito…. and surf. If you’re going to go anywhere in Latin America, you should go to Ecuador. Plus they use the dollar. Generally speaking, in Europe to save money, you want to travel east.
Polish city of Krakow is one of the best value destinations on the continent. It’s got a solid old town with great nightlife, good restaurants, tons of hostels, and affordable prices across the board.. Dude, and dumplings
Next up: Montreal. For a North American bargain head to Montreal, the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. Montreal combines French-Canadian heritage with great food, a killer music scene, and some of the best prices you will find in a North American city.
Hands-down, the classic budget traveler destination has to go to India. It’s cheap as chips, and it has it all. Does it have stunning scenery ? Dude, the Himalaya. Good food? The best. Plus, it’s vegan friendly. Instagram potential? Of course, and you’ll have Tinder pics to last until marriage. There’s so much to do, it’s hard to know where to even start.
You’ve got Mumbai, home to Bollywood, Rajasthan India’s largest and most colorful state, and of course the Himalaya where you can pose yoga, meditate Ajayan, and maybe even see the Dalai Lama. No matter where you go, you can travel in India for a whole month for the price of one week in Europe.
Forget Spring Break and go to Mexico City. The vibrant capital of Mexico is full of amazing street art, architecture, and some of the best food on the planet. For those of you in the United States like ourselves especially people in California and the southern border states, Mexico is extremely accessible. If you’re thinking about Cancun, skip it and head down to Tulum for some boho beach vibes where you can pose yoga next to Mayan temples. If you live in the United States, especially the southern border states, or if you’re from California like us, Mexico is the closest and one of the cheapest locations in the world. Head down to Baja California where you can surf, drink craft beer, eat lobster tacos, and drink amazing wines all for a fraction of the price that you would pay in the United States.
One of our favorite cities in Europe is Budapest, a stunning capital full of Art Nouveau and Baroque architecture from the golden days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even better Budapest sits on top of 120 natural hot springs that bubble up into these bathhouses. After soaking your bones all day, scarf down a bowl of goulash and then go hit the ruined bars of the Jewish Quarter. All this can be done for as low as 35 Euros a day.
Feel like a change of scenery? How about Nepal? Nepal is the access point for the Himalaya, and even if you’re not trying to climb Mount Everest, which I feel like most of us are, there’s a ton of stuff to do: you can go white water rafting, paragliding, explore the Buddhist monasteries, and even go on a wildlife safari in the jungles and see rhino. Yes, they have rhino in Nepal. The country is still recovering from the 2015 earthquake, so your tourist dollars will go a long way in rebuilding Nepal.
Sri Lanka is one of the most overlooked countries in Asia, so if you want something like India, but are looking for something more off the beaten path, Sri Lanka might be for you. This island nation was once ravaged by civil war but is now in peace. Travelers are discovering beautiful beaches, colorful culture, and the 5,000 elephants that are just wandering around the country. Five thousand elephants just walking around Sri Lanka. The only downside is because it’s still not very developed for tourism, there aren’t a ton of options. So you might have to spend some time looking around, but here’s to adventure.
Next up is Nicaragua is a Central American country that is a great alternative to Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an incredible country, but because it’s become so popular, it’s gotten much more expensive. That’s not the case with Nicaragua. Yet, it’s got undeveloped beaches, great surf, cheap beer and tons of adventure opportunities. Towns like San Juan del Sur are a great place to get started. But get down to Nicaragua before that all changes. Buenos Aires, Argentina. The capital of Argentina is a great place to visit. It’s super fun and a great deal. It’s got a blend of Italian and Spanish immigrants with French architecture that is uniquely Argentinean. The bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo is especially popular with tourists, but it’s a really good place to stay, especially if you can find a nice Airbnb. For fun think steak dinners every night, wash down with Malbec wine, and plenty of beautiful people teach you how to tango.
Next up: Thailand. Thailand is the go-to destination for most backpackers and with good reason. Where else can you get a private cabana on the beach for 10 bucks, an hour-long massage for 5, and amazing street food for $1? Only in Thailand. The islands and beaches are starting to get a bit more expensive, but Chiang Mai in the north, Thailand’s second largest city, is still a great deal, especially if you’re trying to do some trekking or volunteering at elephant sanctuaries. If you want to head up the islands, Koh Pipi is still a great deal and Krabi has some incredible rock-climbing overhanging the ocean.
Next to Thailand is Cambodia, which is even cheaper and comes with a side of history that will snap you out of that daze from all those Thai messages. On one side you have Angkor Wat, one of the greatest achievements of mankind. On the other side, you have the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge in which one quarter of Cambodia’s population was exterminated during one of the worst genocides of the last century. Thankfully, life has returned to normal in Cambodia, and you can find a lot of the same stuff in Thailand, but for cheaper. Back to
Europe … we’re going to talk about Greece. Although Greece is on the Euro, it was one of the countries that was hardest hit by the 2008 financial crisis. That’s bad for locals. It’s good for you as a traveler because prices there are very low. The real gems in Greece are the islands like Crete, the Instagram friendly island of Mykonos or Santorini and the backpacker party spot of Ios. Mix and match your favorite islands with a ferry trip, and you’re on your way. At the top of our bucket list is the Philippines. As we’ve mentioned, the beaches of Thailand have gotten relatively expensive, but people say that Philippines is twice as cool and half the price.
Add in some of the friendliest locals on the planet, some cheap air connections, and the Philippines is looking pretty good. Heading to South America, we’re talking about Colombia. Colombia, the country that’s long been associated with Pablo Escobar, cocaine, and violence is finally getting the credit that it deserves as one of the best destinations in South America… and about time because this country has everything: beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean, the Andes and the Amazon, the Candelaria Quarter in Bogota, the Spanish colonial port of Cartagena, and the unspoiled coastline around Santa Marta are all on our bucket list and should be on yours, as well.
Next up: the Baltic nation of Estonia. Most travelers either don’t know what it is or think it’s part of Russia, but it’s a hidden gem. Tallinn, the capital, has an immaculately preserved old quarter that’s actually a Unesco World Heritage site, and it’s also a cool part of town called Kalamaja, which has a bunch of new modern stuff. It gives you that Nordic vibe at way less money. Usually overshadowed by its Central American neighbors, Guatemala is an incredible country. It’s full of living Maya culture surrounded by rugged active volcanoes, and little towns like Antigua are an incredible place to visit and brush up on your Spanish. Czech Republic. Prague is an essential stop on any Europe trip with a storybook old town and beer that’s cheaper than water, literally. Cheaper and more beautiful still is Cesky Krumlov with far fewer crowds and much lower prices.
The next country on our list has had a tumultuous time in the past couple of years, especially since the Arab Spring. I’m talking about Egypt with constant political protests, military coups, plane crashes, and the occasional shark attack. I know it sounds bad, but Egypt does still have a lot to offer. Understandably, tourism has dropped by over 40 percent to Egypt in recent years. Now it does seem that things have cooled down there. So if you do go, chances are you’ll get the Pyramids of Giza all to yourself. And just so you know, the Pyramids of Giza are one of the only remaining 7 wonders of the ancient world. If you’re planning a visit here or anywhere in this region, it’s always a good bet to check with your foreign office or if you’re from the United States, the State Department. Moving back stateside, we’re going to New Orleans, Louisiana, my favorite city in the United States. It blends French and Caribbean culture with great music, and the food alone is worth the trip. Skip the crowds at Mardi Gras and hit the French Quarter in the shoulder season. There’re way fewer crowds, but Frenchmen Street and all the live music bars that are on it are still popping.
Croatia is the darling of most travelers, but unfortunately its popularity has increased its price… King’s Landing. Save money by spending time in lesser-known places like Vis, Plitvice National Park or its capital Zagreb. Sorry, that I mispronounced all three of those. Better yet, check out the Bay of Kotor and Montenegro, the beaches of Albania, or Sarajevo in Bosnia.
Moving back to Southeast Asia, we have Myanmar or Burma. I was there in 2009 when this country was largely closed off to the rest of the world. There were no ATMs and very little foreign money. A lot has changed since then. The country’s leaders have made a lot of progress towards democracy, and it’s a lot more popular now with travelers. The former capital of Rangoon is a funky mixture of old British colonial buildings, and it’s a great place to get your bearings before heading up to the Temples of Bagan or In le Lake.
Heading back to South America, let’s talk about Bolivia. This landlocked Andean country is one of the best travel bets for South America. Plus, it’s got a bit of everything, from the world’s highest lake to the infamous death road, which you can do on a mountain bike, and the world-famous Uyuni Salt Flats… all of these are great places to visit, and supposedly Bolivia has one of the most incredible kind of lunar Martian landscapes.
For the Caribbean, we’re recommending Dominican Republic. It is the cheapest country in the region with the exception of its next-door neighbor Haiti. D.R. is much safer than Haiti and has a lot better tourism infrastructure, so hence a recommendation. There’re great beaches, but the problem can be that it’s hard to find something that’s not an expensive resort, so check on Airbnb for a bungalow.
Heading back to Eastern Europe, we’re going to Bulgaria, which happens to be the home country of our good friend Raya, but also the home of the cheapest capital in Europe, Sofia. You can eat, drink, party, and sleep here for well under $40 a day. That’s why it’s making this list. But don’t forget that Bulgaria is on the Black Sea. It has beaches, islands, mountains, not to mention UNESCO sites like Nessebar with incredible architecture. The best kept secret in Western Europe is hands-down Portugal. The capital Lisbon is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. Seven hills dotted with colorful villas and crisscross with iconic trolley. But it’s not just beautiful, it’s great value. Good luck trying to find a coffee over one euro Accommodation in particular is cheap and easy to find because it’s still undiscovered by most tourists. The only downside is there’s not a lot of direct flights to Lisbon from other countrie soutside of Europe, so you might have to fly through Madrid and then take a train.
Heading back to Australasia, let’s go to Bali. Bali the most popular island in Indonesia is no secret… thanks Eat Pray Love. Nor is it the cheapest… thanks Australia, but it’s still a good deal for those of you wanting to get away from it all without much hassle. Rent an inexpensive villa with a pool, an automatic motorbike, sign up for some yoga classes and you’re chilling. Most people stick to Abood, but if you are a surfer, head down to the south. Waves like Uluwatu are some of the bests in the world. And if you get bored of Bali. Don’t worry there’s 17,000 other islands in Indonesia and all of them are cheaper than Bali.
Last but not least, Morocco. Easy to reach from Europe, inexpensive, this North African paradise is the original bohemian getaway. It’s the safest country in North Africa; it’s got tons of style. Tangier is the gritty port popularized by expats, like the Rolling Stones. Essaouira is the vibey surf town, complete with a Portuguese castle and former home of Jimi Hendrix. Marrakech is the place to go if you want that vibey Instagram photo of you chilling’ next to a Riyadh, which are those big courtyards with the fountain in the middle.