Traveling the world is something that a lot of people dream of. However, it can be cost-prohibitive to travel the world and see all the sights that are offered by the over two hundred countries that make up the seven continents. But it does not need to be costly. In fact, there are several countries that offer great opportunities to experience their history, culture, food, and hospitality without breaking the bank.
This list provides 20 countries spread across the world that offer outstanding chances to see a new place without spending a small fortune. Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation or a weekend party, there are countries that want you to visit them and bring your money to help fund future tourism.
By taking advantage of lower costs to travel to and in the countries on this list, you will be getting out there and experiencing places in the world that a lot of people may only dream of visiting. Travel costs are going down, and the savvy traveler will take advantage of this and get out there to experience new people, places, and things.
Travel and exploration are a part of humanity, so go ahead, pick a couple countries off of this list of 20, and plan your next few vacations. You will not regret it, and neither will your wallet.
20 Spain - plenty of touristy attractions that are free or inexpensive
Spain is a great place to visit in Europe for a budget-friendly vacation. It is actually one of the most affordable countries in Europe, and depending on the exchange rate between the Euro and the U.S. dollar, your money can go quite far in Spain. Spain has a rich cultural heritage that is evident in the number of Catholic Churches, as well as the past history with the Muslims and even Jews. However, today's Spain is very Catholic, and travelers of all religious backgrounds will be able to appreciate the beauty and majesty of some of Catholicism's greatest Churches and Cathedrals found outside of Rome. However, for those seeking to enjoy the non-religious aspects of Spain, there are plenty of touristy attractions that are free or inexpensive. For example, Spain sits on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, giving easy access to some of the finest beaches in Europe. There are a number of free outdoor concerts throughout the year, and the weather is great for several months out of the year. And for your bed at night, there are great hotels in Spain that will offer you a highly-rated stay for less than $100 a night.
19 Vietnam - can stretch $100 into a night in a luxury hotel and a gourmet dinner
Vietnam is a country that has had a storied past, but do not let that scare you away from traveling to and around this budget-friendly country.
In Vietnam, you can stretch $100 into a night in a luxury hotel and a gourmet dinner with money to spare. Stick to places like Ho Chi Minh City for safety and a more Western experience, with some day trips outside to the countryside.
There are free walking tours available, but a small donation will help students improve their English language skills. Throughout the country, there are free Buddhist temples that you can visit, many of which are ornately decorated and quite beautiful. The history of Vietnam, from French colonialism through independence, is on display nearly everywhere you go, and a lot of that history is free to be enjoyed and appreciated. As with other countries, Vietnam publishes lists of free activities and tourist attractions that should be consulted when planning a trip to this great country. If you are looking for an opportunity to visit southeast Asia, then consider visiting Vietnam for a rich cultural experience on a great budget. Again, do not let its history scare you away. The fact that so many people are afraid to visit the place means that the locals are willing to negotiate lower prices for those Westerners willing to make the trip.
18 India - one of the cheapest countries to travel to
India is one of the cheapest countries to travel to, as rated by a number of travel organizations around the world. There are a number of free festivals throughout the year in India, and the people of this country are always glad to share their culture with people from other places. India is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal, located in Agra. Agra is a hot spot for tourists, which means that the people of this area are going to want to take advantage of having so many outsiders visiting. If you are a fan of Indian food, be sure to sample the cuisine of Agra, with its Mughlia influence. India is home to wildlife not seen elsewhere in the world, and there are opportunities to get up close and personal with these great creatures. India is such a large country, and its location as a subcontinent to Asia means that it has some of the most diverse geography and climate in the world. So if you like to take advantage of the beach one weekend and mountain climbing the next, then India is for you. Be sure to visit outside of the rainy season for maximum impact of being able to enjoy the outdoor adventures that India has to offer.
17 Indonesia - an outstanding exchange rate
For an outstanding exchange rate, consider Indonesia where there are about 13,800 Rupiah to the U.S. dollar. And when you can get a double room in a nice hotel with air conditioning and a daily guided tour for about 500,000 Rp, your U.S. dollars will go a lot further in this amazing country. Be sure to visit anytime of the year for a number of outdoor activities. Indonesia is host to Shark Island, a pontoon nursery for endangered sharks that are injured and brought in by local fishermen. There is also the Turtle Conservation Education Center for injured sea turtles. The Bali Provincial Public Museum is the oldest on the island and features three pavilions named after the regencies, as well as Balinese architecture. The Sakenan Temple is one of the most important temples in the area, and the Bajra Sandhi Monument includes a floor of dioramas.
All of these attractions are free or low cost to visitors to Indonesia. Take advantage of the culture and history of this nation, as well as the exchange rate that is one of the best in the world,
for a long vacation away from the rest of the world to an island paradise that should be on the bucket list of every world traveler.
16 Czech Republic - a very favorable exchange rate
The Czech Republic is a country in Eastern Europe that many travelers may not be familiar with. However, with a very favorable exchange rate with the United States, the Czech Republic should be on the list of countries to visit on the cheap for everyone. Actually, this country is starting to get a lot of positive attention for its beauty, both natural and man-made, so it is probably going to start getting more expensive to visit. With a number of fairytale castles set in valleys and on mountains and cities like Prague that are becoming the sets of big-budget movies,
people from all over the world are beginning to discover what the Czech Republic has to offer, and it is not costing these outsiders much of anything to visit. If you enjoy luxury hotels and seven-course tasting dinners, a trip to Prague will suit you well where, for less than €270/day, all of that and more can be yours.
Do not be afraid to branch out and experience new things in the world, like a visit to the Czech Republic. There are so many hidden treasures here, and travelers of all kinds are sure to find exactly what they are looking for without the need to spend a lot of money.
15 Nepal - can stay in 3-star accommodations for as little as $10 a night
Nepal is the gateway to Mount Everest and the top of the world. And in Nepal, you can stay in 3-star accommodations for as little as $10 a night. You will not be able to try your hand at climbing Everest for free, but there are plenty of other activities in Nepal that are low-cost or free. As with other Asian and eastern countries, you will find a number of temples and palaces to explore and take pictures of. If that is not your thing, then be sure to sample some of the Nepalese cuisine, which is a fusion of different regional cooking styles that is quite delicious. But if you do not like the local food options, there is a strong European influence in some restaurants. Here at the top of the world, you will find a unique culture of people that have grown accustomed to the harsh climate but who are very welcoming toward tourists and travelers. The people of Nepal will gladly show you around for a small fee, which you should go a head and pay so that you get the full effect of all that this mountainous nation has to offer. See the amazing wildlife that, like the people, has grown used to the harsh cold.
14 Estonia - can secure a hotel room for as little as $40 a night
Estonia is a country that some people may have never heard of. And if they have heard of it, they probably never thought about visiting, much less about whether it was an inexpensive country to travel to. However,
this country is quite accommodating to tourists, and you can secure a hotel room for as little as $40 a night. Experience the storied past of Estonia through the eyes of the people at any of the museums or cultural centers, many of which are free or offer admission based on a donation.
Estonian food is something that is special and should be enjoyed, even if it seems under priced. Estonia is at the border of Europe and Asia, and the influence of the trade routes that have gone through the landscape for hundreds of years is clear. People have been traveling to and through Estonia for a long time, and the people of Estonia would like to see additional tourism. So, they offer lower prices for many of the same accommodations, which helps keep people coming back to the country that was influenced so much by Russia. Take advantage of all that Estonia has to offer and book your trip today.
13 Taiwan - a real bargain
Another country where the U.S. dollar will go a lot further is Taiwan. Here, one U.S. dollar is equal to about 30 New Dollars, which is a very generous exchange rate when you consider the fact that you can spend $2500NT a day and get a car rental, lunch or dinner at a decent restaurant, a double hotel room, and a lot more. If you do the math, that is less than $100 a day, which really is a bargain when one is traveling abroad. In Taiwan, visitors are welcome to explore the National Palace Museum, which houses the largest and finest collection of Chinese art. There is a market in Taipei, the capital, that serves Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and sells wares, lamps, jewelry, and puzzles, all at a market that runs throughout the night. As with other Asian countries, there are numerous temples that one can visit, as well as tea houses. It is recommended that you try the Water Moon Tea House, which serves some of the oldest teas in Taiwan. Taiwan has an interesting history, and the people there would love to share it with travelers from other countries and backgrounds. And with the generous exchange rate, travel in Taiwan is among the cheapest in the world.
12 Hungary - an exchange rate that allows for a day of fine dining and travel on less than $150US
Hungary is another eastern European country that people may not consider traveling to. However, the history of Hungary actually has driven the history of Europe, so for tourists interested in history, Hungary is the place to go. And it is also one of the less expensive countries in Europe.
With an exchange rate that allows for a day of fine dining and travel on less than $150US, it is no wonder that people are really starting to discover Hungary as an ideal travel location.
Hungarian wine is actually beginning to spread as a good wine alternative, and what better way to enjoy it than straight from the source and for a lot less than one would pay for it in a supermarket at home, right? In Budapest, the capital of Hungary, there are a number of fantastic attractions to take advantage of—everything from museums to free sightseeing along the Danube River. And for those that like to go out on the town for a drink or two, there are places called "ruin bars," which are bars in abandoned buildings with no cover charge and inexpensive drinks. Hungary wants to be a travel location for people outside of Europe, and the country's low prices and good exchange rate are making that possible.
11 Poland - one of the cheapest countries to visit
Poland is one of the cheapest countries to visit, and consequently,
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is one of the least expensive cities in the world to visit. You will be surprised at how far your money will go in Poland, especially considering the rich cultural heritage that you will be able to enjoy.
This history is celebrated in the free or inexpensive museums, such as Old Towne, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was rebuilt after World War II. The Royal Lazienki Park is the largest park in Warsaw and is home to several palaces. As you explore the history of Poland from the Middle Ages and the Teutonic conquest through Communist rule and subsequent freedom, you will begin to realize that this is a place of great importance to Europe. You will want to take advantage of the inexpensive dining and accommodations on your trip, which will leave you enough money for plenty of souvenirs. For a walking tour, which is 100% free, visit Trakt Królewski, a network of five interconnecting streets that traces past several important buildings and monuments. For a historian, trained or otherwise, Poland has a lot to offer, especially for someone on a budget.
10 Dominican Republic - well within many travelers' financial grasp
The Dominican Republic is one of those places that everyone dreams of visiting, but few realize that it is well within their financial grasp. For about $200US a day, it is possible to stay at a beach front resort, dine on gourmet food, and rent a car with a weekly rate. Now, that is more than many people are looking for on a vacation, so for less than that, there are many other options for your stay in the Dominican Republic. As an island nation in the Caribbean, there are a number of fine beaches to visit, as well as resorts galore. If you are into water sports or parasailing, then this is a great place to do those things on a budget. Wildlife is plentiful, especially at the Manati Park and Dolphin Island interactive wildlife park. Where else are you going to get the chance to be up close and personal with sea life without having to spend a lot of money? The Dominican Republic is a place that a lot of people visit, but there are a lot more people who would visit if they realized just how inexpensive a great vacation can be in this island nation.
9 South Africa - a pretty good deal for traveling abroad
In South Africa, one U.S. dollar converts to about 12 Rand, the local currency. And
for about 1,000 Rand a day, the average traveler can treat himself to a pretty good meal at a nice restaurant and a decent room at a good hotel. That amounts to less than $100US a day which, as we have seen, is a pretty good deal for traveling abroad.
South Africa has a lot to offer just about any sort of tourist. While some parts of the country are not really places that the average tourist would like to see, the capital city of Johannesburg really is a great place to visit. Here, there are a number of inexpensive museums and sights to see, including the free Maboneng Precinct, which is an eclectic shopping area. There is even a 500-acre conservation park with lions that you can get up close and personal with. At Constitution Hill, you can experience a mix of old and new Johannesburg. If you have never considered traveling to South Africa, now is a great time to take the leap and go. The country is experiencing a transformation that is driving it into the 21st century, and prices on travel will only start to rise as that transformation continues.
8 Portugal - one of the cheapest countries in western Europe
Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in western Europe. And as it is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, there are a lot of free activities to take advantage of. Even if you are not the kind of person that seeks the sun and the beach, you will find that in Lisbon, there are great museums and cultural attractions to enjoy for a modest (or no) cost. The seafood in Portugal is outstanding and inexpensive, making for a great variety of meals for even the most price conscious traveler. The best way to get around in many of the cities and towns in Portugal is simply to walk, which means that you will not be spending money on cabs or car rentals and still get to see a lot of the sights. Portuguese history is part of the history of the world, but especially western Europe. Take advantage of low costs to travel to and around this small Iberian nation and you will find that there is more to do here than you may have previously thought. And even though the official language is Portuguese, many people speak English or other European languages, making communication easier than other countries around the world.
7 Greece - lower prices may be found all over the small country
Greece is working its way through some financial difficulties, and as a member of the European Union, that means lower prices may be found all over the small country. Greece is at the intersection of western and eastern Europe and has things to offer from both perspectives and cultures. And, Greece is right on the coast and has many interesting islands to visit, which provides for a number of lower-cost resorts to operate in the areas that people like to visit most. But do not think of Greece as cheap or tawdry. Really, it is a country rich in heritage and culture that has helped shape the modern world.
With great sites dedicated to the old mythologies of ancient Greece and new sites dedicated to a more modern world, there are plenty of things for travelers to see, many of which are free or very low.
Experience Greece today in a way that was previously not available. The changes in the nation over the last several years are promoting tourism and attracting people from all over the world. Greece has offered the world a lot and continues to offer things to people from everywhere seeking a window into the past.
6 Canada - one of the least expensive countries to travel to just from an exchange rate perspective
Canada is a country that has a favorable exchange rate with the United States and subsequently other countries in the world, making it one of the least expensive countries to travel to just from an exchange rate perspective. The culture of Canada means that there are a number of free activities for visitors and residents to take part in. For example, in Montreal, there are free parks and the largest free open-air market in North America. Transportation in Canada is similar to that in the United States, although Canada is the second largest country in the world, so many visitors will be confined to just one city or province. There are vast wildernesses in Canada, some of the world's least explored territories. So for travelers that like inexpensive or free activities such as hiking, camping, and backpacking, there is plenty to take advantage of. The Canadian Travel Board has put together extensive lists of free activities for cities and provinces in Canada, so be sure to plan your trip around the schedule of events. While many people would not consider Canada to be an inexpensive place to travel, that is probably because they have not considered traveling to Canada. But this great country has a lot to offer tourists and travelers alike, all without needing to do a lot of digging for activities.
5 Japan - several less traveled parts of this country offer lower costs
Japan as a country on the whole may be very expensive. However, there are several less traveled parts of this country that offer lower costs for a lot of the same amenities and activities. For example, the city of Chiba near Tokyo is far less expensive than the bigger cities in Japan.
If you are willing to put in the effort to find the less expensive places to stay in and visit, you will find that Japan can be quite inexpensive, especially compared to a few years ago. Even if you want to eat sushi all the time and drink sake, you will find that there are great options throughout the small nation for doing just that.
Plan ahead to stay away from the more touristy type areas and you will be able to get away with spending far less than you thought you would on a trip to Japan. Japan has a lot to offer tourists and has a vibrant tourism base that highlights the culture and history of Japan, especially as the country focuses on a move toward the west. Be a part of what Japan offers by planning a trip that focuses on the lower-cost areas and you will be given an opportunity to experience all that Japan is.
4 China - Cost of visiting is lower than many other countries
China may not be high on the list of places that people want to travel to, but relaxations of rules regarding foreigners means that people from all over the world are more welcome in this restrictive country. But in order to get people to come here, the cost of visiting must be lower than other countries. Places like Macau, the Las Vegas of China, are making it less expensive for people from outside of China to visit and stay. Even if you have never thought about traveling to China, now may be a good time as prices continue to drop while the government continues to seek influxes of foreign money into the tourism industry. Chinese history and culture is unlike anything else in the world, and even though the last half century has been a dark spot, the future is beginning to look brighter for the reclusive nation. Take the opportunity to visit China today and begin to experience the great temples, museums, gardens, and parks of the eastern culture, along with the clubs, dining, hotels, and attractions of the budding western culture. China is at a crossroads and looking to expand by including foreign tourists in the future of the country.
3 Australia - flights are becoming cheaper
Australia is a country that a lot of people would really like to visit. Right now,
flights are becoming cheaper and the exchange rate is favorable, which means that it is cheaper to not only get to Australia but also less expensive to actually see and do things there.
Welcome to the land of the Sydney Opera House, kangaroos, and aboriginal peoples. Australia is really unique in that it is in the same hemisphere and part of the world as Asia, but it is more connected with the western world. As a country in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are different than what most people would recognize, so that will make for a different perspective on things, like celebrating Christmas in the middle of summer. There is a lot to do in Australia, and much of it cost very low or even free. Even the more high-end things, like seeing the opera and touring Sydney, are at a much lower cost than you may anticipate. So, if you want to take advantage of lower cost flights and a good exchange rate, then a trip to Australia should be in your future. Even if you do not have time to see the entire country, there is plenty to take advantage of in the port cities that is inexpensive.
2 Mexico - What better way to experience Mexican food and history and art than in Mexico?
Mexico has always been a place for cheap trips. But did you know that it has so much more to offer than a quick getaway? Mexico is home to some of the oldest civilizations and has seen conquerors come and go many times over the last thousand years. Today's Mexico is influenced by all of this history, and it is laid out for anyone willing to look for it. People from all over the world love Mexican food and Mexican culture, and what better way to experience it than in Mexico where things are going to cost less than they do abroad, right? Sure, Mexico is known for beaches and resorts, but get inland and you will see what the country really has to offer. All of the things that people outside Mexico like about Mexican culture is a part of the every day in Mexico, and the people of Mexico will gladly share it with you for little or no cost. What better way to experience Mexican food and history and art than in Mexico? Next time you are planning a trip to Mexico, consider the alternatives to the beach resorts and take advantage of the low-cost travel and tourism that the rest of Mexico offers.
1 Argentina - a very European influence, but is still a lot cheaper than many European countries
Argentina has a very European influence, but is still a lot cheaper than many European countries. For that reason,
it is worth considering a visit to this South American nation when looking for a great place to travel without having to spend a small fortune. Getting around the cities of Argentina such as Buenos Aires, the capital, is easy and inexpensive, especially if you walk. The food in Argentina is plentiful and not expensive, and foreign currency goes further than the local money.
Experience a fusion of European and native South American culture in Argentina. The people of this country do not have a lot, but what they have they are willing to share with people from outside the country. This sort of hospitality is common throughout the country but is evident especially in the bigger cities. While it is easy to confuse places in South America, Argentina and Buenos Aires really are diamonds on the continent and have so much to offer the savvy traveler who knows what they want. Low prices on just about everything make traveling to and around Argentina so much better than some of the other South American countries and definitely better than travel in Europe or Asia.
There you have it, 20 countries around the world that you never thought you could afford to travel to. These countries are rich in culture, history, and hospitality, but they make it all freely available to the people who travel to visit them. So, get out there and explore what the world has to offer without worrying so much about the cost.