With travel getting easier, everyone's travel bucket lists are growing, but many people think they can't afford to travel to far-flung destinations. But there are so many destinations across the world that can be surprisingly cheap to visit! With a bit of research, savvy travelers can explore some of the world's most beautiful destinations, all without breaking the bank. Here are some of the top money-saving travel destinations to suit any budget, from the cheapest places in Asia to some surprisingly affordable spots in Europe and South America.
Southeast Asia is a popular backpacking destination because of how affordable travel is there, and Laos is no exception. This mountainous country is almost completely covered in forest, making it a paradise for outdoor activities like zip-lining, climbing, tubing, and hiking. Many of the activities in Laos are also surprisingly cheap, and the recent increases in tourism mean that more budget hotels and hostels are popping up all over the country. Stay a night in a tree house at the Gibbon Experience in Huay Xai, tube down the river in Vang Vieng, or visit the incredible temples at Luang Prabang or Vientiane.
Another fantastic budget destination in Southeast Asia is incredible Vietnam. Like Laos, it is one of the cheapest countries to visit, and it is among the most underrated! Eating local will only set you back a few dollars per meal, and a cup of strong, aromatic coffee is less than a dollar. If you don't mind slow, long-distance travel, buses, and trains around Vietnam are among the most affordable in the world, making it easy to explore all of this beautiful country. The country is also home to many affordable hotels.
- Accommodation: My Son Heritage Resort And Spa
- Address: Mỹ Sơn, Duy Xuyên District, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Romania is a destination many travelers have not considered, but it is the perfect place for a European trip that is off the beaten path and surprisingly affordable. With its charming little medieval villages and rolling Carpathian Mountains, Romania is rich in history and full of outdoor adventure. A money-saving tip: make use of the free walking tours around many of the country's best historical sites. It is possible to stay at many unique hotels in this iconic country.
- Accommodation: Carolina House
- Address: Strada Ecaterina Varga 23, Sighișoara 545400, Romania
Indonesia can be really cheap or fairly expensive, depending on how you travel. Because much of the country is made up of islands, the cost of boats in between them all can get very expensive. But, if you choose just one or two regions to explore, it can be very affordable! Indonesia's most popular destination is Bali, and with its tropical beaches, staggering volcanoes, and impossibly pretty sunsets, it's not difficult to see why. Neighboring islands of Lombok, Java, and Komodo are also incredible and can be much cheaper than well-known Bali. The country offers a handful of iconic resorts to stay at.
- Accommodation: The Garcia Ubud Hotel & Resort
- Address: Jl. Raya Silungan, Lodtunduh, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Poland is a country steeped in history and culture but is often overlooked for other European destinations. From delicious hearty foods to beautiful historical sites, Poland has so much to offer visitors. The main square in Krakow - Rynek Główny - is charming and is surrounded by cafes', museums, pubs, music bars, souvenir shops, hotels, and restaurants to relax in. Smaller towns like Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane are all equally beautiful but are even quieter and cheaper to travel in.
- Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton Warsaw Mokotow
- Address: Suwak Street, 02-676 Warszawa, Poland
Colorful Mexico is filled with culture, nature, and incredible food, and it is so easy to travel around on a budget. Relax on the white sand beaches, explore surreal cenotes and fill up on delicious street food. Traveling within a region can be very affordable, although longer-distance travel can get pricey, mostly because of how big Mexico is. If you are backpacking and trying to save money, pick one region to explore well to save on travel costs. One of the best travel routes is from lively Mexico City to Oaxaca, ending with some relaxing beach time in the Yucatán Peninsula. For real budget travel, check out the jungles, waterfalls, and Mayan ruins in Chiapas state. The country offers various accommodation options to choose from.
- Accommodation: Kali Centro Mexico City
- Address: Luis Moya 111, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06070 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Central America is another region that can be explored on a surprisingly tight budget. Nicaragua, often called the 'next Costa Rica,' is an incredible place for surfing, volcano hiking, and diving. Its beaches are world-renowned but secluded, and the food is cheap but incredible, with platefuls of rice and plantains costing just a couple of dollars. Nicaragua is home to many affordable and charming hotels.
- Accommodation: Hotel Casa San Francisco
- Address: Diagonal from the San Francisco Convent, 207 Calle Corrales, Granada, Nicaragua
Up in South America, Colombia is an incredible choice for budget travel. It's a land of variety, as one of the few South American countries to span both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and it is home to part of the Amazon rainforest and the start of the Andes mountain range. The vibrant cities of Medellín, Bogotá, and Cartagena have colorful streets and incredible street food to enjoy. It is recommended to book a stay at one of Colombia's stunning hotels.
- Accommodation: Ghl Hotel Grand Villavicencio
- Address: Cra. 39c #19C 15, Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia
India is a magical place to experience, and it can be done surprisingly cheaply, depending on your itinerary. From the Taj Mahal to the Ganges River and Bengal-tiger spotting, there is truly something for everyone in this incredible country. India is big, so travelers on a tight budget should choose one region to explore, and many base themselves around bustling Delhi and visit Agra to see the stunning Taj Mahal. Those with a more flexible budget can use the vast train system to explore more of this diverse country. India is home to various affordable and charming hotels and resorts.
- Accommodation: Amar Yatri Niwas
- Address: 1, Khandari Rd, Opposite SPCJI, Shashtri Nagar, Khandari, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282002, India
1 Greek Islands
It is impossible not to fall in love with the idyllic Greek Islands. With over a hundred inhabited islands to explore, there is one out there for every budget and traveler. Every island is home to pristine beaches, charming seaside towns, delicious food, and iconic hotels. The whitewashed buildings stand out against the blue waters and skies. Except for Santorini, which is more pricey, many of the Greek islands are surprisingly affordable, and there are convenient ferries for island hopping.
- Accommodation: Hotel Boschetto , Lefkada
- Address: Goulielmou Dairpfeld 1 Str., Tzeveleki square, Γ. Δαιρπφέλδ 1,, Lefkas town Πόλη Λευκάδας 311 00, Greece