Being a tourist can be expensive. There are the flights, the accommodations, the attractions to see, the food to eat, and plenty of other things that can eat up your budget pretty quickly if you don’t watch your spending. The best way to avoid debt when travelling is to plan ahead, and that means planning a trip to a location that doesn’t cost a lot of money. Travelling is just for the super-rich, or those with high paying jobs. But those who have a tight budget just have to be careful about where they go, how they get there and what they do and have to stretch their budget as far as it will go in order to have an awesome experience.
The great thing is, a lot of amazing attractions in this world are really cheap or even better, completely free. In fact, there are a few locations that outside your food, hotel and travel costs, will cost you nothing at all when you get there, especially if you love history or want to relax on the beach. Don’t let a low budget keep you away from travelling in 2019. Just be smart and plan ahead and take a look at this list to see where you should be packing your bags this year, even when travelling on a budget.
30 Washington, D.C.
The national capital of the United States is actually the perfect spot if you’re a traveler with a tight budget, as it actually has plenty of free things you can do there that will take up your entire trip. According to Travel + Leisure, there are plenty of free tours, such as the one down the National Mall, which includes the Lincoln and Washington Monument. And the Smithsonian Institution which is made up of 17 different museums, are all free to enter, so just cover your ticket, accommodation and food and let Washington take care of the rest.
Zanzibar is quickly becoming a hot tourist destination for 2019, and a lot of that is on the back of it being a fairly cheap place to travel, yet it still comes with world heritage sites. According to UNESCO, located on the small island, which sits off the coast of Tanzania in Africa, is the Stone Town, which they declared a World Heritage Site, and it is one of the most visited places to visit on the Island and where anyone can find cheap accommodations every night. Local food is also inexpensive, so just cover the $35 charge to take a ferry from the mainland to the island of Zanzibar and you’re all set.
28 Bali, Indonesia
Bali is turning into a favorite destination for many people and in 2019, it’s on the list as one of the top, must-see places. But if you don’t have a thick wallet, don’t worry, as Bali is made for anyone, even with a low budget. According to Travel + Leisure, three-star hotels are available for as low as $17 a night, and one of the most famous attractions, the Gateway to Heaven at Mount Lempuyang, is free to get to, and offers one of the coolest photo opportunities and views you will see.
27 Dubrovnik, Croatia
One of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea is Dubrovnik, Croatia, which joined the UNESCO World Heritage List back in 1979. According to the Telegraph, despite it being a major tourist destination, it still has great value, as Croatia kept their own currency, and tourists can find their dollars go a lot further in this beachside city. It’s all about the pebble beaches and crystal clear water, which doesn’t cost anything, making it a great place for someone on a budget who wants Europe and beach in the same trip.
26 Las Vegas, USA
If planning a trip on a budget, then Las Vegas is generally never on the list. But in 2019, maybe it should be, because Vegas is more than just casinos and a party life, it is also home to plenty of things people can do on a budget, such as viewing the city skyline from the Eiffel Tower viewing deck or watching the Bellagio fountains. The Bellagio is also home to the free floral extravaganza every season, and if you look off the main strip and away from the large hotels, you can find cheap accommodations with free shuttles down to the strip.
25 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur over the years has dedicated itself to tourism, meaning there is plenty of options when it comes to accommodations, activities and shopping for all different kinds of budgets. One of the cheapest places to spend the day is at the City Center Park, which shouldn’t be hard to find, as it is right below the tallest twin towers in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers. One activity that is free to see is the Batu Caves, which is a famous limestone hill made up several caves and indoor templates.
24 Cairo, Egypt
Most people would think that one of the most famous wonders of the world would be very expensive to get into, but in fact, the Great Pyramid Complex is a very cheap attraction for those looking for a world wonder experience on a budget. According to travel sites, it is $80 Egyptian pounds to enter the complex, which works out to be $9USD. To get access to the pyramid it’s another $12, so for just over $20USD, you can experience one of the original seven wonders of the world.
23 Crete, Greece
Crete has a million dollar look but doesn’t cost anywhere near that much to enjoy, especially for those on a budget in 2019. You don’t need to worry about attractions and things to do in Crete because if you are heading there, you are going for the beaches. According to Travel + Leisure, you’ll find turquoise water in the Mediterranean on such beaches as Elafonísi Beach and Mátala Beach, and while you may have to deal with crowds throughout the summer, it doesn’t cost you anything to go lay in the sun.
22 Antigua, Guatemala
Do you have a sweet tooth you want to fix on vacation? Then head to Antigua, Guatemala and visit the ChocoMuseo, the chocolate museum, which is free to enter and comes with plenty of free samples. This colonial gem has plenty of budget friendly places to visit, including the Santo Domingo del Cerro, an outdoor sculpture park dedicated to the work of Efrain Recinos. This growing tourist stop is considered a calm and safe place for tourists, and shuttles to some of the best beaches are available at low prices as well.
21 Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland really has become a popular tourist destination over the years and in 2019, it doesn’t seem like it will slow down at all. It has great scenery, plenty of outdoor activities and one of the highest ratios of pools and geothermal pools in the world, all of which, have a low cost or are free. According to Travel + Leisure, Reykjavik also hosts 40 festivals a year, has the Viking Maritime Museum, and of course, it was one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
The island of Fiji may be small, but it’s beautiful and more important for those on a budget in 2019, affordable. According to Travel + Leisure, Fiji resorts are some of the most responsibly priced in the Southern Hemisphere, as a night at an upscale resort can cost just $50 a night. With all-night dance festivals as well, it’s a place with a beautiful scene that is just as active as any nightclub town you will find in the United States.
19 Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev doesn’t get the same love as other major European cities do, like Paris and Prague, but it should be on your list of cheap destinations in 2019, as the historical and beauty value is a great bang for your buck. According to Forbes, Kiev saw just 1.6 million tourists last year, compared to the 83 million places like Paris get. Plus you get great architecture, magnificent churches, bustling markets and charming cobblestone streets for a much lower price. Take it the National Museum, the Golden Gate and countless landmarks in cost-friendly city.
18 St Martin / St Maarten
Don’t let a Caribbean trip scare you away because of costs, look in 2019 to St. Martin and St. Maarten for the beach getaway that is sure to get you plenty of sun rays, without taking your wallet. You can’t go wrong with just relaxing on a beach all day, but you can also find cheap sailing, diving and snorkelling adventures as well. According to Travel + Leisure, due to the Hurricane Irma, which damaged the island, hotels have had to go lower in prices to bring the tourists back, so get in on the deal in 2019 before it goes away.
17 New Orleans
New Orleans is known for their colorful nightlife, a bursting festival calendar and a decadent local cuisine- but the Big Easy is also an undercover gem for budget travellers. According to Forbes, the must do's in New Orleans are free, such as the French Quarter in the Garden District and then if you want to do something really fun, the Country Club is where it’s at a reasonable $15 per day and the bar provides a steady stream of frozen cocktails.
16 Naples, Italy
If you want the Italy experience on a cheaper budget, the skip Rome and head to Naples for one of the oldest cities in Europe that is rich in culture, but light on the wallet. With some of the best views in the world, seaside castles and underground catacombs, there is plenty to do in Naples that won’t leave you thin in the wallet. And perhaps the best part is, Naples is known as the birthplace of pizza, so it is cooked everywhere. So much so, UNESCO has made it part of their Intangible World Heritage list and can cost as low as $5 for a real, authentic Italian pizza. You can definitely eat that every night.
15 The Cook Islands
With 15 islands and less than 100 square miles, the Cook Islands are everything you expect from a lush tropical island that has amazing beaches, beautiful reefs, and Polynesian vibe. According to Forbes, the islands have plenty of luxury Airbnb’s at extremely low rates, while the largest island, Rarotonga has mountains, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and shops, and the island to the north has what is called the world’s most beautiful lagoon thanks to its crystal clear turquoise waters, coral reefs and sandy islets, great for anyone who wants to dive or snorkel.
14 Kingston, Jamaica
Although Jamaica is known for their legendary beach destination, 2019 will be the year to discover Kingston. For those who see beyond the rough edges and think of the impossible, then Kingston is where to go. The Bob Marley Museum and the Jamaica Music museum are for sure places to go without breaking the bank. For those who really enjoy the sunsets and beaches then Ocho Rios is the place to go. According to Forbes Magazine, visitors can easily make the trip north to weave together a city and beach vacation in one trip.
13 Cooperstown, New York
Although this charming town may be known for being home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, Cooperstown has more to offer than just baseball. According to Forbes Magazine, Cooperstown is known for their Farmers markets and breweries that won't cost you a pretty penny. For a $10 tour, the Omega Brewery will make you raise your eyebrows with satisfaction after sipping on their craft homemade beer. With that being said you cannot forget about their Farmer`s Museum with a $12 entry fee to get you to appreciate the hard work that farmer`s actually do.
12 Zakynthos, Greece
One of the most beautiful places in Greece that will keep your 2019 travel budget in control is Zakynthos. It’s famous shipwreck beach, known as Navagio Beach, is a great way to spend a day with an amazing view, while also offering access to other Greek cities nearby, allowing you to make your own adventure. According to Travel + Leisure, food and drinks are very affordable, though the seafood could set you back. Boat tours can cost just $20, so it’s an affordable Greek vacation with amazing views and culture.
This country is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. So why not go and explore the history and culture that it has to offer. According to Forbes magazine, Istanbul is the largest city in Europe and recently deemed safe to travel to. The city has many guided tours and impeccable spice tasting you can enjoy without breaking the bank. Should you want to explore their Topkapi Palace it will cost you $5USD. So, as you can see, traveling to Turkey won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
10 Phuket, Thailand
Thailand is one of the cheapest options available for anyone wanting to take a cheap vacation, and Phuket is one of the top places, especially during November and April when it’s sunny and humid, making it the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the cold winter months. According to Forbes, there are plenty of free activities, such as the 9 Phuket Big Buddha, one of the most famous landmarks on the island, while the night market is one of the most popular attractions for people looking to shop.
9 Montreal, Canada
Montreal is known for their romantic cobblestone streets and rich French cooking. Who wouldn't consider making this trip your number one destination? Montreal is surprisingly a city that you can travel to on a budget, as they have free music festivals and a free celebration of comedy, which are the largest in the world. According to Forbes Magazine, the city is widely populated by mainly students and there are tons of Airbnb options available for cheap. If you are willing to spend just a little bit on your accommodations, you can get a room from a little boutique hotel for around $75-$100 a night.
8 Fez, Morocco
When you go to Fez, Morocco, you are getting the cultural and culinary epicenter of Morocco. According to Reader’s Digest, Fez is the largest pedestrian-only urban area in the world, as it has narrow alleyways, which make vehicle travel impossible. So grab a bike or hit the streets with two feet as you browse stalls of shops and haggle for some of the best merchandise. With some of the best medieval architecture, it’s a beautiful place to visit in 2019 that won’t cost you a lot.
If you are seeking a family adventure or a romantic vacation, then Grenada has you covered without costing you a lot of money. According to Forbes Magazine, although the weather is gorgeous all year around, you may want to consider on going on their off-peak season (May to November), since the cost of airfare is so low and you can find discounted accommodations at discounted prices. To save just a little more on this destination, most resorts offer resort excursions for free. If you are a big chocolate fan then Grenada is your number one destination for their House of Chocolate where you can purchase local spices and of course local chocolate.
6 Kathmandu, Nepal
For a bustling metropolis on a dime, visit Kathmandu in Nepal. I suggest taking it on foot, as traffic a cause for concern, but the backpacker district has plenty of hostels, bars and cheap eats, perfect for the traveler on a budget. According to Reader’s Digest, located in the center of the city is the Swapna Bagaicha, also known as the Garden of Dreams. Many people relax here, have a picnic and just enjoy the sights and sounds. Of course, being so close to some of the highest mountains in the world, there is always an option to go backpacking and see some amazing views.
5 Miami, Florida
If you are itching for a Caribbean vacation, then Miami has you covered. You would never take a guess on how inexpensive Miami can be without having to compensate your needs. According to Forbes Magazine, the average cost of a hotel is $150 a night and it's directly on the beach, but you can find some amazing deals during off-seasons, or through Airbnb. If you are traveling with your pet, many hotels offer beds and dog food to accommodate their dietary needs. Many of the hotels also include a pool with complimentary yoga and be prepared to pack your appetite for world –class Mediterranean cuisine with craft cocktails.
Uganda is really one of those countries that you won’t be breaking the bank for. With only 1,000 gorillas left in this world, why not head into the mountains and spend the day with these gorgeous animals. According to Forbes magazine, you can explore the Virunga Mountains where you will see gorillas and head into a Volcano Safari lodge where you will get a private chalet, butler service, post trek massage and all meals for $340 per person per night.
3 Santiago, Chile
If you are looking for the feel of Buenos Aires without the cost of Buenos Aires, then Santiago, Chile is the place for you. According to Reader’s Digest, the capital of Chile has a vibrant gastronomy scene, world-class museums, and amazing historical attractions, all at very low costs. It’s best to take the city on foot and head up Cerro San Cristobal, a hill in the center of the city that features a zoo, wine museum, and the best panoramic view of Santiago that you could ask for.
2 San Ignacio, Belize
Let’s start by saying that the best part about another location in Belize is that the US dollar is worth double there, so if you are going on a budget, you can double your budget and come out saving. In San Ignacio, the Cayo District is where you want to be, as according to Reader’s Digest, that is where you can explore ruins, rivers, caves and jungles, and take a long tour to see the beautiful country. Also, you will find the ancient Mayan ruins of Caracol, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and El Pilar.
1 Barranquilla, Colombia
For one of the largest four-day long parties in the world, head to Barranquilla, Colombia, where the Barranquilla's Carnival takes place every year. It literally stops the city for four days as people are dancing in the streets, music is constantly playing and there are plenty of masquerade parades to check out. It’s four days of culture in a city that doesn’t get the same attention that other major Colombian cities do, such as Medellin. But according to Forbes, it is one of the largest festivals in the world, and best yet, it’s free to enter and enjoy the street dancing and many of the events only cost a few bucks to get into.