Some destinations are more expensive than others (here’s looking at you, Western Europe). But each region of the world has budget-friendly destinations that will let you travel to that part of the world without breaking the bank.
While most of the destinations on this list are off-the-beaten-path, they’re all incredible places in their own right. Your money will go much further in these countries and cities, which means you can do more, or even splurge on your trip.
So here are budget destinations around the world!
Rwanda: If gorilla trekking is on your bucket list, then Rwanda is the budget destination for you! Your average daily budget in Rwanda only needs to be about $30 a day, which will leave you plenty of money to go on your treks!
Egypt: You’d be surprised how affordable Egypt can be if you book transportation and tours in advance and search for accommodation deals. You can find a dorm bed for about $12/night, eat delicious street food for $6/day, and use local transportation for around $5/day. This gives you an average daily travel cost of about $25, leaving plenty of room in your budget to visit the Pyramids of Giza and other famous sites.
Mozambique: You’ll be shocked that for around $25 a day, you can experience the fantastic local food and picture-perfect beaches of Mozambique. To save even more money here, stick to local dishes and alcohol brands.
South Africa: The bulk of your South Africa budget will go towards transportation – flights, car hire, trains, and buses aren’t the cheapest here. But food prices are low, you can find great accommodation deals, and there are LOTS of free activities. South Africa ranks as one of my Best Places To Visit In February.
Vietnam: Almost everything can be very affordable in Vietnam – accommodation, transportation, food, and drinks. You can get by here on around $50 a day per person, so you’ll have plenty of room in your budget to splurge on accommodation or experiences while you’re here. Vietnam ranks as one of my top Places To Visit In March.
Indonesia: Outside of Bali and the Gili Islands, Indonesia is a very affordable destination. You can find excellent accommodation, activities, and food and drink prices on Lombok, Flores, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and in Raja Ampat.
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s rising Instagram fame hasn’t resulted in increasing prices. You’ll need to budget for higher-cost outdoor activities and admissions fees for attractions like the Sigiriya Rock. But there’s plenty of free hiking, beaches for surfing and other water activities, and cultural sites to visit as well. Sri Lanka is one of the Best Destinations To Visit In January.
Thailand is one of the Best Destinations For Solo Female Travelers, and it’s one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia. The Northern part of the country is usually cheaper than the South, so I recommend making Chiang Mai your Northern “home base.” You can find accommodation deals in Bangkok, food in Thailand is very affordable, and if you stay on the lesser-visited islands, you’ll save even more money.
Dominican Republic: This island consistently ranks at #1 on budget-friendly destination lists, which is surprising considering its stunning aquamarine waters, pristine beaches, and top-notch food. Plus, the island’s eight airports make it very accessible for most airlines (so you should be able to use frequent flyer points if you want).
Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico’s proximity to Florida and direct flights to San Juan makes it an excellent budget destination for travelers from the U.S. But travelers from all over the world will be enticed by the island’s reasonable food and accommodation prices. And many hotels and resorts provide free water equipment to explore the island’s beaches and coasts.
Curaçao: As the least visited of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), this is a perfect budget-friendly island. Curaçao has a distinctly European vibe, and its location outside the hurricane zone makes it one of my Top Places To Go In July.
Jamaica: Even though Jamaica is becoming more and more popular, and it’s the “Birthplace of all-inclusive resorts,” the island is still a relatively affordable country compared to its Caribbean neighbors. You’ll need to work a bit harder to find deals here, and you’ll want to book in advance if you’re visiting in the peak travel months from December – April. But Jamaica’s relaxed culture and gorgeous scenery make it worth a budget trip here.
Guatemala: This country is a fantastic budget alternative to neighboring Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The country has incredible Mayan ruins, beaches, volcano hikes, wildlife, and cocoa and coffee tastings. Read my full Guide To Guatemala to plan your trip to this fantastic off-the-beaten-path destination.
Bocas del Toro, Panama: The Bocas del Toro Province is a chain of islands on Panama’s Caribbean coast. These islands, along with part of the nearby mainland, are known for their beaches, nightlife, and rainforest. When you’re here, make sure you visit Starfish Beach!
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica: For a budget-friendly city on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, head to Puerto Viejo, which is known for its surfing, Jaguar Rescue Center, wetlands, mangroves, and black-sand beaches.
San Ignacio, Belize: If you’re going to visit inland Belize, then consider making San Ignacio your home base for exploring the Western part of the country. The city sits beautifully on the Macal River, and it’s a short distance from the Cahal Pech Mayan ruins and the Rainforest Medicine Trail.
Bulgaria: I have no idea why Bulgaria has remained so cheap and off-the-beaten-path because it’s gorgeous here! The country is a premier wine destination, and it has incredible monasteries, hiking, Roman ruins, and beaches along the Black Sea. Browse my Guide To Bulgaria to plan a trip to this hidden gem in Europe!
Poland: Poland is a top destination for museums, history, and hiking. Most of the country’s monuments and buildings have free entry, and the country is full of free outdoor activities. Poland ranks on my list of Best Destinations To Visit in May!
Slovakia: Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, makes for an incredible budget alternative to Vienna or Budapest, and you’ll experience half the number of tourists and prices year-round. Food and drink prices (especially beer) are a bargain here!
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: You might be surprised that San Miguel’s Instagram fame hasn’t made it a more expensive destination. This cultural destination in central Mexico is even more of a budget locale when you visit in the off-season, May to November.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: When visiting Mexico’s Western Coast, head to Puerto Vallarta for a budget-friendly alternative to Los Cabos. You can have an incredible trip here for only about $35 a day. This city is known for its nightlife, so save some room for that in your budget!
Greenland: If Iceland is out of your budget, then consider Greenland, whose towns, landscape, and coastlines are just as stunning as Iceland’s. Plus, in Greenland, you’ll always have lower crowd numbers and prices.
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada: This historic city is ideally situated on the Bay of Funday. The town’s pubs, hotels, and restaurants provide excellent service for great prices. You’ll only need to budget around $110 a day per person for a trip here.
Let’s be real. Compared to every other region of the world, there aren’t many budget destinations in Oceania. But here are a couple of options that are relatively cheaper than their neighbors.
Cook Islands: The Cook Islands consists of 15 islands, all of which are considered to be the cheapest destinations in the South Pacific. You can stay in a fantastic 3-star hotel for around $160 a night, meals will be about $10, and beer is around $4. These islands are known for their snorkeling, caves, white beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
Tasmania: If mainland Australia is out of your budget, then head to the island of Tasmania. You can have a fantastic trip here for about $160 a day per person. Tasmania’s natural beauty rivals some of Australia’s, with half the prices and tourist numbers. Make sure you visit Cradle Mountain National Park when you’re here!
Fiji: Contrary to popular belief, Fiji isn’t just a destination for the rich. Fiji is an archipelago made up of more than 300 small islands. And as long as you don’t stay on the famous islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu (visit these as day trips), then you should be able to visit Fiji for around $140 a day. Fiji is one of my Best Destinations To Visit In October!
La Paz, Bolivia: As a whole, Bolivia is an incredible budget destination in South America with one of the least expensive capital cities on the continent. 4-star accommodations will only be around $40 a night. Bolivia is one of my top Destinations To Visit In April, and make sure you visit the Salt Flats when you’re here!
Quito, Ecuador: The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s the “Gateway to the Galapagos Islands.” 4-star hotels will start around $35 a night, and restaurant meals will only cost about $6. Ecuador ranks as one of my Best Destinations To Visit In August!
Montevideo, Uruguay, is a fantastic budget alternative to nearby Buenos Aires. Many attractions and famous sites are free or have a low entrance cost, dinners will cost about $9, and 4-star hotels begin at $50 a night. If you’re here in the low season from June to August, then prices will be even lower.
Cusco, Peru: Known as the “Gateway to Machu Picchu,” you can find some bargain prices in Cusco, especially in the rainy season from November – April. Dinners will be around $4, and 4-star accommodation will start at $45 a night.
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