Although traveling is incredibly beneficial for both our bodies and minds, money is often an obstacle. Those annoying taxes, plane ticket prices, local travel expenses, and housing costs can thwart even the most ambitious traveling schedules.
However, just because your traveling plans have been slightly altered doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. That’s why there are cost-friendly alternatives.
There are numerous places that you can travel to whilst on a budget. While they may not be mainstream destinations, you would be amazed at the combination of low prices, fun things to do there, and breathtaking beauty.
Our readers always come forth with this question, so we’ve decided to do some research. To complete this list with the most fun and cheapest places to travel in the world, we’ve added destinations of different types to appeal to everyone’s taste. Therefore, both you and your wallet can rest easy and enjoy yourselves. Let’s take a look at these awesome spots!
1. Albufeira, Portugal
Portugal is one of the most interesting melting pots of culture in the entire world. It has switched between Muslim and Spanish rule for many years before finally gaining independence in the Middle Ages.
However, that influence still remained, and we get to see a unique culture blossoming in front of our eyes. While most eyes are turned towards Porto or Lisbon, there are more – and cheapest – places to travel that you can enjoy too – like Albufeira.
Located in the picturesque Algarve region, Albufeira is blessed with a pleasant climate, dreamy beaches and a rich cultural life. Unlike many towns of its size, Albufeira is incredibly cheap – you can find Airbnb’s for as low as $20 per night. Here’s a $30 Airbnb discount to get you started.
Combined with traditional Portuguese streets, wide plazas, and magnificent churches, Albufeira is a natural and cultural offer that you simply can’t refuse.
It’s best to visit in late spring or during the early days of summer if you like peace. For younger travelers and backpackers, July and August are the best possible months to visit if you wish to socialize.
Renting a car or a motorbike is also cheap, allowing you to visit the adjacent Lagos, Ponta de Piedade or Almancil. The hospitality is overwhelming, as well.
When most people hear the name of this dreamy island, they immediately see dollar signs in front of their eyes. Why? In most cases, this is because of the location and the rumors surrounding the island.
Even though it may seem like a hotspot for honeymooners, luxury resorts, and lavish lifestyles, it’s a pretty affordable destination for travelers on a budget. When you add the obvious beauty of the place to the equation, you get one of the best bargains on planet Earth.
Ferries from mainland Tanzania are about $30 per person, but you can also find flights for less than $90, as well. Despite all the luxury resorts that are being promoted, there is a substantial amount of cheap Airbnb’s rented out by the locals. They hardly surpass a daily fee of $40, which is much cheaper than your average tourist attraction.
If you wish to stay there for a longer period of time, you would love the fact that buying groceries doesn’t cost much on Zanzibar island. Because of this particular reason, many people decide to stretch their vacations and enjoy their own cooking instead of eating out.
3. Saint Martin
Also known as Sint Maarten, this Caribbean jewel has been through a lot. It has graced new articles ever since it was struck by Hurricane Irma in 2017. While most countries would find it hard to recover from such a blow, the islander spirit is strong and sturdy – which is one of the reasons you will love Saint Martin.
In comparison to other nearby islands like Jamaica, the Bahamas, and others, Saint Martin has pretty affordable prices.
Ever since Irma struck the island, tourists have been “wary” of visiting it again, which is why hotels and Airbnb’s are cheaper than ever. With these affordable prices, you will have all the chances in the world to absorb, explore and feel the mixed French and Dutch heritage of Saint Martin.
From majestic views from cathedrals in the center of Marigot to movie-like hidden beaches in the jungle – Saint Martin has it all.
Because it is not as popular as other Caribbean islands, every expense is much lower than normal. This is true for groceries, eating out, clothes and even club entrances. With low prices, picturesque views and a rich heritage, Saint Martin is an ideal choice.
4. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Nested on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, in a distant corner of the Mediterranean, Dubrovnik was once proclaimed ‘Europe’s best-hidden secret’. Even before it was as popular as it is now, people marveled at the incredible concept of the town – everything is centered around the medieval part, which is fortified.
Despite the tourist boom and increased interest, prices have stayed the same, which the cultural impact has all but increased.
Limestone-paved streets, some of them over 600 years old, stretch all across the former medieval fortification. From the baroque St. Blaise Church to the Gothic Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik feels more like a time machine than an actual place in the 21st century. For every history-loving traveler, Dubrovnik is a dream come true.
Lovrijevac and Bokar, the two fortresses overlooking the main part of town, have stayed the same for centuries. Even in older parts of town, you can find affordable Airbnb’s. Therefore, you can save money and travel all across the majestic Croatian coastline and enjoy its array of stunning islands and beaches.
5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Even for those who don’t particularly enjoy climbing high, Santa Fe is a not to be missed attraction. Located at 7.200 feet above sea level, this 407-year-old city will reinvigorate your body and mind.
The myriad of galleries will give you a cultural rebirth, whereas the many hiking trails will get you into shape in no time. Because it is still undiscovered by mainstream tourism, Santa Fe is very affordable even for the most frugal of travelers.
For a traveler that loves culture, we’re sure that more than 300 galleries and 56 museums will be enough to curb your hunger for heritage and art.
Alongside this, you will probably get to experience one of the city’s many festivals, regardless of the time you’re staying there. Everywhere, the entrance is never more than $15, so the chance of experiencing an unorthodox influx of culture is very enticing.
Trains and buses from Albuquerque are very affordable, and that gives you a chance to save more money than you thought possible. A good idea to invest the savings would be to take trips to Chimayo, Taos, Bandelier National Park or even the Grand Canyon.
Central Asia is well-hidden, but it has opened its gates to the world and is awaiting travelers with open arms. It’s the ultimate adventure, simply because it’s one the right path between tradition and modernization.
You can live comfortably, while still experiencing the rich heritage. Uzbekistan, with its mix of Persian, Mongolian and Soviet culture is the crown jewel of the Central Asian plains.
A good starting point would be the capital of Tashkent, with mandatory trips to Samarkand and Bukhara. Because the prices are very affordable, you can save up and take all the trips you can want.
Perhaps the most spectacular one is a chance to sleep in a yurt camp under the stars. Because cities in the prairie are far from each other, there is no light pollution. You can even see some distant parts of the Milky Way, with good equipment.
With Airbnb’s going for as low as $40, you can rent out an apartment with friends or family. That way, you can have a cultural experience like you never thought possible.
7. Phuket, Thailand
Although Thailand is the epicenter of Buddhist culture, its cities are slowly becoming a melting pot of cultures. Because of the affordable prices, more and more foreigners are moving there to work in freelancing.
Many digital nomads including freelancers working with translation companies, assignment assistance services, other corporations are based right in Phuket and Krabi. A majority of these professionals went there for a vacation but ended up moving permanently.
Phuket has many faces, so everyone can find something according to their wishes. If you’re a fan of parties and nightlife, the parts of town dedicated to this form of culture will satisfy you. However, if you enjoy nature, peace, and quiet, you will be left amazed.
Low season is generally during the winter. Even though most people opt to go during the summer, rains are abundant. If you don’t wish to have your holiday ruined, choose another time. Rarely does a hotel cost more than $50 a night, with Airbnb’s going even lower. It’s a truly unique experience.
8. Karpathos, Greece
Greek islands come in all types and sizes. While the most popular ones like Mykonos, Skiathos, and Lesbos have a rich tourist life, some people don’t actually find them attracting.
This is a result of year-round overcrowded beaches and sometimes outrageous prices. Don’t worry, however, Greece has any tricks up her sleeve and perhaps the most devastating to every traveler’s eyes is – Karpathos.
Hidden deep in the south of the Mediterranean, this picturesque island will be a challenge for your body. You won’t find a flat place anywhere – it’s just rises and descents. Because of its isolated location, not many tourists go there, so the prices are affordable for all and any travelers.
Your first stop should be the Archeological Museum. There, you will find out about the many thousands of years of history this island possesses. Next, you can commit yourself to visit caves, dreamy taverns or spending your days on the beach. Karpathos is yours to explore.
9. Moab, Utah
For outdoor aficionados, there are few places to travel for cheap and more amazing than Moab. Because all your activities will likely be committed to nature exploration, it won’t dent your wallet.
When it comes to staying in Utah, you can pick any of the adjacent towns in the area – all of them will provide you with excellent accommodation for no more than $30 a day. You can also check if there are some travel coupons available for this destination.
Concerning the activities that you can take up – they’re basically infinite. From mountain biking, climbing or jogging and kayaking, there are plenty of options to get your adrenaline flowing.
If you’re more of an easygoing type, then you will have much to feast your eyes on. Moab boasts some of the most dazzling rock formations in the world, true geological wonders of our planet.
If you’re short on time, but still want to capitalize on Moab, rent a Jeep and tour the place as much as you want. Rental prices are affordable, so you won’t have to worry about overspending. Our recommendation is to take the time and go on a river raft trip. You will be amazed, without a doubt.
10. La Paz, Bolivia
Tucked deep in the middle of the South American Andes, La Paz awaits. The last entry of our list is an uncanny mix of a bustling young city and surrounding natural wonders. You will feel both relaxed and challenged during every step of your journey. It all starts with Snow rush, the highest ski slope in the world. Located at over 5000m above sea level, you can grind it out above the clouds.
For arrangements of over 5 days, including food and transportation, you won’t have to pay more than $70. If you’re not the type to venture that far up into the mountains, maybe you should shift your focus towards the culture.
An unavoidable highlight would be Cholita Wrestling, a WWE-like wrestling organization, with masks and prop – in a traditional Latino style! Even luxury five-star hotels don’t cost more than $150 a night, so your trip won’t be limited by finances.
Taking a trip to Bogota or Medellin in adjacent Columbia is the next big option. Plane tickets are affordable as well – every excursion is basically at your fingertips. La Paz will give you a never-before-seen feel of South America and its vibrant culture.
With these ten choices, you can plan your travels much freely. From Africa to Asia and America to Europe, there’s a place from every continent on this list. Be it the swoon-worthy island beaches or snow-covered mountains, all the options are worth adding to your bucket list.
With travel prices going up every year, a cheap airfare cannot guarantee you a budget holiday. There is much more to a holiday than cheap airfares. You can plan the perfect budget holiday of your dreams with these 10 affordable places to visit. Enjoy!