Are you longing to explore the world but worried about your limited budget? Fret not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ve curated the ultimate list of the 11 best destinations for budget travel. Now you can embark on thrilling adventures, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and create lasting memories, all while being mindful of your wallet. From stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cityscapes, these budget-friendly destinations offer incredible experiences without breaking the bank. So, pack your bags, tighten your shoelaces, and get ready for an unforgettable journey to the 11 best destinations for budget travel.
The Cheapest Places to Travel in 2023:
1. Breathtaking Bali: Paradise on a Budget
Bali, an enchanting island in Indonesia, is a haven for budget travelers seeking a tropical escape. With its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, and vibrant arts scene, Bali offers a plethora of affordable accommodations, delicious street food, and inexpensive transportation options. Whether you’re exploring the ancient temples of Ubud, catching the perfect wave in Kuta, or diving into the crystal-clear waters of Nusa Penida, Bali caters to every traveler’s budget without compromising on experiences.
Bali Budget Travel Tips
When traveling to Bali on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to consider: Start by securing a cheap flight and explore the best places without breaking the bank.
To find a budget-friendly flight to Bali, it’s advisable to be flexible with your travel dates. Airfare prices tend to vary throughout the year, so use flight comparison websites or apps to compare rates from different airlines. Consider flying on weekdays or during off-peak seasons to increase your chances of snagging a cheaper ticket.
Once you arrive in Bali, you’ll find a multitude of amazing yet affordable destinations to explore. Here are a few best places to visit without spending a fortune:
1. Ubud: This cultural hub offers a vibrant arts scene, lush rice terraces, and sacred temples. Wander through the Monkey Forest, visit the Ubud Art Market, and enjoy the serene beauty of Tegalalang Rice Terrace—all at reasonable prices.
2. Kuta: Known for its lively nightlife and bustling beach, Kuta is a great place to mingle with fellow travelers. Shop at the local markets, catch some waves, or simply relax and soak up the sun without stretching your budget too far.
3. Nusa Penida: For stunning landscapes and picturesque beaches, consider taking a day trip to Nusa Penida. This island paradise boasts breathtaking viewpoints like Kelingking Beach and Angel’s Billabong, perfect for budget-conscious adventurers.
Remember, dining at local warungs (small, family-owned eateries) is an excellent way to savor authentic Balinese cuisine at affordable prices. Additionally, consider exploring Bali’s cultural attractions, such as temples and traditional dance performances, which often have reasonable entrance fees.
Check out our Best Summer Vacation Spots in 2023 that include Bali and many other destinations!
2. Charming Chiang Mai: A Cultural Delight
Nestled in the picturesque mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a cultural gem that won’t drain your savings. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history by visiting its numerous temples, such as the awe-inspiring Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Experience the vibrant night markets, savor delicious local cuisine, and indulge in affordable Thai massages. Chiang Mai offers budget-friendly accommodations and transportation, making it an ideal destination for the budget-conscious traveler.
Chiang Mai Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Chiang Mai on a budget, here’s a helpful tip that includes cheap travel destinations within the country.
Thailand, the country where Chiang Mai is located, offers plenty of affordable travel options. To make the most of your budget while exploring Chiang Mai and its surrounding areas, consider the following tips:
1. Affordable Travel Destinations: Chiang Mai serves as an excellent base for exploring nearby destinations that won’t break the bank. Here are a few affordable places to consider:
a. Pai: Situated in the mountains, Pai offers a relaxed atmosphere, hot springs, waterfalls, and scenic landscapes. The journey from Chiang Mai to Pai is an adventure in itself, with affordable bus or minivan options available.
b. Chiang Rai: Known for its stunning White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Chiang Rai is another budget-friendly destination worth exploring. You can reach Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai by bus or arrange a shared taxi for a reasonable price.
c. Doi Inthanon National Park: As the highest peak in Thailand, Doi Inthanon National Park offers breathtaking views, hiking trails, and beautiful waterfalls. Entry fees to the park are relatively affordable, and you can reach it by public transportation or by joining a group tour.
2. Budget Accommodation: Chiang Mai provides a wide range of affordable accommodation options, including guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels. Stay in areas like the Old City or Nimmanhaemin Road, where you can find reasonably priced accommodations while being close to attractions and amenities.
3. Local Transportation: To save money on transportation within Chiang Mai, consider using local options such as Songthaews (shared red trucks) and tuk-tuks. These modes of transport are cheaper than taxis and offer a chance to experience local commuting. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle or motorbike to explore the city at your own pace.
3. Mesmerizing Marrakech: A Budget Oasis
A cheap place to travel to this year is Marrakech. Escape to the exotic city of Marrakech, where ancient traditions blend with modern marvels. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine medina, haggle for treasures in the bustling souks, and marvel at the breathtaking architecture of the Bahia Palace. Enjoy traditional Moroccan cuisine at affordable prices and find budget-friendly riads for accommodation. Marrakech’s vibrant atmosphere and unique experiences make it a top choice for budget travel.
Marrakech Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Marrakech on a budget, here’s a helpful tip that includes managing travel costs within the country.
Morocco, the country where Marrakech is located, offers several budget-friendly options for travelers. To make the most of your trip while keeping costs under control, consider the following tips:
1. Affordable Accommodation: Marrakech has a range of budget-friendly accommodations, including guesthouses, riads, and hostels. Opt for accommodations in the medina (old town) area to be close to the main attractions. Sharing a room or booking a dormitory bed in a hostel can significantly reduce costs.
2. Local Transportation: Utilize affordable local transportation options to get around Marrakech. The city has a well-established bus network that can take you to various areas of interest. Alternatively, walking is a great way to explore the compact medina, where most attractions are located. Be prepared to haggle if you decide to take a taxi or use ride-sharing services.
3. Street Food and Local Eateries: Marrakech is renowned for its vibrant street food scene. Sample delicious Moroccan dishes such as tagines, couscous, and Moroccan pastries from street food stalls and local eateries. Not only is street food inexpensive, but it also offers an authentic culinary experience.
4. Captivating Colombia: South America’s Budget Gem
Colombia, a cheap country, rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, offers budget travelers a wealth of possibilities. Explore the colorful streets of Cartagena’s Old Town, hike through the lush Cocora Valley, or venture into the vibrant city of Bogotá. With affordable food, transportation, and accommodations, Colombia provides an immersive experience without breaking the bank. Discover the hidden treasures of this fascinating country while keeping your budget intact.
Colombia Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Colombia on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while keeping costs under control.
Colombia is the best country to travel to if you are broke, it offers plenty of budget-friendly options for adventurous travelers. To ensure you have an affordable journey, consider the following tips:
- Affordable Accommodation: Colombia has a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Look for accommodations in local neighborhoods or areas popular with backpackers to find the best deals. Additionally, consider staying in shared dormitory rooms to save even more money.
- Local Transportation: Opt for local transportation options to get around Colombia. Public buses, known as “colectivos,” are a cost-effective way to travel between cities and towns. They may take a bit longer than private transportation, but they offer a more budget-friendly experience. In cities, use local buses or the metro system if available, as they are usually cheaper than taxis or ride-sharing services.
- Street Food and Local Eateries: Colombia boasts a diverse and delicious street food scene. Enjoy tasty and inexpensive local dishes such as arepas, empanadas, and bandeja paisa from street food stalls and local eateries. Not only will you get to savor authentic Colombian cuisine, but you’ll also save money on meals.
5. Enchanting Eastern Europe: Uncover Its Affordable Charms
Eastern Europe, with its diverse landscapes and rich history, is a budget traveler’s dream come true. Visit Budapest, Hungary’s capital, and soak in its thermal baths and stunning architecture. Experience Prague, Czech Republic’s vibrant nightlife without emptying your wallet. Delve into the fascinating history of Krakow, Poland, and explore the picturesque streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Eastern Europe offers affordable accommodations, delicious local cuisine, and many budget-friendly activities.
Eastern Europe Budget Tips
If you’re eager to travel to Eastern Europe on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to explore this fascinating region without breaking the bank.
Eastern Europe is home to some of the most captivating and affordable places in the world, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. To make the most of your trip, consider the following tips:
- Choose Affordable Destinations: Eastern Europe offers a plethora of affordable and enchanting destinations. Consider visiting countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, or the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). These countries have rich histories, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultures, all at a fraction of the cost compared to Western Europe.
- Opt for Budget Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels. Many cities in Eastern Europe have an excellent selection of affordable places to stay. Additionally, consider staying in smaller towns or outside the city centers to find even better deals on accommodations.
- Public Transportation: Take advantage of the affordable and efficient public transportation systems in Eastern Europe. Buses, trams, and metros are often the most cost-effective way to get around cities and travel between destinations. Consider purchasing local transportation cards or day passes for further savings.
6. Dazzling Delhi: An Indian Adventure on a Budget
Immerse yourself in the vibrant chaos of Delhi, India’s capital, while keeping your budget in check as it is one of the cheapest places to visit. Explore the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Red Fort and Qutub Minar. Indulge in mouthwatering street food and browse the bustling markets for unique souvenirs. Delhi offers a wide range of budget accommodations, from guesthouses to hostels, ensuring an affordable stay while exploring the city’s rich history and cultural diversity.
Delhi Budget Tips
If you want to travel to Delhi on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to find cheap options and make the most of your trip:
- Affordable Accommodation: To find cheap accommodation in Delhi, consider staying in budget hotels, guesthouses, or hostels. Areas like Paharganj and Karol Bagh offer a wide range of budget-friendly options. Additionally, consider booking through online travel platforms or directly with the hotel to find the best deals.
- Street Food and Local Eateries: Delhi is renowned for its diverse and delicious street food. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes like chaat, parathas, and kebabs from street stalls and local eateries. Not only will you get to savor authentic flavors, but street food is also much cheaper than dining in restaurants.
- Use Public Transportation: Delhi has an extensive and affordable public transportation system. Utilize the Delhi Metro for convenient and inexpensive travel within the city. Buses are another budget-friendly option, with an extensive network covering various destinations. Consider purchasing a travel card or day pass for even more savings.
7. Sensational Southeast Asia: A Budget Traveler’s Paradise
Southeast Asia is a mecca for budget travelers, offering a tapestry of cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine. From the stunning temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the idyllic beaches of Thailand’s islands, the region provides a wealth of affordable adventures. Enjoy affordable street food, bargain for treasures at local markets, and find budget accommodations on every corner. Southeast Asia’s affordability and diversity make it an unbeatable choice for budget travel.
Southeast Asia Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Southeast Asia on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while keeping costs in check:
- Choose the Cheapest Country: Southeast Asia is known for its affordability, but some countries are particularly budget-friendly. Consider starting your journey in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos, which generally have lower costs compared to popular tourist destinations like Thailand or Singapore. These countries offer incredible cultural experiences, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine at a fraction of the price.
- Affordable Accommodation: Look for budget accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels. Southeast Asia has a wide range of affordable options that cater to backpackers and budget-conscious travelers. In addition to searching on booking websites, consider walking in and negotiating directly with guesthouses for better rates.
- Street Food and Local Eateries: Southeast Asia is famous for its delectable street food. Embrace the local culinary scene and indulge in cheap and delicious meals from street stalls and local eateries. Not only will you experience authentic flavors, but you’ll also save a significant amount compared to dining in restaurants.
8. Magnificent Mexico: A Budget-Friendly Fiesta
Mexico, a land of ancient ruins, vibrant fiestas, and pristine beaches, welcomes budget travelers with open arms. Explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum, immerse yourself in the colorful streets of Mexico City, or relax on the stunning shores of Playa del Carmen. With affordable street food, inexpensive public transportation, and a wide range of budget accommodations, Mexico ensures an unforgettable experience without straining your finances. Discover the best places to travel while experiencing the vibrant culture and warm hospitality of this captivating country.
Mexico Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Mexico on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while keeping costs in check:
- Travel Insurance: Prioritize obtaining travel insurance before your trip to Mexico. Look for insurance policies that offer comprehensive coverage, including medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, and emergency assistance. While it adds to your initial expenses, it provides essential protection and peace of mind during your travels.
- Choose Affordable Destinations: Mexico is a diverse country with a range of budget-friendly destinations. Consider visiting places like Mexico City, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, or Mérida. These cities offer a mix of cultural experiences, historical sites, and delicious cuisine while being more affordable compared to popular tourist destinations like Cancún or Los Cabos.
- Affordable Accommodation: Look for budget accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or small local hotels. These options are often more affordable and can provide a chance to connect with fellow travelers. Additionally, consider staying in neighborhoods outside the city center or touristy areas to find even better deals.
9. Budget-Friendly Balkans: Europe’s Hidden Gem
The Balkans, a lesser-explored region of Europe, offers a treasure trove of budget-friendly delights. Discover the medieval charm of Dubrovnik, Croatia, wander through the scenic landscapes of Montenegro, and explore the historical sites of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Enjoy affordable local cuisine and find budget accommodations, including cozy guesthouses and hostels. The Balkans offer a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and affordability, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers.
The Balkans Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to the Balkans on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while enjoying super-cheap options:
- Choose Affordable Countries to Visit: The Balkans is known for its affordability, and some countries in the region offer particularly low prices. Consider visiting countries like Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Serbia, where you can experience the rich culture and natural beauty without breaking the bank.
- Budget Accommodation: Look for super cheap accommodations such as hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels. These options are widely available in major cities and popular tourist areas across the Balkans. Consider staying in shared dormitories or private rooms in hostels, as they tend to offer the best value for money.
- Local Cuisine and Street Food: Embrace the local cuisine and indulge in affordable and delicious meals. Balkan countries have a diverse culinary heritage, so make sure to try traditional dishes like cevapi, burek, or moussaka. Explore local markets and street food stalls to sample inexpensive and authentic flavors.
10. Budget Safari in South Africa: An Adventure on a Shoestring
Dreaming of an African safari but worried about the cost? South Africa is the answer. Embark on a budget-friendly safari in Kruger National Park and spot the majestic Big Five. Explore the vibrant city of Cape Town, hike up Table Mountain, and indulge in delicious local cuisine without breaking the bank. South Africa offers a range of affordable accommodations and transportation options, making it an accessible budget destination for travelers seeking an authentic African adventure.
Safari in South Africa Budget Tips
If you’re planning a budget-friendly safari in South Africa, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while enjoying one of the cheapest options:
- Choose Affordable Game Reserves: South Africa offers a range of affordable game reserves that provide exceptional wildlife experiences without breaking the bank. Consider visiting reserves like Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg National Park, or Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. These parks offer a variety of accommodation options, including camping sites, self-catering chalets, and budget-friendly lodges.
- Self-Drive Safaris: Opt for self-drive safaris in South Africa’s national parks. This allows you to explore at your own pace while saving on the cost of guided tours or private game drives. Renting a car gives you the flexibility to spend more time in areas where wildlife sightings are abundant and to choose your own routes within the park.
- Timing: Plan your visit during the shoulder seasons, which are typically the months of April-May and September-October. During these times, South Africa experiences milder weather, and there are fewer crowds compared to the peak season. As a result, accommodation prices may be lower, and you have a better chance of finding discounts on safari packages.
11. The Wonders of Vietnam: Budget-Friendly Experiences
Vietnam, a captivating country in Southeast Asia, offers a myriad of budget-friendly experiences for intrepid travelers. Cruise through the otherworldly landscapes of Halong Bay, explore the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter or immerse yourself in the rich history of Hoi An. With affordable street food, budget accommodations, and inexpensive transportation, Vietnam ensures an immersive journey without stretching your budget.
Vietnam Budget Tips
If you’re planning to travel to Vietnam on a budget, here’s a helpful tip to make the most of your trip while keeping costs in check:
- Time to Visit: Consider visiting Vietnam during the shoulder seasons, which are the months of April to June and September to November. During these times, the weather is generally pleasant, and tourist crowds are thinner compared to the peak season. As a result, accommodation prices and flight fares are often lower, providing better value for your budget.
- Affordable Accommodation: Vietnam offers a wide range of affordable accommodation options. Look for budget hotels, guesthouses, or hostels, especially in popular tourist destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hoi An. Consider staying in local guesthouses or homestays for a more authentic experience at lower prices.
- Street Food Delights: One of the highlights of traveling in Vietnam is its delicious street food. Embrace the local culinary scene and enjoy affordable meals from street vendors and local eateries. From pho to banh mi, you’ll find a variety of tasty and budget-friendly options to satisfy your taste buds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Q: Can I have an unforgettable travel experience on a tight budget?
- A: Absolutely! The 11 best destinations for budget travel provide incredible experiences without breaking the bank. With careful planning, affordable accommodations, and local insights, you can create lasting memories while staying within your budget.
- Q: Are budget accommodations reliable and safe?
- A: Yes, budget accommodations can be both reliable and safe. Hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels often offer clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and security measures to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
- Q: How can I find affordable flights to these travel destinations?
- A: To find affordable flights, consider using flight comparison websites, signing up for airline newsletters to receive promotions and deals, and being flexible with your travel dates. Additionally, booking in advance and traveling during off-peak seasons can often lead to significant savings.
- Q: What are some tips for saving money on food while traveling?
- A: To save money on food, opt for local street food and eateries, where you can savor authentic flavors at affordable prices. Avoid dining in touristy areas, as prices tend to be higher. Additionally, consider cooking some of your meals if you have access to a kitchen in your accommodation.
- Q: How can I make the most of my budget while sightseeing?
- A: Prioritize the must-see attractions and plan your itinerary accordingly. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities, such as walking tours or visiting public parks and gardens. Research discounts or city passes that offer reduced prices for multiple attractions.
- Q: Is it essential to carry cash or are credit cards widely accepted?
- A: While it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases and emergencies, credit cards are widely accepted in most tourist areas and larger establishments. However, it’s advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions.
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing incredible experiences. The 11 best cheap destinations for budget travel offer a perfect balance of affordability and adventure. From the tropical paradise of Bali to the cultural delights of Chiang Mai and the historical wonders of Marrakech, these destinations ensure unforgettable journeys without straining your finances. So, gather your sense of adventure, pack your bags wisely, and embark on an affordable travel escapade to create memories that will last a lifetime.