Do you want to travel somewhere affordable? We’ve got you covered. These are the best cheap places to travel around the world straight from some of the top travel bloggers.
Finding cheap places to travel shouldn’t be difficult. We have plenty of resources to choose from to help us sort through cheap vacation ideas, and some of our favorite budget destinations are bucket-list worthy.
You don’t always need to look for a budget destination or a cheap country to visit to save money, though. Sometimes an affordable destination is sitting there right atop your bucket list.
What better than asking some of the top travel bloggers about their experiences in cheap destinations? Travel bloggers have the answers and the experiences to boot.
Cheapest Places to Fly Right Now in 2023
If you are looking for the cheapest places to fly right now, you need to use Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), where I get flight alerts directly to my inbox based on my location.
They are the best provider of cheap flight deals and alerts for your personalized location. You won’t have to do any work at all, just let the flight alerts come to you and book. The next best part is you can get a free trial by using our link. What’s not to love?
If you want to search independently, the best possible flight search engines are Skyscanner or Momondo. These flight scanners provide the most flexibility for you to find extremely cheap flights, which depending on where you travel, will account for 30-60% of your total travel costs — so, it’s essential to keep that cost low.
When it comes to hotels, rental cars, and other budget considerations, we like using sites like Expedia and Booking.com.
Here are my favorite ways to find and book cheap flights by type of application:
|Best Cheap Flight Alerts||Scott’s Cheap Flights|
|Best Cheap Flight Search Engine||Skyscanner|
|Best Cheap Hotel Search Engine||Booking.com|
|Best Rental Car Search Engine||Kayak Rental Cars|
|Best Cheap Travel Insurance||World Nomads|
Most Affordable Destinations by Region
There are affordable destinations all around the world but not all have the right mix of attractions and culture relative to the affordability and ease of getting around.
If you are looking for a cheap country to visit, here are our top picks by continent.
List of the Cheapest Places to Travel in 2023
Let’s get into our top list of the cheapest travel destinations in the world.
Cheap Travel Destinations in North America
Washington D.C. makes the cut on affordable vacations in the United States and is easily one of the best places to visit in the U.S. There is so much to do and see in this area. Most of it is absolutely free! D.C. has three airports close by (DCA, IAD, BWI) that alone gives you three options to find the best prices on plane tickets.
If you are planning on traveling on the east coast of the United States and are planning on renting a car that will open up many more cheap flight options. New York to D.C. is only four hours away.
Staying in Washington D.C. is affordable but if you prefer to stay outside of the city the Metro System is a great resource. The Metro System is very popular and safe. Most government employees and tourists use it all the time.
My favorite thing about Washington D.C. is that all the museums and monuments are free! These museums are amazing. Located in the Mall, you can easily see the Air and Space Museum, Art Museum, and Natural History Museum featuring some of the best museums in the United States.
The White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial are all close by as well. (even though these are free get reservations in advance to secure your spot or tour).
There are many other free museums, sites, and things to do located throughout D.C. In addition, you can hop on a number of different walking tours of D.C. to see the sites and learn the history along the way.
You could easily spend a week exploring the Capital of the United States without having to spend much on entertainment. Obviously, there are attractions worth visiting that may cost some money, such as Mount Vernon, The Spy Museum, and Fort McHenry.
Whatever your budget may be, Washington D.C. is a great choice. This is a city you will definitely want to get a pass to see all the sights.
Contribution by Planning Away
See Related: Do You Need a Car in Washington, DC?
If you’re seeking an incredibly cheap place to travel, look no further than Merida, Mexico. Merida is the largest city in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is located about three and a half hours west of Cancun, which makes it a popular alternative to the more expensive coastal destinations.
You can catch one of Mexico’s reliable ADO buses from Cancun and it will take you to Merida for a very reasonable price. Upon arriving, you’ll find that almost everything in this sprawling colonial city is cheap.
In terms of the food, make sure to walk at least a few blocks outside of the central plaza in order to find the cheapest and most authentic options.
There are countless restaurants and plenty of opportunities to taste Mexican street food. The cuisine in this area is known as Yucatecan food and it’s undoubtedly some of the best that Mexico has to offer.
If you like the idea of budget activities, numerous museums throughout Merida can be accessed either for free or for a minimal fee. Also, free events take place almost every night in the city’s central plaza.
They range from live musical performances to sound and light shows that highlight Merida’s history. Overall, visitors can enjoy everything that Merida offers without worrying about spending too much money. You can get a walking tour of Merida to help you take in all the sights.
See Related: The Ultimate 5 Days in Mexico City Itinerary
Costa Rica is an affordable and fun destination because of its many natural attractions, including rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches. Costa Rica has quickly developed into the most popular budget destination to visit in Central America.
In addition, the country has a well-developed infrastructure and a wide range of tourist facilities, making it easy to find everything you need while you’re there. There are many things to do in Costa Rica; here are some of the best:
- Playa Manuel Antonio: This beach is only about a 30-minute drive from San Jose. It’s one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica and has a nudist section (optional). It’s also great for surfing if you know how to. Make sure to bring your bug spray and sunscreen with you because there are plenty of insects around and no trees for shade. Here are some of the best beaches in Costa Rica to visit.
- Waterfalls: There are many waterfalls throughout Costa Rica and they’re all beautiful and adventurous to explore. I recommend exploring them on an overnight hike or camping trip so that you can get up close to them and take in their beauty.
- Cahuita and Puerto Viejo: These towns are located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and they offer gorgeous white sand beaches and cheap places to eat. There’s also a good chance you’ll spot some wildlife here, such as crocodiles and monkeys. It can be an expensive taxi ride from San Jose but it’s well worth it.
- Cave exploration: Cave exploration in the rainforest, where several tour guides take you and explain about the plants and animals. The tours are moderately expensive but very fun and worth it.
Because of Costa Rica’s ability to be experienced all year round, travelers can enjoy a plethora of activities including surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. This is one of the best countries to visit for budget travelers that love the outdoors.
See Related: Is Costa Rica Safe to Visit?
Cheap Travel Destinations in Europe
Many people don’t think there are any cheap places to visit in western Europe, but they are wrong. We first need to think about what is cheap. Spain is not as cheap as Thailand. However, Spain compared to England, Switzerland, Canada, and many other countries is cheaper.
The key to finding a cheap place to visit is finding one that has plenty of things to do, a variety of restaurants, low-cost grocery stores, and multiple ways to get there. Valencia, Spain has all of this and more.
There are several ways to get to Valencia. Depending on where you are coming from, you may fly, take a train, or even catch a very cheap and comfortable bus from another European country.
Once you arrive the first thing you should do is wander through the city on the winding cobblestone streets. You can stop at Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina, and Plaza Redonda.
The 13th-century Valencia Cathedral, home to the Holy Grail, is a must-see. Of course, no visit to Valencia is complete without going to the beach. Stop at Mercadona (grocery store) get a bottle of wine, some salads, and various bakery items all for under 10€, and spend the afternoon relaxing on the sand.
Valencia also has famous gardens and parks for you to visit. These are just a few of the many free things to do in Valencia. You must also visit the incredible City Of Arts And Sciences.
If you want free entry into some of the museums, a discount at others, and unlimited use of public transportation, you should consider getting a Valencia City Card.
See Related: Spanish Curse Words to Know
This small and beautiful country is a hidden gem in the Balkans. With its picturesque villages, lively culture, delicious food, and rich history it’s a destination that will please most travelers, especially the discerning, as it is often dubbed the cheapest European country to travel in.
The capital, Skopje is known for its recently regenerated city center full of countless statues. However, the beauty lies about 15km outside the city, at Matka Canyon.
A hotspot for hikers and watersport lovers. To capture the essence of Macedonia I suggest visiting Lake Ohrid on the border of Albania. It is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe and a wonderful place to kayak, sail, scuba dive, and even paragliding.
In fact, Macedonia is one of the cheapest places to paraglide in Europe at only 49 EUR. Ohrid is also an excellent place for those who love culture, as there are 365 churches found in the city.
Macedonia is very cheap by European standards with a daily spend of 25-45 EUR. Hostel accommodation is 10 EUR a night, hotels are 30 EUR for a double room, a meal in a restaurant will be around 4 EUR and a beer is 1.35 EUR.
Buses around Macedonia are plentiful and the 3-hour journey from Skopje to Ohrid is only 8 EUR one way and 11 EUR return, making it feasible to explore this off-the-beaten-track country.
From Roshni at The Wanderlust Within
See Related: Outdoorsy Review
Wondering where to go in Eastern Europe? Poland is one of the countries which is part of the European Union but still has not changed its currency to the Euro. That means the local money, called the Polish zloty, is four times cheaper than the Euro, making the prices much lower than in Western Europe.
The most popular cities are Warsaw (the capital) and Krakow but I highly recommend checking the off-the-beaten-path spots of Poland, as this country has so much to offer.
From the mountains to the sea, stunning lakes, and unique National Parks. Poland will surely satisfy nature lovers as well as those who look for nightlife and old architecture.
Most of the natural wonders are free to visit, but a small fee occurs in the national parks. The tourist attractions are pretty cheap from the museum for 3€ to castles for 5€ depending on the place.
Coming to Poland expect to find good and cheap public transport as well as private buses which can take you from one side of the country to another for as cheap as 1 euro if you buy in advance. It’s pretty cheap to get around the cities too.
Apart from the network of public buses or trams, carpooling options like Uber work pretty well. Want to learn more? Here is what it is like living in Poland.
See Related: Dollar Flight Club Review
Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic, in general, is a very cheap country to visit and offers a ton of options for fun, making it one of the best European countries to add to your list of budget destinations. The country has an excellent transportation infrastructure and the locals speak English, making it easy for travelers who don’t know the language.
A beer in a Prague pub costs around $1-$3, and hostels cost approximately $10 per night. Check out these best hotels in Prague to make the most of your stay.
This alone has helped Prague build upon its booming tourism industry. There are tons of things to do in this country that won’t break the bank. There are plenty of pubs and clubs to visit when you’re looking for nightlife.
Plus, there are tons of affordable restaurants featuring local food and a vibrant culture to choose from, with the most expensive being 8-12 euros for a meal. Also, the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Prague Astronomical Clock are must-see attractions that need to be on anyone’s bucket list. Check out these other family-friendly things to do in Prague.
See Related: Virtual Walking Tour of Prague
Tbilisi, Georgia is one of the most affordable capital cities in Europe for tourists. A surplus of budget-friendly restaurants and cafes, free walking tours, and ticketless attractions (which range from a 4th-century fortress to contemporary art spaces) make Tbilisi perfect for cost-conscious travelers.
Meanwhile, special experiences such as a sulfur bath (a must-do in Tbilisi, a city whose name means ‘warm’ because of its location near natural hot springs) are also inexpensive. You can find a private luxury bath for less than $25 per person.
Tbilisi has plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options, including boutique hostels that start from $5 a night. Guesthouses are also a great choice, particularly when they include a home-cooked breakfast in the nightly tariff.
Cheap public transportation makes it easy to get around Tbilisi. Passengers pay just 50 tetri (17 cents) for a metro fare or 40 tetri (14 cents) for a bus ticket. When it comes to traveling outside of the city, inter-city marshrutka (minivan) fares and high-speed trains are also incredibly well-priced.
Up until a few years ago, it was tricky to get to Tbilisi on a budget, but the advent of direct budget flights has now made it easier than ever. Ryan Air flies direct to Tbilisi from Milan and Cologne, while Wizz Air and Ryan Air fly to Kutaisi (a four-hour bus journey from Tbilisi) from Berlin, London, and 20 more European cities.
Georgia has visa-free entry for passport holders from more than 65 countries, including Australia, the United States, and the UAE, and the cherry on top – the Georgian Government recently reinstated a policy where tourists are greeted at the airport with a complimentary bottle of famous Georgian wine.
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Europe is typically not the cheapest continent to travel around, however, there are a few places within it that will more than meet your budgeting needs. One of these places is Belgrade, Serbia. This is a place that has had a tumultuous past and has been working towards recovering from it for the last 20 years.
Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia and has undergone immense change and growth and is now a beautiful and welcoming city to visit. Not only is it beautiful but also very budget-friendly.
Getting to Belgrade is very easy and you can find low flight fares and extremely low bus fares. If you are visiting any nearby Eastern European countries you can find a bus – that will take quite a bit more time than flying – but will only cost between 10 and 20 euros.
Accommodation prices are also extremely low and you can find a luxurious stay at budget prices. As for getting around Belgrade, there are multiple options that are all extremely cheap. The cheapest way to get around is by walking, and luckily Belgrade is a very walkable city.
However, you can also take a taxi which will cost you around 4 euros for a 15-minute ride, or take the tram for .79 euros for a full trip. You should also feel welcome to eat as much as you’d like, the cost of food and drinks here is ½ that of other countries. If you are looking for a travel destination that is budget-friendly, but full of charm and history, Belgrade, Serbia is the place for you.
See Related: Best Hotels in Capadoccia, Turkey
A very affordable and still great country to visit in Europe is Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo is its capital. It surely cannot beat countries in Southeast Asia, but it is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, and you get a lot for your money.
Traveling in Bosnia- Herzegovina is quite affordable compared to its neighbors like Croatia (like Zagreb) or even Montenegro. In Sarajevo, you can have a decent dinner in a restaurant for less than $10 (no alcohol) but you can have street food for just a few $ (currency is actually the KMK.M.
If you visit Vidikovac in Sarajevo you can have a (very large) vegetarian pizza and a drink for less than 5€ – and the dinner comes with stunning views.
There are many free things to do and some free walking tours in Sarajevo and Mostar (but I suggest tipping the guides). If you do day trips from Sarajevo – e.g. to Kravice Falls, you have to pay an entrance fee of less than $5.
If you spend around $25 a day you will have a day filled with activities, a bed in a hostel dorm, and street food – for $50-80, you have a decent hotel room and can even do some splurges.
Even in the high season, prices are still very reasonable. But affordability is not the only reason to visit Sarajevo – friendly people, gorgeous scenery is gorgeous and fun activities are more reasons to head to Sarajevo.
See Related: A Complete Maui Itinerary
If you’re looking for a cheap destination, Kotor in Montenegro is a great choice. This affordable Balkan city is perfect for the money-conscious traveler—less than 2 hours south of Dubrovnik, but a lifetime away in terms of prices.
The easiest way to get here if flying is to fly to Dubrovnik or Podgorica airports which offer low-cost flights. If coming from neighboring countries, finding a cheap and frequent bus to Kotor is easy.
One of the best things to do in Kotor is to walk around the maze of Old Town streets. There are churches and squares where you can spend hours snapping pictures and people-watching – all free.
Another great thing to do here is to hike the St John Fortress which is an 8 Euro entry fee. The many cafes and restaurants in the Old Town offer varying daily specials. A top budget travel tip is to wait until the cruise ship passengers have left.
When daily visitors leave, prices will often fall. As does traveling in the off-season. You can find many places for under $80/night within the Old Town walls. To find even cheaper accommodation head a short distance outside the city walls and still be within walking distance of the main sites.
See Related: Best Places to Travel This Year
Cheap Travel Destinations in Asia
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is most certainly not the cheapest place in Vietnam or Southeast Asia but on a global scale, it comes in as highly affordable. As a holiday destination with beaches, the UNESCO-listed Old Town, and stunning countryside, it has to be one of the cheapest in the world.
Delicious street food can set you back under $1 for a superb bowl of mi quang or pho – but you will need to know where to go and have some travel smarts. Never accept the first price in Hoi An. Restaurant meals will cost you a little more but if you go to the right places and avoid the tourist traps a good meal will still be under $5.
A beer is around $1 but if you’re brave try the “fresh beer” which costs just cents. Hoi An is small and you can easily get around on foot or rent a bicycle for upward of $1 a day. For journeys further afield, taxis or Ubers are super cheap.
Just be sure your taxi driver has a meter. A dorm bed can cost under $5 (USD) per night but if you prefer more luxury boutique and resort hotels are very affordable here too. A nice private room for two in a guesthouse or homestay (homestays are often hotels or hostels in Hoi An) can be around or under $20 and may even include breakfast.
You can enjoy Hoi An without paying a cent for admission although there are tours to take to surrounding attractions with admission fees. Costs are generally low.
The Hoi An ticket is an avoidable expense. You don’t need one to go into the Old Town, only for certain buildings within it. The ticket was only $8 the last time we were there. We lived in Hoi An for 6 months.
It is undoubtedly cheap but the absolute joy of central Vietnam lies in the people. Expect to meet some of the happiest, friendliest, kindest people on the planet. Enjoy Hoi An!
See Related: Incredible Places to Travel Without a Passport
When I first decided on going to Thailand, I was a bit worried about the costs considering it was like halfway across the world from me. I mean I knew that the living costs there would be somewhat budget-friendly, but I had no idea how the travel cost would fit in.
To my surprise, my intercontinental flight to Bangkok was super cheap! Comparing it to my domestic flights within Thailand, it only cost about double (and I was flying in from Rome, Italy!).
What I was also surprised to discover was how well-connected everything was. Moving from the airport to downtown was a no-brainer with their Airport Rail Link and moving across downtown also was a breeze using their sky-train or underground.
If you’re in for an adventure and are good at haggling a great alternative to public transportation is using tuk-tuks (make sure you always agree on a price before leaving). Accommodations, and I mean NICE accommodations were all under 50 bucks a night, and up-and-coming venues such as Sky Bar or Banyan Tree gave elegance and luxurious treatment at an all-too-affordable price.
Eating well is a non-existent cost. By food-hopping in Thailand from one food stand to the next (their skewers are to die for), I never spent more than 2 dollars a day! I could do so much MORE than what I usually did on my trips.
I was so impressed that I’ve been back twice now! You get bang for your buck. I mean, do you prefer 2 days in medium accommodation in Paris, or two weeks in Thailand?
Here are some of the 15 must-see things in Thailand. Want to see things like the floating market? Take an easy day trip tour of Saduak and the floating market.
Need some other places to visit in Thailand? Check out these best destinations to visit in Thailand.
See Related: Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) Review
Colombo, Sri Lanka
When thinking about cheap places to visit in the World, Colombo should be on the pin map of everybody. The de facto Commercial Capital of Sri Lanka has been for ages out of the tourist radars because not well advertised as a location to travel in, and because of a destroying war that took the entire country to close as a holiday place.
Today, Colombo is a city with high buildings changing the entire skyscraper. The recent opening of the Lotus Tower, the highest building in South Asia, has given more perspective to the development of Colombo.
Being a new place to explore in the world, Colombo doesn’t have that much more than cultural and historical places to explore. But, instead is an excellent and cheap place to travel in and get a first impression of Asia.
The city’s wonders are the Independence Memorial Hall, a fantastic building with arches symbol the country’s autonomy. You can’t miss visiting the local market on your visit to Colombo. The huge area where the lively life of the busy Colombo is. It was my first trip to Asia and was a kind of culture shock but in a good way.
Vivid colors, fresh products, amazing smells, and people surrounding smiling. Visiting the Colombo local market is a good way to start your journey through South Asia.
Close by the market, there is the main train station of the Country, and it hosts more than 2 million people every day going in and out of Colombo. As a former British colony, you will find many things in common with the European culture that will make your stay in Colombo less experience shocking.
Life in Colombo is really cheap from $5 to $10 per day you can eat in good restaurants, and public transport is costing less than a dollar for both private and public services.
Also, the nearest Negombo, closest to the airport offers to you the perfect location for an exotic holiday on the beach, with a swim in the Indian Ocean. Book your tour of Colombo to ensure you see the sites and get cheap paragliding tickets.
See Related: Top Cheap Honeymoon Ideas for Couples
Isfahan is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, and it’s without a doubt a cheap destination to travel to. Once in Iran, bus tickets from any other city will cost only a few Euros and accommodation can be found at prices ranging from 4-7 Euros for a dorm bed to 10-20 Euros for a private room.
I am sure there are pricier options for anyone that wants to splurge in luxury, and probably for really cheap compared to what you get. So is food, really cheap. Bus and metro are cheap and easy to get around with. But there is also Snap. The Iranian version of Uber, is really cheap as well, in case you want to go to the surrounding mountains for a walk or just can’t be bothered to get public transport.
There are lots of things to do in Isfahan, and the most expensive is going inside the mosques and museums. Probably less than 4 Euros for the entrance. So, there is not much you can waste money on in this city.
The perfect destination for the budget traveler exploring ancient Persian beauty! Some main attractions are found in Naqsh-e Jahan Square, including the bazaar entrance that takes you to the Jameh Mosque, the biggest mosque in Isfahan. You should also explore the two stone bridges, Si O Se Pol and Khaju Bridge, at night.
The latter is popular among local men on Fridays when they sing and dance under the bridge. An incredible cultural experience entirely for free with the opportunity to buy cheap street food and tea. If you are not female, I’m sure the men would love you to join, if not, stay and watch and feel the vibes throughout the night.
See Related: Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget
About 300 years ago, Job Charnock founded Kolkata city (formally Calcutta). After India’s rule by the East India Company and the British Government, Kolkata is the headquarters. So many buildings and architecture were built.
The Dalhousie area in Kolkata is one of them. Still, you can find old Calcutta here. You can easily reach Dalhousie from the city’s two prime railway stations (Howrah and Sealdah).
A lot of hotels and staying options with very cheap costs are found in both stations. The old buildings (like- GPO, Gillander House, writer’s building, etc.) are now formed as offices and headquarters. Countless street food items are sold every day in this area—almost India’s every type of street food you find here.
Minimum of 20 rupees, you will get a full lunch here (roti, sabzi). This is the cheapest place to travel in India Just beside the Howrah station, the Howrah bridge joins Kolkata and Howrah from the British period. This is the 3rd biggest cantilever bridge and the world’s busiest cantilever bridge. Not only the ancients buildings but you can also visit and enter some of these ten famous places in Kolkata City:
- St Andrews church Kolkata
- Cathedral of the holiest rosary
- St John Church
- Metcalfe hall
- Millennium park
- Postal Museum
- RBI coin museum
- Magen David Synagogue
- Mallik Bazar flower market (Asia’s largest flower market)
- Smaranika tram museum
Last, enjoy a boat ride from Howrah to Shibpur and Howrah to Bagbazar ghat. And don’t forget to ride a yellow taxi/tram car from the Esplanade to Shyambazar.
See Related: Most Overrated Tourist Attractions & Destinations
The island province of Bohol is undeniably one of the top places worth visiting in the Philippines. While it is home to the world-famous Chocolate Hills and lovely tarsiers, traveling here is still cheaper than other equally unique destinations.
It’s cheap enough that we could rent a car with a driver for less than 40 USD and do the whole day countryside tour which involves 7 or more exciting sites—gas, entrance fees, and buffet lunch included!
So it’s not just cheap but comfortable as well, which is an advantage, especially for those who seek a relaxed tour. Accommodation prices range from super cheap to luxurious, so people have many options.
You can even score an airconditioned Airbnb with your bathroom and kitchen for the price of a basic fan room in other places. Plenty of budget restaurants allow you to have a full meal for a couple of bucks.
You can also dine at a luxury cafe near the beach for the price of a mid-range restaurant in other cities. Bohol is also a great island-hopping destination in the Philippines. It involves dolphin watching, snorkeling in the beautiful marine sanctuary of Balicasag Island, and visiting the sandbar of Virgin Island.
While you think that sounds expensive, you can have that island hopping tour for around 20 USD per boat with a capacity of 6-10 people. It’s usually on a boat basis and not per person. So you can share it with friends or have the whole boat to yourself without breaking the bank.
All in all, you’re more likely to spend a little over a hundred bucks for 3 days in Bohol if traveling solo, and way cheaper if you tag along with your friends. True enough, world-class unique destinations and experiences don’t have to be so expensive.
See related travel guides for the Philippines:
- Best Festivals in the Philippines
- 7 Ways to Zipline in the Philippines
- 6 Best Beaches in Bacolod
- Top Hot Springs Near Manila
- Best Boracay Itinerary to Follow
See Related: Best Sand-Proof Beach Blankets for Travel
Pakistan is one of the cheapest countries in Asia to travel around. You can spend a month in Pakistan and spend less than $500. The country is well connected by air and can also be entered overland from India or China. Using public transportation is easy as buses and trains connect the entire nation.
Budget hotels cost only between $5 and $10 a night for a basic private room, and Couchsurfing also is very popular in Pakistan. Street food is everywhere in Pakistan, especially in the evenings. You’ll get to taste a variety of mouthwatering dishes during your visit.
But why Pakistan? Unbeknownst to most, Pakistan is home to epic mountains (including K2, the world’s second-highest), amazingly hospitable people, and incredible history. The safety situation has dramatically improved recently, and you can wander around most of the country without worrying about security issues.
Pakistan is one of the most undiscovered backpacking destinations, and will become more popular in the coming years. Try to visit before everyone else does! Here’s a great resource to learn more about backpacking in Pakistan.
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage town on the island of Penang, Malaysia, and is a great destination for travelers on a budget. It’s full of cultural heritage with many affordable and free things to do, plus the town itself is fairly compact so you can explore most of the main attractions on foot (or by taking a very cheap GRAB taxi).
Getting to Penang is also wallet-friendly as you can book budget flights with airlines such as Air Asia from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. Affordable accommodation options in Georgetown are plentiful.
You can stay in mega cheap dorms/ private rooms in old heritage houses turned into boutique hostels. If you are looking for a low-cost hotel, you will find many options in the old town – usually including breakfast.
One of the highlights of Georgetown is its incredible street art scene – you can pick up a free map from the tourist information center and easily spend half a day walking around town finding hidden gems. Just outside the city are the epic Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill, which cannot be missed and do not cost much to get there by taxi or bus.
Eating out in Georgetown won’t break the bank either and you will be spoilt for choice with the huge range of street food stalls and hawker centers selling cheap classic Penang dishes and other Asian cuisines for just a few Malaysian ringgit each – you can eat to your heart’s content!
Contribution by CKC.K.ravels
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Mulu National Park is located in the Malaysian section of Borneo and is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its astounding caves and unique ecosystems. Being surrounded by jungle in every direction, Mulu is an ideal location for budget travelers who love adventure and exploration and aren’t afraid of getting muddy!
People go to Mulu to get into nature, and this means there are plenty of free and extremely affordable activities for you to do, such as; explore Deer and Lang Cave for $8, walk along one of the world’s longest canopy skywalks for $11, or embark on one of the many free walking treks.
Mulu is also known for its bat exodus in which over 3 million bats will exit Deer Cave simultaneously; a phenomenon that still can’t fully be explained. You can even partake in the overnight hikes to the Pinnacles, which are huge, jagged limestone peaks rising out of the jungle and making for quite a unique view.
Not only is your entertainment for the day very budget-friendly, but the accommodation options are also quite basic and cheap. The most common accommodation options in Mulu are the homestays with prices of about $12 per night, and then there is also the Park headquarters and a big Marriott resort.
Although the Marriott resort is budget-friendly, sometimes flights get canceled due to unpredictable storms, and you will get a complimentary night’s stay at the Marriott! Not bad! If you want to embrace the rain head to Mulu in the offseason in December – March, experience even cheaper prices, and have a jungle paradise all to yourself!
Mulu is a great budget-friendly location well suited to adventurous and nature-loving travelers. Here are some other things to do in Mulu National Park.
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Singapore is a delicious, fun, and cheap place to visit. Singapore is not the cheapest country in Southeast Asia. Still, it offers plenty of different ways to make it incredibly affordable, particularly with the local food and cheap hotels right in the heart of the city.
It is one of the few places worldwide where you can eat a Michelin meal for $5 SGD – soy sauce chicken rice at Hawker Chan. Hawker Chan is a food stall in the Chinatown Complex hawker center, the largest hawker center in Singapore.
You can find more tasty cheap street food at Singapore’s other hawker centers, including Satay By The Bay, Lau Pau Sat (Telok Ayer Market), and Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.
There are a lot of free attractions in Singapore, like Gardens By The Bay, the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore Botanic Gardens, the light show at Marina Bay, and Fort Canning Park.
Public transport is great for getting to these attractions, particularly by train (the MRT, Mass Rapid Transit), which is extensive, frequent, and cheap. There are good budget hotels and hostels available in Singapore too. Singapore is a fantastic and affordable place to visit if you’re a family traveling with a baby and toddler, as a couple, or solo.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a relatively inexpensive destination to visit. Its proximity to several other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as cheap airfares between these countries, make it an excellent stopover location.
Ideally, 3 days are sufficient to explore the city. Some iconic sights include the Petronas twin towers, the KLK.L.ower, Batu caves, Thean Hou temple, and Masjid Wilayah to see in Kuala Lumpur.
The GoKL city buses run through all important points of interest in the city. These buses pass through the various tourist spots, Chinatown, the shopping center Bukit Bintang, independence square, and many more places free of cost.
On top of that, the buses are air-conditioned and have free wifi on board. What better way to see a city! Apart from that, the city also has a great train network and cabs that can be booked through the Grab app, which is Kuala Lumpur’s version of Uber.
Use any of these transportation methods to get around Kuala Lumpur and explore all the things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days. Because the ethnic population in Kuala Lumpur mainly consists of Malaysians, Chinese, and Indians, there are many inexpensive restaurants and street food stalls.
Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang is a popular night street food market in the city. Apart from the free transport and cheap street food, there are great modern budget hostels in Kuala Lumpur.
I particularly liked the Back Home hostel near a railway stop and offered free breakfast. Not to mention the kind staff and spacious dorm rooms. These factors make Kuala Lumpur one of the cheapest places to travel to for budget travelers.
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Beijing is one of the cheapest and most cultural cities you will ever visit. This ancient city has some of the most famous attractions in the world – the Great Wall and the Forbidden City – which are only one side of Beijing. The other involves some of the best food you’ll ever taste.
Despite being the capital of China, it remains one of the cheapest places in the world to travel to. For just 700 CNY ($100), you can book a perfect 5-star hotel, centrally located and with a swimming pool, to recover after a day of sightseeing. Getting around the city couldn’t be easier due to the 2 CNY ($0.30) cost on the metro lines.
Even if you don’t fancy a crowded metro, taxis start at just 9 CNY ($1). This allows you to travel in style at a significantly cheap price. The food in Beijing is some of the best I have tasted in the world. Peking duck, a Beijing specialty, will cost you just 200 RMB ($28).
However, you can go cheaper with the local street food at Qianmen food street – where you will pay around 10 RMB ($1.50) for local delicacies. Visiting tourist attractions is just as cheap – the Great Wall entrance fees start at 50 RMB ($7). Now, remember this is China’s most visited tourist attraction!
The forbidden city will cost you just 60 RMB ($9) to visit. Get your pass for it in advance here. Check out some other amazing things you can do in Beijing here. Given the scale of these tourist attractions and the ability to visit them at this lower price, Beijing is one of the cheapest places to travel.
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Uzbekistan has just opened up its door for tourism with a new visa-free regime for most nationalities. Lonely Planet has just made central Asia one of the top destinations to visit and is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world.
Uzbekistan combines beautiful silk road cities with spectacular Islamic architecture, delicious food, and friendly people. With cheap boutique hostels, an excellent railway system that connects the silk road cities, and relatively low-priced tourist attractions, it is possible to get by on 30 U.S. dollars daily. Your highest cost will be accommodation; a private double room costs around 15 U.S. dollars daily.
Plenty of cheap restaurants allow you to get the national dish of plov (rice with carrots and mutton) for less than five U.S. dollars, tea included. Street food-wise, you can never go wrong with a Samsa. Look out for the tandoor ovens where they sell them for less than a dollar.
Getting around in Uzbekistan is very easy as well. The best and cheapest way is by train. For example, a high-speed train ticket from Khiva to Bukhara is available from 8 dollars onwards. You can also use the informal network of minivans and shared taxis to bring you to every corner of the country.
The silk road cities of Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara are the major tourist attractions. Most mosques and madrassahs are free to enter,r and of course, it costs nothing to wander around the streets where it feels like a journey back in time.
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Perhaps one of Asia’s most overlooked and underrated megacities is one of the cheapest. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is an amazing city full of things to see, do and eat that won’t break the bank.
Home to the famous skyscraper Taipei 101, Taipei is a bustling city full of history, amazing food, and natural beauty. For those travelers on a budget, there are several ways to keep costs in check while in Taipei.
The Taiwanese capital is well connected with other Asian cities by several low-cost airlines such as AirAsia. Getting around Taipei is quick, easy, and affordable by using the city’s metro system.
Connecting nearly every corner of Taipei, the system has over 115 stations across five transit lines. With fares based on distance traveled, a one-way ride can be as cheap as $0.60US. Perhaps the best reason to visit Taipei is for its food.
With its style of Chinese food, Taiwan features uniquely Taiwanese dishes. The most famous of all Taiwanese dishes are Beef Noodles Soup. At the top of everyone’s must-eat list, a large filling bowl of beef noodle soup costs around 160NT$ or $5US. Taipei is also famous for dumplings.
Steam or fried, meat or vegetable, ten dumplings can be enjoyed for 90NT$ or $3US. To make the most of a visit, perhaps book a Taipei food tour to learn more about Taiwanese food culture. Or wander one of the dozens of night markets for cheap food and a free night of wandering and people-watching.
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Capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka, Bangalore is one of India’s most modern and busiest cities. Known as the ‘Garden city of India’ (even though the scenery has changed over the years), Bangalore has a very pleasant climate throughout the year.
Besides the locals, Bangalore has people from all over India and other countries living here, thus making the city culturally diverse. Some popular tourist spots like Hogenakkal Falls, Nandi Hills, Lepakshi, and Hampi are just under 300 km from Bangalore.
The easiest way to get to Bangalore is to arrive at the Kempegowda International Airport, situated around 40 km away from the city. Airport cabs are available at all times, so coming and returning to the airport is not much of an issue (if you plan in advance since Bangalore is known for its never-ending traffic!).
The Indian Railway is a great option if you are traveling to Bangalore from any other city or state in India. Several local and private buses also run between cities, so getting in and out of Bangalore is fairly easy.
From hostels to homestays to 5-7 star hotels and resorts – Bangalore has them all. You can find some great and cheap options on websites like VRBO, Booking.com, and Hotels.com.
Some of the best and cheapest tourist places in Bangalore are the Tippu Sultan’s Summer Palace, the Bangalore Place, the Bangalore Fort, the Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bannerghatta Biological Park, and the Government Museum.
You can go on a very cheap shopping spree at Commercial Street, Bangalore’s most popular shopping spot. Malls like the Mantri Mall and Phoenix Market City are popular hangout spots in Bangalore.
Bangalore is known for its yummy street food! So many roadside stalls and small restaurants sell those mouthwatering pani puri and chaat varieties (dahi puri, bhel puri, samosa chaat and papdi chaat). Shawarmas, kati rolls, and kebabs are also some of the best street food options.
There are more posh little cafes and resto-bars as well that are affordable and fashionable at the same time. Bangalore is also home to some great and affordable pubs and nightclubs. Bangalore is one of the most affordable and cheap cities in India, and it is a great place to have a quick vacation.
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Bali is our absolute favorite destination, and it also happens to be one of the cheapest destinations we’ve traveled to and features international flights making it easy to get to. We’ve spent several months exploring Bali with our baby and would still readily head back for another trip.
Everything from hotels, food, activities, and transportation within the island was affordable, allowing us to have a fantastic and indulgent trip. With beautiful beaches, stunning hikes, rice paddies, and temples to explore, you won’t run out of amazing free activities or get bored anytime soon.
On top of that, accommodation is extremely affordable; you can easily find hostels and hotels for under $20, and even booking a luxurious villa with a private pool can cost less than $100.
Restaurants are also incredibly cheap, and we even found that eating out was cheaper than shopping at the grocery stores in some places! If you want to get a little fancier, you can shop at local markets and indulge in incredibly cheap massages. You’ll find massage parlors around the island offering massages for around $6 per hour.
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Cheap Travel Destinations in Australia
Queenstown, New Zealand
By Bailey from My Queenstown Diary
Queenstown is a tiny town located on the South Island of New Zealand. Although just a small town, there are a lot of beautiful places to explore in and around Queenstown. To start with, Queenstown is located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu.
Mountains surround the lake, and it’s nothing short of breathtaking. Watching the sun go down from the lake’s edge is a must-do while visiting Queenstown! The Remarkables Mountain Range is also located in Queenstown.
The towering mountain peaks are often covered in snow and have become an icon of Queenstown. In the summer, you can hike at the Remarkables to places like Lake Atla (or Dimrill Dalea as Lord of the Rings fans would know it), and in winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding.
From the chairlift on a clear day, the views are amazing! If you jump on the scenic gondola ride from Queenstown, you’ll be taken 450 meters up to the top of a mountain called Bob’s Peak. From here, you’ll have views of Queenstown down below, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables all at once!
For more adventure, hike to the summit of Ben Lomond from here! Alternatively, the views from the top of Queenstown Hill also rival those from Bob’s Peak. The truth is, there isn’t anywhere in Queenstown that isn’t beautiful. If you’re lucky enough to fly into Queenstown, you’ll know what I mean simply by looking out the plane’s windows at the gorgeous Southern Alps below, and that’s just the beginning!
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Cheap Travel Destinations in South America
La Paz, Bolivia
La Paz is a beautiful and intriguing city in South America, offering a unique experience and a low-cost one at that. In the administrative capital of Bolivia, you can enjoy a whole host of experiences with little to no cost.
For example, simply strolling the witches’ markets is a memorable afternoon. Furthermore, the city’s walking tours will cost you no more than what you are happy to contribute in tips.
In recent years, the city has installed one of the highest cable cars in the world. With a city of almost one million people, traffic was horrendous. Now, La Paz is connected by cable cars of various colors.
You can spend a day riding cable cars all over the city for the cost of one taxi ride. Traveling above the colorful buildings and bustling streets with huge mountainous backdrops is mind-blowing.
Accommodation is cheap, world-class meals are affordable, and trips around out of the city are low cost and often include meals, meaning you can do more with your money. There are so many things to do in La Paz, you really don’t want to miss it. Book one of these low-cost tours of La Paz to see everything you need to see.
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If you’re looking for an interesting place to travel on a budget, look no further than Quito, Ecuador. This beautiful South American city is full of fun things to do, cheap food, and affordable places to stay. For a perfect introduction to the city, consider spending 3 days in Quito.
Whether you prefer to stay in hostels, hotels, or Airbnbs, Quito is full of affordable lodging options. Nice hostels, such as Community Hostel, have dorms starting around $10 a night. Hotels can be found for as little as $40 a night, and a private Airbnb with panoramic views of the city can be booked for around $30 a night.
Food is also extremely affordable in Quito – if you visit Mercado Central for lunch, you can grab a multi-course meal for around $5. Quito has plenty of options for both street food and sit-down restaurants that won’t break the bank. Ready for some sightseeing? Many of Quito’s top sights are either free or very cheap. Consider taking a free walking tour to see many of the historic center’s main sights.
Another affordable option for sightseeing is to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city. Tickets are only $15, and the bus will take you around to some of Quito’s top sights – this is perfect because the bus can act as both a tour and your transportation for the day!
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Lima, Peru is an exciting city known for its wonderful food and amazing views as it is situated on a cliff by the Pacific Ocean. One of the best things about visiting this city is how incredibly affordable it is. To start, let’s talk about the cost of staying in Lima.
While there, I stayed in Barranco with my cousin in a large vacation rental with two floors and enough space for four people. We had all that space for just about $80/night. If you choose to stay in a hostel instead, you could stay in a nice hostel such as the Selina Miraflores Lima for just $9/night.
Next, let’s talk about transport. If you prefer private transportation, uber is available as an option. You can travel for as little as $3.00 from Barranco to the Old City Center, typically about a 30-minute ride.
For an even cheaper option, take the city bus, where fares usually cost $0.50. Traveling within the country is also pretty cheap – for a round-trip flight from Lima to Cusco, we paid $113. I’ll use my personal experience as an example.
To round things out, let’s talk about activities and food. In my opinion, you can do a lot in the city for very little. This includes visiting sites in the Old City like Plaza de las Armas, the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, Chinatown, and the Central Market for little or no cost.
I also recommend exploring the neighborhoods of Barranco and Miraflores, as there is plenty to take in by just strolling through these neighborhoods. Regarding food, expect to spend about $15/day for your meals – and expect to eat well! Lima is known for its food culture, and you don’t have to put out a lot to experience delicious ceviche, fried chicken, etc. while there. For more information on what to do in Lima, check out this Four-Day Lima Travel Guide.
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Cheap Travel Destinations in Africa
Traveling to Egypt is almost guaranteed to encompass unique experiences, fine food, friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and a good mix of cultures and languages.
The city of Cairo, dating back to the time of the pharaohs, is filled with monuments, temples, and things to do. The best part is that all of this is easy on the pocket. Cairo is not only one of the cheapest cities in the Middle East but throughout the world.
Getting here will be the largest expense, and even this is reasonable based on the number of flight options, including budget airlines. In this bustling city, affordable accommodation is plentiful, attractions are well-priced, and food is dirt cheap. It is also pretty easy and cheap to get around using public transportation.
If you avoid certain situations and activities, such as riding a camel at tourist attractions, spending unnecessary money on a tour, and staying at overpriced hotels, the budget will be well spent.
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Madeira is part of the Macaronesia Archipelago and is located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa. Thanks to its fantastic climate, it is often called the island of eternal spring.
There are more and more low-cost airlines offering cheap airline tickets to Madeira. Usually, these are connecting flights, thanks to which holidays in Madeira can be easily combined with sightseeing, e.g., Lisbon.
So, if you are visiting Lisbon or Porto, this is probably your best opportunity to see Madeira on a budget! The main attractions are nature-related – Cabo Girão Skywalk, hike to Pico Ruivo, or the amazing Ponta de Sao Lourenco, all free! You only have to rent a cheap car and drive around the island.
Not so many tourists on Madeira Island means that many cheap hotels are available for those who visit this beautiful island. Best bargains can be found outside of Funchal, the capital of Madeira, and during the low season, which is in November and February. Don’t worry about the weather – it’s never colder than 18 degrees Celsius.
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What Defines the Cheap Places to Travel?
We have compiled a massive list of the cheapest places to travel around the world. All of the places below reference locations that have the following characteristics:
- Affordable tourist attractions
- Cheap hotel prices with a significant number of lodging options
- Easy to commute and great transportation with reasonable prices
- Great street food
- Significant options for arrival (plane, train, bus, boat, etc.)
Not all these cheap places to travel to will have each of the above characteristics, but they at least comprise some of these options to make them affordable and fantastic along the way.
We did not consider airfare or currency differentials because you could come from anywhere. Use a tool like Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox for locations worldwide.
The above destinations are cheap in their own right, and we have many options, so choose the most convenient for you. You’ll be on your way to a cheap vacation.
How to Find Cheap Places to Travel
Finding cheap trips significantly depends on your area and your origin. The most affordable trip for me will not necessarily be the cheapest trip for you and vice versa (so, Your Miles May Vary).
Your highest cost will likely come from airfare to get there. Our list of cheap destinations takes into consideration of currency change or airfare. We want to show you cheap places once you get there. You likely need to figure out where you can fly directly to find affordable destinations from your area.
For me (out of Minneapolis), my wife and I can fly direct to London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Paris, Iceland, and a few other top hubs. If we can get a cheap flight directly to one of those places, the world is our oyster.
We use travel hacking to find affordable flights and options. We’ve been to dozens of countries and have paid next to nothing to travel to these fantastic places. We use some of these awesome travel credit cards to build massive rewards points balances that can be used for trips and vacations.
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What Will Be Your Next Cheap Destinations to Travel to?
There you have it. You have an epic list and explanations of the best cheap places to travel globally. Affordable places to travel to are everywhere. You need to keep an open mind and do your homework along the way.
Places with free museums, outdoor activities, and cheap food are good places to start. You can choose one of the above affordable destinations from various continents like North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Are you ready to travel? Book your trip now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are cheap places to travel to?
The cheapest places to travel are places with low-cost transportation, affordable lodging, excellent street food, and easy access to tourist destinations. When looking for the most inexpensive destination, prioritize location and the ease of getting around so you can see as much as possible at the lowest cost.
How do you travel places cheaply?
First, find a great flight deal. Then, most significant destinations will have affordable public transportation to get around, find local markets that offer cheap, authentic food, and opt for hostels or communal living to keep your lodging expenses reasonable.
How to travel to multiple destinations affordably?
Find a major airport to fly into with an international train station. This will provide additional pricing and scheduling options based on how far your next destination may be. Also, look for bus availability if you want to travel domestically. Keep an eye out for rideshare or group shuttle transportation.
What destinations have cheap flights?
Destinations that often have cheap flights are locations that heavily rely on tourism for their economy. You can usually find the best pricing during pre-peak or non-peak travel seasons. Also, large airports with connecting flights will often feature affordable flight prices.
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Find Cheap Flights
Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
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