32 Cheap Places to Travel in 2024 | Best Budget Destinations

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Cheap Places to Travel | Budget Destinations

If you’re seeking cheap places to travel for a more affordable vacation, we’ve got you covered! Finding affordable destinations for your next trip away is easy enough.

You don’t always need to look for a budget destination or a cheap country to visit to save money. Sometimes, an affordable destination is sitting there right atop your bucket list.

Some of the most affordable places will see you eating incredible meals for a dollar or staying in high-end hotel rooms for the cheapest rates you might have thought impossible. Some of the cheapest places to travel still offer stunning sights of natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, the most amazing local attractions, and iconic landmarks.

Thailand, Mexico, and Eastern Europe often first pop to mind when thinking of cheap countries to visit. But your options spread far further than this, and we’re here to open your eyes to the traveling possibilities that lie within affordable reach.

Cheapest Places to Travel Around the World

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Here are the cheapest places to visit in the world broken down by continent. Just click the link to go to that specific section:

Cheap Travel Destinations in North America

1. Washington, DC

National Mall in Washington D.C. at Night

Contribution by Planning Away

To kick off our list of cheap places to travel, we’ll direct your attention to Washington, D.C., as one of the most affordable vacations in the United States. There is so much to do and see in this area, and most of it is free!

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 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 and is a locally popular and safe mode of transport. My favorite thing about Washington, D.C. is that most of the museums and monuments are free to visit! These museums are incredibly impressive and considered some of the best in the United States. You could easily spend a week exploring without having to spend much on entertainment.

The White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial are not free (and worth reserving in advance to secure your visit) but are also worth checking out.  There are many other things to do throughout D.C. You can hop on several different walking tours of D.C. to see the sights and learn the history along the way.

Some attractions worth visiting may cost some money, such as Mount Vernon, The Spy Museum, and Fort McHenry. Whatever your budget, Washington, D.C., is a great choice. This is a city you will want to get a pass to see all the sights.

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Washington, DC?

2. Merida, Mexico

Merida, Mexico - Square

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 it sits about three and a half hours west of Cancun.

You can catch a reliable ADO bus from Cancun 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 to find the cheapest and most authentic options. The cuisine in this area is known as Yucatecan food, and it’s undoubtedly some of the best that Mexico offers.

If you like the idea of budget activities, numerous museums throughout Merida are free or only charge a minimal fee. Also, free events occur 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 Merida offers without worrying about spending too much money. To help scope the area out, there are many free walking tours to help you take in all the amazing sights of the city.

See RelatedTravel Tips for Visiting Mexico on a Budget

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica One Week Itinerary

Costa Rica is an affordable and fun destination because of its many natural attractions, including rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches. It’s quickly become one of Central America’s most popular budget destinations!

This top spot enjoys a well-developed infrastructure and a wide range of tourist facilities available. So, it’s easy to travel around and find great spots to visit and various things to do to make any vacation enriching and memorable.

There are many things to do in Costa Rica:

  • 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). 
  • Waterfalls: There are many waterfalls throughout Costa Rica, and they’re all as beautiful as each other. 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 offer gorgeous white sand beaches and cheap eats. There’s also a good chance you’ll spot some wildlife here, such as crocodiles and monkeys. 
  • Cave exploration: Cave exploration experiences in the rainforest are something to remember! The tours are moderately expensive but very fun and worth it.

See Related: Is Costa Rica Safe to Visit?

Cheap Travel Destinations in Europe

4. Valencia, Spain

City of Arts & Science - Valencia, Spain

Western Europe has a non-budget-friendly reputation, but this is sometimes more a matter of perspective. Sure, places like Spain are not as cheap as Thailand. But compared to expensive spots like Canada, Switzerland, and Japan, Spain is the more affordable option!

The key to finding a cheap place to visit is finding plenty of things to do, low-cost grocery stores, reasonable prices for accommodation, and multiple ways to get there. Valencia, Spain, has all of this and more.

Travel into Valencia via plane, train, or a super cheap and comfortable bus. Once you arrive, you could take a free walking tour through the city’s winding cobblestone streets or a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to catch the highlights. 

The 13th-century Valencia Cathedral, home to the Holy Grail, is a must-see. Or, stop at Mercadona (grocery store) and get a bottle of wine, some salads, and various bakery items, all for under 10€. Then, take your treats to the beach for al fresco dining while relaxing on the sand.

Valencia offers many free things to do, like its many famous gardens and parks. Or, for free entry and/or discounted entry to its museums, along with unlimited public transport, look into getting a Valencia City Card to reduce the overall cost of your visit.

See Related: Spanish Curse Words to Know

5. Macedonia

Macedonia View of Ocean

From Roshni at The Wanderlust Within

Macedonia 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 one of the cheapest European countries to travel in.

To capture the essence of Macedonia, I suggest visiting Lake Ohrid on the border of Albania. It is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes and a wonderful place to kayak, sail, and scuba dive.

Another exciting activity is that Macedonia is one of Europe’s cheapest places to paraglide at an average price of only $49. Ohrid is also an excellent place for those who love culture, as there are 365 churches in the city.

Macedonia is very cheap by European standards, with a daily spend of $25- $45. Hostels can be as cheap as $10 a night, and a double room at a hotel could cost you as little as $30 a night.

A restaurant meal will cost around $4, and a beer is about $1.35. Buses around Macedonia are plentiful, and the 3-hour journey from the country’s capital, Skopje, to Ohrid, is only about $8 one way and $11 return, making it feasible to explore this off-the-beaten-track country.

See Related: Europe Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

6. Poland

Panorama of the Skyline in Warsaw

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 about four times cheaper than the Euro, making the prices much lower than in Western Europe.

The most popular cities are Warsaw and Krakow, but I recommend also checking the off-the-beaten-path spots of Poland, as this country has so much to offer. Yes, the nightlife here is cheap and cheerful, but there are also mountainous landscapes, stunning lakes, and unique National Parks.

Most natural wonders are free to visit, but a small fee occurs in the national parks. The tourist attractions are pretty cheap, from museums for $3 to castles for $5, depending on the place. Expect to find reliable and cheap public transport and private buses in Poland that can take you from one side of the country to another for as cheap as $1 if you buy in advance! Apart from the network of public buses or trams, carpooling options like Uber work pretty well. 

See Related: What to Expect Living in Poland: Key Tips to Follow

7. Prague, Czech Republic

Aerial View of Prague
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Czech Republic is one of the top cheap places to travel in Eastern Europe. It offers many options for activities, making it a great place for all kinds of travelers, from solo backpackers to those on a family vacation. It’s also got an excellent local transportation infrastructure with locals who speak brilliant 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. Even going for a slightly pricier private hotel room won’t cost much, with some decent rooms going for as little as $20 a night.

Cheap accommodation alone has helped Prague build upon its booming tourism industry. But there are many things to do in this city that won’t break the bank.

Highly rated walking tours go for as little as $38. Otherwise, let loose on a cheap and cheerful beer tour or visit historical dungeons.

Plus, there are tons of affordable restaurants featuring local food and a vibrant culture to choose from, with the most expensive being 8-12 dollars 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.

See Related: Virtual Walking Tour of Prague

8. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia - View of Buildings

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, unique paid 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.

Cheap public transportation makes it easy to get around Tbilisi. Taking the local metro or bus will cost you less than a dollar, and a space in a decent hostel can start from $5 a night. A nice extra saver is that Georgia has visa-free entry for passport holders from more than 65 countries, including Australia, the United States, and the UAE.

Until a few years ago, getting to Tbilisi on a budget was tricky, but the advent of direct budget flights has 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.

See Related: The Best Travel Backpack For Europe: Top Picks

9. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia, has had a tumultuous past and has been working towards recovering for the last 20 years. After immense change and growth, the city is now a beautiful and welcoming (and budget-friendly) place to visit

Getting to Belgrade is easy, and you can find low flight fares and extremely low bus fares. If you visit via nearby Eastern European countries, it will only cost between $10 and $20 to travel via bus!

As for getting around Belgrade, multiple options are all extremely cheap. One of the cheapest ways 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 $5 for a 15-minute ride, or take the tram at less than a dollar 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 generally half that of other countries. If you are looking for a budget-friendly travel destination but full of charm and history, Belgrade, Serbia, is the place for you.

See Related: The Best Times to Buy Flights to Europe (Backed by Data)

10. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo an affordable city to visit in Europe (1)

A very affordable and still great country to visit in Europe is Bosnia-Herzegovina. It surely cannot beat Southeast Asian countries, but it is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, and you get a lot for your money. Traveling in Bosnia-Herzegovina is affordable compared to its neighbors like Croatia or Montenegro. 

In Sarajevo, its capital, you can have a decent dinner in a restaurant for less than $10 (no alcohol) and savor amazing street food for even less. If you visit Vidikovac in Sarajevo, you can have a pizza and a drink, complete with stunning views, for less than $5.

There are many free things to do and some free walking tours in Sarajevo and Mostar (but I suggest tipping the guides). If you spend around $25 a day, you will have a day filled with activities, a bed in a hostel dorm, and amazing food. For $50-80, you have a decent hotel room and can even splurge a little!

Even in the high season, prices are still very reasonable. But affordability is not the only reason to visit Sarajevo! The friendly locals, gorgeous scenery, and fun activities make this spot incredible value for money.

11. Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

If you’re looking for cheap places to visit in Europe, Kotor in Montenegro is a great choice. This affordable Balkan city is perfect for the money-conscious traveler. It’s less than 2 hours south of Dubrovnik but a lifetime away in terms of prices.

The easiest way to get to Kotor is to fly to Dubrovnik or Podgorica, both of which offer low-cost flights. Finding a cheap and frequent bus to Kotor from either spot 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 (pay less than $10 for entry). 

The many cafes and restaurants in the Old Town offer varying daily specials. An inexpensive meal will see you forking out about $10. But a quick and easy meal at a fast food joint will be just a few dollars less, and a beer to wash it down requires less than $2.

 You can find many places for under $80 a 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.

Cheap Travel Destinations in Asia

12. Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam - Cheap Places to Travel

Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries to travel to and Hoi An comes in as a highly affordable and popular spot within the country to visit. As a holiday destination with beaches, the UNESCO-listed Old Town, and stunning countryside, it’s a popular tourist destination for a good reason!

Delicious street food might set you back under $1 for a superb bowl of mi quang or pho. 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 even less. 

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 per night, but boutique and resort hotels are also very affordable here if you prefer luxury. A nice private room for two in local guesthouses or homestays (homestays are often hotels or hostels in Hoi An) can be under $20 and may even include breakfast.

13. Bangkok, Thailand

Face in a Tree in Bangkok Thailand

When I first decided to go to Thailand, I was a bit worried about the costs. 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 from Rome, Italy, was super cheap! Compared to my domestic flights within Thailand, it only cost about double.

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 downtown 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). 

Nice accommodations were all under $50 a night, and venues such as Sky Bar or Banyan Tree gave elegance and luxury 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, I never spent more than $2 a day! 

Bangkok is also a great stop before going to the sandy beaches of Southern Thailand or Northern Thailand for mountains and jungle! For example, Chiang Mai, in the North, is a great shout if you’re looking to save money. A private hotel room for $120 a week and amazing Khao Soi for $1.50, it’s a win-win!

See Related: Best Places to Visit in Thailand & Things to Do

14. Colombo, Sri Lanka

View of Coastline in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka, has been out of the tourist radar for a while. It has yet to be advertised much as a tourist destination due to its relatively recent, turbulent past. But today, it’s a city worth checking out as your next budget vacation spot!

Colombo is rich with cultural and historically significant attractions to explore. The city’s wonders include the Independence Memorial Hall, a fantastic arched building symbolizing the Country’s autonomy. There are also numerous temples and museums worth popping into to embrace more of the local heritage.

Visiting a local market is also a brilliant way to immerse yourself in the varying fresh products, vivid colors, amazing smells, and friendly people that make up this wonderful city. Also, you can splurge a little and treat yourself to a safari experience not too far away from the city at Yala National Park. With the savings you make in every other aspect of visiting Sri Lanka, it won’t be a hard hit to the wallet!

Life in Colombo is cheap, to say the least. From $5 to $10 per day, you can eat in good restaurants, and transport costs less than a dollar for private and public services.

See Related: Asia Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

15. Isfahan, Iran

Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran
klange76 / Adobe Stock

Isfahan is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, and it’s a cheap destination to travel to, but with very few tourists. Once in Iran, bus tickets from any other city will cost only a few dollars. Accommodation can be found at bargain prices ranging from $4 to $7 for a dorm bed and $10 to $20 for a private room.

Bus and metro are cheap and easy to master. But there is also the Iranian version of Uber, Snap. 

There are lots of things to do in Isfahan, and the most expensive is going inside the mosques and museums at less than $4 for the entrance. So, it’s very easy to save money on a trip to Isfahan and still have a great time.

The perfect destination for the budget traveler exploring ancient Persian beauty! Some of the main attractions are in Naqsh-e Jahan Square, including the bazaar entrance that takes you to the Jameh Mosque, the biggest mosque in Isfahan. At night, you should also explore the two stone bridges, Si O Se Pol and Khaju Bridge.

The latter is popular among local men on Fridays when they sing and dance under the bridge. This is an incredible cultural experience, entirely free, with the opportunity to buy cheap local food and tea.

16. Kolkata, India

Panoramic view of Victoria Memorial ancient monument in Kolkata, India
Roop Dey / Adobe Stock

About 300 years ago, Job Charnock founded Kolkata city (formally Calcutta). Kolkata, India, was the headquarters of the British East India Company and later the seat of the British Government in India (or Raj). 

Many European-style buildings were built here. Check out the beautiful Victoria Memorial and the old-world Dalhousie Square (or BBD Bagh), which can easily be reached from the city’s prime railway stations (Howrah and Sealdah). Many affordable hotels can be found near both stations. 

The Howrah Bridge joins Kolkata and Howrah from the British period beside the Howrah station. This is the 3rd biggest cantilever bridge and the world’s busiest cantilever bridge. You cannot only see the ancient buildings but also visit and enter some of these famous places in Kolkata.

The old buildings (GPO, Gillander House, writer’s building, etc.) are now offices and headquarters for public and private sector companies.

Street food in this area is top-notch, and you’ll find many different types of Indian food to enjoy here. For around 20 cents, you can get a full lunch here of roti and sabzi.

Kolkata has much more than just old buildings on offer, though. You could 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 as an experience in itself!

17. Bohol, Philippines

Loboc River Cruise in Bohol, Philippines
robnaw / Adobe Stock

The island province of Bohol is undeniably one of the top places worth visiting in the Philippines. It’s home to the world-famous Chocolate Hills and lovely tarsiers, and traveling here is cheaper than other equally unique destinations.

It’s cheap enough to rent a car with a driver for less than $40 and do a full-day countryside tour with all fees included, like entrance fees to at least seven attractions and a buffet lunch. Accommodation can suit the shoestring traveler for as little as $5 a night, to those wanting more luxury being able to find brilliant options around the region of $25 a night. 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. Enjoy dolphin watching, snorkeling in the beautiful marine sanctuary of Balicasag Island, and visiting the sandbar of Virgin Island as just some activity options!

While you think that sounds expensive, you can have that island hopping tour for around $20 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.

See Related: Best Festivals in the Philippines | Most Celebrated Festivals

18. Pakistan

Pakistan - K2 Mountain

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 to $10 a night for a basic private room, and Couchsurfing is also 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 for memorable hiking adventures (including K2, the world’s second-highest), amazingly hospitable people, and an incredible history.

Safety concerns are valid, but the safety situation of this underrated country has dramatically improved in the past few years. You can wander around most of the country without worrying about security issues.

If visiting Pakistan, make for Islamabad and learn of this city’s culturally rich past while being introduced to modern-day locals’ lives. Or, leave the bustle of the city and make for hiking adventures in the mountains, or seek out UNESCO World Heritage Sites that will surely amaze you.

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!

19. George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Penang Georgetown

Contribution by CKC.K.ravels

George Town 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 George Town 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 George Town 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.

Outside the city are the epic Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill, which cannot be missed and cost little to get to by taxi or bus. Eating out in George Town won’t break the bank either, and you will be spoilt for choice with the huge range of local food stalls and hawker centers selling cheap classic Penang dishes and other Asian cuisines for just a few Malaysian ringgit each.

20. Mulu, Borneo

Borneo, Mulu Pinnacles (1)

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!

Nature lovers rejoice at Mulu with plenty of free and extremely affordable activities to do, such as exploring Deer and Lang Cave, walking along one of the world’s longest canopy skywalks, or embarking 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 budget prices of about $12 per night. If you don’t mind the rain, head to Mulu in the offseason in December – March, where you can experience even lower prices and have a jungle paradise all to yourself!

See Related: Best Sabbatical Destinations & Trips for a Career Break

21. Singapore

Gardens by the Bay - Singapore

Okay, so stay with me on this one! Singapore is known for having incredibly expensive accommodation options and a luxury aesthetic, but there are many ways in which you can actually make this city an affordable vacation option! Hostel dorm rooms can go for as cheap as $24 a night, but a brilliant budget option in Singapore is to opt for a pod hotel. These can get you to stay in the city’s heart for around $54 a night.

After accommodation costs are out of the way, Singapore is a delicious, fun, and cheap place to visit. It’s easy to find incredibly tasty cuisine and amazingly cheap eats, even to Michelin star standard, in the city. For next to nothing, you could head to a Hawker Center for cheap street food of the highest quality.

There are also 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. Moreover, with a Singapore City Pass, you can save a fair amount when visiting the not-so-free attractions in the city!

See Related: Marina Bay Sands Pool: The Infinity Pool of Singapore

22. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and is a relatively inexpensive destination to visit. Its proximity to several affordable destinations in Southeast Asia, as well as cheap airfares between these countries, make it an excellent spot for a stopover!

Some iconic sights include the Petronas Twin Towers, the KLK.L.ower, Batu caves, Thean Hou temple, and Masjid Wilayah 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. There’s also a great train network and cabs available via the Grab App (similar to Uber).

The city has many inexpensive restaurants and street food stalls, influenced by a mix of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang is a popular night street food market in the city worth checking out. 

Apart from the well-connected transport and cheap street food, there are great accommodation options to pick from. Wakaka Hostel is a particularly good shout at only $3, offering free breakfast and a great location with easy metro access.

See Related: Why Traveling is Important

23. Beijing, China

Forbidden city - beijing (1)

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, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. But it also serves up 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 $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, with a ride on the metro costing less than a dollar. But if you don’t fancy a crowded metro, taxis start at just $1, so you’ve got it made either way!

When it comes to food, you could get some great bargains when opting to try local street food. Head to Qianmen Food Street, where you will pay around $1.50 to try local delicacies. Visiting locally popular tourist attractions is just as cheap, with the Great Wall entrance fees starting at $7 and the Forbidden City just $9.

24. Uzbekistan

Tourist Walking through Mosque in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan offers a visa-free regime for most nationalities, and this country 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 a day. A private hotel room can be as low as $15 a night.

Getting around in Uzbekistan is easy, and the cheapest way is by train. For example, a high-speed train ticket from Khiva to Bukhara is available for $15 onwards. You can also use the informal network of minivans and shared taxis to bring you to every corner of the country.

When your tummy starts to rumble, treat it to a national dish of plov (rice with carrots and mutton) for about $5, and enjoy some freshly brewed tea included! Street food-wise, you can never go wrong with a Samsa being sold at tandoor ovens for less than a dollar. The Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara are the major tourist attractions. Most mosques and madrassahs are free to enter, and of course, it costs nothing to wander around the beautifully unique streets where it feels like a journey back in time.

See Related: Best Travel Instagram Accounts

25. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Taiwan Temple

An incredibly underrated tourist destination and one of Asia’s cheapest megacities to visit, Taipei, 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 city’s metro system has over 115 stations across five transit lines connecting nearly every corner of Taipei. A one-way ride can be as cheap as 60 cents with fares based on distance traveled.

Taiwan features uniquely Taiwanese dishes like its famous Beef noodle soup. At the top of everyone’s must-eat list, a large filling bowl of beef noodle soup costs around $5. Taipei is also famous for dumplings, and you might want to make room for some mouth-watering Wonton, Shuijiao, and Zhengjiao you’ve ever tasted, sometimes for as cheap as $3!

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.

26. Bangalore, India

Bengaluru Palace in Bangalore, India
Preju / Adobe Stock

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 pleasant climate throughout the year.

The easiest way to get to Bangalore is to arrive at the Kempegowda International Airport, situated around 40 km away from the city, and airport cabs are always available. The Indian Railway is a great option if you travel 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 luxury hotels and resorts, Bangalore has them all. The Hosteller Bangalore has 8-bed dorm rooms going for $7 a night, or opt to go private for $22. It provides a central location with close access to the metro for exploring Bangalore.

Some of the 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. Bangalore is known for its yummy street food! So many roadside stalls and small restaurants sell mouthwatering pani puri and numerous chaat varieties. Shawarmas, kati rolls, and kebabs are also some of the best street food options.

See Related: India Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

27. Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia Rice Fields

Bali is a favorite destination among many and is one of the cheapest destinations to travel to in the world. Everything from hotels, food, activities, and transportation within the island is affordable, allowing for 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.

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. Dining out is also very agreeable and sometimes cheaper than shopping at the grocery store.

Bali also offers the ultimate in relaxation, with spas offering full body massages for as little as $10 – $30. Of course, there are higher-end, pricier options, but take my word for it when I say you will not be disappointed opting for the cheaper spots! 

Exploring the island won’t set you back much at all. Hire your own driver for the day and explore at your leisure to visit iconic local spots like Tanah Lott Temple or the Ubud Monkey Forest.

See Related: Indonesia Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Cheap Travel Destinations in Oceania

28. Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Contribution 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 in 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!

See Related: Best Credit Cards for Overseas Travel

Cheap Travel Destinations in South America

29. La Paz, Bolivia

View of La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia, is a beautiful and intriguing city in South America, offering a unique experience and a low-cost one at that. It’s easy to get by on a daily budget as low as $30 in La Paz, including all travel expenses like accommodation, food, and activities.

There are plenty of things to do in Bolivia’s capital that prove this country is more than salt flats and train graveyards! For example, a stroll through the witches’ market makes for a memorable afternoon. I still have clear images of the dried llama fetuses’ hanging from stalls alongside other interesting witchy items.

Take on the city highlights with a walking tour and ride on one of the world’s highest cable cars! They were installed to tackle the city’s stifling traffic issues and provide quite the view! Or take a day trip and enjoy one of my personal Bolivia highlights and cycle down the famous Death Road!

Accommodation is cheap, world-class meals are affordable, and trips out of the city are low cost and often include meals, meaning you can do more with your money. For example, you can get a decent hotel room for about $11 a night, and street food will set you back less than a dollar. You can also enjoy local Bolivian cuisine for as little as $2 at local restaurants or go higher at about $6 for a taste of home with a McDonald’s burger. 

30. Quito, Ecuador

Quito Sign in Quito, Ecuador

If you’re looking for an exciting 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. 

Whether you prefer to stay in hostels, hotels, or Airbnbs, Quito offers affordable lodging options. Live comfortably at Casa CarpeDM for $20 a night, or save even more at Hostal Yumbo Imperial for a mere $5 a night! 

Food is also highly 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 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 to Quito’s top sights. This is perfect because the bus can act as both a tour and your daily transportation!

See Related: South America Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

31. Lima, Peru

Main Square in Lima Peru

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 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 a night. If you stay in a hostel instead, $9 is plenty for a decent night’s sleep.

Next, let’s talk about transport. Uber is available as an option, and you can travel for $3 from Barranco to the Old City Center, typically about a 30-minute ride. Or, take the city bus, where fares usually cost about 50 cents. 

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 making your way to 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 a day for your meals and eat well!

See Related: Peru Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Cheap Travel Destinations in Africa

32. Cairo, Egypt

Great Pyramids of Egypt During Sunset

To end our list of some brilliantly cheap places to travel to, we’ll venture to the ancient world of Egypt. 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 capital city of Cairo, dating back to the time of the pharaohs, is filled with monuments, temples, and plenty of 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. Visit the famous pyramids, awe over ancient treasures at the Egyptian Museum, or dine in style on the Nile River, all at a reasonable cost to your wallet.

Getting here will be the most significant expense, and even this is reasonable based on the number of flight options, including decent budget airlines. You can also enjoy cheap airport transfers and reasonable transport costs within the city using public transportation. 

Like many popular tourist sites, however, the desert city of Cairo has its fair share of tourist traps to avoid. Certain activities like camel rides at local attractions, spending an unnecessary amount on some local tours, and opting for overpriced hotels will all put an avoidable dent in your budget.

See Related: Egypt Travel Guide

How to Book Cheap Flights to Anywhere

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.

Regarding 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 Going.com
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 SafetyWing

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 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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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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