Who doesn’t want to travel on a budget? Not everyone is made of money, but we all wish to explore what our diverse planet has to offer. However, whenever one thinks about embarking on an epic journey, money comes in the way. Therefore, as we are travel junkies who are more or less broke, we researched and come up with a list of the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations.
While researching we realised that our world is full of inexpensive vacation spots, we just have to look close enough and abandon the constraining thought that only the most cliché and social media-promoted places like Paris, and NYC are best for vacation. No matter what continent, no matter what kind of interests you have, the world offers countless places that you can visit easily without breaking the bank.
As long as you do some research, have flexibility, and get creative, no destination seems too expensive. So, listen to us frugal nomads and give the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations mentioned below a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Top 10 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations – A Quick Glance
Top 10 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations – An Overview
1. Thailand – #1 among the Top 10 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations
Thailand is a country that is equal parts, beautiful, enchanting, and inexpensive, and is the heart of backpacking in Southeast Asia. With a tourist trail going back decades, Thailand is applauded for its Buddha statues, tropical beaches, jungle temples, and delectable cuisine. In Thailand thanks to the budget-friendly street food, local buses, and cheap guesthouses you can get by between $20-40 USD per day.
The street food over there is so inexpensive that you can get it for as little as $1. The budget-friendly country has numerous cheap and free attractions, allowing you to spend a blissful vacation without having to worry about money. The country of Thailand also harbors a lot of options for coveters of all things luxurious. From luxurious, and grand accommodations to fine dining options, the country has everything a luxury lover might need. However, even a trip spent in luxury and comfort in Thailand is inexpensive, costing around $60 USD per day.
2. Central America – A Treasure Trove of Cultural Wonders and Natural Beauty
Central America is one of the best budget-friendly vacation destinations for those people who wish to embark on a unique yet inexpensive vacation. Roam the ancient ruins of Central America, or trek through the jungle. Go surfing or captivate your taste buds by devouring delicious food, Central America has a lot to offer. These days Central America has become a go-to vacation destination for U.S. and European travellers as apart from being one of the best budget-friendly vacation destinations, Central America harbours a rich history, beautiful beaches, and lush jungles, that beckons one to explore them.
Smaller countries in Central America like Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua harbor the most inexpensive hotels that cost around $5 to $30 per night. The meals there are also cost-efficient costing under $5, public transport is quite cheap, and beer costs as little as a dollar.
By regional standards, Panama, Belize, and Costa Rica are expensive destinations, but they are still very affordable. If you happen to visit these Central American countries, you can get by on $40 to $50 per day as a backpacker, or if luxury is what you covet then $100 a day will be more than enough to let you live large. All in all, Central America is a beautiful vacation destination that offers numerous countries to choose from.
3. Cambodia – A Land of Sunny Beaches and Lush Nature
Among the best budget-friendly vacation destinations, Cambodia is the one that is a true epitome of wonder and beauty. Home to sunny beaches, lush natural attractions, and great rivers, Cambodia is as charming as it is inexpensive. The locals are incredibly hospitable and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. In Cambodia, you can get a privet, air-conditioned room for only $25, transportation for $20 to $25, and street food for $2-5. If in Cambodia, you are spending close to $50 per day that means you are living large.
Cambodia is an amalgamation of the modern world and rustic charm. It is the kind of country that caters to everyone’s interests, from relaxing on pristine beaches to devouring local delicacies, Cambodia has a lot to offer its visitors. This paradise of rich history, vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine will wow you to the core and will compel you to keep coming back for more.
4. The Balkans – One of the Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Europe
The Balkans is located in southeastern Europe and is one of the best budget-friendly vacation destinations on the continent. Composed of a handful of countries, the Balkans is an off-the-radar region that doesn’t receive a lot of tourists, which is a good thing, as not only is the destination not plagued worth hordes of tourists but is also super affordable. The Balkans is Europe’s best-kept secret caught between Western and Eastern Europe, combining the best of both worlds.
The Balkans is home to old towns, national parks, and cosmopolitan cities that are waiting to be explored. From cheap wine and hearty food to incredible hiking, and stunning coasts, the Balkans is a dream come true for adventurers and foodies who covet an affordable vacation. $30 per day is more than enough to get by in the Balkans. A week’s worth of groceries cost around $25 while beer costs as little as $2.
Despite there being news about the region being unsafe, the reality is that over the past decades, it has gone through great improvements. There is a growing Backpacking trail in the region and tourism is also rising at a steady pace. Being Europe’s least-explored region, many wish to traverse it, so plan your visit before it gets jam-packed with tourists and the vacation prices skyrocket.
5. China – The Land of Martial Arts and Great Wall
It might be a bit of a shock to see China among the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations, however, believe it or not, it is one of the cheapest countries in Asia. China is a fascinating country that caught the attention of travellers ever since Marco Polo traversed the Silk Road in the year 1275. China is an economic superpower and the days of it being a dirt-cheap destination are long gone. It is, however, cost-efficient enough to be a part of the best budget-friendly vacation destinations.
In order to vacation in China on a budget, the first thing you need to do is get out of the big cities. However, it might come as a surprise, that the big cities are still a bargain, with hostels costing less than $20, food $2-5 per meal, and local transportation for less than a dollar.
But if saving big is your top property then it is best to head outside these big cities and head to the countryside. The countryside is where you will find the best travel bargains, and deals. Even after all these years, China still remains one of the best-valued places and best budget-friendly vacation destinations in the world. The credit of course goes to its massive size, offering a ton to see and do at varying costs.
6. South Africa – The Most Coveted Destination among the Top 10 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations
What vacation destination list is complete without South Africa? A wonderful destination with wildlife-filled parks, dramatic coastlines, cosmopolitan cities, and vibrant cultures, South Africa is a place that is within the reach of travelers of all budgets. For as long as we can remember South Africa has had a reputation for being affordable. Food and accommodation are particularly cheap, and the cost of luxury restaurants and hotels is far less expensive than those of their North American and European counterparts. A day in South Africa will cost you anywhere around $45. So, pack your bags and book a ticket to South Africa where breathtaking beaches, delicious food and wine, wild-life safari, and action-packed adventures await.
7. Georgia – One of the Best Off-Beaten Destinations among the Top 10 Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations
Georgia is one of the best budget-friendly vacation destinations, that offers everything a vacation spot needs. From cheap stays, and delicious food to hikes and mountain scenery, Georgia doesn’t play around when it comes to vacations. The place is also devoid of hordes of tourists which means you can enjoy it in peace without getting pushed around by crowds. Tucked away in the Caucasus, for centuries Georgia has been at a cultural crossroads, it is however not as famous as it should be. Tbilisi, its capital is the only city that is bursting with activity, whereas the rest of the country is like heaven for intrepid adventures, offering a rugged, off-the-beaten-path feel.
In Georgia you can get by on next to nothing, spending only $25 to $30 per day. A week’s worth of groceries in Georgia costs only about $25, beer is around $2, while the historic sites cost only $2-3.
8. Portugal – A Bargain Country that is Equal Parts Stunning
Portugal is a bargain country and is one of the most stunning vacation spots among the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations. With beautiful beaches stunning seaside cliffs, jovial locals, rolling wine country, delicious food, and historic cities, the country wows its visitors. In the past few years, Portugal has become a popular vacation destination and is getting crowded with more and more tourists as time progresses. Its capital, Lisbon is especially crowded and is expensive. However, once you venture outside of Lisbon you will know why this country was included in the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations.
A journey outside Lisbon is a must if you wish to be surrounded by fewer crowds and want to vacation on a budget. Once outside the capital, you will find that the rest of the country is far less crowded and far more budget-friendly. If you are a budget backpacker you can easily get by on $50 to $60 per day.
Even though the country is a sight to behold in the summer, tourism is at its peak during the warn season, so in order to save even more money and see the country in its full glory, consider vacationing in Portugal during winter. Not only is it the best vacation option to spend winter in Europe, but the country is also extra beautiful during the season, accentuated by white snow and greying skies.
9. Mexico – Best Place for Foodies among the Best Budget-Friendly Vacation Destinations
Mexico is a foodie’s paradise, with the food scene in Mexico City being extra grand while, Oaxaca is the Mexican city that offers copious amount of charm along with a never-ending flow of mezcal. Whereas Yucatan is ideal for road trips and cenote exploring. Moreover, if you are a US resident, getting to Mexico is a cheap piece of cake.
A stay in Mexico per day will cost you about $50, which in all honesty is equal to loose change in today’s economy. However, some places in the country aren’t safe to explore, so be wary of that. But the majority of the country is yours to enjoy and offers stunning beaches, wild parties, great food, lush nature, and a rich history.
10. Morocco – Where Iconic Architectural Landmarks Meet Budget-Friendliness
Among the best budget-friendly vacation destinations, Morocco is the one that is decked in vibrant colors and is deliciously chaotic. The country is a photographer’s dream, with its rolling dunes of golden sand, towering mountains, winding markets, and medians. Even though it’s hectic cities can be a tad overwhelming for those who despise crowds. However, its postcard-perfect views, and stunningly silent desert make up for all the hustle and bustle. In Morocco, budget backpackers can get around per day for just $30 to $40.
Book on Expedia
All of these top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations can be booked via Expedia and sometimes the travel company also offers its own packages, so, make sure to check them out.
Want to know the top 10 best budget-friendly vacation destinations for your honeymoon? Then look no further as we have got you covered, just click the heading and read our article to find out about these romantic destinations and what they have in stock for you.