10 Exciting Destinations To Travel on a Budget

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By Jessie Villanueva

travel on a budget

Travel on a budget in an era where the urge to explore new places has become almost insatiable. Many constantly search for the best deals to make their travel dreams come true. If you’re planning your next adventure and looking for places you’d love to visit without breaking the bank, you’re in luck! With a little planning, you can find a cheap flight, perhaps even a return flight that offers more value for your money. Don’t be swayed into thinking that a good travel experience always means spending a hefty sum.

Often, by using travel hacks like browsing websites like those that compare flight prices, you can secure the cheapest flight. Many travelers have learned the rule of thumb: book in advance to get the best deals. Hostels offer affordable accommodation and many hostels offer free walking tours, saving you even more money.

Whether you’re eyeing international travel, perhaps travel to Australia, or just a journey within the U.S., it’s always wise to travel light. This saves time and money compared to hefty baggage fees. Investing in travel insurance, understanding visa requirements, and turning off data roaming are also important tips. And remember, with the right travel credit cards, travel rewards can make it even easier to travel sustainably. So, if you’re looking to venture into destinations where your money stretches further and you can discover money-saving travel delights, we can explore all this and more in this article.

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How do you travel on a budget?

Utilizing cost-effective transportation methods, such as taking a bus or train, can significantly reduce your expenses, allowing you to travel on a budget easily. This simple yet effective strategy is a common thread that weaves through the fabric of budget travel, serving as a beacon for those seeking to stretch their dollars to the maximum. It’s not just a way to save money; it’s a lifestyle choice that opens up possibilities for those planning their travel on a shoestring budget.

Implementing budget travel tips, like journeying during off-peak times, and utilizing local, cheaper transport modes, can make a tangible difference in your expenditure. Imagine the thrill of riding a vibrant, bustling local bus in a foreign city, where each stop brings forth a new scene, a new story. This is budget travel at its best, an immersive experience that does not drain your resources.

When you travel on a budget, the goal is not to make compromises but to make smarter choices that allow you to stay within your budget. It is about the journey, not the destination. It is about the art of discovering hidden gems, not just the well-trodden tourist paths. In essence, cheap travel need not be devoid of rich experiences; it often provides the most memorable journeys.

What are the cheapest places to travel on a budget?

In my professional experience as a travel advisor, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central America often top the list of the cheapest places to visit. These destinations weave a rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty, all accessible to budget travelers seeking to stretch their dollars.

Southeast Asia, with its street food adventures and verdant landscapes, is a gem for those desiring to travel the world without breaking the bank. Eastern Europe, often overlooked, offers an intriguing fusion of old and new, where medieval castles coexist with bustling cityscapes. Central America, a paradise for eco-travelers, is also one of the cheapest places to visit, with its azure waters and abundant wildlife.

To travel on a budget without sacrificing the experience, consider these destinations. They offer rich, immersive experiences, rivaling some of the more expensive destinations in the world. For budget travelers, these places offer an excellent balance between cost and experience, proving that one doesn’t need deep pockets to explore the world’s wonders.

10 Destinations to travel on a budget

travel on a budget

The allure of Southeast Asia’s encompassing charm, from Thailand’s inviting beaches to Vietnam’s picturesque landscapes, emerges as an economical paradise for budget travelers.

Similarly, Central America offers affordable adventures, with El Salvador’s accommodating prices and Honduras’s economically friendly exploration options.

1. Southeast Asia

With its budget-friendly travel destinations such as Thailand’s affordable accommodation, Cambodia’s cost-effective attractions, and Vietnam’s stunning landscapes, Southeast Asia offers a perfect blend of cultural immersion and natural beauty.

If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s possible to stretch your travel budget without sacrificing the quality of your experience. Backpacking through these nations, you’ll discover some of the best places to travel, where cultural richness meets affordability.

Thailand tempts with cheap yet comfortable guesthouses and tantalizing street food. Cambodia’s historical treasure, Angkor Wat, makes it a must-visit. Vietnam’s natural beauty, from its majestic mountains to its serene rice fields, provides a feast for the eyes that is gentle on the pocket. These places are worth considering when planning a budget trip.

2. Central America

Central America’s affordability, with El Salvador’s low-cost accommodation, food, and transportation, and Honduras’s budget-friendly diving and hiking, coupled with Nicaragua’s cheap outdoor activities and Guatemala’s inexpensive cultural experiences, provides an appealing option for budget-conscious travelers.

Here are three ways you can make the most of your visit:

  1. Embrace local cuisines: From El Salvador’s pupusas to Guatemala’s pepian, delicious and affordable meals abound.
  2. Utilize public transportation: It’s a cost-effective way to travel and offers an authentic experience.
  3. Explore natural landscapes: Hiking Nicaragua’s volcanoes or diving in Honduras’s coral reefs provide affordable experiences.

3. The Balkans

Offering a harmonious blend of affordability and adventure, the Balkans region is a treasure trove for people looking to travel on a budget. It boasts economical accommodations, hearty cuisine, low-cost wines, and many off-beat activities amidst its stunning coastlines and majestic hiking trails.

Its status as the cheapest region in Europe provides a smorgasbord of off-the-radar travel opportunities. A glass of cheap wine can be savored while watching the sunset over the Adriatic, while the incredible hiking trails through undulating mountain ranges offer breathtaking panoramas.

The region’s hearty food, steeped in history and tradition, fuels travelers for wild nightlife in vibrant cities like Sofia and Sarajevo. The Balkans are an affordable yet enticingly adventurous destination for those wanting to travel on a budget.

4. China

Frequently overlooked by the typical tourist itinerary, China offers an affordable travel experience with significantly lower prices off the beaten path and enriches visitors with its profound cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and delectable cuisine. This budget destination in Asia allows those wishing to travel on a budget to have rich cultural experiences.

  1. Historic Sites: China’s ancient cities and stunning landscapes house numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, each telling a unique story of the country’s long history.
  2. Delicious Cuisine: From the fiery Sichuan dishes to the delicate dim sum, China offers endless food experiences, with street food often costing less than a dollar.
  3. Cultural Experiences: Participate in traditional tea ceremonies, engage with local artisans, or visit one of the many bustling night markets. China offers cultural immersion like no other destination.

5. India

travel to india elephants

Known for its rich cultural history and affordability, India offers visitors the chance to stay in modest guesthouses and travel via second-class trains while enjoying iconic sights such as the Taj Mahal, feasting on mouthwatering food, and benefitting from the help of friendly locals for an immersive experience.

This cheap country opens up a world where budget travel doesn’t compromise the richness of the journey. The essence of India is captured within the kaleidoscope of its bustling markets, the scent of its spicy street food, and the spirituality that pervades its every corner.

The affordable guesthouses provide a home away from home, while second-class trains serve as moving panoramas of the diverse landscapes. An intricate tapestry of experiences awaits those who travel to India on a budget.

6. Georgia

In the realm of affordable travel destinations, Georgia stands out with its delicious food, breathtaking hikes through stunning mountain scenery and a wealth of cultural heritage and historical sites.

This country offers an immersive experience for those wishing to travel on a budget, providing a cheap destination without skimping on quality or experiences.

  1. Delicious Food and Wine: Georgia’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape. From succulent khinkali dumplings to the robust wines of Kakheti, culinary enthusiasts will be delighted.
  2. Incredible Hikes: Georgia’s diverse landscapes provide stunning hikes. From the wild trails of Svaneti to the serene beauty of Kazbegi, there are options for all levels of fitness and adventure.
  3. Rich Cultural Heritage and Historical Sites: Step back in time with Georgia’s unique blend of European and Asian cultures reflected in its architecture, art, and historical sites.

7. Portugal

Considerably less expensive than many other European destinations, Portugal offers tourists the opportunity to travel on a budget.. Travelers can experience beautiful beaches, historic cities, delicious food and and a rich cultural heritage on the cheap. Portugal is the hidden gem of Europe on a budget.

This affordable destination is a must for those seeking a way to save. Like Porto and Lisbon, its cities are steeped in history, each cobblestone imbued with tales of past eras.

The Portugal experience is a confluence of culture, where traditional Fado serenades the streets, and the scent of freshly baked Pastéis de Nata wafts through the air. Travel tips? Don’t overlook Portugal’s viticulture; its wines are as diverse as they are delightful. While travel to Australia may be on hold, Portugal’s enticing blend of affordability, culture, and gastronomy brings the world to you.

8. Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is an underrated region that offers a plethora of scenic landscapes, vibrant nightlife, and a rich history evident in its stunning architecture.

An ideal destination for those desiring to travel on a budget, Eastern Europe combines the romance of the past with the vitality of the present, all at affordable prices.

  1. Scenic Landscapes: From the towering Carpathian Mountains to the tranquil Danube River, Eastern Europe offers diverse outdoor activities amidst breathtaking scenery.
  2. Rich History and Architecture: Explore medieval castles, ancient fortresses, and architectural masterpieces that tell tales of bygone eras.
  3. Vibrant Nightlife: Immerse yourself in the region’s pulsating nightlife, spanning artsy bars in Budapest to underground clubs in Prague.

Experience the undervalued charm of Eastern Europe, a region that masterfully blends affordability with cultural richness.

9. Mexico

After exploring the affordable charms of Eastern Europe, you’ll find Mexico equally enticing. It boasts a foodie paradise in Mexico City and Oaxaca, perfect road trips, cenote exploring in the Yucatan, not to mention cheap beer and groceries. All of this can be experienced within a region that’s largely safe to explore.

Mexico, a destination for those who are savvy enough to travel on a budget, will surprise you with its rich tapestry of flavors. From the traditional mole in charming Oaxaca to the mezcal-infused gastronomy of the capital city, the culinary experiences are diverse and delicious.

Road trips through historical towns in Mexico reveal the country’s vibrant past and present. These journeys are a feast for the senses, with each town offering its unique charm and cultural heritage.

Economical living is a given in Mexico, with affordable staples and cheap beer readily available. This makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a cost-effective journey without compromising on experiences.

Mexico offers an immersive and cost-effective journey for those seeking mastery in budget-friendly globetrotting. It combines delicious cuisine, cultural exploration, and affordable living to create a well-rounded travel experience.

10. Morocco

With its golden dunes, winding markets, and medinas, Morocco offers a mesmerizing and safe destination to travel on a budget. The towering mountains provide an affordable travel option that is both breathtaking and accessible. This North African gem is ideal for those looking to travel on a budget without compromising the richness of experiences.

Here’s how you can maximize your Moroccan adventure:

  1. Experience Sahara’s grandeur: A night under the stars, surrounded by golden dunes, is a priceless experience.
  2. Navigate the Medinas: Discover the soul of Morocco in its bustling medinas, where every turn unravels a new story.
  3. Conquer the Atlas Mountains: For the adventurous, a hike through the towering mountains reveals hidden Berber villages and panoramic views.

With these affordable travel options, Morocco transcends being a simple destination to a captivating journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Tips for Finding Budget-Friendly Accommodation?

To locate budget-friendly accommodation, consider utilizing comparison websites, booking in off-peak seasons, opting for accommodations with kitchen facilities to save on meals, and staying slightly away from city centers or tourist hotspots.

How Can I Save Money on Food and Drink While Travelling?

Consider local markets for fresh, inexpensive produce to save on food and drink while traveling. Opt for eateries off the tourist track for authentic, cost-effective meals. Also, stay hydrated with a refillable water bottle.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Travel for Cheaper Rates?

The optimal time for economical travel vastly depends on the destination. However, generally, off-peak seasons offer lower rates due to decreased demand. Researching local events and school holidays can further assist in identifying cheaper travel periods.

How Can I Save Money on Transportation When Traveling?

To save money on transportation, consider utilizing public transit systems, renting bikes, or walking when possible. Additionally, plan your routes to avoid unnecessary travel and compare prices for flights and trains.

Are Any Free or Low-Cost Activities or Attractions I Can Participate in When I wish to Travel on a Budget?

Many cities offer free or low-cost attractions like museums, parks, and historical sites. Participating in local community events or exploring public markets can provide affordable, enriching travel experiences.


The world offers an array of affordable travel destinations, from the vibrant landscapes of Southeast Asia to the historic cities of Eastern Europe. These destinations, rich in culture and scenic beauty, provide a cost-effective means for tourists to travel on a budget and broaden their horizons.

Regardless of budget constraints, the opportunity to explore and experience the world’s diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes remains within reach, reinforcing the belief that travel is not a matter of wealth but a matter of will.