Here’s Where Budget Travelers Actually Go On Vacation

Article Contributer Anne Daly

Some places are farther away than others — meaning the plane ticket is more expensive — but they’re all still amazing budget destinations overall. We highly suggest you steal these affordable itineraries.
1. Croatia

The American dollar is very strong there. “I stay in a beautiful villa with a pool on the coast of Croatia for about $23 (20 euros) a night. Food and alcohol is also very cheap. There are a lot of beautiful beaches on the coast, and the water is fantastic. Google it … the water looks that great in person!”

2. Kraków, Poland

It’s clean and safe, with tons of fascinating history. Exceptionally affordable, too: Most meals cost less than $5, and the beers are super cheap!”

3. Marrakech, Morocco

Stay at Kaktus Hostel in Marrakech, and it’s only $7 a night. The staff is  so friendly, and makes  delicious breakfast for everyone each morning. A three-course meal for three people in the medina is  under $20. This is an incredible country to explore, and will not require a huge budget!”

4. Prague, Czech Republic

“It’s like being in a fairy tale with cheap booze and food. Stay in an awesome Airbnb.”

5. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Spend  7 days roadtripping down the Blue Ridge Parkway, camping in national parks and forests the entire time.  Camping, hiking, and eating under the stars and engaging with travelers from all backgrounds is  well worth the less than $20 a day that you will pay  for lodging.

6. Macedonia

For any Western traveler, this country is as cheap as it gets! The best place is Ohrid Lake. In summer, you can party on small beaches in Gradiste hidden under rocky cliffs, with DJs on every beach and super cheap bars. It’s definitely still a hidden treasure! Ohrid also has a beautiful old town dotted with historical churches. It’s hard to find meals that cost over $6, and drinks are cheap and plenty.”

7. Istanbul, Turkey

The city has something for everyone, and truly lives up to its reputation as the cultural and geographical ‘bridge’ between Europe and the Middle East. Its prime attractions are all either free or cost about five to seven dollars, and lodging is affordable and centrally located. It’s also connected by clean, cheap, safe, and efficient public transit, and bartering for souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar means you can get that kitshy potholder your mom will love for three dollars. Plus, there are ferries that locals use as we would city buses.”

8. Guatemala

Most hostels are $10 or less, and you can find nice, budget-friendly private rooms if that’s more your style. Exposure to Mayan culture in Guatemala is second to none, where substantial portions of the population still speak a Mayan dialect as their first language. It’s also a great place to study Spanish and buy [affordable] handicrafts if that sparks your interest. Visit the ruins at Tikal, and Lake 

9. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee

 Hicking  in the Great Smoky Mountains for a week . Its incredibly beautiful and peaceful, and the views are spectacular. Tent camping and grilling out most meals will  save you  hundreds!”

10. Curaçao

Curaçao in the Caribbean has amazing snorkeling, cheap Airbnbs, and the groceries are super reasonable, too. Plus, the locals are awesomely friendly. Make sure to splurge on a day trip to Klein Curaçao (little Curaçao) for shipwrecks, an abandoned lighthouse, and, if you’re lucky, an amazing sea turtle encounter.”

11. South Dakota

“It’s actually an incredible vacation spot! Going to a rodeo is super cool, pow-wows are genuinely beautiful, and the landscape itself is gorgeous, too. There are lots of [affordable] sights, like Custer State Park and Badlands National Park, to explore. 

12. Vietnam

Yes, the ticket was pricey — but you barely spend any money while you are there! There’s fresh food for less than a dollar; You spend at most  $10 on an expensive meal. The beaches are beautiful, the people are accommodating, and you’ll be able to experience life across the world without cringing at your bank account.

13. Bocas del Toro, Panama

Certainly not as cheap as Southeast Asia, but when you factor in the cost of a flight and length of time to get there from North America, you still come out ahead. It’s got cheap drinks and day tours, very reasonably-priced private accommodation and hostels, and water taxis to the surrounding islands.

14. Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo in Uruguay! It has great , restaurants, bars, and clubs, friendly people, and cheap everything.

15. Portugal

Both Porto and Gaia! have  a fully furnished apartment for just under $900 for three weeks. Live and eat like a local; it was wonderful.

16. Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

“It’s completely free to camp, as long as you don’t park in the lot. Gas is usually very affordable in Southern Oregon as well. The pools have over 80 natural minerals, making it the cheapest soak around! The other visitors are usually very friendly, and there are many camping spots next to the rushing river.”

17. Kootenay National Park, Canada

“Super cheap if you have a travel trailer, or are cool with tenting. Kootenay is just as beautiful as [much more touristy] Banff, but there are almost no tourists — which is awesome when it’s a busy travel year.”

So you see? Going to an amazing place without breaking the bank really isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Now get out there!



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