Budgets are the bane of most travelers’ existence, and it’s an understandable concern! With the prices of basic commodities, accommodations, and other travel expenses rising globally, it can be difficult travel on a tight budget. Thankfully, some destinations are still a little easier on the wallet. Check out this list of the most affordable destinations for travellers on a tight budget, complete with some tips and tricks for when you get there.
A panorama of the Latvian capital city of Riga
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Royal Castle Square in Warsaw old town, at dusk. Poland
A list of budget-friendly European destinations would not be complete without a shoutout to Poland. If you are looking for a more lavish and luxurious vacation sans the ungodly price tag, a trip to Warsaw offers the loudest bang for your buck. Kraków is also stunningly beautiful.
Places to visit: Definitely head to all of Warsaw’s art centers, including the Natural History Museum and the fabled Royal Opera House. Experience the classical arts with the year-long presentations ranging from opera concerts to ballet to art exhibitions. Of course, with all things artsy comes cocktails, and they are among the most inexpensive in Europe (just about $18 for two people).
The capital of Latvia remains one of the Europe’s most affordable destinations. Riga (pictured above), quiet and charming as ever, offers the best of both worlds – a rich and picturesque culture paired with white powdery beaches. In fact, the city was dubbed as Europe’s Capital of Culture this year.
So much can be done on such a small budget here. A tourist can go about living for roughly $80 every day, including accommodation, three meals, transportation costs, tickets for sightseeing, and minor purchases. Because of the below average cost of living, many have been flocking towards this less popular country rather than the usual travel staples such as London and Paris.
Penny Pincher Tip: Before traveling to European countries from the United States, plan your phone usage ahead. Several local providers offer features which can save you tons from roaming charges. An example would be Verizon’s GTP or Global Travel Program which is ideal for travels lasting less than 21 days. Check with your local provider.
Manila Bay at sunset
Unfairly excluded from the so-called Southeast Asian circuit is the Philippines, which boasts of over 7,000 islands to explore each with their own unique flavor. But isn’t it just like Indonesia and Malaysia, you ask? Yes and no. For one, the region has the similar attractions – amazing beaches and affordable food (relative to Europe and Far East Asia). However, the Philippines holds the distinction of being the most affordable in the area, even moreso than Vietnam. Its capital, Manila, is virtually one big bargain mall. Your dollars will translate to a lot of things in the country. Lonely Planet acknowledged the Philippines as one of its ‘top value’ destinations in 2014.
Fine dining tips: For a full course meal (usually an appetizer, main course, and dessert), the standard price ranges from $8 for medium-scale restaurants to $15. For just $20, a full-on international buffet can be enjoyed, complete with unlimited drinks and all-you-can-everything. However, for culture vultures, hole-in-the-wall dining experiences in places like Binondo in Manila and Angono in Rizal will only net you a dollar for a single, authentic Filipino meal. Talk about affordable dining.
Colored powder in Inida
The most expensive part about a trip to India is the airfare. Upon arrival, however, you’ll realize how much value you can get for your money.
Home to chaotic city streets and incredibly peaceful countryside, a trip here will provide unforgettable sensory experiences of unpredictable, chaotic and enchanting India.
This post was last updated on August 26th, 2014
About the author: Kyle Albert is a regular contributor for several travel and tech websites. He loves exploring the temple ruins of South East Asia, while enjoying authentic delicacies in the area. Add him on Google Plus for updates on the latest in ed-tech, cool apps, and travel information.