There’s no doubt that we live in an incredibly beautiful world. But, what do you do when you want to travel but your bank account thinks otherwise? Instead of spending hours searching the internet high and low, we’ve compiled a list of the most affordable places to travel to in 2018.
Don’t let yourself miss out on incredible experiences because you think you can’t afford it and make this year one for the books.
Note: All currencies listed below are in US dollars. All countries listed below have an average night’s cost at an affordable hostel or hotel at or under $18.
When it comes to affordable destinations, look no further than the beautiful country of Romania. This hidden gem is full of amazing historical sites (think: magnificent castles) and exudes those luxe-European vibes. Plus, you can get by with less than $20 a day, easily! A night at a hostel will cost around $12, while museum admission won’t break the bank and is around $3 for entry.
So, why not treat yourself to an authentic Romanian experience this year and spend the rest of your hard earned money on the other things in life that really matter (like souvenirs).
If you’ve never thought about visiting India before reading this article, it’s time you did. Ranked the second cheapest country in the world to travel, you can rest assured that you’ll really get your dollars worth. Discover the bustling street markets and take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal for less than the price of all-you-can-eat sushi.
Picture this, sleeping in your $6 a night bed, travelling around for no more than $5 while getting your fill of delicious Indian food for under $2. Does anything sound better? We didn’t think so.
See Also: Should I Travel To India?
Nestled in South America, Ecuador is not only an incredible destination for nature lovers, but it’s also easily one of the most affordable countries in South America. And guess what, you don’t have to skip your daily Starbucks to experience everything Ecuador has to offer. Ride your $9 rented bike to your delicious $3 meal and rest your body after a day of exploring for under $15.
Travel to: Ecuador
Morocco is at the top of many bucket lists, and for good reason – it’s absolutely beautiful. Located in northern Africa between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco will make you feel as though you have been transported back in time. Go on a souk tour in Marrakech, visit the majestic blue city of Chefchaouen or hike the Toubkal mountains all for less than you’d expect.
Who knew eating and sleeping like a boss would cost you under $10 dollars, or that a long local bus trip would be less than your weekly yoga class!
If you want to experience Eastern Europe without the crowds and without breaking the bank, head to Poland. A popular destination amongst travellers of all ages, this country is definitely a must-add to any travel list. Explore medieval castles in Krakow or shop and dance all night in Warsaw all for under $20.
Not too shabby if you ask us!
It should come as no surprise that Chile is on this list. Recently ranked as Lonely Planet’s top country to visit in 2018, there is no doubt that this breathtaking nation needs to be one (of the many) trips you take this year. A night at an affordable hospedaje will run you around $16, while your meals won’t be more than $10. Not to mention that some national parks and attractions are free!
Return home with a lifetime of memories that’ll leave you stunned even years after your trip has ended without the urge to see a financial advisor.
7. New Zealand
If there is one thing we know about New Zealand it’s that there is no shortage of breathtaking sights. And you don’t have to be a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work to enjoy it.
Though definitely one of the pricier destinations on this list, you’re still looking at an average of under $18 per night (at a hostel or a campsite) and less than $10 for basic meals. This leaves you with some extra cash to spend as you take in all the country’s beauty, like the magnificent Milford Sound or on a kayaking trip through the Bay of Islands.
Travel to: New Zealand
If you want to get up close and personal with exotic wildlife this year, hop on a flight to Tanzania. Known best for its rich wildlife and vast deserts, Tanzania is an adventure lover’s playground with endless thrilling activities to spend your days doing, like conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, visiting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area or coming face-to-face with the Big Five.
Alas, the real thrill will come from all the money you’ve saved. Think $15 for a night at a quaint guesthouse, eating authentic Tanzanian cuisine for around $2, and taking a $5 long-distance bus ride.
Picturesque villages, mouthwatering food and stunning medieval castles are just a few of the reasons we love Portugal. The other reason is how insanely affordable it is to travel there. Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Spain, Portugal deserves your attention.
Sunbathe in the Algarve, try your hand at painting an azulejo in Lisbon, discover the beauty of Pena National Palace firsthand in Sintra or sample a glass of Port wine in Porto. No matter what you choose to do, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not going to come back home with pennies to your name.
Nestled between Peru, Chile and Brazil you’ll find Bolivia. Though often overlooked due to it’s seemingly more popular neighbours, this landlocked country is a definite must-visit. From Lake Titicaca to the Amazon and the reflective salt flats at Salar de Uyuni, you will without a doubt find yourself falling in love with Bolivia.
As one of the cheapest destinations in South America, you’ll easily find a place to rest for $5-$7, travel from city to city for less than $10 and you can get a filling meal for under $7. Doesn’t that sound grand? All that’s left for you to do now is start thinking about the creative poses you’ll pull off at the world’s largest mirror.
Historically an affordable destination, Thailand is the Mecca for backpackers and budget travellers alike. Chock full of activities and experiences that will make you want for nothing, it is probably already on your travel list.
Aside from the cost of your flight, this inspiring country will make you feel as though you’re actually saving money while you travel. An average night at a guesthouse sits around $17, public transportation at no more than $1.50 and meals made with the freshest of ingredients costing you between $1-$3. If you haven’t booked your flight over to the Land of Smiles while reading this, we take it you must not like saving (or travel at that).
12. South Africa
If you’re looking for a country with the perfect mix of nature and bustling city life, look no further than the tip of Africa. Home to Kruger National Park and stunning Cape Town, South Africa is one place everyone needs to visit. Whether you want to go on an exciting safari in one of the country’s many national parks, or you want to go swimming in crystal clear waters, a South African adventure won’t have you dipping into your savings. With less than $20 a day spent on meals and accommodation, you’ll have plenty of leftover cash to tick more things off your bucket list than you thought possible.
Albania is probably not the first country that comes to mind when you think of an epic European vacation, but it should be! Known best for the sprawling beaches and the stunning ancient castles that call it home, Albania is the perfect place to explore.
With a night at a dorm room costing under $18, transit costing between $2-$8 and a tasty Albanian meal ranging between $7-$11, Albania is also the perfect place for your wallet’s sake.
14. Costa Rica
Hidden beaches, breathtaking waterfalls and probably the most picturesque volcano you’ll ever see, are a few of the reasons Costa Rica tops many travel must-see lists. From San Jose and Manuel Antonio National Park to Monte Verde Cloud Forest Reserve and beyond, Costa Rica is the ideal destination for every traveller. Not to mention the fact that you can hike, travel (within the country), eat and sleep for all under $20 a day making it the perfect candidate for your next escape.
See Also: Best Cameras for Hiking and Trekking
See Also: Best Cameras for Hiking and Trekking
15. Sri Lanka
If you have been dreaming about Sri Lanka but stopped yourself mid-REM sleep because the cost of the trip was stressing your subconscious out, think again. Hailed as the must-see country with it all, Sri Lanka is truly a place like no other.
Discover all the country has to offer, from lush rainforests and awe-inspiring national parks to breathtaking train rides and temples that’ll make you want to cancel your flight home. Get your fill of rice and curry for less than the cost of a cup of coffee, hop on a bus for under $2 and lay your head down for no more than $13. All the more reason to pop Sri Lanka right to the top of that bucket list of yours!
Known best for its rich culture, lively nightlife and bustling cities, Vietnam is the budget-friendly country you need to visit ASAP. Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is an all-around traveller favourite. From Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay, this breathtaking nation is not only a must-see but a total steal too! If spending $9 a night on a cheap hotel, travelling about for $1 and eating more than the recommended portion size of noodles for less than $2 is up your alley, book a flight.
See Also: Should I Visit Vietnam?
No matter who you are, Colombia is the perfect destination for you. Seriously! Coffee lover? Head to Colombia. Nature lover? Hop on over to Colombia. Love a good hike? Well, might we suggest lovely Colombia? Want to go swimming? Hmm, perhaps Colombia? With so much to offer and so little to pay, it’s no doubt people keep coming back.
For less than the cost of a haircut, you can sleep, eat and explore many cities in Colombia. Gaze up at the massive palm trees in Cocora Valley, stroll down the colourful streets of Cartagena or hike in Tayrona National Park.
18. The Philippines
When it comes to island paradises, the Philippines take the cake. Home to cascading waterfalls, amazing beaches and inspiring architecture, this Southeast Asian country continues to win the hearts (and bank accounts) of thousands. With the average cost per day (food, drink and stay) coming up to just under $20, it’s no surprise why travellers flock to the island to take it all in each year.
Share your top budget-saving travel tips in the comments below.