The dream of traveling the world is an image that most people have at some point in life, but one that is not recognized by many due to financial restrictions. With accommodations to arrange, travel to book and sights to see, the cost of a trip abroad can be intimidating to potential travelers. However, many wondrous locations are available to visit even for those on a tight budget. All it takes to plan an affordable vacation is some careful research, a bit of planning and a reasonable expectation of your trip. A little flexibility goes a long way in the world of travel so while expensive destinations may be out of reach there are still plenty of amazing places than can be seen on a budget. Read on to hear about these 10 great budget-friendly destinations:
10. South Africa
In the summer of 2010, the eyes of the world focused on South Africa, as Johannesburg prepared to host the World Cup final. Since then, South Africa has seen a decline in tourism, with rates down 8% from 2013. Now is a great time to take advantage of all there is to see and do. The region is home to a number of great beaches, as it intersects the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Kruger National Park, a popular destination for safari, costs only $20 to visit. Travelers can also visit the Nelson Mandela National Museum where Mandela lived from 1946 through 1962, where bullet holes and scorch marks remain showing the scars of the countries troubled political past.
This small hockey-mad Baltic nation is a hidden gem in Europe that is renowned for its great culture. The capital city, Riga, is located right on the Baltic Sea, and in 2014 was named the official European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Not only has the city received that honor, but the city of Riga was also awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage site. St. Peter’s Church and the famous Riga Cathedral are just two of the many medieval era buildings that can be found throughout the city. Visitors should also consider taking a trip to the Latvian National Opera building to take in an opera, ballet or choral performance.
A country that has long been preferred by backpackers, Cambodia can be a remarkably cheap destination for tourists. Though the flight to the country may cost a considerable amount, a visitor can find accommodations for as little as $4 a night at a hostel. Food in Cambodia is also relatively cheap, and there are plenty of free things to do for entertainment. The Chroy Changvar Bridge for example, is a suspension bridge built in 1966, and then rebuilt in 1995 after being destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. The centuries-old hilltop temple of Wat Phnom is nearly free since it costs visitors only $1 for admission, however the elephant rides within will cost you, but a stroll through the site itself alone is worth the visit.
News about the current financial status of Spain has significantly lowered the cost for potential visitors. Hotels, attractions and shops are all cheaper than they once were so it’s a great time to visit this treasured European country. Spain boasts a number of world-class cities, such as the capital Madrid, Barcelona and of course, the party capital of the world, Ibiza. The country is home to a number of the finest futbol (soccer) clubs in the world, with a fan-base that is just as passionate as the players on the pitch.
6. Northern Ireland
A destination popular for its music, literature and dramatic arts, Northern Ireland is a region often overlooked when considering a location to visit. Budget Travel magazine reported that the country has invested $25-million in its tourism industry, and that since 2012 more flights than ever before have traveled between the capital, Belfast, and London which is good news for passengers as more flights means lower airfare rates.
Similar to Spain, Greece is another European destination that has seen financial troubles in recent times. With businesses dependent on tourism dollars fearing empty rooms and airline seats, the price of a trip to Greece has plummeted. For the price it once cost to simply fly to Greece, a pair of visitors could have a week long vacation. Greece is home to many great historic sites all across the country, and can provide sight-seers with a look at buildings and culture dating from the ancient Greek and Roman eras, through the Byzantine and medieval era, all the way up to modern society.
Bordering Greece is another destination for tourists on a budget. Just north of Greece is Turkey and the famous city of Istanbul, once the cultural capital of the world back when it was known as Constantinople, which is home to a number of great attractions such as the Haiga Sophia and Basillica Cistern. Across the Aegean Sea, Antalya has a plethora of beaches and 5-star resorts as well as a number of ancient ruins. Hotel rates have dropped 25% in Turkey, with some premium hotels costing only $100 per night, which makes it a great spot for those looking to save.
According to Lonely Planet, a trip to Nepal could cost as little as $5 to $7 dollars a day. It should be noted, however, that this would not be for those with picky taste buds as that price is based on eating local cuisine. Visitors looking to spend in a mid-range would be looking at around $20 a day, and in the top-end around $50 a day. A current lull in tourism has created a situation where businesses are looking to attract visitors, and are forced to lower their prices to do so. This is a destination that at the current rate, is a definite steal.
2. Dominican Republic
Perhaps the most common image conjured up when picturing a vacation is a blue sky, a white sandy beach, and a warm ocean breeze rolling in. The Dominican Republic offers just that, and at a very reasonable $212 per night for a pair of travelers. Most resorts in the country offer packages of activities that include swimming with dolphins, driving dune buggies, snorkeling and much more. A visit to Los Haitises National Park provides a chance to get in touch with nature at a protected forest, and for an additional $3 (plus a licensed guide) guests can rent a kayak and traverse through lagoons and canals to get a glimpse of local wildlife.
1. Czech Republic
The capital, Prague, once the center of the former communist Czechoslovakia, is a lively city that is one of the top tourist destinations of Eastern Europe. For as much as $30 a day, visitors can sight-see, have three meals, sample Prague’s famous beer and even get accommodations, according to Triplogist. Prague is a city that managed to avoid the bland designs of Soviet era development, and has retained its fantastic culture for hundreds of years.