Travel On A Budget: 31 Fun Destinations That Will Help You Save

Traveling is on everyone’s bucket list. Better to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times, right? Now you can travel on a budget and we are on a mission to show you how you can do it. All it takes is some pre-planning, saving your spare change when you can, and finding out about all the wonderful budget destinations globally. I love a quote by Wallace Stevens who said: “The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”

Without further ado let us introduce to you “31 travel on a budget destination” so get ready to pack your bag.

Bonus Starter Tip: If you are newlyweds check out this money guide for traveling on your honeymoon on a budget.

Asian Destinations

1.  Hanoi, Vietnam

It ranks number one on our list not only because it is one of the best places when you travel on a budget, it’s incredibly beautiful.

Reasons to Visit

  • Visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • Be entertained by water puppetry at the Thang Long Puppet Theatre
  • See the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Explore the The Perfume Pagoda temple complex.

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2. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, also formally as known as Saigon, is a bit more lively than our previous listing, and the prices are slightly higher as well. However, compared to other places this is one of the cheapest travel destinations.

Good to Know: You have a choice of over 30,000 attractions for you to explore and while you are there make sure you try Pho soup. It is possible the best soup I ever had in my life so far.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Super cheap amazing eats (perfect place for foodies)
  • Late night spa services (admit it, it is so much better to get a massage and go to sleep right after right?)
  • Bonsai River Cruise
  • Fresh amazing beer
  • Incredible street markets
  • Amazing nightlife
  • Really good coffee.

We think Ho Chi Minh City should be on everyone’s list!

A must read is the Globetrotter’s Ultimate Guide on how to save money for a trip.

3. Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)

In Yangon, Burma there was a travel boycott in place until approximately 5 years ago. Once it was lifted, many people poured in, but the city was not ready. Now, 5 years later, Yangon is buzzing with new hotels, hostels and restaurants. The new developments have brought the pricing down, making Yangon part of our travel on budget destinations list.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Delicious local, unique cuisine
  • Hiking at Inle Lake
  • Gorgeous pagodas in Yangon
  • The people are friendly and ready to share their culture
  • Everything is cheaper than most destination
  • Cycling in Mandalay
  • Breathtaking Buddhist Monasteries
  • Amazing beaches.

Bonus Tip: Before you start on your trip, learn how to manage your money better and save for that international adventure much faster!

4. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Everyone I know who has been to Thailand wants to return. They all say there is a mystic quality about it, a combination of the traditions and the food, the people, and the natural beauty, making this a must destination at least once in our lives. Thailand is known for its amazing food, the astonishing temples, and the variety of martial arts.

Reasons to Visit:

  • It is full of history (it was once the capital of the old Lanna Kingdom)
  • The amazing temples
  • It is a real shopper’s paradise (pack light if you want to bring stuff back)
  • If you plan to get married, this is top wedding destination
  • We can’t stress enough that the food is reason alone to visit this place
  • Plenty of adventurous options
  • Incredible festivals.

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5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia

You won’t need to do currency exchange, as they use the US dollar in Phnom Penh. Its convenient location between Siem Reap and the Mekong Delta, made it a popular destination that is always evolving. Phnom Penh now has a large tourism infrastructure and welcomes over 1 million visitors annually.

Reasons to Visit:

  • It is surrounded by remote islands and pristine beaches
  • Full of jungles waiting to be explored (get your Indiana Jones’s Hat on)
  • Busy, friendly markets
  • The ruins of Angkor at Siem Reap
  • The food (just accept the fact that food is generally amazing in Asia, but here you can have edible flowers and incredible textures and sauces).

Pro Tip: Many people work while traveling. Learn about the variety of digital nomad jobs you can do while seeing the world.

6. Kathmandu, Nepal

For those who want to travel on a budget, Kathmandu, Nepal, should be one of your top priorities. Many travelers place this on their must-see travel list. This is one of those places that people generally rush through on their way to somewhere else, but make a point to stop here. It is an unusual place, and part of the reason we travel is to experience something new and unusual, right?Extremely affordable with the average meal for two costing you under $9, you can try all that Nepal has to offer!

 Reasons to Visit:

  • Rich heritage
  • Small so you can see it all in one visit
  • Trekking in Nepal is amazing
  • It is a disease free zone
  • Plenty of rhinos and tigers waited to be seen by you
  • Diversity of religion
  • Breathtaking lakes
  • Great for family getaways
  • It is super safe
  • People are generous and friendly.

Many of our readers and personal friends do use apps such as GetUpside to save money on groceries and gas and put it toward their travel budget.

7. Goa, India

India in general is a great destination for people who are looking to travel on a budget, as long as you stay out of major loud cities, they can be a bit dangerous too. Goa is a collection of beaches and little inland towns that have a hippie feel to them. Here, you can stretch a small budget to last you a few months, and take a nice long break from your daily grind.

There is something to be said about staying in one place for more than just a few days. You can form bonds with the locals and truly immerse yourself in the culture.

Reasons to Visit

  • Stunning sunsets
  • Portuguese history
  • Its slow pace sleepy towns that will force you to relax
  • The unique architecture
  • The food (yes again the food is a good enough reason to travel anywhere, as long as you not a picky eater)
  • The wildlife encounters
  • Tropical Bungalows.

Check out these 11 jobs that allow you to travel and work.

8. Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

This travel budget destination has a tropical feel to it, similar to the Goa. It is also one of the few parts of Indonesia that have undergone serious growth and has become a tourist destination. Fortunately, even with all the growth, the prices are still low, making this part of our travel on budget destination list! Search for Kuta, Bali and see for yourself the glamor of this tropical paradise.This is a perfect place for singles and couples that are up to a bit of partying.

Reasons to Visit

  • Great for surfing
  • The spas and their incredible treatments will make you feel 20 years younger
  • The nightlife is unbelievable
  • Great for yoga
  • Stunning beaches (just google this one and you will be booking your flight soon)
  • Museums
  • The Upside Down World Bali
  • Great for families
  • Ease in transportation so you can see most of it in one go.

Remember to always look for alternative accommodation options when traveling to save money and get a more authentic experience.

9.Taipei, Taiwan

This is a very popular destination for many reasons, but I suspect that the fact that English is well-spoken and integrated in the city, makes tourists comfortable to pick it as their budget destination. Taipei, Taiwan sees close to 11 million tourists a year!

This one might be slightly more expensive in accommodation than the previously mentioned destinations, but if you use smart options such as Airbnb you can easily lower the expense.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Amazing hikes
  • Natural hot springs (yes you can relax in them)
  • The famous night markets
  • The old lantern town (you can set your own lantern free)
  • The food (best tea in the world, try beef noodles and pineapple cakes)
  • See Taipei 101 (very tall building – attraction).

European Destinations

Most might consider Europe an expensive, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Assuming you are looking for a way to see Europe on a Budget, it is safe to suggest that Airbnb might be one of the best options for you for accommodation.  According to 21% of your budget will be spent on accommodation when traveling internationally, averaging each day to $141. Looking at Airbnb you can see how you can cut the accommodation cost down to one third of that amount. Many beautiful, authentic apartments are available for under $50/night.

10. Bucharest, Romania

The largest city as well as the capital of Romania, Bucharest has a rich history and a very famous night life. The city is not very far from Sighisoara, the birthplace of Dracula, or properly known as Vlad Tepes. This is the perfect destination for history lovers, that can appreciate its goth heritage as well.

Reasons to Visit

  • It is a luxurious destination
  • It has an incredible nightlife (perfect for couples and singles)
  • It is an underdog destination (so you will be able to say you been somewhere that most of your friends haven’t)
  • The cafe culture is wonderful
  • The street art is everywhere
  • The architecture
  • Great city tours.

11. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is the Capital of Bulgaria, and part of its landmarks carry more than 2000 years of history. Sofia was occupied by Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, and Soviets making this destination super rich in history. It is a great destination for families too.

Reasons to Visit

  • To stand in the middle of the Religious Tolerance Square
  • To savor the rich history and culture
  • To enjoy the fun city park culture
  • Oh the Opera Performances!
  • To try rakia (it’s alcohol – and a very strong one)
  • The street art
  • The Vitosha Mountain
  • The general vibe (believe us, you will feel more cultured by the end of your trip).

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12. Krakow, Poland

A well-preserved medieval city, ready to make you feel like you stepped back in time. There is a beautiful and unexpected combination of history with modern touches, where you can experience the amazing cafe culture and wild nightlife.

Reasons to Visit

  • To experience Kazimierz (Industrial and Gothic with artisan beer houses everywhere – a must for beer lovers)
  • Rich WWII History
  • The Wieliczka Salt Mines
  • The Tatra Mountains
  • Super accessible
  • Beer is only $1.66 (make sure to comment below if you have found cheaper beer in Europe).

13.Budapest, Hungary

Another amazing travel bargain, as long as you stay away from the main touristy areas. Budapest is dissected by the River Danube, and is known for its hot springs that have given birth to many medicinal bath areas. Budapest also has the older subway line in Europe. It seems that Budapest likes to be in the lead in many areas, as it also houses one of the biggest zoos in the world.

Reasons to Visit

  • It is one of the most historic cities on the planet
  • It is free to see all the great sights (this is why it makes it on our list)
  • It is Spa Central with all the hot springs all over the place
  • The Great Synagogue
  • There is a whole mall dedicated to food
  • It is where Eastern Europe meets Western Europe
  • There is an island in the middle of the city! (how cool is that)?

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14. Riga, Latvia

Riga is the capital of Latvia, and in 2014 it was honored as the European Capital of Culture. Surprisingly, although Riga is a financial center, is still part of our travel on a budget list.

Reasons to Visit

  • The Riga Cathedral (as well as many many more cathedrals)
  • The magical Bastian Hills, the parks.
  • The restaurants and the cafes
  • The enchanting architecture
  • The river cruises
  • Riga houses Europe’s Largest Market
  • The proximity to the beach (you didn’t expect this one, right)?

15. Zagreb, Croatia

This place has more museums per capita than any other place on Planet Earth. If you are connecting to Zagreb from anywhere else in Europe, you are generally looking at a very cheap flight.

It has been branded as the home of dragons. As far as I am concern that alone makes it part of the must-visit travel on a budget destination list!

Reasons to Visit

  • The Dragon Statues!
  • The wine and the beer
  • The fascinating cityscape
  • The local produce (yum)
  • The historic upper part of the town (okay we know, history is practically the reason to visit any European destination)
  • Incredibly beautiful cemeteries
  • The Plitvice Lakes.

See this inspiring story about how I made money traveling in the Sequoias.

16. Santorini, Greece

We are finally moving into warmer areas of southern Europe. Santorini is arguably the most visited island out of the 2000 islands!  Not all 2000 are inhibited, but you get the point.

Santorini has a few sights and attractions, but for most it is an escape in the Mediterranean culture.

Reasons to Visit

  • The Caldera (a volcanic eruption that gave to the island its unique shape)
  • The white and blue hotels
  • The Greek food (noted as one of the healthiest diets globally)
  • The world-class wine
  • Sunset and scenic walks
  • The beaches.

Don’t forget you can island hop and find yourself on our next suggestion.

17. Nicosia, Cyprus

Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus. It is an island right on the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea truly rich in history and culture. Nicosia is the last divided city in the entire world (going back to the 1974 war where the island was split between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot). Now part of the EU, Nicosia, Cyprus enjoys all the benefits of a European nation while maintaining the middle east feel (at parts of the city at least).

Reasons to Visit

  • Walk in the old city
  • Take free city tours
  • Eat Halloumi cheese (local cheese that does not melt! You have to try this one)
  • Enjoy excellent weather (300 days of sunshine annually)
  • Try Cypriot coffee (deemed one of the healthiest coffees in the world)
  • Cross the border to the Northern Occupied part of Nicosia and visit the Turkish side
  • Try the food (most of it is Greekm but there is plenty of middle eastern influence).

Nicosia has been continuously inhabited for over 4500 years!

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18. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the Capital of Lisbon, placed on hills near the cost. (can you just imagine the natural beauty)? It is full of colorful buildings, and despite the common saying of it being built on seven hills, Lisbon is build on eight hills. Lisbon is the proud owner of the World’s Largest Oceanarium, so a perfect destination for marine lovers.

Reasons to Visit

  • The views ( of course it is build on eight hills!)
  • Drink “ginginha” in a chocolate glass.
  • The national Coach Museum
  • The boardwalk from Estoril to Cascais.
  • The amazing colors in their architecture
  • The Mercado da Ribeira Food Market
  • The weather (like most Mediterranean countries).

Learn how to make passive income and earn more cash to see all 31 destinations on our list.

19. Valletta, Malta

Keeping up with our theme of the warm climates, we place Malta on our travel list of budget destinations. Malta is a very small island, totally a little bit under half a million people. It is also one of the cheapest travel destinations in southern Europe. Valletta is the Capital of this tiny island, and it was established back in the 1500s. Like most places in this region of the world, there is so much history to explore.

Reasons to Visit

  • It is draped by stunning multi-colored Maltese balconies
  • The St. John’s Co-Cathedral
  • The new cutting edge architecture
  • There is a secret swimming hole somewhere on the island (try to find it)
  • The underground world that exists underneath your feet
  • Exciting nightlife (As most Mediterranean islands).

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African Destinations

Generally Africa requires an adventurous gene! It can be incredibly surprising, humbling and exciting experience. It also allows your dollar to extend much further. Taking out the flight expenses, the rest of your vacation should be quite inexpensive when visiting the following places.

20. Cairo, Egypt

Egypt is on everyone’s bucket list. Egypt is the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza. Rich in history, culture and diversity, it is also ranked high as a travel on a budget with a family destination. Especially if your kids are history worms, they will cherish and remember this experience for ever.

Reasons to Visit

  • Explore the Pyramid of Giza
  • Immerse yourself in rich local culture
  • Enjoy the local markets (dating back over 1000 years!)
  • Visit the Cairo Opera House
  • Have a picnic by the Nile
  • Get those selfies by the pyramids!

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21. Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya with a population of over 4 million. It is known as the “green city in the sun”. It is a city full of contrasts and it can truly take while to get used to the mix of the old and the new all mixed in one.

Reasons to Visit

  • Swim in pristine waters
  • Enjoy rich tasteful Kenyan Food
  • Watch the Wildebeest Migration
  • Feed or have breakfast with a Giraffe
  • Find some incredibly unique home decor pieces.

Check out this guide on saving for an emergency fund or a travel fund.

22. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Have you ever seen the waters in Zanzibar? If you do, you might never want to go anywhere else for the rest of your life. Zanzibar is known as the spice island. Here is an odd trivia about Zanzibar: it has the largest number of curved doors in Africa.

Reasons to Visit

  • It has a truly unique cultural mix
  • It is full of laughter, joy, and life (what else can one want from a vacation?)
  • It is super romantic
  • It has incredible beaches (yes we need to mention this one twice)
  • It is perfect for a Safari
  • It has a vibrant, fascinating culture.

23. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Have you ever heard of Addis Ababa? It is the capital of Ethiopia, and it is a popular getaway for those who appreciate the ancient mixed with the new. Addis Ababa is Africa’s fourth largest city with a population of close to 3.5 million.

Reasons to Visit

  • Visit Lower Omo Village and the tribes
  • If you are a vegan you should consider relocating here
  • Try the national food, the authentic way (no utensils here!)
  • Experience the coffee ceremonies
  • Hike the Simien Mountains.

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24. Livingstone, Zambia

You are probably wondering how did an Africa city get a western name? Livingstone was named after Dr. David Livingstone who was the first European to see, name and publicize the Falls in the town.

Reasons to Visit

  • See the Victoria Falls
  • Try rafting
  • Cruise the Zambezi River
  • Do some cycling tours
  • Drink tea at The Royal Livingstone
  • See some incredible parks
  • See a lot of hippos!

This one makes it on the travel on a budget with a family list as well! Who doesn’t love Hippos (from a distance)?

25. Tofo, Mozambique

Many well traveled people, that have seen a lot, still come back and say that Tofo makes it on their top 5 list. It is a hidden treasure in Africa. It is definitely one of the cheapest African destinations, and it is incredibly beautiful as well.

Reasons to Visit

  • Snorkel in Lake Niassa
  • Walk in the Chimanimani Mountains
  • Scuba dive
  • Check out Maputo Parties
  • Ever wondered what is like to be a guild free beach bum? This is your chance to find out!
  • Go on a safari!

Tofo also makes it on the list for family, or solo or romantic destinations. Learn more about  budgeting apps to help you manage your money while you travel.

Central and South American Destinations

Central and South America might be the cheapest way to go due to the proximity (if you live in the US). You also have the ability to drive, if you don’t mind road trips.

26. Machu Picchu, Peru

Mysterious and majestic, Machu Picchu sits on top of the Andes Mountains in Peru. It was built around the 15 century only to be later abandoned. No one knows what the former use of Machu Picchu was about.

Reasons to Visit

  • Explore the Inca Trail
  • Feel like you are in the clouds
  • Take in all the architecture and sights
  • Explore the mystery.

Read our essential guide on saving money and building your savings in 2019 so you can travel more this year.

27. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is located in southwest Bolivia and is the world’s largest salt flat. It is what is left from a prehistoric lake that dried up leaving behind a huge desert like landscape, perfect for photography lovers.

Reasons to Visit

  • When it rains it turns the salt flat into the world’s largest mirror
  • See the Dakar Monument
  • Plant your country’s flag
  • Be part of the few that made it there (it is always a great drinking story)
  • Take incredible pictures
  • Visit the world’s first salt hotel.

28. Lake Titicaca, Peru

This beauty is located in the Andes, straddled between Bolivia and Peru, and it is the largest lake in South America with the highest navigable body of water.

Reasons to Visit:

  • See the Islas Uros (man-made islands made from reeds)
  • Visit Miniscule Taquile (7-sq-km, with a population of maybe 2000 people)
  • See the Catedral de Puno
  • Explore Cutimbo- Archaeological Site.

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29. Banos, Ecuador

The full name is Banos de Agua Santa and is known for the natural heated thermal baths (so good for your health) and is known as the “Gateway to the Amazon”.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Enjoy the naturally heated thermal baths – the namesake of Baños, Ecuador
  • Dive into adventure sports with the nearby mountains, rivers, waterfalls
  • Sit on the Swing at the End of the World
  • Take in the view of an active volcano called Tungurahua.
  • Tour the Ruta de las Cascadas, a route through the valley passes 7 amazing waterfalls.

30. Granada, Nicaragua

It’s time to get your feet wet. Granada is a Nicaraguan city that host many Spanish colonial landmarks. The city is known for its history with pirates as well as its main plaza, Central Park.

Reasons to Visit

  • See the Centro Cultural Convento San Francisco’s pre-Columbian statues.
  • Kayak the Islets of Granada
  • Dive into the Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve
  • Climb the bell tower of the Iglesia La Merced church.

Check out these 11 tips for family vacations on a budget.

31. Mexico City, Mexico

You want a (relatively) close destination with cheap food and beer with an exotic flair to it, then Mexico City should be on your list. The city is rife with historic landmarks and is home to the largest cathedral in Central America.

  • Explore the world-famous Anthropology Museum
  • Visit the Ángel de la Independencia monument
  • View the Virgin de Guadalupe (third most visited religious destination in the world)
  • See the Museo Frida Kahlo (Frida Kahlo’s former home)
  • Celebrate with Mexico at the Monumento a la Revolución.

Have you discovered any travel budget destinations? Comment below and add to our list!