You can visit paradise while being frugal! Booking a vacation usually involves a ton of preparation and money, but you don’t need a lot of cash to visit some of the most exotic and exciting places in the entire world.
(For an updated version of this list, be sure to check out The 11 Cheapest Countries To Visit In 2019.)
Here are the cheapest countries to travel to in 2018:
Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia that has been getting a lot of attention in the world of wellness, but you don’t have to be attending a yoga retreat to enjoy its scenic landscape. From heavenly beaches to lush jungles to explore, this location is the perfect spot for those looking to go outdoors and get active. Delicious cuisine is plentiful and accommodations are impressively affordable, sometimes only costing $4 USD per night in more remote areas.
Although some accommodations in Thailand are on the pricier side due to increased tourism, your chances of sticking to a budget are high with plenty of affordable guest rooms and hotels to choose from. Munch on a local delicacy — such as spicy locust or fried grasshopper — or enjoy some authentic and delicious Pad Thai. Visit some of the many ancient ruins or temples, watch a snake charmer in action within the King Cobra village, or take the perfect sunset picture while wading in the waters of Mayan beach. Affordable adventure is around every corner.
Interested in traveling to Thailand? Check out 12 Things To Discover In Thailand.
Although a trip to France or England may be a bit out of the price range, there are other vacation-worthy countries in Europe that won’t have you going broke. Eastern Europe is renowned for being insanely affordable, especially the country of Bulgaria. Rich in history, culture, cuisine, and coastline, Bulgaria is bustling with affordable activities for the entire family. It has yet to catch on in the tourism realm, so you don’t have to worry about long lines or huge crowds. Bulgaria is filled with ridiculously cheap eateries, such as bakeries serving up fresh pastries and restaurants pouring liters of beer for only $1.50 each. The price for a reasonable room with free breakfast and Wi-Fi runs a little over $30 per night on average, which is literally a steal when it comes to affordable accommodations. Visit Roman ruins, lay out a towel at one of the Black Sea beaches, discover a museum or one of the country’s medieval cities. Bulgaria is the perfect place for an exciting getaway on the cheap.
Comprised of over 13,000 islands, the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia has plenty of beautiful enclaves to discover. It’s the largest island country in the entire world and that comes with white sand beaches, volcanoes, and a wide assortment of indigenous animals.
Although the island of Bali is one of the more popular tourist hotspots in Indonesia, it is only one piece of the awe-inspiring scenery. After relaxing on the breathtaking beaches of Bali, make your way to the Gill Islands for an unforgettable dive or snorkel into the crystal-clear waters. Admire the Bromo volcano or interact with a Komodo dragon up close and personal. (Well, maybe not that close.)
The country’s cuisine is also extremely affordable. You can find dinner at most restaurants for around $1 USD! Private hotel rooms can be found cheap as they come, for around $15 USD per night with free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Looking for variety right in the middle of paradise? Be sure to put the country of Indonesia on your next itinerary.
Want to know more about Indonesia? Read 6 Things Everyone Should Do In Bali.
4. South Africa
Looking to take a trip on the wild side without emptying your bank account in the process? South Africa is the place to be — especially if you are on the hunt for a captivating landscape, inspiring culture, and affordable activities and accommodations.
South Africa is the best place for nature-lovers on a budget to wander. Venture to the shoreline of KwaZulu-Natal, a province that contains the only formal form of conservation in the country. Take a guided walk through the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve to see elephants, lions, and rhino in their natural habitat.
Those looking for a more laid-back activity can visit the Cape Wine Routes and enjoy a glass of the finest wine from one of the numerous Fairtrade-certified wineries — with a view of the mountains or lush, green valleys.
Whether you plan to stay within the lively downtown of the South African capital of Capetown or by the water, you can find hotels for as low as $12 USD per night. Adventure, relaxation, and affordable accommodations await you in South Africa.
Thinking about a trip to South Africa? Take a look at Visiting South Africa: The Best Things To See And Do.
5. The Philippines
Another confederacy of Islands — 7,000 of them — this archipelago in Southeast Asia is anything but bland. Stunning beaches, exotic cuisine, and unforgettable geological sights await you in the Philippines. If spending some time in nature is your main goal, there is no shortage of outdoor adventure, no matter which islands you decide to visit.
The Philippines serves up a ton of authentic dishes, such as chicken adobo, oxtail stew, and a wide-array of cheap yet delicious seafood dishes.
Relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches in Palawan, or pay a visit to the Mayon Volcano on Luzon Island — the most active volcano in the Philippines. Your visit is not complete without a ride on one of the country’s famous Jeepneys, a quirky vehicle made from old military jeeps from WWII. A ride costs less than $1 USD, making it well worth the bumpy ride! You can find a single or double-bed hotel room for less than $30 per night, making the Philippines eminently affordable.
Also be sure to check out some of The Most Beautiful Places In The Philippines!