Ask anyone you know about their bucket list, and you can be pretty sure travel is going to be on there somewhere. We all love the idea of expanding our horizons, seeing far-flung places and experiencing something completely new. But with the cost of travel going nowhere but up, turning those dreams into reality looks harder and harder to accomplish, right?
Wrong! Here are some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations that you can visit without breaking the bank, and score the experience of a lifetime for a steal!
The Far East has always been an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers, with inexpensive visas, affordable accommodation and delicious traditional street food on offer. Vietnam offers all that and more, and it’s an exceptionally good option if you’re after a backpacking holiday, as you’ll meet hundreds of fellow travelers along your journey. Add to that over 3,000 kilometers of breathtaking tropical coastline, fascinating culture and world famous cuisine, and there’s very little not to love about this amazing country.
Pro tip – sellers at the local markets will expect you to haggle, so the price they initially quote you is likely to be twice or even three times what they actually expect! It can be a bit of a culture shock for westerners, but once you get into the spirit you’re sure to find yourself enjoying the process!
Cape Town, South Africa
Any traveler arriving in Cape Town for the first time finds themselves taken aback by the sheer natural beauty of this special corner of South Africa, and the scenery all comes for free! From the iconic and majestic Table Mountain, to the charm of the Victoria and Albert waterfront, the vibrant arts scene, bustling nightlife and inspired local cuisine, you’re almost certain never to want to leave. The city itself has a well-established backpackers scene, and there are affordable bed and breakfast establishments and resorts further from town too.
If you’re keen to explore the famous Cape wine country, then booking accommodation in Constantia is an excellent budget option. It’s very affordable, and you’ve got some of the world’s most famous and beautiful vineyards quite literally on your doorstep.
Sometimes called ‘The Little Paris’, Bucharest remains one of the cheapest European destinations of all, and it’s got plenty to offer every kind of traveler. Whether you choose one of the excellent city hostels, affordable hotels or Airbnb options, you’ll find all the culture and cheap food and drink of the city right on your doorstep. The exchange rate means your money really does stretch further here, meaning you can afford to splurge a little on tours, meals, souvenirs, or whatever takes your fancy.
Make sure to check out the Palace of the Parliament, a gigantic concrete building that still holds the title for world’s heaviest building, the reallyweird-looking Memorial of Rebirth, and what might just be the world’s prettiest bookstore, Carturesti Carusel. If you thought a cheap European holiday just wasn’t a possibility, then Bucharest might just make you think again.
If your idea of the perfect holiday involves gorgeous beaches, swaying palm trees and tucking into deliciously fresh seafood, then Mozambique’s 2,500 kilometers of tropical coastline might be just the ticket! If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then this is also the ideal spot to learn to scuba dive, hop the many stunning islands of the archipelago, and see all sorts of creatures from whale sharks and turtles to dolphins and manta rays.
If you’re up for a great party, then make sure to head into the capital Maputo to take in some Afro-Latino music and enjoy the bustling city nightlife for a fraction of what you’d spend on a night out back home. To really stretch your money further, consider staying in one of the charming beach camps, or visiting as a group and renting out a self-catering unit together.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
If you live in the US, then you don’t have to travel too far to find a sight so breathtaking it might as well be from another planet. At a mile deep, the Grand Canyon truly has to be seen to be believed – and six million visitors a year can’t be wrong! And if you’re up for a camping trip, then this is definitely the spot to have a truly affordable holiday. The South Rim, home to Grand Canyon Village, can get a little crowded at times, so head for the North Rim is you’re seeking a bit more seclusion and pretty hiking trails.