So, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the cheapest places to travel in 2019 might get a little more expensive thanks to rising oil prices, inflation, and just a general increase in demand for nice little excursions. But, the good news is that with just a touch of effort, it’s still possible to take a vacation that doesn’t break the bank.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 40 of the best cheap places to travel. What does cheap mean, you ask? Well, it means places to visit where:
- The exchange rate works in your favor
- You can find comfortable hotel rooms for less than $200/night
- The area enjoys a low cost of living
- A little off the beaten path (since the most popular places will also be the most expensive)
According to Time, the countries with the lowest cost of living are South Africa and India, both of which made our list of cheapest countries to visit. Though the United States comes in at #83, we’ve still included 11 of the cheapest places to travel to in the US. With Airbnb and other ways to find cheap lodging, it is still possible to enjoy an American holiday on a budget.
That said, here is our list of the 40 Cheapest Places to Travel to in 2019!
As already mentioned, India is one of the cheapest countries to visit thanks to the low cost of living. There are not many other places to visit where you can eat some of the best cuisines in the world for unbelievable prices. Combine that with the possibility of beach vacations in Goa, incredible temples in Gokarna, and street food in Mumbai, and you have yourself one of the best places to travel on a budget. Because of the vast array of options, we recommend picking one or two regions to explore instead of trying to conquer the entire country in one visit.
Vietnam is a steady presence on the list of cheap places to travel. From the Cu Chi Tunnel to the glorious countryside, you can really make the most of your vacation dollar in this unique country. Go from the Mekong Delta’s paddy fields to the coastal beaches in the course of a day. Along the way, spend just a few dollars for local cuisine. Beautiful accommodations can be had for $15/night, making this one of the best places to visit for a cheap vacation.
3. Cook Islands, Polynesia
Luscious tropical landscapes and sunny beaches are exactly what you’d find in the Cook Islands. As one of the best cheap places to travel in the southern hemisphere, vacation here and you can find affordable luxury accommodations and cozy Airbnbs for surprisingly little per night. You can find everything from mountainous terrain to boutique hotels on this chain of 15 islands. Spend time in the capital city of Avarua, and try out the local coffee, Maori cuisine, and even locally-made banana vodka distilled in a coffee pot. As one of the top places to travel in the world, you can easily find Airbnb for under $50/night.
If you like going off the grid, Uzbekistan is the place for you. While it’s not one of the cheapest countries to fly to, it is one of the best cheap places to travel in Asia. Travel to this central Asian country, and you will feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The melding of Persian and Soviet influences creates an incredible country full of delicious foods and welcoming locals, some of whom have never seen westerners before. Hire a local driver and see the ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, and see trains of wild camels along the way. You can even see the tower made famous by Genghis Khan, who threw a captive off the top and then set him free when he survived the fall. Hotels go for under $100/night. We recommend working with a travel agency to plan your stay in one of the most unique cheap places to travel in Asia.
Of all the cheap places to travel, Thailand might be the most well known and the most well traveled. Beautiful island beaches, warm and friendly locals, gorgeous food, and lively nightlife make it a hub for budget conscious travelers. Hotels can easily be found for under $50/night, and for $30 you can take a round-trip ferry to the Ko Phi Phi islands. To get off the typical tourist track, hire a motorbike and tour the mountains to the north or some of the indigenous farming villages in the countryside. You can also explore the native fishing communities and rubber plantations. Though it’s one of the cheapest places to travel to in the world, it is certainly one of the most beautiful and memorable places to visit that you can find.
6. Mo’orea, French Polynesia
Relatively unknown compared to its neighbors Bora Bora and Tahiti, visitors to Mo’orea can benefit from its anonymity with the low prices that make it easily one of the best cheap places to travel in Asia. Airbnbs start at around $40/night. If you’re lucky, you might even find one right on the crystal clear water. Eating out can eat into your budget, so plan to visit the local grocery and pay local prices.
If you can get there, Nepal is one of the best cheap places to travel internationally. It is an experience that you will never forget. The terraced hills of the capital city, Kathmandu, offer lodging that rarely costs more than $10/night and will keep you comfortable while you explore a land full of smiling faces. It is truly a magical place, where you can hike to your heart’s content and enjoy a local culture known for hospitality and contentment. One of the cheapest countries to visit in the world, surviving on $100 is easy to do. It’s a very small price to pay for a vacation that will change your outlook forever.
8. Komodo Islands, Indonesia
Home to the other-worldly 3-meter-long Komodo Dragons, these islands have earned the moniker as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Take a boat tour to an unbelievable island and swim with wild manta rays. Hike Padar Island and see an incredible scene of pink, black and white sand beaches all at the same time. Go scuba diving or snorkeling in world class waters. Or, take a stroll to Cunca Waterfall for some tropical rejuvenation. You can sleep on a “pirate ship” for $36/night, and there are many hotels available on the islands for under $50/night. It might not be one of the cheapest countries to fly to, but it would be hard to beat as one of the best cheap places to travel in Asia.
9. Sri Lanka
Of all the cheap places to travel in Asia, Sri Lanka is truly a stunning island republic with something for everyone. Known during British rule as Ceylon, during your visit you can see incredible tea plantations, go surfing at Arugam Bay, or enjoy challenging hikes into the glorious countryside. Of course, you can always just chill on the beach and sip drinks if you want, but then you would miss the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, winner of Trip Advisor’s 2018 Traveler’s Choice Award. As with any Indonesian location, the food is outstanding. You can get unbelievable Airbnbs for under $50/night. So, what are you waiting for?
10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
As the country’s economic and financial epicenter, Kuala Lumpur is also a great base from which to explore the amazing country of Malaysia. Voted by Forbes as one of the 10 best cities for retiring, it has an unexpectedly low cost of living, which makes it one of the best cheap places to travel. In the capital city, you can visit the Observation Deck of the Petronas Twin Towers that are over 450 meters tall. Or, check out any one of the cities numerous rooftop sky bars. You can also visit the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station for a bit of colonial-era history. Tour the countryside to see the Bantu Caves, a Chinese Temple or the National Mosque. Eat fusion cuisine that melds Asian, Indian, and Chinese flavors to create incredible delicacies. There are a plethora of Airbnbs in the city for under $50/night, and if you’re lucky, you might even find a hotel with a rooftop infinity pool for the same rate.
Not enough Asia destinations for you? Then check out our article Top Tips and Advice for Planning An Affordable Asia Tour 2019.
11. Albuferia, Portugal
In the heart of the Algarve, Albuferia is one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. It offers access to stunning beaches in a near perfect climate. The city itself has and endless choice of restaurants and bars, and the prices in most are incredibly affordable. Be sure to have a glass or two of the country’s wine while sitting in one of the Old Town’s plazas. You can really soak in and enjoy the vibe of one of Europe’s most relaxed destinations. Airbnb’s below $150/night are easy to find. Further, the attractions and central location make it one of the top places to travel on a budget.
12. Karpathos, Greece
Once outside the islands of typical tourist traps of Mykonos and Santorini, visitors can enjoy one of the cheapest places to travel in 2019. Venture to Karpathos – also known as Rhodes – which dates back to 400 BC. Trek to Aghia Anastasia for ancient ruins and the Archaeological Museum. Pristine white beaches are everywhere! And, if you want adventure, you can go fishing, sailing, snorkeling, and much more. See traditional dress as daily attire in Olympos or stop in Pighadia for some modern conveniences. Hotels abound for under $100/night, making Karpathos ideal for travelers seeking cheap places to visit.
13. Prague, Czech Republic
Though its allure as one of the best places to travel is well known, Prague made our list because it remains one of the most affordable European destinations. History buffs and foodies alike will find Prague a perfect destination. Visit one of the many historical and architectural buildings for your culture fix. Then, quench your thirst at a traditional beer hall or monastery-turned-tavern. If you have time, visit some of the lesser known cities, such as Olomouc, to enjoy this one of a kind country without all the tourists. You’ll have no trouble finding an Airbnb under $75/night. Also, it is easily one of the cheapest countries to fly to, making it one of our top picks.
Across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, Albania is an inexpensive version of Capri. Here you’ll find pristine beaches unmarred by development and free of the gaggles of tourists that come with its more well-known cousins. It is easily one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. Albania offers a variety of landscapes to explore, and some of the cheapest, most delectable seafood in the region. Visit the remote Greek ruins or take a day trip to Greece. However you decide to spend your time, Albania is top of the list for travelers seeking cheap places to travel.
15. Budapest, Hungary
With Buda on one side of the fabled Danube River and Pest on the other, Budapest is easily one of the most glorious of the cheap places to travel in Europe. Relax at the Széchenyi Baths for just 15 Euro, or visit one of the many eclectic courtyard bars. A recent building boom had made accommodations affordable. Or, you can opt to stay in one of the many cultural landmarks, such as the Hotel Gellért. This hotel was built some 100 years ago, immersing you in history. The city is compact enough that you can easily walk where you need to go, so you won’t even have to pay for transportation. It is always on the travel industry’s lists of top places to travel, so get out of your head and get into traveling.
16. Sicily, Italy
While tourists flock to the major mainland cities in Italy, you can find a hidden gem in the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily. Generally, Italy is not one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. Sicily, however, is different. In fact, it is almost like a different country. Though some places are falling into disrepair, there remain a plethora of exquisite churches with intricate mosaics and unique neighborhood markets chock full of delicious street food. As the largest Mediterranean island, visitors can explore the Valley of the Temples or hike Mount Etna, one of the highest active volcanoes on the continent. Take a day trip to Italy, or even Malta to complete your vacation to one of the most beautiful of the cheapest places to visit.
17. Gdánsk, Poland
This northern city on Poland’s coast is an eclectic collection of merchant houses, coastal resorts, and cultural gems. It is certainly one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. Visit Main Town to see a glorious sculpture in the Neptune Fountain, or visit one of the many shops offering the exquisite amber jewelry for which the city is known. As a flashpoint in the Second World War, you can rediscover the city’s role in shaping the political landscape. You can easily find an Airbnb for under $75/night. So, Gdánsk is really a top choice for every budget traveler looking for cheap places to travel internationally.
18. Transylvania, Romania
Even though Transylvania usually conjures images of the legendary Dracula to most people, this European country boasts several impressive places to visit to entice the curious visitor. Visit Sibiu and experience all the culture and ambiance the city has to offer. Then, take the famous Transfagarasan Highway through the Carpathian Mountains to the city of Pitesti. And, of course, you can search for Dracula himself, Vlad the Impaler. This gem of the cheap places to travel internationally is off the beaten track and definitely worth the visit. Airbnbs are available for under $50/night, making it one of the best places to travel for wallet-conscious tourists.
19. Andalucía, Spain
A popular destination, Andalucía is home to Seville, Córdoba and Granada and their Moorish history. These cities are on par with the prices in the country’s major cities, which are not the cheapest places to travel in Europe. But, if you travel to Málaga, you will find one of the best cheap places to travel. Málaga offers beautiful beaches, tantalizing tapas, and a growing art scene all at an affordable price. You can even take ferries to Mallorca and Morroco for a special treat. What’s more, it’s easy to find lodging for under $50/night. Between warm weather and delicious food, you really can’t go wrong with Andalucía.
20. Kiev, Ukraine
A day’s travel from Poland and Hungary, Ukraine is an eclectic mix of cultures and religions. Unique architecture, quirky restaurants and bars, and affordable lodging put Ukraine, and its capital Kiev, square on our list of the 40 cheapest countries to visit. Kiev offers a vibrant art scene as well as traditional Ukranian dance shows and local street markets. If you tire of sightseeing, you can even get spa treatments at rock bottom prices. Luxury hotels can be found for under $100/night. Without question, it is one of the best places to visit without emptying out your wallet.
Still craving more European destinations? Then check out our article Top Tips, Advice, and Destinations for the Best European Tour 2019.
21. South Africa
One of the cheapest places in the world to live, South Africa offers bountiful opportunities for the budget-conscious traveler. Reasonably priced safaris in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, unmatched hiking in the Drakensberg, and the cosmopolitan city that is Cape Town all offer reasonably priced activities without sacrificing your holiday experience. Airbnbs can be easily found for less than $100/night. So, don’t wait! Make this unrivaled holiday destination, which is one of the top places to travel, part of your next vacation.
There are many other destinations in Africa that didn’t quite make this list. For more, check out our article Top Tips and Advice for Planning An Affordable Africa Tour 2019.
22. Moab, Utah
Moab is an outdoor lover’s paradise and one of the top places to travel to in the US. Explore one of the many national and state parks while you camp for free. Visitors can take their pick of adventuring with all of the rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and river rafting options available. You can even go sky-diving or off-roading in a rented jeep. Lodging is available for $150/night. Or, you can stay in one of the many eclectic Airbnbs for under $100/night. Moab does a great job earning its spot on our list of the cheapest places to travel to in the US.
23. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re looking for music and a good time, look no further than New Orleans. Steeped in a culture unlike any other place in the world, Nola, as it’s known by the locals, is a place where you can laissez les bon temps roulez. With to-die-for po-boys at gas stations for $2, red beans and rice and jambalaya at the grocery stores for $5, and cocktails everywhere you go, it is one of the cheapest places to travel to in the US. Day trips to Cajun country for crawfish or Plantation Alley for a bit of antebellum history complete your sojourn to this special place in the heart of the deep south. With Airbnbs in the city starting at $75/night, you really can’t go wrong.
24. Mt. Hood, Oregon
One of the best places to visit for outdoor lovers, you can spend your entire vacation outside in this lush countryside filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, alpine lakes, and national forests. The summer is mild and enticing, not overly hot. And the area itself is filled with once in a lifetime experiences. These include visiting alpaca farms, picking your own fruits and vegetables, grinding your own corn, or building log cabins. With a little research, you can book an Airbnb for under $100. Alternatively, you can camp in one of the many public campgrounds in the area. Truly, this is one of the best vacations in the cheapest places to travel to in the US.
25. Ludington, Michigan
Most people are shocked to learn that Michigan has sunsets and beaches that rival those in Hawaii. What’s more, it is one of the cheapest places to travel in the US. Ludington, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is a relaxing and uniquely American vacation spot. Mom and Pop establishments line the streets and offer affordable food and entertainment. Be sure to visit the local lighthouse for a memorable stargazing session! And be sure to try out Superman, the local ice cream flavor available at the famous House of Flavors. Bed and breakfast inns start around $65. Or, you can spend a meager $30 to camp in the Ludington State Park, which is literally steps from the beach.
26. Jupiter, Florida
This sleepy coastal town just a few miles north of Palm Beach is a tropical paradise. It is also one of the cheapest places to travel in the US. The locals have managed to keep it small and non-commercial. This helps keep the prices in a range that makes your wallet happy. Miles of the best beaches in the country are unpolluted with tacky tourist shops. Instead, they offer local restaurants with fresh seafood and a hometown feel. Grab an Airbnb for under $100/night, and enjoy the world famous Florida sunshine on your own terms.
27. Las Vegas, Nevada
Long a magnet for gamblers and revelers, Las Vegas offers one of the cheapest places to travel to in the US – especially in high-end facilities – if you travel during the week. And, you don’t have to be a gambler to enjoy everything else the city has to offer. Major casinos offer free shows on most days. And, if you want to see the great outdoors, you can take a tour of the Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam. For a bit of excitement (and a little extra money), you can even ride along with Richard Petty. For the lowest flight prices, fly Monday through Thursday. Visiting during the week will also give you substantial discounts on show tickets and lodging.
28. Washington, D. C.
As the nation’s capital, there is an endless choice of free attractions for the budget traveler. This makes it an ideal option when looking for the cheapest places to travel in the US. Each of the national monuments, the Smithsonian Museum, and even the Zoo, are all free. Grab public transportation to any of the tourist destinations for a fraction of the cost of a taxi or car rental.
If possible, visit in the spring to see the cherry blossoms bloom on the National Mall. Gorgeous homes are a trademark of this location, and you can stay in one of them for less than $100/night with just a few clicks on Airbnb.
History and entertainment make it easy to spend a budget holiday in this Texas city. Free attractions like the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions will give you a taste of the state’s deep history. A low cost of living makes it one of the cheapest places to travel in the US. Alongside these iconic landmarks, you can also spend time at Sea World, Fiesta Texas, take in a professional basketball or hockey game, or visit the famous River Walk known for its nightlife and amazing TexMex cuisine. It is in the top 10 of US News and World Report’s list of Best Affordable Destinations in the USA. With Airbnbs for less than $50/night, it’s easy to see why.
30. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Whether it’s spending time in nature or enjoying the delights of downtown, Gatlinburg is one of the best places to visit to keep costs low. Gatlinburg is situated at the entrance of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Visitors can go hiking, biking and even horseback riding among the trees and streams native to the area. In Gatlinburg itself, you can take in the Gatlinburg Space Needle, or a performance at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. You can even watch local artisans ply their trade at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Airbnbs go for under $150/night. Or, you can simply camp under the stars for one of the cheapest places to travel to in the US.
31. Biloxi, Mississippi
Deep in the south sits a little town called Biloxi, lined with sandy beaches and casinos galore. If gambling isn’t your thing, never fear, there’s plenty more to see and do. You can check out one of the many local attractions like the Biloxi Lighthouse, the Mardi Gras Museum, or the Biloxi Brewing Company. You can even hitch a ride on a local shrimping boat and see what it’s like to make your living off the water. Visiting between November and April will get you great deals on lodging. It’s also an ideal time for respite from the heat and humidity. It is one of the best cheap places to travel in the deep south. So, put this on your bucket list and get planning!
32. St. Martin, US Virgin Islands
Though the island took a huge hit when Hurricane Irma plowed across its landscape, St. Martin has gone a long way to rebuild and become one of the best places to travel in 2019. Many of the bars and restaurants along the beautiful beaches have reopened better than ever. Vacationers can take part in sailing, kayaking, or zip lining on the island’s shores. Most of the island’s electricity has been restored, and to encourage more tourism to return to the island, many of the luxury hotels are offering staggering discounts.
South and Central America
Recently burst upon the holiday scene, Cuba offers a unique opportunity to experience a world full of history and culture. The capital of Havana offers authentic salsa clubs while Santiago has its own carnival in July. And, of course, there are always the warm sandy beaches along the island’s shores. Still populated with cars from a time long gone and streets lined with brightly painted buildings, it is easy to see why their tourism scene keeps growing year after year. Even with this growth, it is still fairly easy to find a place to stay for less than $50/night. With more and more people visiting every year, go sooner rather than later while it is still one of the cheapest countries to visit.
34. La Paz, Bolivia
Adventure is the name of the game in La Paz. Visit during the winter season, which is May through October, for one of the best places to travel to for fabulous skiing. A day of guided skiing on one of the world’s highest mountains, including food and transportation, will only set you back about $70. If you prefer to leave the skiing to the experts, local entertainment will be more than enough to keep you happy. See a Cholita Wrestling match or visit the Mercado de las Brujas for some local crafts and folk remedies. You can find a five-star hotel for under $150/night, and there are plenty of Airbnbs out there for under $50/night.
35. Trujillo, Peru
This colonial city on the northern coast of Peru offers both beaches and culture for the budget traveler seeking cheap places to travel internationally. Visit the archaeological site of Chan Chan, or enjoy the beauty of the Spanish architecture for which the area is famous. You can also take in local traditions during the Marinera Dance Festival. And, it is one of the few world surfing reserves in existence. So, you can watch the daredevils take on the waves while feasting on fresh ceviche. Food is surprisingly affordable and accommodations under $75/night are easy to find. Trujillo is truly one of the best places to travel for the money conscious adventurer.
36. Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca (pronounced wa-HA-ka) is one of the most colorful destinations in Mexico. And fortunately, Mexico is one of the cheapest countries to fly to. Local markets on cobblestone streets plus buoyant festivals and delicious food make it an ideal destination for budget travelers. Art galleries and cafes offer a respite from the sometimes hot days of summer. And, the more adventurous foodies can feast on fried grasshoppers and other local culinary delights at the 20 de Noviembre food market. Upscale hotels can be had for under $100/night, and Airbnbs are also available for under $75.
Guatemala is seriously one of the cheapest places to travel in 2019. So much so that prices make it hard to feel guilty about going on vacation at all. Combine that with its deep Mayan traditions, colonial architecture, and breathtaking beauty, and you will see why it is on your list of the best cheap places to travel to on holiday. While there, you can jump on one of the American school buses now enjoying a second life as a brightly colored public transport. You can take a quick trip to Tikal to see Mayan ruins and even relax in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua. You’ll be hard pressed to find an Airbnb that costs more than $50/night. With food and entertainment at rock bottom prices, you have to agree that Guatemala is one of the best of the cheap places to travel internationally.
38. Caye Caulker, Belize
Of all the cheap places to travel, Belize is a vacationer’s dream. Crystalline waters and white sandy beaches sound their siren song to sun lovers everywhere. Fresh seafood – especially the ceviche – will astound your taste buds. Go snorkeling in the Barrier Reef just off the coast, or just rest on the beach under the shade of a palm tree to rejuvenate your spirit. Quality hotels are easily reserved for under $100/night, and there is an abundance of Airbnbs on the island for under $50/night. With such ambiance and entertainment, how could you not give Belize a visit?
39. Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s lush tropical forests and beautiful beaches make it a wonderful way to spend your time off. With an extremely low cost of living, visitors are able to experience a top class holiday on next to nothing. In the city of Tamarindo, you can observe massive leatherback turtles in their natural habitat or get a glimpse of howler monkeys in the wildlife refuge. Take to the beaches and work on your tan or learn to surf. And, don’t forget to enjoy the cuisine. Airbnbs are easily had for under $75/night, and if you want to live it up a bit, you can opt for the high-end resorts along the coast.
40. San Blas, Panama
Often overshadowed by the capital city on the Pacific coast, San Blas is an under-traveled gem. With countless picturesque islands worthy of postcards, surrounded by the crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea, visitors can enjoy a tropical holiday without all the chaos characteristic of high traffic tourist areas. Ocean-side accommodations make it easy to enjoy the beach and all of the water activities one wants. Or, venture inland for a rainforest tour like no other. Lodging is among the cheapest in Central America, with authentic thatched roof huts and stunning apartments alike available depending on your tastes.
Tips to Save Even More Money
#1 – Use Credit Cards to Amass Frequent Flyer Miles
Use your credit card to pay for large purchases that you can still pay off at the end of the month when the bill comes due. This will give you large blocks of frequent flyer miles to use on airfare for our budget holiday. Be sure to check the program’s rules, though, as not all purchases might qualify
#2 – Plan Trips for “Off” Days
If you can travel when demand is low, you can get much better rates on airfare. For instance, most airlines will offer lower prices for traveling Monday through Thursday and sometimes even on Saturday. It’s the exact same route and class, but since demand is low, you can benefit from the lower prices.
#3 – Do Some Research to Find the Best Prices
Take advantage of the websites and apps out there to make finding the best price for your trip as easy as possible. Sites like Expedia.com, Kayak.com, and Orbitz.com will compare many different carriers and show the price for all. You can also do quick comparisons of different destinations to determine which of your choices are the cheapest countries to fly to.
Keep in mind that not all airlines will participate with these sites. Take a minute to search for budget airlines that fly out of your destination airport and check their websites directly. You’ll be shocked at how many cheap flights there are when you do a little digging.
You can also use apps like Wander to stay within budget. This app lets you enter your total budget and starting airport and then makes suggestions for holidays that meet your needs.
If you want more in-depth advice on how to see the world on a budget, consider Matt Kapnes’ guide. This New York Times bestseller has some great tips on traveling cheaper and longer.
Gundi Gabrielle does a great job of explaining insider tricks for finding free flights and accommodations. Gabrielle also offers tips for finding mistakes in airline billing that can save hundreds of dollars if you know what to look for.
We hope you enjoyed this article! Please feel free to comment with suggestions for new content and follow us so you’ll never miss another post.