When many travelers think of Mexico, they think of beach resorts like Cancun and Cabo. But there’s more to the country than these tourist-priced areas!
For example, Mexico City is a lively cultural destination with low prices. And Chiapas is a wild jungle-filled region with epic Mayan ruins and jaw-dropping waterfalls.
One of the largest and most diverse countries in the world, China offers a wide array of incredible attractions. Visit iconic landmarks like the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Explore traditional hutong alleyways and marvel at cutting-edge modern architecture. Taste Peking duck and other mouth-watering dishes, admire Ming-dynasty ceramics, or enjoy a boisterous nightlife scene with the local indie music scene.
Known as the inspiration for the Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is brimming with towering mountain pillars and peaks that hover above sub-tropical rainforest. Guests can also take in the spectacular scenery from the gondolas and glass bridge.
While Thailand is often a must-visit destination, Cambodia offers a different kind of Southeast Asian adventure. A private room here can cost less than $20 USD a night, street food is cheap and transportation around the country is relatively inexpensive.
This tiny island chain is home to opulent overwater bungalows and a bustling capital that offers shopping and entertainment for travelers seeking culture as well as relaxation. Those seeking a nature retreat will find the island’s lush forests and gorgeous beaches as well as the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex.
The enchanting Portuguese island of Madeira boasts gorgeous beaches and spectacular coastal scenery. A number of low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to Madeira, making it an easy and affordable vacation destination for all types of travelers.
While Lisbon has become more popular and crowded with expats and digital nomads in recent years, it’s still relatively inexpensive compared to other European cities. You can get by on $50-60 a day if you stay outside the city center.
A must-see for any tourist is a ride on one of the authentic trams that run up and down Lisbon’s hills. The traditional trams are known as miradouro, and they are a fantastic way to enjoy the city’s famous views.
4. The Balkans
The Balkans (or Balkani), is a term referring to southeastern Europe that includes Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, rump Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and Bosnia Herzegovina (referred to as Bosnia throughout this article). While the region has experienced a turbulent past, it’s now home to genuine hospitality and gorgeous scenery.
For instance, Tbilisi is a hidden European gem that’s perfect for budget travelers. Here, you’ll find a surplus of cheap restaurants and cafes as well as free walking tours and ticketless attractions. Plus, special experiences like a sulfur bath can be enjoyed for a fraction of the price.
5. The Czech Republic
While Prague is known for its nightlife and world-class meals, the city is also surprisingly affordable. Accommodation is inexpensive and local restaurants offer varying daily specials. The Czech Republic is also home to 14 UNESCO heritage sites.
The country has a vibrant culture and a dynamic and evolving economy, as well as educated and resourceful people. It has a high level of technical potential in a wide range of fields, and its research is highly competitive.
If you visit Mulu during the offseason (December – March), you can experience even lower prices and have this jungle paradise all to yourself.
6. The Philippines
The Philippines is a tropical country with many fun and affordable activities. It’s also a great place to see the country’s rich culture. It has a variety of ethnic groups and foreign influences that have formed a unique Filipino culture.
The UNESCO World Heritage city of Georgetown is an excellent choice for budget travelers. There are plenty of free and cheap things to do, as well as delicious and affordable food.
The cradle of Christianity, Cebu, is home to beautiful beaches and the Basilica del Santo Nino. Bohol is known for its stunning geological formations, including the Chocolate Hills.
Located off the southeast coast of Asia and in the center of the East Asian island arc, Taiwan is an unspoiled paradise.
It’s a popular destination for travelers who want to get away from the crowds, enjoy great food, and experience an authentic culture. Accommodation is cheap, world-class meals are affordable, and trips out of town are low-cost.
The best part about traveling to these destinations is that your money goes a long way. You can stay in modern budget hostels with free transport, eat cheap street food, and visit amazing attractions that won’t break the bank.