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25 Cheapest Places to Travel to in 2024

Several destinations across the globe offer low-cost travel experiences, ideal for budget-conscious explorers. Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Vietnam, tops the list with their affordable accommodation, cheap and mouth-watering street food, and inexpensive local transportation. Eastern Europe, including countries like Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, also provide a budget-friendly European experience with less expensive lodging and dining options compared to their western counterparts. In the Americas, countries like Guatemala and Bolivia stand out as cost-effective places with their economical hostels, local food at a bargain, and affordable attractions. Lastly, India, with its rich cultural heritage, also offers dirt-cheap prices for food, accommodation, and intracity travel, making it a prime destination for economical globe-trotting.

Here’s a list of the cheapest countries to visit in 2024:

Cheap Places to Travel to In Europe

Hungary

Hungary, a landlocked country in the heart of Central Europe, boasts a diverse and fascinating cultural history along with stunning architectural and natural landscapes. Its capital, Budapest, is often referred to as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Divided by the majestic Danube River, Budapest features iconic sights such as the historic Buda Castle, the scenic Chain Bridge, and the Parliament Building, one of the largest in the world.

Beyond the capital, Hungary offers a wealth of experiences from the rolling hills of the Bakony and Mátra mountain ranges to the peaceful shores of Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s largest lake, which is also a favorite summer retreat. Hungarian cuisine is another highlight, with traditional dishes like goulash and paprikash offering a unique taste that is both flavorful and hearty. The nation is also famous for its wine regions, such as Tokaj, known for its sweet dessert wines.

Across all seasons, Hungary presents an array of activities from thermal spas, a legacy of the Ottoman influence, to vibrant cultural festivals, reflecting a profound local history and love for arts and music.

Here are some approximate costs for Hungary:

Romania

Romania, a country famous for its diverse landscapes, ranging from the Carpathian Mountains to the Black Sea coast, captivates visitors with its mix of medieval castles, rural Transylvanian villages, and bustling cities. The legend of Dracula is intertwined with the historical Bran Castle, attracting those intrigued by folklore and history.

Meanwhile, Bucharest, the capital, showcases a contrast between its communist past and modern vibrancy. Traditional Romanian cuisine, with dishes such as sarmale (cabbage rolls) and mămăligă (cornmeal porridge), reflects the country’s rich cultural influences.

Albania

Albania, a hidden gem in the Balkan Peninsula, boasts stunning Adriatic coastlines, picturesque mountains, and ancient archaeological sites. This off-the-beaten-path destination offers a wallet-friendly experience with low-cost lodging, budget dining options, and economical public transportation. Highlights like the ancient city of Butrint and the vibrant capital, Tirana, can be explored without splurging. Albania’s affordability in combination with its natural beauty and historical richness make it a great choice for the cost-conscious traveler.

Poland

Poland, a captivating European country, is a value-oriented travel destination. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities, it offers inexpensive accommodations, such as budget hotels and hostels. Polish cuisine, renowned for its hearty dishes, is delicious and pocket-friendly. Efficient public transportation, including buses and trams, ensures low-cost commuting. Attractions like Krakow’s historic old town, Warsaw’s beautiful Royal Route, and the poignant Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, command reasonable entry fees. Thus, Poland offers a unique, historical, and affordable European travel experience.

Turkey

Turkey, a diverse nation straddling Europe and Asia, offers a relatively affordable travel experience. Cost-effective accommodations, from hostels to budget hotels, abound in major cities. Turkish cuisine, encompassing delectable street food and regional dishes, can be sampled at reasonable prices. Inexpensive, convenient public transportation, such as buses and trams, simplifies exploration. Modest entrance fees grant access to iconic sites like Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, Cappadocia’s otherworldly landscapes, and the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Consequently, Turkey promises a remarkable cultural journey without incurring exorbitant costs.

Georgia

Georgia, a Eurasian country rich in history & natural beauty, offers travelers a budget-friendly experience. Affordable lodging options, from guesthouses to budget hotels, are readily available. Local cuisine, renowned for its unique flavors and hearty meals, is incredibly cost-effective. Public transport, including buses and trains, are cheap and efficient. Iconic attractions such as Tbilisi’s old town, Kakheti’s wine region, and stunning mountain landscapes in Svaneti come with modest or no entrance fees. Hence, Georgia provides a compelling blend of cultural immersion and natural exploration at a surprisingly affordable cost.

Portugal

Portugal, a charming country in Western Europe, offers a relatively economical vacation experience. Affordable accommodations range from coastal guesthouses to city-based budget hotels. Portuguese cuisine, especially famed seafood dishes, is delicious and wallet-friendly. Public transportation, such as trams and buses, along with economical regional trains, afford easy travel. Attractions including Lisbon’s historic Alfama district, Porto’s Douro River, and the stunning Algarve beaches all come with reasonable or no costs. Therefore, Portugal stands as a delightful and fairly inexpensive European destination.

Serbia

Serbia, a captivating Balkan nation, emerges as an affordable yet exciting travel destination. Inexpensive accommodations, such as hostels and budget hotels, cater to visitors throughout the country. Traditional Serbian cuisine, known for its hearty flavors, is easy on the pocket. Efficient and low-cost public transportation, including buses and trams, provides seamless travel. From the bustling capital of Belgrade to charming historic towns and pristine natural landscapes, Serbia offers a wealth of attractions at minimal or no cost. Undoubtedly, this fascinating country presents a memorable and budget-friendly journey.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina, a Balkan country with a rich heritage, provides a notably inexpensive travel experience. Cost-effective accommodation options include homestays, hostels, and budget hotels. Local cuisine, known for its flavorful and hearty dishes, is quite affordable. Public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains, provides low-cost mobility. Iconic sites like the historic city of Mostar, Sarajevo’s unique blend of East-meets-West architecture, and unspoiled national parks, all come with manageable or no entrance fees. Thus, Bosnia-Herzegovina offers an impressive travel experience at a surprisingly low cost.

Cheap Places to Travel in the Americas

Colombia

Colombia, a vibrant Latin American country, delivers a captivating and budget-friendly travel experience. Accommodation ranges from affordable hostels to reasonably priced hotels. Colombian cuisine, famous for its diversity and rich flavors, is quite inexpensive. Budget-friendly public transportation options, including buses and trams, facilitate exploration. Attractive destinations such as the historic city of Cartagena, thriving metropolis Bogotá, and the breathtaking coffee region require minimal or no entrance fees. In summary, Colombia offers an immersive cultural encounter at an economical cost.

Guatemala

Guatemala, a country rich in indigenous culture and natural beauty, is a remarkably affordable Latin American destination. Economical lodging options, from hostels to economical hotels, are available across the country. Traditional Mayan cuisine, known for its fresh ingredients and unique flavors, is budget-friendly. The local “chicken bus” and shuttles provide inexpensive transportation options. Tourist sites, including the iconic Antigua, scenic Lake Atitlan, and the majestic Tikal ruins, come with reasonable entrance fees. Thus, Guatemala offers a vivid cultural and natural journey at a relatively low cost.

Mexico

Mexico, renowned for its vibrant culture and diverse landscapes, offers a cost-effective travel experience. Budget-friendly accommodations, including hostels and budget hotels, are plentiful. Mexican cuisine, a world-renowned gastronomic delight, is affordable and ubiquitous. Efficient and inexpensive public transportation, such as metro systems and buses, enables easy exploration. Attractions from bustling Mexico City to historic Mayan ruins and stunning beaches necessitate minimal or no entrance fees. Therefore, Mexico presents a rich tapestry of cultural enchantment and natural beauty at a surprisingly affordable cost.

Argentina

Panama, a Central American country known for its unique isthmian geography, is a surprisingly budget-friendly destination. Affordable lodgings range from charming hostels to economical guesthouses. Traditional Panamanian cuisine, featuring a blend of diverse flavours, is wallet-friendly. Efficient and inexpensive public transportation, including buses and metro in Panama City, facilitates easy exploration. Attractions, from the world-famous Panama Canal to indigenous village tours and serene beach destinations, come with manageable or even no entrance fees. Thus, Panama offers a culturally rich and naturally diverse vacation experience at an economical cost.

Argentina, a South American country known for its diverse landscapes, offers an economical travel experience. Budget-friendly accommodations, from hostels to budget hotels, are readily available. Argentine cuisine, particularly famed for its beef dishes, is notably affordable. Efficient public transportation, such as buses and subways, allow for cheap travel. Iconic attractions like the cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, enchanting Iguazu Falls, and Patagonian landscapes can be enjoyed with minimal or non-existent entrance fees. Therefore, Argentina invites a wallet-friendly mix of cultural discovery and natural exploration.

Panama

Cheap Places to Travel To in Asia

India

India, a culturally vibrant South Asian country, provides a rich, affordable travel experience. Travelers can find a wide range of economical accommodations, from homestays to budget hotels. The country’s diverse and flavorful cuisine is available at very low prices, particularly street-food delicacies. Inexpensive public transportation, including trains, buses and tuk-tuks, facilitate convenient travel. Major attractions like the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s palaces, and Delhi’s historic sites charge reasonable entrance fees. Therefore, India proves to be an extraordinary destination offering unmatched cultural immersion at a budget-friendly cost.

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked Central Asian country, offers an affordable travel experience for those drawn to its untouched mountainous beauty and nomadic culture. Reasonably priced accommodations include local guesthouses and yurt camping. Authentic Kyrgyz food, often found in bazaars, is wallet-friendly and flavorful. Inexpensive public transport allows easy exploration of the countryside and cities. Surreal natural attractions like Issyk-Kul Lake and the Tian Shan mountains come with low or no cost. Thus, traveling in Kyrgyzstan offers immense cultural and natural value at a surprisingly low expense.

Thailand

Thailand, a Southeast Asian gem, is renowned for its vibrant culture, tropical beaches, and affordability. Budget-conscious travelers can find a wide range of accommodations, from beach huts to hostels. Exquisite Thai street food offers incredible taste at low prices. Travel within the country via buses, tuk-tuks, and trains is also economical. Affordable entry fees for major attractions, such as the ancient temples in Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai or Bangkok’s Grand Palace, make it possible to experience the country’s rich history without overspending. Altogether, Thailand presents a memorable and budget-friendly escape.

Vietnam

Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and delightful cuisine, is a budget-friendly travel destination. Accommodations are affordable, ranging from hostels to budget hotels. Street food, often a highlight for visitors, is inexpensive yet delicious. Public transportation, such as buses and the popular motorbike taxis, offers a cost-effective way to explore. Entrance fees to key attractions, including the majestic Ha Long Bay and historical sites like the Cu Chi Tunnels, are modestly priced, making Vietnam a highly appealing and inexpensive travel choice.

Cambodia

Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation known for its historical allure and natural beauty, offers a cost-effective travel experience. Affordable accommodations range from budget guesthouses to mid-range hotels. Authentic Cambodian cuisine can be enjoyed at modest prices, especially at local markets. Economical modes of transport include tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis. Exploring iconic sites like Angkor Wat requires a reasonably priced pass, offering a glimpse into ancient Khmer civilization without breaking the bank. Thus, Cambodia, with its archaeological wonders and affordability, is a must-visit destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Laos

Laos, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia, is an attractive destination for visitors on a budget. Well-known for its mountainous terrain, historic temples, and serene Mekong River, Laos offers a range of inexpensive accommodations and cheap street food. Local transportation, mostly tuk-tuks and buses, is inexpensive and efficient. Affordable entry fees to cultural landmarks, such as Luang Prabang’s temple-strewn old town and Vientiane’s Pha That Luang stupa, add to Laos’ cost-friendliness. Thus, Laos is an enticing option for those desiring a low-cost, enriching travel experience.

Cheap Places to Travel To in Africa

Egypt

Egypt, an ancient cradle of civilization along the Nile River, is synonymous with its mysterious pyramids, grand pharaohs, and hieroglyphics-rich history. Main attractions like the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx bring the world of ancient Egypt to life. Beyond the monuments, Egypt’s bustling bazaars, serene Nile cruises, and the world-renowned Egyptian Museum offer a glimpse into both the past and present. From the vibrant streets of Cairo to the windswept dunes of the Sahara and the pristine coral reefs of the Red Sea, Egypt is an enthralling journey through time and tradition.

I spent 1-week in Egypt and spent less than $1,000 on accommodation, tours and domestic flights within the country. It’s a very affordable destination and hotels are surprisingly cheap – in Luxor you can find nice hotels for around $60-$70 per night.

Meals

  • Budget Meals: Street food and local eateries offer meals from $1-$5.
  • Mid-range Restaurants: Expect to pay about $5-$15 per person for a meal in a more comfortable setting.
  • High-end Restaurants: Dining in upscale restaurants can cost anywhere from $20-$50 per person.

Transportation

  • Public Transportation: Buses and minibuses within cities cost as little as $0.25-$1 per ride. The Cairo Metro charges around $0.15-$0.30 per ticket.
  • Taxis: Taxis in cities have varying rates, but a typical fare starts at about $0.50, with most rides within towns costing $1-$5. Always negotiate or insist on the meter.
  • Intercity Trains and Buses: Tickets for longer distances can range from $2 to $15, depending on the distance and class of service.

Accommodation

  • Hostels and Budget Hotels: Prices start at around $10-$20 per night for a basic room or bed in a dormitory.
  • Mid-range Hotels: Expect to pay between $30-$70 per night for a double room, often including breakfast.
  • Luxury Hotels and Resorts: Prices can start at $100 per night and can go much higher depending on the location and level of luxury.

South Africa

South Africa, known for its diverse landscapes and wildlife, offers a surprisingly affordable travel experience. There are myriad inexpensive accommodations, from hostels to budget B&Bs. Local food is not just enticing, but also economically-priced. Traveling within the country through public transportation or budget airlines is pocket-friendly. South Africa’s stunning natural attractions, including the iconic Kruger National Park, are accessible at reasonable entrance fees. Thus, South Africa combines breathtaking natural beauty with affordability, making it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Madagascar

Madagascar, a distinctive island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa, is celebrated for its diverse wildlife and striking landscapes. Traveling in Madagascar is notably affordable, with budget-friendly accommodations and economical local dining options. Public transportation, like taxis-brousse and bush taxis, offer cost-effective ways to explore the island. Entry fees to national parks, such as the world-renowned Ranomafana and Andasibe, are quite reasonable. Madagascar’s rich biodiversity, coupled with its affordability, make it an exciting destination for budget-conscious nature enthusiasts.

Ghana

Ghana, a diverse country in West Africa, offers a rich tapestry of history, wildlife, and vibrant culture. Known for its hospitable locals and sandy beaches along the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana offers an affordable travel experience. Accommodations range from budget hostels to affordable beach resorts, while delectable local meals can be savored at a fraction of costs in many western countries. Transportation is also cheap, with budget-friendly taxis and buses. Tourist attractions like the slave forts along the Cape Coast have reasonably priced tickets, ensuring a culture-rich and budget-friendly experience.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, located in the Horn of Africa, is widely admired for its captivating landscapes, centuries-old churches, and a rich cultural heritage. The country offers a refreshingly affordable travel experience, with low-cost accommodations and inexpensive yet flavorful local cuisine. Domestic transportation fares like those for buses and minibuses are also within reach for budget travelers. Ethiopia’s intriguing historical sites, such as the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and ancient ruins of Aksum, carry relatively modest entrance fees, making this diverse and culturally-rich country a cost-effective destination for travelers.

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