Budget travel has vastly different meanings for different people. Whether your idea of cheap is a $100 hotel room for a night or an $8 hostel, there are destinations around the globe where food, lodging, and local sightseeing are so reasonable that you almost can’t afford to stay home. Shop diligently for airfare deals, and you can indeed see the world without spending a fortune.
Here are some top options:
There are many good reasons why Costa Rica has become a popular destination. First, it’s quick and easy to fly to this peaceful Central American country from major airports in the southern United States. Most travelers fly to San Jose or Liberia and then rent a car to see the country. Friendly people will welcome you wherever you go, but public transportation is not the best. Costa Rica has great beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. And in between are some of the most beautiful mist-covered volcanic mountains you’ll find anywhere in the world. You’ll also find rain forests and caverns, waterfalls and banana plantations. Did we mention cheap and delicious local food, and howler monkeys?
If you believe it’s impossible to see the nation’s capital on a budget, you’re mistaken. Even though major hotels are pricey, you can stay just outside the city core and ride the Metro to see the city’s major monuments and museums. Admission is free to almost all of them, and you’ll rub shoulders with government employees on safe, reliable public transportation. Plan to walk as much as possible. Visit neighborhoods where the rich and famous live as well as the Smithsonian, the capitol and the National Cathedral. Book a tour of the White House or Mount Vernon, and imagine what it must be like to be president. You’ll find plenty of great eateries here as well.
It may not be the cheapest city in Asia, but it’s certainly one of the best. Food, transportation and lodging are a real bargain compared to prices in most other world-class cities. Singapore has an exotic vibe that’s hard to beat. You’ll find budget hotels right in the heart of downtown, and the public transportation network is fast, extensive and reliable. Check out the hawker center stalls in various districts to sample local food specialties. Then be sure to visit free attractions like the light show at Marina Bay and the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir. Singapore’s Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park are definitely worth a visit.
The entire country of Macedonia is a treasure chest for the budget traveler. Check these prices: A meal in a good restaurant might set you back about 4 Euro, and a night in a hotel room for two will be only about 30 Euro. Macedonia is beautiful, but definitely off the radar for most tourists. If that appeals to you, it’s a great choice for cheap travel, and this little Balkan country is filled with history, culture and beauty.
If your bucket list adventures include a trip to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City of ancient emperors, head for Beijing. With a population of almost 22 million people, it’s only the third largest city in China, but it’s the capital and it’s an experience! It’s also one of the cheapest cities in the world to visit, and it boasts some of the best food. And who doesn’t love Chinese food? A five-star hotel may cost $100, but you’ll get great street food for mere pennies and taxis for about a buck. Plan to spend at least three days in the city.