If you are anything like me, the thought of travel and exploration touches your soul. You feel in your being that there is so much out there to experience. Vast lands, exciting cultures, amazing food. All of that (and more) is just waiting to be had! Except…you don’t have money. Or, you don’t have enough money to do and see all that you want, yet, of course. Thankfully, there are plenty of great places to travel on a budget.
I’m with you, honey. I’ve traveled and taken trips when it wasn’t in my budget, and I felt it the second I got home. That’s no way to live. When you do decide to take a trip, you want to enjoy every minute of it, and return home happy. If you aren’t following your budget, you’re going to return home negative and more stressed out than before you left. I’ve been there. You don’t have to wait until you’re rich to travel. I’m sharing 10 great places to travel on a budget. Just plan accordingly, then enjoy!
United States Locations
Grand Canyon, AZ
Ranked as the number one affordable destination in the U.S. and the best place to visit in Arizona by U.S. News, you can’t deny the budget-friendly experience you will get from the Grand Canyon. Not only is travel relatively in expensive to Arizona, from just about anywhere, you can save even more money by reserving a spot on the campgrounds at the park. If you enjoy the outdoors, love incredible views, and opt for activity, the Grand Canyon is for you. The best time of the year to visit (at least, on your budget) is March-May and September-November.
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas made our budget-friendly travel list last year, and it’s still holds high. Plane tickets to Las Vegas (on slower times) run under $200 per person. If you are flying in from closer locations, like Long Beach, CA or Salt Lake City, UT, you can get tickets for as low as $41 one-way. That’s cheaper than the gas you would spend to drive there! Las Vegas isn’t all about gambling (although there’s plenty of that), it’s about lights and sounds! There are plenty of things to do for people of all ages, and an abundant number of things to see. If you’ve never been to one of the greatest cities, your budget will allow it!
San Diego, CA
Did you know that San Diego is in the top 10 most-traveled cities in America? Thanks to it’s incredible weather (year-round, I might add), and its beautiful beaches, San Diego is a site to be seen. I will say that travel to San Diego will likely be the hardest hit on your budget. However, you do have the option of traveling by train. Once you actually make it to San Diego, there are plenty of low-cost ways to get around. You can also find great hostels and hotels for little cash. Thankfully, the stunning beaches don’t cost a thing!
One of the most well-known attractions in Denver are the breweries. If you love some good food and great beer, Denver is a great option on a budget. If you rent a car, which may not be as competitively-priced as other cities, you can save by staying at the Denver International Youth Hostel, which costs $19 per bed, per night. Renting a car may be your best bet. Colorado Springs and Golden aren’t too far from Denver and offer amazing free or inexpensive sights, museums, and breweries.
Thanks to a revamp of the city, Memphis is coming up! Great music (the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Graceland, and Stax Museum of American Soul are all located here), incredible bar-b-que and world-famous Beale Street await you in Memphis. To avoid heat exhaustion and get the best price on travel, plan to visit in the early spring or late fall. You may pay have to shell out extra cash for Graceland, but there are plenty of cost-effective attractions, like Mud Island River Park and the art museum at University of Memphis.
India is high on the list for people travelling on a budget. You can experience big city living, beautiful beaches, and incredible curries for a fraction of the cost. Bustling Mumbai has deliciously cheap and authentic street food (kababs and puris, please). Jaisalmer has vast deserts, thanks to the Thar Desert. Gokarna has incredible beaches that can’t be seen elsewhere. Do your research to find the best transportation and boarding accommodations. There are plenty of things to do and see in India on a budget.
Skip the crowded (and over-priced) cities of Spain and go a little further to experience budget-friendly Portugal. The capital, Lisbon, is becoming extremely popular for beach lovers, but there’s still time to visit for a great price. You can also explore cities like Porto and Lagos for wonderful seafood and a vibrant experience. There are plenty of mountainsides to explore inland, at great prices for lodging.
Cape Town, South Africa
I am so blessed to say that I experienced Cape Town, South Africa last August. Unlike the U.S., Cape Town’s summer runs from October through March, then starts to cool down. The countries currency (rand) takes about 13 to only 1 U.S. dollar, so you can make your money work for you. The views are spectacular, the food is phenomenal, and the wine is extraordinary. I wouldn’t believe it unless I had seen it for myself. Check out the mini gallery below for some of my best pictures!
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is still extremely popular, but like Portugal, you can still visit on a budget. Get the most bang for your buck by travelling to the Northern part of the country, around the Chiang Mai region. Rice fields, Buddhist temples, and hill tribes, you can get accommodations for as low as $5! You will have to venture south to experience the incredible beaches, but there are plenty of resorts that haven’t priced themselves too high (yet).
Lastly, rounding out the list is Mexico. Thanks to a strong dollar against the Mexican Peso, you can get more for your money in this country. Beautiful beaches, desert canyons, Mayan ruins, and culture explosions await you in Mexico. You can always find some great food to each for cheap, as well as rooms for as little as $20 a night. Depending on your preference, there are plenty of things to do in this country, that don’t require overspending.
If you’ve got travel on the brain, don’t feel like it can’t be done. Plan early, save your money, and do you research to ensure a fabulous trip that stays within budget! Are you planning to take any budget-friendly trips this year? What budget-friendly locales can you recommend? Share with me and other CGS readers by posting a comment below!