Still thinking of where to travel to this year? Whether your dream vacation involves getting your feet wet on a beach, an adventurous trip to the mountains or soaking in the spirit of a lively city, our affordable travel guide can help you make up your mind. We’ve curated a list of the world’s most affordable and value-for-money destinations for you. So get that bucket list and start checking off!
Wedged between the popular travel destinations Thailand and Vietnam, Laos is an often overlooked, yet extremely affordable travel option in South-East Asia. And, that’s probably because Laos is landlocked and doesn’t boast any islands of beaches. However, Laos offers something for everyone. Nature lovers can stroll through the rich forest covers and spot elephants in the many national parks. Culture vultures can soak in the Buddhist way of life and the rich history of cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Foodies can feast on spicy street food and the country is also great for outdoor activities like climbing, kayaking, trekking and hot air ballooning.
Where to go: Wat Xieng Thong temple in Luang Prabang, Vieng Xai caves, Wat Phu ruins, Phu Hin Bun NPA National Park, Tat Kuang Si waterfalls, Handicraft night market in Luang Prabang,
When to go: The peak season is between November to March, with pleasant temperatures in the city and cold in the mountains. Some backpackers, however, also like to visit during July and August.
Read more here: How to travel Laos on a budget
With majestic views of the Himalayas, golden temples, exotic wildlife and mountain villages, Nepal is a backpacker’s paradise. It is the perfect destination for adrenalin lovers with opportunities to go trekking, rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, canyoning and what not. Nepal is also the cultural hotspot in the Himalayas, with ancient shrines and monasteries and mouth-watering momos. The country offers a diverse array of landscapes leaving travellers spoilt for choice about where to go and what to do. And, all this on a budget as well.
Where to go: Buddhist stupa in Bodhnath, World Peace Pagoda in Lumbini, Golden Gate in Durbar Square, Itum Bahal in Kathmandu, Asan Tole in Kathmandu, Pokhara
When to go: This depends on what you’ll be doing in Nepal. Hiking and trekking season runs from September through May, as the trails are closed during the rainy season from June to August. Autumn and Spring are cool, green and beautiful. Winters are cold in the mountains, but pleasant in the valley and city.
Read more here: A backpacker’s guide to Nepal
Poland is one of the most affordable European countries you can explore. It is a unique mix of Europe’s least-appreciated travel delights. Starting from Lublin, Torun and Tarnow’s rich historical heritage to Gdansk’s coastal scenery, Poland offers good budget options for sightseeing, food and travel. Head to the Bialoweiza National Park if you’re a nature lover to spot a few bisons, or stay in Zakopane and enjoy the mountains. Or head to the more famous cities of Krakow and Warsaw to get a taste of Polish culture and desserts like cream cakes, strudels, dumplings and lody.
Where to go: Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Klodzo Fortress, Long Market in Gdansk, Jasna Gora Monastery
When to go: The peak season is May to September. All attractions are open during this time. Expect occasional rain. The months of March, April and October are cooler and not all attractions may be open full-time owing to the weather. November to February is the low season for cities, but great for skiing in the mountains.
Read more here: Poland travel guide
Resting at the edge of Europe along the Caucasian Mountain range and the Black Sea, Georgia is a paradise for budget travellers. The country is a great mix of traditional and modern, with colorful houses and majestic churches standing tall on the banks of the Mtkvari river. Some travellers have even described Tbilisi with its cute alleys as the Paris of Eurasia. Apart from the famous capital city, do visit the province of Kakheti, which is known for its long heritage in winemaking. Also, the people of Georgia are known to be warm-hearted and spirited, adding to the charm of this country.
Where to go: Tusheti National Park, Gergeti Trinity Church, Black Sea Coast at Batumi, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati Monastery
When to go: The best time to visit the country is from May to July and early September to October. It is generally warm and sunny during these months. July and August are more humid but great to visit the Black Sea coast. The best months to be in the mountains are from June to September. Watch out for the month-long wine harvest festival in Kakheti during autumn.
Read more here: How to travel to Georgia on a budget
If you have never visited Africa, Morocco is the best starting point to the continent. The country is known not just for its intricate rugs, but also for its ancient cities, huge mountain ranges, the breathtaking Sahara and, of course, the hospitality of its people. Walk the path of ancient nomads along the alleys of Fez or the lively streets of Marrakesh. Relax in riads–the traditional homestays with garden courtyards–go camel trekking, or hiking or people watching.
Where to go: Djemaa El Fna square, Erg Chigaga dunes, Roman ruins at Volubilis, Chaouwara tanneries, Plaza de Africa
When to go: November to March is the most common time to visit the country. Avoid the Sahara and the north in April and October. Travel during the low season from May to September to enjoy lower prices and less crowded attractions.
Read more here: How to travel to Morocco on a budget
Over to you
Do you have any other additions to this list? Tell us more about your favorite affordable destinations in the comments section below. Do check out why Wallet is the app you should pack with you when travelling and learn about 101 ways to save money while on the go.