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Dreaming of an epic trip filled with culture, adventure, and natural wonders but don’t want to drain your bank account? The good news is you can still experience unforgettable destinations in 2023 without breaking the bank.
This comprehensive guide outlines 30 fantastic budget-friendly countries perfect for your next affordable vacation. From Asia to South America and everywhere in between, these up-and-coming locales offer tremendous value.
Learn how to maximize your dollar in each location and discover suggested itineraries and hidden gems. If wanderlust is calling your name, read on for inspiration to craft your most memorable trip yet on a budget.
Asia delivers an enticing mix of futuristic cities, ancient ruins, gorgeous scenery and warm hospitality. Head to these cheap Asian destinations in 2023:
# Thailand – With ornate temples, floating markets, jungle treks, and laidback island vibes, Thailand captivates. Base yourself in Bangkok before heading south to unwind on rustic Krabi’s beaches.
Must-see: Floating markets, jungle treks, beach bungalows
# Indonesia – Indonesia enchants with over 17,000 islands to explore like jungle-shrouded Bali and Komodo’s dramatic volcanic landscapes. Dive pristine reefs and hike to waterfalls.
Must-see: Volcanoes, emerald rice fields, komodo dragons
# Vietnam – Vietnam delights with bustling Ho Chi Minh City, tranquil Halong Bay, historic Hoi An, and the natural beauty of Sapa. Sample pho noodle soup and Vietnamese coffee.
Must-see: Ha Long Bay, Hoi An’s lanterns, Banh Mi
# Nepal – Nepal lures with towering Himalayan peaks, tranquil hillside temples, and exotic Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. Hike past Mt. Everest or safari for rhinos in Chitwan.
Must-see: Everest Base Camp, Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park
# India – India dazzles with elaborate Taj Mahal, frenetic bazaars, spicy curries, and relaxing Kerala backwaters. See the Golden Triangle and Mumbai before beachside Goa.
Must-see: Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Kerala backwaters
# Malaysia – Malaysia captivates with soaring city skylines, idyllic island getaways, tea plantations, and wildlife from orangutans to sea turtles. Visit Penang, Langkawi, and Borneo.
Must-see: Petronas Towers, Penang street art, Orangutans
# Philippines – The Philippines enchants with exquisite beaches, lush jungles, historic Spanish architecture, and 7000+ islands to explore. Relax at El Nido beaches, see whalesharks, and island hop.
Must-see: White sand beaches, Chocolate Hills, El Nido lagoons
History, charming towns, epic landscapes and mouthwatering cuisine await in these affordable European destinations:
# Portugal – Portugal charms with lively Lisbon, charming Porto, golden Algarve beaches, picturesque Cork coastlines, and rolling wine regions like the Douro Valley.
Must-see: Lisbon, Porto, Algarve beaches
# Greece – Greece lures with ancient sites like the Acropolis, thousands of idyllic islands like Santorini, and Mediterranean flavors from feta to moussaka.
Must-see: Santorini, Athens, Greek islands
# Turkey – Turkey captivates with hot air ballooning over fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, historical treasures in Istanbul, and Mediterranean escapes along the Turquoise Coast.
Must-see: Cappadocia balloons, Grand Bazaar, Gocek yachting
# Poland – Poland charms with historic Krakow’s medieval square, eclectic Warsaw, moving WWII sites, Baltic seaside escapes, and architecturally diverse cities.
Must-see: Krakow, Warsaw, Baltic Sea
# Spain – Spain excites with energetic Barcelona, Moorish marvels in Andalusia, tapas crawls, chill island life, and art museums like the Prado and Guggenheim.
Must-see: La Sagrada Familia, tapas crawl, Seville
# Romania – Romania enchants with the towering Carpathian mountains, Dracula’s legendary Bran Castle, painted monasteries, and dynamic capital Bucharest.
Must-see: Transfăgărășan Road, Dracula’s castle, monasteries
Vibrant cultures, lush jungles, ancient ruins and fun cities make South America a budget traveler’s dream:
# Peru – Peru enchants with mysterious Machu Picchu, epicurean Lima, serene Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon rainforest. Hike the Andes and sample Peruvian cuisine.
Must-see: Machu Picchu, Lima, Lake Titicaca
# Colombia – Colombia tempts with colorful colonial Cartagena, cutting-edge Medellín, the dramatic landscape of Tayrona, and steamy Zona Cafetera.
Must-see: Medellín, Cartagena, Tayrona National Park
# Bolivia – Bolivia impresses with otherworldly salt flats in Uyuni, breathtaking Lake Titicaca, and the urban appeal of La Paz combined with high-altitude trekking.
Must-see: Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, Lake Titicaca
# Ecuador – Ecuador thrills with UNESCO-listed Quito, active volcanoes like Cotopaxi, the wildlife-filled Galapagos Islands, and outdoor adventures in the Andes.
Must-see: Quito, Otavalo market, Galapagos Islands
# Chile – Chile excites with skyscraping Andean peaks, imposing glaciers and glistening lakes in Patagonia, driest deserts in Atacama, and mystifying Easter Island moai.
Must-see: Patagonia, Atacama, Easter Island
# Argentina – Argentina charms with sultry tango in Buenos Aires, roaring Iguazu Falls, Mendoza’s renowned Malbec wine regions, and the remote peaks of Patagonia.
Must-see: Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires tango, Mendoza wine region
Pristine beaches, exotic wildlife, towering peaks and rich culture shine in these affordable African destinations:
# Morocco – Morocco enthralls with snake charmers in Marrakech, camel rides in the Sahara, blue-washed Chefchaouen, and bustling bazaars with handmade crafts.
Must-see: Sahara Desert, Marrakech medina, Chefchaouen
# South Africa – South Africa enchants with epic safaris to see the Big 5, scenic Cape Town with nearby vineyards, beach bliss, and cosmopolitan Johannesburg.
Must-see: Kruger safaris, Cape Town, Garden Route
# Kenya – Kenya thrills with wildebeest migration safaris in the Maasai Mara, Swahili culture on the coast, hiking Mount Kenya, and wildlife in Amboseli.
Must-see: Maasai Mara safaris, coast, Nairobi
# Namibia – Namibia impresses with iconic red sand dunes, Etosha’s big game animals, coastal charm in Swakopmund, and starry nights in the desert.
Must-see: Sossusvlei dunes, Etosha, cheetahs
# Ethiopia – Ethiopia captivates with ancient stone churches, trekking the Semien Mountains, otherworldly salt flats, and local tribes like the Mursi in the Omo Valley.
Must-see: Lalibela churches, tribes, Simien Mountains
# Tanzania – Tanzania excites with epic Serengeti safaris, trekking Kilimanjaro, Swahili heritage sites like Stone Town, and beach paradise in Zanzibar.
Must-see: Serengeti safaris, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar
Outdoor adventure, chill vibes, and lovely beaches lure budget travelers to these spots:
# Mexico – Mexico charms with rich cultural experiences from Oaxaca to Mexico City, Maya ruins like Chichen Itza, blissful beach towns, and incredible cuisine.
Must-see: Chichen Itza, Oaxaca, Baja, CDMX
# Costa Rica – Costa Rica enchants with Arenal’s volcanoes, Manuel Antonio’s beaches, Monteverde’s cloud forests, and ziplining through the lush jungle canopy.
Must-see: Arenal volcano, Monteverde cloud forest, Manuel Antonio
# Belize – Belize entices with Mayan ruin exploration, Caribbean relaxation, jungle and marine wildlife from jaguars to whale sharks, and island-hopping adventures.
Must-see: Mayan ruins, snorkeling, jungle lodges
# Guatemala – Guatemala delights with indigenous culture, imposing volcanoes, pristine Lake Atitlan, and well-preserved Spanish colonial Antigua.
Must-see: Lake Atitlan, Antigua, volcanoes
# Panama – Panama intrigues with untouched islands in Bocas del Toro, the engineering marvel of the Canal, biologically diverse rainforests, and cosmopolitan Panama City.
Must-see: Bocas del Toro, Panama City, San Blas Islands
# Cuba – Cuba fascinates with lively Havana’s vintage cars, cigars and rum, trinidad’s cobblestoned colonial core, unspoiled keys, and Afro-Cuban music traditions.