Traveling can be one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your time, but it can also cost quite a bit of money beyond the cost of airfare if you aren’t careful. For this reason, it can be helpful to look for travel destinations where the exchange rate makes the costs of food and lodging minimal. Here is a look at five different travel destinations that won’t drain your bank account once you get there.
Costa Rica has long been a go-to travel destination for Americans because of its diverse landscape, numerous outdoor adventure activities, and unique local dishes. In Costa Rica, you’ll find jungles, mountains, and beaches, all to give your trip some good variety. Costa Rican colóns have been decreasing in value against the U.S. dollar for the past several decades, meaning that your U.S. dollars will go further here. (You’ll get between 500 and 550 colóns per $1 USD there, compared with only about 360 colóns just a few years ago.)
Still, Costa Rica is one of the more expensive travel destinations in Central America. Nearby Central American countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua will be even more of a bargain, even allowing you to travel on less than $30 USD per day. As an added bonus, you’ll likely see far fewer tourists in these countries.
A typical budget roundtrip flight from New York to Costa Rica will cost you between $400 and $500 USD.
Want to travel to Asia instead? Thailand is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination because of how affordable it is to travel once you’re there. You’ll get about 36 baht for $1 USD, and a typical large meal will cost you between 60 and 200 baht ($1.68 and $5.61 USD). In Thailand, you’ll find beautiful beaches, incredible landscapes, impressive Buddhist temples, diverse wildlife, unique and luxurious accommodations, and a myriad of dishes to try.
A typical budget roundtrip flight from New York to Bangkok will cost you between $700 and $900 USD. So it’s still expensive to get there, of course, but the cost of traveling once you’re in the country will be pleasantly low.
Other nearby and affordable destinations are Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
If you’ve always dreamed of going to Italy but found that you could never quite afford it, Croatia could be a great option for you. (It also happens to be just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy.) Its beautiful beach resort towns are a popular destination for travelers, and you’ll want to check out places like Plitvice Lakes National Park and Pula (where you’ll find an impressive Roman colosseum) as well while you’re there. Croatia is more expensive than other Balkan countries and countries located further east; but food is still relatively cheap (for Europe) here, and travelers to Croatia generally agree that you’re getting a good value for your money when you’re there. Other more affordable nearby destinations are Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Macedonia.
A typical budget roundtrip flight from New York to Zagreb will still cost you between $700 and $900 USD, so you’ll want to save up for the airfare.
Want to head to Africa on your next adventure? Morocco continues to be a popular tourist destination, and if you avoid ultra-touristy locations like Djeema El Fna square in Marrakech, you can actually have quite the affordable stay here, spending as little as $30 per day if you stay at budget hotels and hostels. Morocco is probably the most stable and secure country in northern Africa, so you can get a good taste of the region without worrying as much about safety. Popular things to do include exploring the old cities (especially Marrakech), taking in the natural gorges, and riding camels in the Sahara.
A typical budget roundtrip flight from New York to Morocco will cost between $700 and $900 USD, so this is one to save up for.
If you want to head a little further south than Costa Rica, Bolivia is a good place to go. Bolivia is home to the Andes Mountains, Lake Titicaca, impressive salt flats, tropical lowlands, and so much more. You can find a place in a hostel for about $15 and travel on just $25 per day. Other popular and affordable places to travel in South America (assuming you research budget-friendly travel options) are Peru and Ecuador.
A typical budget roundtrip flight from New York to Bolivia will run between $650 and $750 USD.
If you want more tips on saving money while on vacation, you’ll want to check out this article.