One of the most asked questions I get on a daily basis is “how do you afford to travel so much?” and the answer isn’t as simple as it first seems. I am not rich, not do I have a rich family, nor do I own my own business so I travel a lot for work. I simply plan my trips excruciatingly painful, so that they are the cheapest they can be, but provide me with incredible experiences. One of the biggest misconceptions people have when thinking about travel is that it is going to cost a fortune, but it really isn’t true. Travel can be cheap – and with flights from £2.99 via RyanAir it’s no surprise more and more people ar jetting off up to five times a year.
While flights can typically account for the biggest expense, budget accommodation and eating inexpensively can bring down costs significantly. And, most importantly, the actual destination of your trip can play a big factor in your budget. Here are my top 10 budget-friendly travel destinations around the world to visit in 2019….
Right now, the dollar has a very favorable exchange rate in Canada. Montreal, with its strong French influence, offers a European fix without the long and expensive flight. In 2017, one of the most ambitious public art works ever was created: Cite Memoire, in which the 375-year history of the city is projected onto the buildings and streets in Old Montreal. It is nothing short of spectacular and all you have to do is download a free app.
Croatia’s coastal areas and the western region of Istria tend to get most of the attention when tourists visit the country, but on a recent visit we found out that the capital of Zagreb, with its well-preserved Austro-Hungarian architecture and surrounding mountains, offers an entirely different experience. With cheap restaurant meals and nearby mountain wineries, we’d recommend spending a few days in the city.
Malta has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C. Valletta is the tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta and also a walled city, established in the 1500s on a peninsula by the Knights of St. John, a Roman Catholic order. It’s known for museums, palaces and grand churches. The country itself is still fairly new to the tourist scene so prices haven’t hiked, just yet….. Read More: How to Spend a Week in Malta
Cambodia has long been an iconic Southeast Asia backpacking destination, and with the amazing temple complex of Angkor Wat and the stunning Tonle Sap Lake, it is a must-see destination. I would head out of the main tourist traps for serious dollar savings – you can expect cheap eats, hostel beds, inexpensive transportation and, often times, $3 beer and foot massage specials throughout the country. Try heading to Silk Island, a hidden gem just outside of Phnom Penh. The small community includes a few temples in addition to the silk production factories, which are open to visit.
When you are in Morocco you feel as if you are in another world of colors, smells and tastes. As you wander the streets of Fez or venture into the Sahara, it feels like you are traveling through time. Morocco is extremely budget-friendly so you can splurge out on fancy meals or hammams without breaking the bank. Read more: My Ultimate Guide to Morocco.
Pristine white sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, endless spices, a varied culture and name that commands curiosity – Zanzibar is an East African island full of beautiful contrasts. If like me you’re a foodie, culture lover and adventurer but still enjoy beautiful beaches you can relax on, Zanzibar is definitely for you. Although tickets can be expensive, dollars will definitely go far once you’re there.
The ‘home of civilization’ as it is often called, has a history dating back thousands of years and countless destinations for the budget traveler—from the Parthenon in Athens to beautiful islands like Mykonos. While Greece has never been an extremely expensive country to visit, the current financial crisis has caused prices of accommodation, food and drink to drop tremendously, making NOW an ideal time to visit!
Although many travelers consider France to be a not-so cheap country, it is possible to visit the city of lights on a budget. Stick to family-friendly activities like museums and parks – both of which don’t have to break the bank. And consider looking for an airbnb or short-term rental, as oftentimes in Europe you can snag awesome accommodation for the fraction of the cost of a hotel. The Euro is still at an all-time low compared to the dollar, so take advantage and book your French family vacation ASAP. Read More: How to Spend 48 Hours in Paris
9. New Zealand
New Zealand is not a usual budget destination but given that the US dollar is currently very strong and the NZ dollar is at multi-year low, now is an incredible time to visit because you’re getting a lot more value for your money than you have in the past. Sometimes that’s what budget travel is about….
Skip the main islands and head to Krabi Thailand which is much less visited by tourists, offering empty stretches of white sand beaches and crystal blue water. With easy access from Krabi International airport, Koh Lanta offers all the amenities sought at other Thai islands, from pampering to water sports at a fraction of the price. Visit soon, as an influx of high-end resorts will make this getaway pricerier, and more crowded.