Are you looking to travel on a budget in 2022? If so, you'll want to check out our list of the best budget destinations of the year. From Europe to Asia, we've got you covered with some affordable options that will make for an enjoyable trip. We looked at a few countries and a few cities that help you get more bang for your buck, with great locations, fun activities that don't break the bank, and that offer accommodation options for everyone!
What defines a Budget Destination?
We compiled a list of the best travel spots in 2022, but how does that differ from budget destinations? When compiling this list, we looked at some destinations that meet one or more of our budget travel criteria:
- Affordable tourist attractions
- Cheap hotel prices with a significant number of lodging options
- Easy to commute and excellent transportation with reasonable prices
- Great street food
- Many options for arrival (plane, train, bus, boat, etc.)
Not all of these inexpensive destinations will have all of the attributes above, but they will have some of them to make them affordable and wonderful along the way.
We didn't include travel or currency exchange rates because you may arrive from anywhere.
These places hold budget qualities in their own right, and we have several possibilities, so pick the one that is easiest for you to go to.
Costa Rica is an inexpensive and enjoyable vacation destination due to its various natural features, which include rainforests, volcanoes, and beautiful beachfronts. Costa Rica has swiftly become the most popular low-cost vacation in Central America. Furthermore, the country has a well-developed infrastructure and a diverse choice of tourist attractions, making it simple to find whatever you need when there.
There are several activities to do in Costa Rica; here are a few of the best:
- Playa Manuel Antonio: This beach is roughly a 30-minute drive from downtown San Jose. It's one of Costa Rica's most popular beaches and contains a nudist zone (optional). If you know how to surf, it's also fantastic. Bring bug spray and sunscreen with you since there are a lot of insects and no trees to provide shade.
- Waterfalls: There are so many waterfalls in Costa Rica, and they are all gorgeous and exciting to explore. We highly suggest going on an overnight hiking or camping excursion to get up and personal with them and appreciate their beauty.
- Cahuita and Puerto Viejo: These communities are located on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast and provide beautiful white sand beaches and inexpensive dining options. There's also a decent possibility you'll see animals like crocodiles and monkeys here. It's a pricey cab journey from San Jose, but it's totally worth it.
- Exploring the many caves: Cave exploration in the jungle, led by many tour guides who describe the flora and creatures. The trips are reasonable to pricey, but they are delightful and worthwhile.
Because Costa Rica may be visited annually, visitors can participate in various sports such as surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
This little and gorgeous country is indeed a hidden gem within the Balkans.
With its lovely towns, active culture, excellent food, and rich history, it is a destination that will suit most tourists, especially the discriminating, since it is sometimes referred to as the cheapest European country to visit.
Skopje, the capital, is notable for its freshly refurbished city center, which is filled with several monuments. The beauty, though, is around 15 kilometers outside of town, in Matka Canyon.
Macedonia is a popular destination for hikers and watersport enthusiasts. We recommend visiting Lake Ohrid on the Albanian border to be fully immersed in the beauty of Macedonia. It is one of Europe's oldest and deepest lakes, and it is a fantastic spot to kayak, sail, scuba dive, and even paragliding. In fact, at 49 EUR, Macedonia is among the cheapest countries in Europe to paraglide. Ohrid is also an excellent spot for individuals who enjoy culture, as the city has 365 churches. Macedonia is relatively inexpensive by European standards, with daily expenditures ranging from 25 to 45 EUR. A night at a hostel costs 10 EUR, a night in a hotel costs 30 EUR for a double room, a dinner in a restaurant is roughly 4 EUR, and a beer costs 1.35 EUR. Buses are frequent throughout Macedonia, and the 3-hour travel from Skopje to Ohrid costs only 8 EUR one way and 11 EUR roundtrip, making it possible to explore this off-the-beaten-path nation.
Prague, Czech Republic
Generally, the Czech Republic is a fairly inexpensive country to visit and provides many entertainment alternatives, making it one of the greatest European countries to add to your list of budget locations. The country has a good transportation system, and most people speak English, making it simple for those who do not understand the language.
A beer at a Prague tavern costs between $1 and $3, while hostels cost roughly $10 per night. To make the most of your visit to Prague, consider staying at one of these top hotels. This alone has contributed to Prague's thriving tourism sector. Several activities in this country will not break the wallet. When it comes to nightlife, there are several bars and clubs to choose from. Furthermore, there are several reasonable restaurants that offer local cuisine and a vibrant culture to select from, with the costliest lunch costing 8-12 euros.
If you feel like visiting a city, Kotor is a perfect place for the budget traveler. Kotor is situated less than two hours south of Dubrovnik. Getting there isn’t expensive either, with low-cost flights from Dubrovnik or Podgorica airports. Another option is to grab a bus if you’re visiting from the neighboring countries!
When exploring this beautiful city, the best thing to start with is to take a walk through the maze-like streets of Old Town. There are so many churches and squares where you can grab some awesome pictures for Instagram or your travel blog. The St John Fortress is another great thing to see, and it boasts with an 8 Euro entrance fee. Kotor’s Old Town offers many cafés and restaurants with many different daily specials, but we suggest visiting them when the cruise ship passengers leave. When the daily visitors leave, prices tend to drop too. This also happens in the off-season.
Accommodation in Kotor is also budget-friendly! There are many places to stay under $80/night within the Old Town walls. To find even cheaper accommodation, head a short distance outside the city walls and still be within walking distance to the main sites.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is mostly not the cheapest place in Vietnam or Southeast Asia, but it comes in as highly affordable on a global scale. Hoi An is a holiday destination with beautiful beaches, stunning countryside, and an Old Town setting listed by UNESCO!
Hoi An’s delicious street food can set you back under $1 for a superb bowl of mi quang or pho – but you will need to know where to go and have some travel smarts. Never accept the first price in Hoi An Restaurants will cost you a little more, but when you avoid tourist traps and go to the right places, a good dinner can still be found for under 5$. On the other hand, beer can be around 1$, but if you’re brave enough, the “fresh beer” can cost cents. Getting around is super easy since Hoi An is small; you can take a walk or rent a bicycle for anywhere from $1. Luckily taxis and Ubers are also cheap for those longer journeys. (Make sure your taxi has a meter.)
A bed in a dorm room can cost under $5, but if you prefer a bit more privacy and luxury, you can find some very affordable resorts and boutique hotels. A lovely private room for two in a guesthouse or homestay (homestays are often hotels or hostels in Hoi An) can be around or under $20 and may even include breakfast. You can enjoy Hoi An without paying any entry fees. However, some excursions take you to nearby sights that do. In general, costs are cheap. The Hoi An ticket is an unnecessary cost. You do not need one to enter the Old Town, only specific buildings within it. It is inexpensive, but central Vietnam's true delight is in its people. Expect to encounter some of the world's happiest, nicest, and friendliest individuals.
Singapore is a fun, vibrant, and delicious place to visit! While Singapore isn’t the cheapest country in Southeast Asia but offers so many different ways that you can make it incredibly affordable, especially with the local food and cheap hotels in certain places in the city. It’s also one of the few places to get a super delicious Michelin star meal for $5 – soy sauce chicken rice at Hawker Chan! Hawker Chan is a food stall in the Chinatown Complex hawker center, the largest hawker center in Singapore. More budget-friendly street food can be found at Singapore’s other hawker centers, including Satay By The Bay, Lau Pau Sat (also known as Telok Ayer Market), and Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.
There are a lot of free attractions in Singapore like Gardens by The Bay, the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore Botanic Gardens, the light shows at Marina Bay, and Fort Canning Park. You can use public transport to get to and from these attractions, particularly the train (the MRT, Mass Rapid Transit), which is extensive, frequent, and cheap. There are good budget hotels and hostels available in Singapore too. Singapore is a fantastic and affordable place to visit if you’re a family traveling with a baby and toddler, as a couple, or solo.
There are more places to visit if you’re looking for an affordable vacation destination with plenty to offer. But some places we mentioned are perfect for inexperienced and experienced travelers. You’re bound to find some more amazing gems out there, but with these destinations, you won’t be disappointed with the sights, sounds, and experiences waiting for you.
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