A major financial and cultural hub, Mumbai is also India’s largest city. Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is now home to the Bollywood film industry. The city is filled with dozens of important historical and religious sites, including the Gateway of India, Elephanta Island caves, Haji Ali Dargah mosque, and more. While beverage prices are pretty good, prices for accommodations and food are very affordable.
2). Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and to be able to see this on a shoestring is an incredible opportunity. There's a ton of national parks to explore, for instance, that only cost a few dollars to enter. Once there, you can then enjoy free self-guided walks that won't cost you a cent but will deliver some great encounters with amazing wildlife like tapirs, monkeys, sloths and macaws. Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks are two of the best. Public transport is also super cheap in Costa Rica, with buses generally less than $10, even for an eight-hour ride. This makes travelling between destinations in this compact country very affordable and means you can see a lot in a short amount of time.
3). Cairo, Egypt
For many people, a trip to Egypt occupies one of the top spots on their bucket list. Luckily, if you enjoy budget travel, Cairo still ranks as one of the cheapest places to travel in the world. In fact, it’s the cheapest destination outside of Asia on our list. While you’ll want to visit Tahrir Square and several of the city’s museums and mosques, Cario’s biggest tourist attraction is the nearby location of Giza.
While Haiti still remains under the radar as a travel destination, many people have been flocking to the vibrant country, and I can see why: The island provides all the stunning Caribbean characteristics without the high costs. Outside of holiday seasons and the later part of the summer, flights from New York range from $300 to $500, and even cheaper when flying from cities in Florida. The real gem is how cheap the hotels are, with many starting at $50 to $150 per night including airport transfers.
5). Kolkata, India
Formerly known as Calcutta, Kolkata is the second of six cities in India on our list. For over 125 years, the city served as the capital of India and is now known for its colonial architecture. Kolkata is a major cultural and religious hub, home to dozens of museums and holy sites. It’s also a popular spot for Roman Catholic pilgrims who come to visit the “Mother House” – Mother Teresa’s home and final resting place.
6). Cusco, Peru
Most people who pass through Cusco are en route to the very popular Machu Picchu, but you should make sure to spend a few days, maybe even a few weeks in this colourful city. Not only is the city absolutely stunning and oozing with culture, but most accommodations also range from $20 to $100 a night. Peruvian textiles are extremely affordable and the vibrant colours are stunning. Eating out in Cusco can be extremely cheap if you know where to eat. Restaurants are quite affordable compared to most American and European restaurants, but street food here is the real winner.
7). Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Johor Bahru is a popular travel destination located at the southern edge of the Malay Peninsula. Like some other cheap places to travel that we’ve mentioned, Johor Bahru neighbours another more expensive city – Singapore. With hotel prices ranking in the top 20 and food prices ranking in the top 10 worldwide, this makes it a great place to explore the entire region. Johor Bahru is also near some of Malaysia’s best beach resorts, making it a popular spot for vacations of all types.
8). Mazatlan, Mexico
The current exchange rate ($1 = 20.69 Mexican pesos) makes Mexico one of the most affordable destinations. For the frugal traveller who wants to enjoy more culture than they might in the Riviera Maya, my top pick is Mazatlan. As the shrimp capital of Mexico and a foodie paradise, Mazatlan is teeming with awesome eateries and fresh, interesting dishes.
9). Krabi, Thailand
Just across the bay from Phuket, here’s what’s even better: Krabi is a super cheap vacation idea. While it may cost a few bucks to get over there, Krabi – newcomer newcomers – ranks in the top 20 for both meals and accomodatioaccommodationse types of prices, Krabi has definitely been added to our bucket list.
10). South Africa
In South Africa, the exchange rate is in our favour, but so is the fact that it's a developed tourist destination with a solid infrastructure. In spending a month in Cape Town earlier this year and relying on Uber to get me to and from meetings, activities and lunches, I averaged under $20 in transportation per day — a major win. Hotels are cheaper, too: Take a standard room at Taj Hotels & Resorts in New York, and you are out about $786 a night, whereas, in Cape Town, a room at a similar luxury property costs $266.
11). Bangkok, Thailand
It may be the second most popular tourist destination in the world, but the relatively high cost of beverages means Bangkok narrowly misses a top-ten spot on our list of the cheapest places to travel for the second consecutive year. Renowned for its exciting nightlife and entertainment, Bangkok isn’t just a party town. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the city’s amazing religious sites, including the Wat Phra Kaew – the most sacred Buddhist Temple in Thailand. There’s also the Grand Palace, the Wat Arun Temple, and some serious shopping for you to do.
12). San Juan, Puerto Rico
The best way to get a deal in the Caribbean is to travel during the low season (end of April through mid-December) to destinations that have direct and frequent fights from your gateway; plenty of hotel inventory; and economies that aren't euro-based. Puerto Rico fits the bill, and I'm a big fan of San Juan, which I think is seriously underrated as an easy and affordable getaway, especially for visitors from the East Coast of the U.S. Old San Juan oozes charm, and if you stay within the old city's two-square-mile radius youradiusneed a car rental to access great restaurants, sightseeing and shopping.
13). Pattaya, Thailand
Sure, there are plenty of cultural activities for visitors to enjoy in Pattaya, Thailand. However, what people really come here for is the beach. Situated on the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya’s is home to some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere. The area is also famous for its lively nightlife and excellent shopping. Best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to stay here. Pattaya ranks 15th on our list for the cheapest places to stay and 10th in food costs.
Europe is on everyone's list of value-added trips this year and for good reason — the exchange rate is more favourable for American travellers than it has been in years. But the destinations I most dream about and long to return to are in South America, a destination that has long given travellers great value for money. In Chile, I love Santiago for its vibrant food and wine scene — think tucked-away wine bars, delicious tapas and hip hotels in a beautifully chaotic city. For a lesser-known and truly special corner of the world, I love the small lakeside town of Puerto Varas. It is part of the lakes district in Chile and the northern start of Patagonia.
15). Guangzhou, China
Located just to the northwest of Hong Kong and Shenzhen is Guangzhou, China. Like its neighbours, Guangzhou is a popular destination for tourists of all stripes. Adventure seekers may wish to go bungee jumping at nearby Baiyun Mountain. The Chimelong Safari Park and Chimelong International Circus tend to be popular for families travelling with children.
With the U.S. dollar strong against the euro right now and the economic crisis in Greece keeping prices lower than other parts of Europe, it’s the perfect time to visit the beautiful island of Crete. Crete is a foodie dream come true. A place where farm-to-table isn’t a new fad, it’s a way of life. The people here often live to be well over 100 years old so they must be doing something right! With truly stunning natural beauty.
17).Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Located in the heart of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world. As the nation’s capital city, Phnom Penh is filled with important museums and historical sites. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are two of the most popular places to visit. For a more sombre look at the area’s history, be sure to spend some time at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center which remember the horrors of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
18). Denpasar, Indonesia
It’s the capital of the Indonesian province of Bali. Recognize it now? Although the main attraction is clearly the beaches, Denpasar has a variety of cultural spots to interest sightseers of all types. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also very popular attractions in the area. Of course, if you decide to stay at a luxury resort, your costs are going to be considerably higher.
19). Ha Long, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam is one of the most pictures places on the planet, making it perfect for nature lovers and adventure travellers alike. Renowned for its towering limestone islands jutting up from the sea floor, it’s hard to imagine many places more beautiful than here. Besides that, everything is remarkably cheap. Ha Long ranks in the top 5 for both the food and beverage categories, while accommodations are still in the top 25% of all the destinations we surveyed.
Batam is the cheapest place to visit. With incredible beaches, famous nightlife, and great shopping, it’s no wonder Batam cracked the top 100 most visited places in the world this year. If you’d like to get off the resort while you’re there, you can also hop a short boat ride to go and check out Singapore.
21). Jakarta, Indonesia
With over 9.6 million residents, Jakarta is a massive metropolis located on the island of Java. It also represents a crossroads of different cultures, melding together a variety of different influences from across Asia and Europe. Indonesia is famous for its beaches, and Jakarta has plenty to offer in that department. It’s also a great place for shopping and sightseeing.
22). Jaipur, India
India is one of the cheapest countries to visit, and Jaipur is the country’s most affordable destination on our list – vaulting 8 spots ahead to land in this year’s top 5. Known for its famously pink-coloured buildings, the city of Jaipur ranks as the 13th cheapest travel destination on our list. The city is home to several palaces of note, including the pink “Palace of the Winds” and Jaipur’s City Palace. While getting a ride on an elephant may be more fun for some, there are also numerous forts and religious sites for tourists to visit.
23). Siem Reap, Cambodia
Of all the cheap places to travel in Southeast Asia, Siem Reap has some of the most magnificent sites to see. The most famous of these spots are the incredible Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple, but these aren’t the only places near the city worth visiting. A trip to Banteay Srei is also worth a visit, as are the ancient ruins of Preah Khan. Siem Reap is also ridiculously affordable. The destination ranks as the 2nd cheapest place for hotel prices, 21st for meals, and 5th worldwide for beverage costs.
24). Hanoi, Vietnam
As the capital of Vietnam, the city is a cultural hub full of museums and important places of interest. The hectic Old Quarter is definitely something you don’t want to miss. Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and Hoan Kiem Lake are also popular spots for tourists.
25).Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is one of the most interesting places to travel in Thailand, and one of the world’s best bargain vacations. Chiang Mai offers the cheapest hotel prices of any destination on our list and is the second cheapest place to eat. Located in the mountains of northern Thailand, the city is home to countless Buddhist temples and sacred religious sites. Nature and wildlife tours are also popular excursions in Chiang Mai.
26). Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Known as Saigon before the Vietnam War, the city is home to a vibrant arts scene and loads of French colonial architecture. Many visitors enjoy spending time in the energetic Ben Thanh Market, where street vendors serve up local flavours at a price that can fit inside anyone’s budget. Those seeking quieter spaces will enjoy wandering through the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground tunnels built by the Viet Cong during the war that span thousands of miles.
27). Marrakech, Morocco
Located in western Morocco, Marrakech is an important economic and cultural centre in North Africa. A former imperial city, one of the most popular things to do here is to tour the palaces and their gardens. Also consider getting lost in the chaotic streets of Medina, the walled medieval city within the city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located relatively close to both the mountains and the desert, nature and wildlife tours are also popular.
28). Antalya, Turkey
Antalya is a Turkish resort city located on the country’s Mediterranean coast. It’s also one of the cheapest vacation spots in the world. Known for its beaches and Old Harbor, the city serves as the gateway to Turkey’s “Turquoise Coast,” named for the beautiful blue waters that are found there. But, beaches aren’t the only thing that Antalya has going for it. The area is home to museums, ancient Roman ruins, and a variety of waterfalls that give Antalya a certain splash appeal. It’s also the cheapest place in Turkey found on our list, which doesn’t hurt either.
29). St. Petersburg, Russia
Serving as its capital for more than 200 years, St. Petersburg is one of the best places to travel in Russia. The city has a more European feel than other cities in the country, and that goes beyond just the architecture. St. Petersburg is filled with dozens of museums, churches, and historic sites. Prices for hotels in St. Petersburg are also the cheapest of any European city you’ll find on our list, coming in at 15th overall.
Located in northern India, Agra is home to one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world – the Taj Mahal. Although the Taj Mahal is clearly the area’s biggest attraction, Agra has a number of other notable tourist spots, too – including the Agra Fort, the Tomb of Itimad-Ud-Daulah, Add more. It also offers some of the world’s most affordable hotel prices.