Are you in the mood to travel somewhere exotic but are worried that it’s not within your budget? Fortunately, there are some surprisingly affordable destinations around the world, whether you prefer beaches, cosmopolitan cities or places with lots of history and culture. Here are our top five budget travel spots in the world with a few picks for the top attractions to see while you’re there.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a relatively short trip from America and it offers some of the best values in the Caribbean. Many cheap flights are offered to San Juan, especially from East Coast destinations such as New York and Miami.
- Old San Juan -A beautiful historic area containing hundreds of buildings from the Spanish colonial period. Some of the buildings are more than 400 years old. You can find many shops, restaurants and hotels in this area as well.
- Flamenco Beach -One of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, with white sand, blue water and surrounded by mountains. This beach is in Culebra, which you can reach from San Juan by ferry or a short flight.
- El Yunque Rain Forest - If you want to explore the natural beauty of Puerto Rico, you shouldn’t miss this tropical rain forest. It contains a wide variety of plants, hiking trails, waterfalls and historic stone towers. This makes for an incredible day trip during your time in Puerto Rico.
Quebec City, Quebec
The province of Quebec, home to both Montreal and Quebec City, is another good choice for Americans looking for a nearby but exciting place to travel. Quebec is known for proudly maintaining its French heritage, which means you can enjoy French cuisine and culture without crossing the Atlantic.
- Old Quebec - The old part of the city has charming features such as horse-drawn carriage rides, street performers and some of the city’s best restaurants. You can also visit the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel, an architectural masterpiece overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
- Fortifications and Citadel - Quebec City was once one of the world’s most fortified cities. You can take tours of the well-preserved fort and citadel. The Fortifications of Quebec are a National Historic Site.
- Musee de la Civilisation -This is one of Canada’s most impressive museums, containing exhibits and collections from all over the world and all periods of history. Lots of interactive areas and multimedia presentations makes this a great family destination.
If you want to visit a European country with incredible beaches and also want to save money, Croatia is one of your best options. This is a beautiful and under appreciated country that’s full of incredible beaches, historic attractions and great places to stay.
- Old Town -a place to explore old streets, buildings and churches. There are museums, shops and restaurants. Here you can experience the traditional life of Croatia.
- City Walls -the ancient city walls are probably the best-known landmark of Dubrovnik. You can climb stairs to the top of the walls and enjoy great views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.
- Lokrum -an island you can reach by ferry. It’s known for its large population of peacocks. There’s also a lake where you can swim and old forts that you can explore.
- Boat rentals. One of the best ways to appreciate Dubrovnik is from the water. Companies such as Dubrovnik Boat Rentals offers a variety of scenic boat trips.
Cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offer some of the best values in Asia, Vietnam is also a beautiful country full of great food, Buddhist temples and other attractions.
- Old Quarter - This is one of Hanoi’s best traditional shopping areas, with dozens of streets carrying all kinds of food and merchandise. Haggling is expected in this type of market. It also has some nice hotels if you want to stay in a charming historic part of Hanoi.
- Ho Chi Minh Presidential Palace - An impressive mansion built in the French colonial era. The ruler Ho Chi Minh actually lived in a small house on the grounds rather than in the palace.
- Temple of Literature & National University -This Chines-style structure was used as both a temple and university. There are frequent guided tours that explain the temple’s history.
- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology - A museum that provides education on the history of Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Has lots of information about the many tribes that have lived in Vietnam over the centuries.
Budapest is a world class European capital city, but one that you can enjoy at a fraction of the price of London, Paris or Rome. You can also find some budget airlines that fly there.
- Cruise on the Danube - The Danube provides one of the best vantage points to see the splendor of Budapest. It’s especially scenic to take an evening cruise on the river. Budapest Danube Cruise offers both day and evening cruises with options for having dinner accompanied by music.
- Budapest Parliament -One of the city’s most iconic and beautiful buildings. You can appreciate it from the outside or take a tour. It’s right on the river, so you’ll also get a great view of it if you take a boat ride.
- Hungarian State Opera House -Not only a notable 19th century building but one of the best places to hear a concert or opera. Tours are given daily.