7 Travel Destinations You Can Actually Afford

Sophie Miura

We love daydreaming about jetting to a private island or ticking off an extravagant bucket list experience, but in reality, vacations can put a major dent in your wallet. If you’re one Uber ride away from an empty bank account, don’t worry—you can still take a break. We’ve rounded up seven stunning travel destinations that offer a five-star vacation experience on a one-star budget. With accommodations starting at $10 a night, how can you say no? Tally your frequent flier miles and scroll on for seven vacation hot spots you can actually afford.

Once a mecca for European jet-setters, Greece’s recent economic decline has made its shores more accessible to the everyday traveler. Plus, if your vacation plan consists of relaxing on a beach to read a book, the only item you’ll need to buy is a comfortable sunbed (and cocktail, of course). 

Stay: Opt for a locally run pension or Airbnb to find the best deal. Islands like Santorini and Naxos offer stunning waterfront villas while Antiparos and Kos have super-affordable villas to accommodate the whole family.

Eat: Fresh seafood. Wander the shoreline for a white-washed restaurant with fresh octopus displayed out the front, and opt for the catch of the day with a carafe of local wine. 

PHOTO:

via Hello Lesya

From the bustling souks and shimmering desert oases to the breathtaking High Atlas mountains and mosaic-tiled riads, Morocco is a travel destination like no other. The best part? It’s also super affordable. Be sure to add Fes, the leather capital, for stunning home décor buys, and Chefchaouen, the iconic “blue city” to your hit list.

Stay: Book a local riad, a traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard. You can find some surprisingly luxurious options, including riads with mosaics dating back hundreds of years, for roughly $30 a night.

Eat: Tagine. The local North African Berber dish is a meat and vegetable mélange. It’s available in most Moroccan restaurants.

This lesser-known Balkan nation is nestled near Turkey and Greece and is a nature lover’s paradise. Think dense pine forest, mountains shrouded in mist, and old-world soviet remnants you won’t believe still exist.

Stay: According to Lovely Planet, mid-range accommodation starts at about $34 a night. Too much? Book a single room from just $10 a night (for real).   

Eat: Moussaka. Bulgaria’s take on this lasagna-style dish is packed with potatoes, eggs, and minced pork meat. Balkan food is typically rich, hearty, and filling.

Remote island holidays aren’t just for the rich and famous. Consisting of roughly 330 picturesque islands—only a third of which are inhabited—there’s a slice of sand for everyone. Fijian weather sits comfortably between 80–90 degrees Fahrenheit, so consider travelling during “shoulder months” such as June or October, which are off-peak and outside cyclone season.

Stay: A number of islands offer locally run resorts with rustic beachfront huts for a fraction of the cost of a luxury resort. Jump on one of the daily catamaran services to the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands, and take your pick of places to swim and stay.

Eat: Coconuts. Palm trees are naturally abundant (yes, the stereotype is true), so even remote islands have access to the fresh fruit. You’ll find coconut juice served with traditional Fijian fare like sweet potatoes, fish, and taro.

India is a stunning culturally diverse country, and according to Thrillist it’s a top go-to for cost-conscious travelers. Their recommendation? Visit Goa for “the most unexpected beach vacation you will ever take.” The hippie town is bursting with vibrant street markets and sprawling beaches. If you’re keen to see a different side of India, head to Ladakh or Port Blair for an adventure-filled vacation.

Stay: The average double hotel room costs about $15, while a high-end deluxe suite will set you back about $75.

Eat: Indian food needs no introduction, and local thalis (plate meals) are insanely cheap.

PHOTO:

via Findpik

After the devastating 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, tourists have been nervous to visit, but according to Darrell Wade, CEO of Intrepid Travel, now is the time to book a flight. “If tourism doesn’t return to Nepal, it’ll be like a second earthquake hitting the country,” Wade told Yahoo. A number of operators offer tours that return funds to local charities to aid rebuilding the devastated villages, so be sure to do your research before booking.

Stay: All-inclusive camping treks range from $60 to $80 per day while comfortable hotels start at just $25. All-in-all, you should be able to get by on less than $50 a day, according to Lonely Planet.

Eat: Dal, a soup made of lentils and spices, only costs about $7 in tourist destinations like Kathmandu.

PHOTO:

Valery

Thanks to travel bloggers on Instagram and Pinterest, Turkish destinations like Cappadocia and Pamukkale have become sought-after hot spots. Luckily for you, the country is still surprisingly affordable. When planning your trip, be sure to map out the logistics before you leave—Turkey is vast, and missing an internal flight could result in a grueling overnight bus. Be sure to add Fethiye to your list of destinations to visit. The coastal town offers world-class paragliding over a sapphire-blue lagoon and boat tours to swim with ancient sea tortoises.

Stay: Opt for a local Airbnb or boutique hotel. Outside the capital, a quaint suite costs about $47 a night.

Eat: Meze. The traditional platter is a smorgasbord of locally made hummus and tzatziki dip with Turkish bread and fresh olives.  

Have we convinced you to book a flight? Download these handy apps before you leave to save time and money.

City Maps 2Go ($5)

Use this app to access thousands of international maps offline.

BlaBlaCar App ($0)

Try international ride-sharing and jump borders for a fraction of the price of a train, bus, or plane ticket. 

App In The Air ($0)

Keep track of your real-time flight status, and access airport navigation maps even when you're offline. 

Trip It App ($1)

Email your booking information to this app for a consolidated bespoke itinerary. 

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