From the Philippines to Georgia, this year’s list of best budget travel destinations features exotic ideas from some of the world’s experts in travel. While some of these countries made the cut thanks to fluctuating currencies, others like Kyrgyzstan are more off-the-beaten path.
With this list, stretch your dollar further in 2017. Time to get traveling!
These are the 10 best low cost travel destinations for 2017:
1. Northern Vietnam
Vietnam is known as a budget destination, but the region north of Hanoi along the Chinese border often gets overlooked by travelers. This is truly a shame, because Northern Vietnam is where the most sensational scenery and culture can be found. Rice terraces, towering mountains, twisting roads and ethnic minority people all add to the adventure.
For budget travelers, private accommodation can be found for between $10-15 a night or dorms are as low as $5. Food ranges between $0.50 – $2 a dish and transport never costs more than a few dollars between towns. To really keep your costs down consider renting a motorbike.
2. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
With 93 percent of the nation covered in mountains and a rich history and culture that goes back thousands of years, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most spectacular and underrated countries in the world. The capital city, Bishkek, is an incredible hub for exploring Central Asia, with Silk Road remnants like the Burana Tower just a short drive away and some incredible trekking opportunities in the surrounding mountains.
Best of all for a budget traveler, Kyrgyzstan is surprisingly affordable. Private accommodation in the city can be found for as little as $15 a night and good meals start around $2. Even a traditional yurt stay with 2 meals can be as cheap as $20 per person.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon offers a good mix of museums, historic buildings, eclectic music and nightlife, and squares and cafés to watch the world go by. It has this old, gritty feeling that gave it tons of character. Plus, it is much less than many other European destinations, with budget accommodation clocking in around $30.
4. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a fascinating metropolis filled with high tech infrastructure, modern skyscrapers, historic buildings, a large expat scene and delicious Korean food all at rock bottom prices. Plus, since it’s a major hub it is easy to access this low cost city.
5. Bucharest, Romania
With several centuries of architecture in Bucharest, there is an interesting display of old and new here. There are plenty of museums, cemeteries, historical sites to explore, plus wild nightlife and cheap, hearty food to be found! A go-to spot for digital nomads, it’s a city on the rise.
6. Cape Point, South Africa
Home to African penguins at Boulder Beach and Cape Point National Park, Cape Point is the most southwestern point of Africa. One can take an affordable day trip there from Cape Town with a hop on, hop off tour-bus. For 500 Rand or $35 for a full day, this tour is a must do in 2017.
7. Crete, Greece
The largest island in Greece, Crete is great for those looking to party on a budget, as it offers an array of clubs and restaurants with affordable prices. With idyllic beaches, there are lots of low cost lodging options, making it a steal when compared to the more well-known areas of Athens and Santorini.
8. Palawan, The Philippines
The Philippines is heating up as a destination for 2017. Palawan is where the magic still remains a little more untouched and quiet compared to popular, Boracay Island. Palawan has some of the most diverse landscapes as well as some of the best aquatic life in the country. You’ll spend your days snorkeling, diving, beach hopping and exploring underground cave systems.
Palawan is not a party island like Boracay, which means you’ll save more money by spending your evenings relaxing with quiet conversation under a star filled sky instead of pouring it into the nearest beer bucket. That being said, beers are quite cheap in the Philippines.
9. Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia
Australia has never looked better for travel from a budget perspective. Flight prices have plummeted and the Aussie dollar is much weaker, meaning travelers can get way more bang for their buck. Competition is also helping to lower the prices of accommodation, tours and eating out.
Burleigh has the best of Australia wrapped up in one small bohemian beachside town. The natural beauty of the beaches, national parks and nearby hinterland provides plenty to do without spending a lot of money. It has a flourishing coffee, food and craft beer culture, making it a hip place for both young and old travelers.
Plus, with a sub-tropical climate that sees 300 days of sunshine a year and very little sweater time, you can travel during off-peak times, save even more money and still have an incredible time.
10. Porto, Portugal
Porto is the second biggest city in Portugal. With its affordable eating, accommodation and inexpensive museums and tours, it is a trending budget destination in Europe.
Porto has a historic center that dates back to 300 BC, a Unesco World Heritage colorful riverside quarter and dramatic 12th-Century Romanesque cathedral churches and chapels. Stop by the Port Houses for a tipple or two as you meander the riverside and hilly streets filled with hipster bars and smoky cafes.