Travelling, for a long time, has been reserved for the rich, while the middle-class struggle to save for a while before they can ultimately afford to visit their desired destinations. Couple this lack of sufficient funds with the numerous Instagram photos posted by wealthy show-offs on vacation, and you have a sad fella.
Thankfully, millennials have completely changed the travel industry. With simple travel tools like social media, smartphone apps such as AirBnB, and many travel agents offering competitive rates, millennials have the ability to travel and enjoy themselves on a budget. They are also bolder and extensively knowledgeable about their travel needs.
This cohort of travelers pride themselves in experiences rather than material possessions, as opposed to the older generation. That’s why they believe in taking risks by travelling NOW, rather than saving for future expeditions that are not guaranteed.
Did you know that you could have the Hawaiian experience on a budget? You don’t have to travel with cases of cash to be able to enjoy yourself in exquisite destinations. As you will find out, there are numerous low-priced paradises, some probably within your locality, where you can travel to, and still have the time of your life.
Here’s 15 of these places:
15. Lima, Peru
What better place to enjoy a bit of sunshine, looking at the panoramic views of the Pacific while sipping great cocktail at half the price? A vacation in Peru’s capital, especially in the month of February, is great when the thick humid mist, locally known as ‘La Garua’, has cleared out, giving you the perfect environment to visit the ‘City Of Kings’, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Better yet, after taking numerous selfies in a city known for a great mix of colonial and post-colonial era architecture, as well as a mix of Spanish culture, you could recharge your batteries at the wonderful Electricity museum.
14. New Orleans, USA
Want to experience new culture? Well, New Orleans is the place to be. A day spent sampling sumptuous jambalaya and gumbo dishes gives you the right energy to see New Orleans at its best. Hop into a streetcar, and experience several night-life treats. From world-class jazz musicians in the French Quarter, to live music bars that serve great music and beer too!
13. Central America
Do you know what $18 can get you in Central America? A great hotel at $15 per night and meals for just $3. Countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala are the perfect places to roam the jungle to see endemic wildlife, visit ancient ruins and learn rich history. Alternatively, when you feel a little languid, have an incredible surfing experience at the beach.
The Central America experience is not complete before you have a taste of their delicious cultural food, washed down with less-than-a-dollar beer. Be careful though, not to roam in bad neighborhoods at night or try to buy drugs off cartels.
With a budget of $50 per day, you are sure to rule the streets of this Southeast Asian Country. It is very simple. A private, air-conditioned room is $20, street food is $2 and transportation across the country is a mere $20.
What makes Cambodia an even greater destination, are the incredibly hospitable Cambodians, who also give you an opportunity to experience their culture in different locations such as Bamboo Island. Lastly, the picturesque landscape spanning low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline will make you the envy of all your Instagram followers.
11. Far Eastern Europe
This is a great destination for anyone who’s wanted to visit Europe but cannot afford to travel to Europe. Confused? Well, this is how. Compared to destinations like England, which could cost a fortune, why not visit countries such as Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine or Romania?
Imagine an executive hotel room at $8 a night in Ukraine, approximately $1.50 per beer in Bulgaria, combined with affordable transport rates. Ignore reports of these places being ex-communist countries and focus on traditional dances in Bulgaria, great wine from Moldova and Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery complex in Ukraine – a rich Christian pilgrimage site with mummified Orthodox monks.
Thailand is known as the heart of backpacking, boasting of several hiking spots. History lovers are spoiled for choice, with attraction sites such as opulent royal palaces, ornate temples, iconic temples of Wat Arun and ancient ruins. When relaxing, Thailand’s beaches are known to offer a beautiful aura as you unwind at night in beach resorts such as bustling Pattaya.
For even less, you can get accommodation from cheap guest houses, eat from street stalls and use local buses for transportation instead of taxis. Generally, a $30 a day budget suffices, affording you a week-and-a-half stay in Thailand, for $300.
9. Avarua, Cooke Islands
Imagine a place that offers same perks as Hawaii, but at a cheaper cost. This is the Cooke Islands, found in New Zealand, in the middle of South Pacific. The tropical beaches are a hub of activities including snorkeling and whale watching. Its inhabitants, who are mostly Polynesian natives, are quite hospitable and a source of rich cultural information, as well as great food.
Compared to Hawaii, which attracts approximately 8 million tourists annually, the Cooke Islands have less human traffic with about 100,000 tourists, making it more serene. An apartment costs $130 per month in rent, while food costs much less. So, why not take a month off and have the time of your life for less than $1000?
8. Guanajuato, Mexico
Can’t afford to visit Egypt and see mummies? Well, worry not. Guanajuato is a host of several mummies, a result of a cholera outbreak in mid-18th century. During this period, so many people died, prompting the government to place tax on buried bodies. Resultantly, loads of corpses were disinterred and natural mummies created. Additionally, Guanajuato is home of the famous arts festival, Festival Internacional Cervantino, a wild party named after the author of Don Quixote.
7. 7. Pearl Islands, Panama
Before we say anything, three seasons of Survivor have been shot at the Pearl Islands. Need we say more? This was Pablo Escobar’s escape country and until the 70s, Pirates went to the Pearl Islands to lay low. Now, in addition to the thrill, just like the name suggests, this area is known for pearls. In fact, a famous 30-plus carat monster pearl, La Peregrina, was found here.
This place has so many uninhabited islands you could live rent-free! Anyway, for just $10 a day, you could rent yourself a nice room right at the beach, as you admire the pristine natural beaches and surrounding resorts.
6. Hainan Island, China
Also known as Hawaii of the East, Hainan Island has been made more affordable after China instated a duty-free policy in the area, going further to develop the world’s largest duty-free shopping center. Compared to Hawaii where the average daily expenditure is $50 per day, Hainan offers the same experience at a fifth of Hawaiian cost.
When you are bored basking at the beach and engaging in water activities, you can visit the nearby town of Sanya, and participate in the annual dragon boat race. It’s only in China where ‘dragons’ exist. So, why not make this your next vacation destination?
5. Las Trancas, Chile
Ever thought about the possibility of making money while on vacation, hence your vacation expenses cancelling out? Well, this is the opportunity Las Trancas valley in Chile offers, ONLY in winter.
You could use the opportunity to teach snowboarding, as you pay $10 per day in rent. Activities in the valley are limited to hiking, skiing and snowboarding, making the location ideal and profitable only in the winter period.
You can however stay longer and visit other areas in Chile such as Los Pingüinos Natural Monument, which is home to more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins, or Valle de la Luna, located in Atacama Desert, a landscape full of large sand dunes and stone formations that mimic the surface of the moon.
4. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of the world cities where you can have so much fun, even on a budget. On a hot afternoon, you can dive into the Széchenyi baths in the City Park, as you game with others on floating chessboards. Later on, you can relax by strolling down Falk Miksa utca street, which is known for many museums and antique shops. Alternatively, you can visit ‘District VIII’ (Józsefváros), an amazing part of Budapest, which is a host of cafes that offer more meal varieties, apart from the traditional Magyar cuisine, or go to the Lumen photography museum to see creative photography.
3. Cape Town, SouthAfrica
Cape Town is every artist’s travel destination, as it is famous for its cosmopolitan art. A climb on top of the Table Mountains gives these artists the right serene environment to nurture creativity and soak into nature’s beauty.
With half its residents being under the age of 25, Cape Town is busting with fashion, innovation and friendly residents, making it attractive to millennials. In 2014, Cape Town was declared the World Design Capital, revolutionizing the role this destination plays in shaping millennials culture. Top up this experience with live music and entertainment, at the bay harbor market.
2. Colombo, Sri Lanka
Want a delicious treat of tropical delights such as lobster, lagoon crab, and prawn? Colombo, SriLanka is the place to be. Their cuisine is prepared in perfect fiery Sri Lankan style and is affordable. This meal prepares you for more of Sri Lankan beauty ranging from a tour of mystical ancient ruin-dominated north central plains, tropical sandy beach vacation and wildlife safaris.
Have we mentioned the Gangaramaya Temple alongside the Beira Lake, where you can have serene meditation time, giving you a chance to reconnect with your inner soul? Don’t leave Colombo without taking a train south to Mount Lavinia, and watch the sunset bounce off the Indian Ocean, as you sip your coconut.
1. Tunis, Tunisia
Situated in North Africa, Tunisia serves as a gateway to the Maghreb region, and is characterized by delicious food, beautiful ancient architecture and adventurous activities. Tunis especially, has an exotic aura, which makes the budget traveler feel as though they earned more than they asked for.
You can visit the Bardo museum, which hosts the world’s most renowned mosaic collections, and later on relax at La Goulette, the city’s port suburb, where you can have a yacht ride, enjoying the refreshing sea breeze. Before leaving, take a stroll down the souks souvenirs to get exposed to great cultural aspects such as vividly coloured spices, wedding dresses, a taste of the delicious makroud, and Arabian jewelry.
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