Paradise lovers beware: vacationing in 2019 is all about tropical heat and island beats—even if you’re on a budget. Island getaways seem to be the theme according to a list of 27 cheap travel destinations recently released by Forbes. If you’re not a huge fan of the island life, never fear. There’s definitely something on this list for everyone.
To go along with these awesome budget-friendly destinations we came up with some cheap vacation ideas to help you see all the sights in 2019 (while staying within your budget).
Travel Tip #1: Fill your itinerary with free (or really, really cheap) activities.
The high life can be appealing, but it can also be extremely expensive. Luckily, the world is full of beautiful places and things to see for the budget conscious traveler. Here are a few locations with notable, affordable activities.
1. Xian, China
Home of the site of the Terracotta Warriors, which were built by Emperor Qin Shihuang in the 3rd Century BC. This is one of the world’s most amazing archeological finds and the cost of entrance is only $23.
2. Montreal, Canada
Check out the bustling Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal) with its horse-drawn carriages, historical sites, and sidewalk cafes, or see the city from above at its largest park, Parc du Mont-Royal.
3. Paris, France
Surprisingly, with plenty of museums and parks to choose from there is plenty of low-cost, family-friendly entertainment to go around in Paris.
Travel Tip #2: Research transportation needs and prices.
Depending on which destination you travel to, you may have different needs for getting from place to place after you arrive. Budget-conscious travelers should seek out destinations that are conducive to foot travel or offer cheap public transportation.
4. Granada, Nicaragua
There are countless reasons to visit this beautiful lakeside city. Known for its stunning architecture and spanish colonial landmarks, there is plenty to do and see. Adventurers can venture out across the country via the “Chicken Bus.” This public transportation is the cheapest way to get around.
Travel Tip #3: Be mindful of conversion rates.
Researching conversion rates prior to vacation planning can be a huge help and might even lead you to unexpected places on the map.
5. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Mexican peso is historically low, making the beautiful San Miguel de Allende a wonderful option for a budget vacation destination.
6. New Zealand
This isn’t usually the case, but since the New Zealand dollar has been at a multi-year low for some time, your dollar is likely to go a little further here.
Travel Tip #4: Keep your eye on the sky (for cheap airfare).
Expensive flights can put a huge dent in your wallet, taking away from the money you have to spend while you’re on land. It’s crucial to plan ahead and keep your eyes peeled for discount flights. If all else fails, offset overly expensive airfare with budget-friendly destinations.
7. Barcelona, Spain
Currently, you can purchase a flight to Barcelona for less than $500—and that’s roundtrip. This beautiful city has a plethora of affordable activities including walking tours, beaches, and museums.
8. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Getting here might be a little pricier, but your dollar will go a long way once you get there. This budget-friendly spot offers a mix of culture and breathtaking beaches.
Travel Tip #5: Vibrant culture and rich history make for cheap and inspiring travel
Connect with the history and culture of these beautiful destinations for an affordable and authentic experience.
9. Dakar, Senegal
Beautiful beaches and three islands filled with rich history. Gorèe Island is home to the well known House of Slaves, a historical landmark visited by Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, and the Obama family.
10. Herceg Novi, Montenegro
Experience the luxury of the mediterranean for a fraction of a price. With a turbulent history of colonialism, there are plenty to see in this city. Check out the an old Turkish prison known as the Kanli-Kula, or the ‘bloody tower,’ for about $2.
11. Bosnia Herzegovina
With beautiful rivers and cascading waterfalls, this European country is the perfect mix of history, culture, and splendor.
This unique caribbean island is known for its beaches and charming, Dutch-colonial atmosphere.
13. Amritsar, India
This country’s rich history gives visitors a small taste of the harrowing effects of British colonization. It’s also home to stunningly beautiful Golden Temple, the central religious place of Sikhism.
Travel Tip #6: Prioritize affordable, quality lodging.
Quality lodging is insanely cheap here, with rooms available for less than $30 per night.
15. Bastimentos Island, Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Bocas Del Toro is the backpackers dream. Travel between islands is inexpensive and there are jungle-immersed accommodations for all budgets just a few steps from the beach.
Surprisingly, this lush and tropical island isn’t as expensive as you may think. Backpackers can find lodging as low as $12 per night.
Travel Tip #7: Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled.
These off-track destinations offer a unique and affordable experience.
This West African country has beautiful, iconic landscapes and is home to some of the worlds highest sand dunes.
18. Yelapa, Mexico
Just a boat ride away from popular vacation destination, Puerto Vallarta, Verana is a hidden paradise with ten luxurious (and affordable) bungalows amidst the jungle in Yelapa, Mexico.
19. Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand
A breathtakingly peaceful and less commercialized experienced of Thailand.
Travel Tip #8: Never underestimate the power of ‘glamping.’
If you’re all about the views and don’t mind roughing it, these cheap vacation destinations will be perfect for you.
20. Moab, Utah, USA
The ultimate budget vacation for the outdoorsman (or woman). With more than one national park to choose from, this destination fills travelers with beauty and awe.
21. Anza-Borrego State Park, California, USA
As one of the few places in America where open camping is still permitted, Anza-Borrego offers a vacation experience that is both organic and low-cost.
Travel Tip #8: Seek out the world’s ‘hidden gems’
Rather than booking a trip to the world’s most notorious big cities, consider knocking off a considerable amount of your travel costs by visiting one of these ‘hidden gems.’
22. Santiago, Chile
This up-and-coming city has a great night life, nice accommodations and plenty of hip new businesses and restaurants to wander into.
23. Koh Dach (Silk Islan), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Otherwise known as Silk Island, this “oasis of calm” is the perfect place to escape and unwind.
24. Houston, Texas, USA
One of the most diverse cities in the US, Houston is a must-see.
25. Port Salut, Haiti
Sparkling white sand, coconut palm trees, and blue ocean waters make Port Salut the perfect escape.
26. Gaziantep, Turkey
Gaziantep offers an experience similar to that of the popular city Istanbul, but on a budget.
27. Zagreb, Croatia
Mountains of wineries and Austro-Hungarian architecture are just a few staples of this beautiful and unique city.