25 Cheapest Places to Travel in 2024

by Global Viewpoint
Cheap quaint town to visit
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Dreaming of traveling on a budget to some unique and interesting places? You’ve come to the right place. Having traveled to over 60 countries and saving $10,000+ a year with travel hacks, I know a thing or two about how to travel to some epic places on the cheap. Let’s dive into the cheapest places to travel in 2024.

Whether you’re planning to travel internationally or stay inside the US, you have lots of affordable options. This guide will direct you to some of my favorite spots where your dollar goes far!

While popular spots get all the limelight, there are plenty of underrated destinations at a fraction of the cost. From the lively markets of Southeast Asia to the historic alleys of Eastern Europe, I’ve picked out destinations where adventure comes cheap.

In this guide, we’re bypassing the tourist traps to bring you to some amazingly unique destinations. We’re talking vibrant local markets, untouched natural wonders, and hidden gems where your dollar goes further. So let’s dive into 2024’s top affordable destinations. Pack light, travel smart, and let’s go!

See Related: Tips to Save Money on Travel

Coolest cheapest places to travel right now

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Cheapest places to travel in 2024: The best cheap travel destinations worldwide

For this list, I’ve broken down the cheapest travel destinations in the world into eight different regions. These include both foreign and domestic locales, so don’t think you’re limited to North America. No matter what part of the world you want to see, affordable options are available.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Here’s a quick overview with some highlights:

  • Best cheap destination in Southeast Asia: Indonesia
  • Best cheap destination in Eastern Europe: Romania
  • Best cheap destination in South America: Bolivia
  • Best cheap destination in Africa: Morocco
  • Best cheap destination in Central America: Guatemala
  • Best cheap destination in the Middle East: Jordan
  • Best cheap destination in the US: Nashville

Without further ado, here are my picks for the 25 cheapest places to travel in 2024.

Southeast Asia

Budget-friendly travel destinations come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some places to travel for cheap in Southeast Asia:

1. Vietnam 

The shoreline of Hanoi, Vietnam, one of the cheapest places to travel in the world
Vietnam is a cheap travel destination bursting with vibrant history and local color.

In Vietnam, you’ll find an enchanting blend of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich history, all at a price that won’t drain your bank account. Accommodation options range from affordable home-stays in the rural north, with prices starting as low as $5 per night, to budget hostels in bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

On the subject of gastronomic experiences, Vietnam is more than just one of the cheapest places in Asia. It’s also one of the tastiest. With street food stalls aplenty, offering lip-smacking delicacies such as pho and banh mi for less than a dollar, your taste buds are in for a treat.

As for transportation, the efficient and economical train system allows you to traverse the length of this stunning country without breaking the bank. Factor in affordable attractions like the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay and the Cu Chi Tunnels, and it’s clear that Vietnam is a wallet-friendly wonderland.

Vietnam: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $25-$30
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $50-$60
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $13-$16
    • Average meal: $5-$7
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $12-$15
    • Bus from Hoi An Bus Station to Town: $0.50 – $1
    • Taxi from Airport: $15 – $20
    • Local Bus Ticket: $15 – $20

2. Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia is one of my favorite budget travel destinations
Bali, Indonesia is one of my favorite budget travel destinations

Curious about more inexpensive travel locations? Indonesia is a backpacker’s dream come true.

With over 17,000 islands, it offers a diverse blend of cultures, landscapes, and experiences – all without burning a hole in your pocket. From the vibrant street markets of Jakarta to the serene beaches of Bali, Indonesia serves up adventure on a silver platter.

Delicious local cuisine? Think meals under $5. Stunning accommodations? Beachfront bungalows often cost less than a city coffee back home. Add in affordable transportation and a plethora of free natural wonders, and it’s clear why Indonesia stands out among the top budget places to travel.

For those seeking rich experiences without the hefty price tag, Indonesia is calling your name.

Indonesia: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $5 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $20 – $40
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $10 – $20
    • Average meal: $3 – $7
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $5 – $10
    • Bus between popular destinations: $5 – $10
    • Taxi from Airport: $10 – $20
    • Local Bus Ticket: $0.50 – $1

3. Cambodia

The temple of Angkor Wat, a popular tourist attraction in Cambodia
The temple of Angkor Wot helps make Cambodia one of the best and cheapest places to travel.

As one of the world’s cheapest countries to visit, Cambodia lets you experience ancient history and fascinating culture at a fraction of what you’d spend in many other countries. Some top destinations to consider include Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang.

Indeed, accommodation is astoundingly affordable, with dormitory beds often available for under $10, and private rooms for slightly more. Cambodian cuisine, which often gets overshadowed by its neighboring countries, is an undiscovered delight. It’s one of the top foodie destinations in Southeast Asia, hands down. Feast on local specialties like fish amok and lok lak for a pittance. Public buses and shared taxis offer cost-effective options to move around the country, as well.

Cambodia’s real treasure, however, is Angkor Wat. This sprawling temple complex, one of the largest religious monuments in the world, offers a mesmerizing journey back in time without demanding a steep entry fee.

Cambodia: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $6 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $7 – $10

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4. Laos

No matter where you go in the country, it's cheap to travel to Laos
No matter where you go in the country, it’s cheap to travel to Laos

Often overshadowed by its neighbors, Laos is Southeast Asia’s hidden gem, offering authentic experiences without the tourist crowds. From the tranquil Mekong River towns to the mysterious Plain of Jars, Laos is brimming with wonders.

Craving good street food? Dive into flavorsome dishes for just a couple of bucks. Looking for a cheap accommodation? Cozy guesthouses often come with views that rival luxury resorts. Plus, with affordable local transportation and countless natural attractions that cost next to nothing, your money stretches further here.

For travelers seeking genuine adventures on a shoestring budget, Laos is undeniably one of the best places to visit for cheap. Dive into its rich culture and history without diving deep into your wallet.

Laos: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $5 – $10
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $20 – $40
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $10 – $15
    • Average meal: $4 – $6
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $5 – $8

Eastern Europe

Looking for beautiful places to travel in Eastern Europe? These budget-friendly countries have got you covered.

5. Romania

Bran Castle (AKA Castle Dracula) in Transylvania, Romania
The ancient castles of Transylvania make a visit to Romania feel like a step back in time.

Though often overlooked by the mainstream traveler, Eastern Europe is home to some of the most scenic, fascinating, and downright cheapest places to travel worldwide. A perfect example of this is Romania.

This beautiful country is an amalgamation of medieval charm, natural beauty, and vibrant city life. You can find cozy and welcoming guesthouses and hostels across the country, and dining is equally economical with hearty Romanian meals that often cost less than $5. Public transportation, primarily via trains and buses, is inexpensive and efficient.

Last but not least, don’t miss the Transylvania region with its beautiful castles and quaint villages, both of which are inexpensive to explore. Romania is a testament to the fact that the richness of an experience isn’t always tied to its cost.

Romania: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $30 – $35
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $60 – $65
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $25 – $30
    • Average meal: $10 – $12
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $20 – $25
    • Intercity Transportation (Travel between cities): $35 – $40

6. Georgia

Looking for cheap travel locations that are lesser known? Georgia, tucked between Europe and Asia, is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Georgia is a great vacation on the cheap
Georgia is a great vacation on the cheap

With its ancient wine regions, towering Caucasus Mountains, and vibrant cities like Tbilisi, it’s a blend of the old and the new. But here’s the kicker: it’s incredibly affordable.

Feast on khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and sip on local wines, all for a few dollars. Accommodations, from historic guesthouses to modern hostels, won’t strain your budget. And the warm-hearted locals? They often share insider tips that lead to free or low-cost hidden gems.

If you’re hunting for rich experiences without the high costs, Georgia stands out as one of the cheapest destinations to travel to. Get ready for an adventure that’s kind to your wallet!

Georgia: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $20 – $25
    • Average meal: $6 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Intercity Transportation (Travel between cities): $20 – $25

7. Bulgaria

An overhead view of the beaches of Bulgaria, one of the best and cheapest places to travel
In addition to being one of the cheapest places to travel, Bulgaria is home to gorgeous beaches.

Steeped in history and blessed with natural beauty, Bulgaria is one of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secrets when it comes to budget travel. It’s also one of the most enchanting. Some must-visit destinations include Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Bansko.

Hostels are available for as little as $10 per night, and a decent meal at a local restaurant typically costs under $5. The country’s extensive bus and train network makes it easy and inexpensive to get around, putting it high among any list of the cheapest places to travel.

Best of all, there’s the Black Sea Coast, offering a budget alternative to pricey Mediterranean getaways. With its wealth of ancient fortresses, spectacular mountain ranges, and lively cities, Bulgaria presents an affordable kaleidoscope of experiences for the budget-conscious traveler.

Bulgaria: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $37
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $74
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $17
    • Average meal: $6 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $14
    • Intercity Transportation (Travel between cities): $35 – $40

South America

Curious about the cheapest places to travel in South America? Just wait until you see these beautiful countries to visit.

8. Bolivia

A flock of flamingos in the salt flats of Bolivia, one of the cheapest places to travel
The salt flats of Bolivia are as beautiful as they are teeming with unique wildlife.

A raw, untamed slice of South America, Bolivia stands as an adventure-packed destination that respects your budget constraints. Accommodations in Bolivia are delightfully affordable, with numerous hostels and budget hotels offering a comfortable stay without a hefty price tag.

Bolivian cuisine, a unique blend of indigenous and Spanish influences, can be enjoyed at local markets and small eateries for a mere few dollars. An economical bus system serves as the backbone of the country’s transportation, making traveling within Bolivia incredibly affordable. 

The diversity of experiences here is vast, ranging from the otherworldly salt flats of Salar de Uyuni to the historical riches of Sucre. They all provide premium thrills, without charging a premium price. You can’t go wrong with a vacation in Bolivia, one of the best hidden gems in South America. Your imagination and your bank account will both thank you.

Bolivia: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $35
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $5 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $12
    • Taxi Ride: $1 – $5
    • Mini Bus: $0.50 – $1.00

9. Peru

For Americans, it's cheap to travel to Peru
For Americans, it’s cheap to travel to Peru

Peru is more than just Machu Picchu. It’s a country bursting with cultural riches, diverse landscapes, and culinary delights.

From the bustling markets of Cusco to the vast dunes of Huacachina, every corner offers a new adventure. The best part? It’s surprisingly wallet-friendly.

Local eateries serve up mouth-watering ceviche and lomo saltado without the gourmet price tag. Hostels and guesthouses provide comfortable stays at a fraction of what you’d expect. And with efficient public transport and affordable guided tours, exploring Peru’s wonders, like the Sacred Valley or the Amazon Rainforest, becomes a breeze.

If you’re seeking unforgettable experiences without the financial pinch, Peru stands as a top pick among the low-cost places to travel. It’s also increasingly becoming a top place to live. Adventure awaits!

Peru: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $25
    • Average meal: $4 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Taxi Ride: $3 – $6
    • Bus Ride: $0.50 – $1.50

10. Ecuador

A view of El Panecillo in from the city of Quito, Ecuador
Ecuador is a cheap travel destination that perfectly balances city life with natural wonder.

Nestled along the equator, (hence its name), Ecuador delivers all the color and energy of many South American vacation spots without the high costs associated with its neighboring countries. The cost of living in Ecuador is relatively low, which translates into economical accommodations and inexpensive, tasty meals.

As one of the cheapest places to travel to, budget accommodations in Ecuador can easily be found under $20 per night. Likewise, local dishes like ceviche and encebollado won’t cost you more than a few dollars. The country’s relatively small size and efficient bus system make traveling across its diverse landscapes easy and cheap, too.

Don’t miss out on exploring the lush Amazon rainforest or the dramatic Avenue of the Volcanoes. The costs of exploring are Ecuador are surprisingly affordable, and the memories are priceless.

Ecuador: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $20 – $25
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $35 – $45
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $17 – $21
    • Average meal: $6 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $8 – $12
    • Taxi Ride: $1.50 – $3
    • Taxi from Bus Terminal to Hotel: $8 – $12
    • Short Taxi Ride: $2.50 – $4

Africa

For cheap places to visit in Africa, you won’t want to miss out on these exotic destinations.

11. Morocco

Colorful buildings in the kingdom of Morocco
The kingdom of Morroco isn’t just majestic; it’s also one of the cheapest places to travel in the world.

Often called the gateway to Africa, the kingdom of Morocco is a treasure trove of experiences that align wonderfully with a budget traveler’s needs.

To wit, lodging can be found at incredibly reasonable rates, particularly if you choose to stay in traditional riads or hostels. A hearty Moroccan meal, rich with flavors ranging from tagines and couscous, rarely breaks the bank. What’s more, transportation is mostly covered by the country’s extensive bus network and shared taxis, offering cheap and efficient ways to get around.

From the bustling souks of Marrakech to the sweeping dunes of the Sahara, attraction costs here are minimal. Morocco affordably provides a passageway to the mystique and beauty of Africa, making it one of the best and cheapest countries to travel to on Earth.

Morocco: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $5 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Taxi Ride in the City: $2 – $4
    • Intercity Bus Ride: $8 – $12
    • Short Taxi Ride: $1 – $2.50

12. Tunisia

A view of the ocean from the shore of Tunisia, one of the cheapest places to travel in the world
Tunisia natural beauty is endless, enchanting, and best of all, inexpensive to enjoy.

Though sometimes overlooked by tourists, Tunisia holds its own as one of Africa’s most cost-effective destinations. You can find a variety of affordable lodging options here, from budget hotels in the cities to guesthouses in smaller towns.

Likewise eating out in Tunisia is delightfully cheap, with local specialties like brik and couscous available at a fraction of what meals would cost elsewhere. The country’s compact size makes traveling across it both affordable and time-efficient, too.

Most incredibly, Tunisia boasts a wealth of affordable sights, from the ancient ruins of Carthage to the picturesque blue-and-white town of Sidi Bou Said. It’s truly one of the best destinations in the Mediterranean for budget travelers. Tunisia offers incredible value for every dollar spent, so don’t miss out.

Tunisia: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $40
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $5 – $7
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $5 – $10
    • Taxi Ride in the City: $2 – $4
    • Intercity Bus Ride: $10 – $15

13. Egypt

Travel on a budget by visiting the beautiful country of Egypt
Travel on a budget by visiting the beautiful country of Egypt

Ready for more cheap travel locations? The allure of Egypt is timeless.

From the majestic pyramids of Giza to the bustling bazaars of Cairo, it’s a land where history comes alive. But here’s the real magic: experiencing Egypt doesn’t require a Pharaoh’s fortune.

Street vendors serve up tantalizing koshari and falafel at prices that’ll leave you smiling. Lodgings? There’s a range from budget-friendly guesthouses to Nile-view rooms that won’t break the bank. And with a myriad of economical guided tours, exploring ancient temples or cruising the Nile becomes accessible to all.

For those with a passion for the past but an eye on their wallet, Egypt stands out as one of the top affordable travel places. Dive into millennia of history without sinking your budget!

Egypt: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $11.50 – $14.50
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $21 – $25
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $7 – $9
    • Average meal: $3 – $4.50
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $4 – $5.50
    • Metro Ride: $0.10 – $0.20
    • Taxi to Train Station: $0.10 – $0.20
    • Taxi Ride: $0.50 – $1.50

14. South Africa

Cape Town is a popular destination for digital nomads in South Africa
Cape Town is a popular destination for digital nomads in South Africa

South Africa is a world in one country, offering everything from wild safaris to vibrant cities. The best part? It’s incredibly wallet-friendly.

Picture this: watching the Big Five in Kruger without the big price tag, or sipping world-class wines in Stellenbosch for a fraction of what you’d expect. Accommodations span from cozy backpacker lodges to budget guesthouses, ensuring comfort without the cost. Local markets deliver flavors and crafts without the tourist markup.

If you’re chasing unforgettable experiences that respect your savings, South Africa is a top contender. Among the cheapest travel locations, it promises adventures that are rich in experience but not in expense.

South Africa: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $60
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $5 – $8
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Local Bus Ride: $1 – $1.50
    • Taxi Ride (within city): $5 – $8
    • Train Ride (between major cities): $20 – $30

Central America

Looking for cheap places to travel to in Central America? Keep reading to discover these unique destinations.

15. Guatemala

A Mayan temple in Guatemala
Guatemala may be one of the world’s cheapest vacation spots, but its historic Mayan ruins are priceless.

Brimming with ancient Mayan ruins, colorful markets, and lush landscapes, Guatemala is one of Central America’s greatest hidden gems as well as one of the cheapest places to travel. Visiting Guatemala isn’t just a vacation; it’s an adventure.

Accommodations range from hammock rentals for a few dollars a night to guesthouses and hostels under $15. Guatemalan cuisine, rich in flavors with staples like tamales and pepian, can be savored in local markets and roadside eateries for less than $3 a meal. The country’s “chicken buses,” (repurposed American school buses) provide a cost-effective and unique means of transportation.

Don’t miss out on visiting Tikal, one of the most important Mayan historical sites. Despite its significance, age, and beauty, it has an accessible entry fee. It goes to show that the best things in life don’t always cost an arm and a leg.

Guatemala: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $16 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $35
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $13 – $16
    • Average meal: $5 – $7
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $8 – $10
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $24 – $28

16. El Salvador

For a vacation for cheap, look no further than El Salvador
For a vacation for cheap, look no further than El Salvador

El Salvador might be Central America’s smallest nation, but it packs a punch when it comes to value. With its volcanic landscapes, surf-ready beaches, and rich history, it’s a traveler’s dream. The kicker? Your money goes far here.

Savor pupusas from street stalls for mere cents, and find accommodations that blend comfort with affordability. Transportation is a breeze with economical local buses, making exploration easy on the pocket. Plus, with fewer tourists than its neighbors, you get authentic experiences without the touristy markup.

If you’re scouting for genuine adventures that respect your budget, El Salvador emerges as a standout choice for cheap vacation trips. Dive in, and let the livable country of El Salvador surprise you!

El Salvador: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $12 – $15
    • Average meal: $4 – $6
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $7 – $10
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $20 – $25

17. Nicaragua

Lush foliage and colorful architectural in Nicaragua, one of the cheapest places to travel
A cheap vacation in Nicaragua is easy thanks to the country’s affordable lodging and dining options.

Like a few other sites on this list, Nicaragua is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors. That’s a shame, though, because it offers an equally enchanting experience for a fraction of the cost.

When visiting this cheap travel destination, you can find hospitable hostels and guesthouses for as low as $10 per night. Dining in Nicaragua is an affordable pleasure, with local delicacies like gallo pinto and nacatamales available for a dollar or two. Local buses and shared taxis make getting around Nicaragua a breeze for your budget.

The country’s attractions include the stunning Ometepe Island and the colonial city of Granada, both boasting low entry fees. All told, Nicaragua’s blend of natural beauty and cultural richness is a shining example of how to have an unforgettable travel experience on a budget.

Nicaragua: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $40
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $10 – $15
    • Average meal: $3 – $5
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $5 – $8
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $10 – $15

The Middle East

Here are the cheapest places to visit in the Middle East in 2024:

18. Turkey

Cappadocia is an incredibly iconic part of Turkey
Cappadocia is an incredibly iconic part of Turkey

Turkey is where East meets West, and history intertwines with modernity. From the ancient ruins of Ephesus to the vibrant streets of Istanbul, every corner tells a story. And the best part? Experiencing Turkey’s magic won’t strain your finances.

Relish in rich kebabs and baklava from local eateries without the gourmet price. Accommodations? Options abound, from quaint pensions to budget-friendly hostels. Navigating the country is a cinch with affordable public transport, and bustling bazaars offer treasures at bargain prices.

For travelers seeking a blend of culture, adventure, and affordability, Turkey stands tall among places to travel that are not expensive. Set your sights on Turkey, and let its wonders unfold without unraveling your budget.

Turkey: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $40 – $60
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $20 – $25
    • Average meal: $6 – $9
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $20 – $30

19. Iran

The main building of Erma Garden in Shiraz, Iran
Though often overlooked, Iran is one of the best and cheapest travel destinations in the world.

Often misunderstood by outsiders, the country of Iran is a treasure chest of historical wonders and rich culture. Best of all, as one of the cheapest places to travel, much of it can be experienced even on a shoestring budget.

Accommodations in Iran are remarkably cheap, comprising both traditional guesthouses and high-quality, low-cost hotels. Similarly, Iranian dishes like chelo kebab and sabzi polo are economical as they are delectable. Public transportation in Iran includes buses and a robust metro system servicing larger cities, so you’ll never have trouble getting around.

Best of all, Iran is home to countless affordable sights dating all hundreds of years back to the Persian Empire. Marvel at the palatial complexes of Shiraz or wander the grand bazaars of Tehran. No matter what you’re looking for, Iran delivers exceptional value for your money.

Iran: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $10 – $15
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $30 – $50
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $15 – $20
    • Average meal: $4 – $7
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.): $5 – $10
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $10 – $20

20. Jordan

A pair of camels seated outside Petra, Jordan, one of the cheapest places to travel in the Middle East
The ancient City of Petra in Jordan is an explorer’s paradise, thanks in part to its affordability.

Though best known as the home of the famed ancient city of Petra, the nation of Jordan offers more than just UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to being one of the cheapest places to travel in the world, as well as one of the most engaging.

Budget accommodations in Jordan are aplenty, and the country’s delicious, hearty cuisine like mansaf and falafel is affordable for travelers. Efficient public buses serve major routes, and shared taxis are another economical option for shorter distances. In other words, it doesn’t cost much to see (and savor) the country’s cultural treasures.

Besides Petra, don’t miss the stunning landscapes of Wadi Rum or the historic ruins of Jerash. All of these sites are accessible without a hefty price tag, despite being some of the most astounding tourist attractions in the entire Middle East. What more could you ask for in a Jordan itinerary?

Jordan: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $15 – $20
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $50 – $70
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $20 – $25
    • Average meal: $6 – $10
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, etc.): $10 – $15
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): $15 – $25

United States – Southern States

The US is filled with cheap places to visit. Here are some of the top travel destinations you should know about in the South!

21. Nashville, Tennessee

A view of the skyline of Nashville, Tennessee from the riverbank
Nashville’s unique artistic heritage makes it one of the best travel destinations for music fans.

Famously known as the ‘Music City,’ Nashville is a harmonious blend of southern charm and urban attractions, all at a reasonable price. From country to blues to classic rock ‘n’ roll, this Tennessee city is a must-see for music fans.

Accommodations in Nashville can be found at a wide range of prices, but it’s the mid-range and budget options that are particularly good value. Tasting the city’s world-famous BBQ and Nashville hot chicken won’t strain your wallet. And the music? That’s often free. With countless musicians playing in honky-tonks along Broadway and in other venues around the city, you can enjoy a night of entertainment without spending a dime.

You can also experience country music royalty with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry, or brush up on your US history at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Either way, you can’t go wrong, as Nashville is one of the cheapest places to travel in the South.

Nashville: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $30 – $40
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $120 – $180
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $40 – $60
    • Average meal: $15 – $25
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, rideshares, etc.): $20 – $30
    • Intercity transportation (average cost between cities): Not applicable for a city-specific location.

22. New Orleans, Louisiana

An operating vintage streetcar in New Orleans, one of the US' cheapest places to travel
Pair vintage charm with low costs, New Orleans excels as one of the cheapest places to travel today.

Known as the ‘Big Easy’ is, New Orleans is one of the cheapest places to travel in the US, and also one of the most popular. It offers visitors a tantalizing blend of cultures and a rich history, and it’s surprisingly affordable.

Budget-friendly accommodations are plentiful, especially outside of Mardi Gras season. The city’s famous Creole and Cajun cuisines, from gumbo to jambalaya, can likewise be enjoyed at very reasonable prices. On top of typical public transportation options like buses and taxis, New Orleans also maintains a fleet of vintage streetcars. These are both a cheap and convenient means of travel, and a unique attraction in their own right.

Of course, I couldn’t discuss affordable things to do in New Orleans without mentioning the free jazz music performances on Frenchmen Street and in the Marigny neighborhood. You can also wander the rows of the city’s ornate above-ground cemeteries, where you’ll find the tomb of Marie Laveau, New Orleans’ legendary ‘Voodoo Queen.’

New Orleans: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $30 – $45
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $130 – $200
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $40 – $65
    • Average meal: $15 – $30
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, streetcars, etc.): $15 – $25

23. Fort Myers

Fort Myers is one of the best places to travel affordably in the USA
Fort Myers is one of the best places to travel affordably in the USA

Looking for a cheap vacation spot closer to home? Fort Myers, with its sun-kissed beaches and laid-back vibe, is Florida’s best-kept secret. But here’s the real scoop: it’s also incredibly budget-friendly.

While other Florida spots might dent your wallet, Fort Myers offers the coastal charm without the premium price. Dine on fresh seafood at local haunts without the touristy markup. Accommodations? Think value-packed motels and beachside rentals that won’t break the bank. Plus, with free attractions like the scenic Lakes Park and affordable water activities, your dollar stretches further.

If you’re hunting for a sun-soaked getaway that’s kind to your finances, Fort Myers stands out. Among the cheapest places to visit in the US, it’s a slice of paradise that’s both accessible and affordable.

Fort Myers: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: Not commonly available
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $100 – $150
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $35 – $50
    • Average meal: $10 – $20
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, rideshares, etc.): $15 – $25
    • Intercity transportation: Not applicable for a city-specific location.

United States – Western States

The West Coast of the US is another excellent place to visit for budget conscious travelers. Here are some destinations to consider:

24. Portland, Oregon

The cityscape of Portland, Oregon, with the sun setting over the mountainous horizon
If you’re looking for the cheapest places to travel on the West Coast, you can’t go wrong with Portland, Oregon.

Sometimes overshadowed by the sunny beaches of California, the city of Portland, Oregon is quietly one of the best getaways on the West Coast as well as one of the cheapest travel destinations in the world.

Known for its laid-back vibe and craft beer scene, Portland is one of most unique and affordable major cities in the US. There’s a range of budget-friendly lodging options, and eating cheaply is easy with a wide variety of food trucks offering meals for under $10.

The city is also home to beautiful parks, including the expansive Forest Park, which are free to enjoy. Better yet, you can browse local produce, homemade goodies, and handcrafted artworks at the Portland Saturday Market. Even a trip to Oaks Amusement Park won’t cost you much, making this a perfect budget travel destination for families.

Portland, Oregon: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $35 – $50
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $120 – $180
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $40 – $60
    • Average meal: $12 – $25
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, light rail, etc.): $10 – $20

25. Salt Lake City, Utah

Sunny skies over Salt Lake City, one of the cheapest places to travel in Utah
Salt Lake City is a hidden gem of ornate architecture and stunning natural landscapes.

Utah is a state renowned for its stunning natural beauty, as well its warm and welcoming locals. Acting as both one of the cheapest places to travel and a gateway to everything Utah has to offer is Salt Lake City.

As with the other destinations on this list, accommodations in Salt Lake City are reasonably priced. It’s also not hard to find a range of dining options that won’t break the bank. The best part, though, is how many of the city’s attractions aren’t just cheap, but actually free.

Included among the free tourist spots worth visiting here are the grandiose 10-acre Temple Square (home to the equally gorgeous Mormon Temple) and Olympic Cauldron Park (site of the 2002 Olympics). Fun and wonder come in all shapes and sizes in Utah, but they’re always affordable.

Salt Lake City: Average Daily Costs

  • Accommodation:
    • Hostel for one person: $30 – $45
    • Typical double-occupancy hotel room: $100 – $160
  • Meals:
    • Meals for one day: $35 – $55
    • Average meal: $10 – $20
  • Transportation:
    • Local transportation (Taxis, local buses, TRAX light rail, etc.): $10 – $20

Top tips for budget travel: How to save money when traveling the world

The locations outlined above are some of the cheapest places to travel in the world. That said, any trip can be affordable if you follow a few simple steps. By adopting the strategies listed below, you can stretch your travel budget further and enhance your travel experience.

Plan ahead

Successful budget travel begins with meticulous planning. Booking flights and accommodations in advance can yield significant savings, especially during off-peak travel periods. Early birds get the best deals; airlines often offer discounted fares for well-in-advance bookings. Research the travel seasons of your chosen destination and aim for the shoulder seasons, when prices drop and crowds thin out.

Close-up of a person's hands as they use a calculator to plan their travel budget
Planning ahead is the best way to save money when visiting the cheapest places to travel.

Transportation

Mastering the art of local transportation can drastically cut your travel expenses. Relying on taxis or private transfers can quickly inflate your budget. Instead, learn how to navigate the local public transportation system, whether it’s the bus, tram, metro, or rickshaw. Many cities offer day or week passes, which can be a cost-effective way to travel if you plan to move around a lot. Don’t underestimate the value of walking or cycling, either. Many cities are best explored on foot or by bike, and these modes of transport are usually free!

Food and drinks

Exploring the local culinary scene is one of the delights of traveling, and it needn’t be an expensive endeavor. Street food stalls and local markets often offer the most authentic and affordable dining experiences. Opt for local eateries over tourist-oriented restaurants; not only will the prices be lower, but you’ll also get a better sense of the local cuisine. Additionally, consider self-catering if you have access to cooking facilities. Buying from local grocery stores and preparing your meals can save you a significant amount.

Several travelers enjoying an appetizer at a small local restaurant
Stretch your dollar (and your waistband) by eating at small local restaurants instead of pricey chains.

Sightseeing

Sightseeing doesn’t have to break the bank. Many cities offer free or low-cost attractions, from parks and museums to historical sites and cultural events. Research free-entry days or discount tickets for popular attractions. Alternatively, consider exploring less-touristy areas of the city. You might find that they offer equally rewarding experiences without the high price tag. Guided tours can offer good value for money by bundling multiple sights into a single fee.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the cheapest places to travel in 2024

Before I leave you to enjoy your vacation in one of the many cheap travel destinations listed above, I thought I’d take a moment to answer a few questions. Below you’ll some of the most frequently asked questions I get about the cheapest places to travel. I hope my answers help you have an unforgettable and inexpensive adventure!

How can I find cheap flights to these destinations?

When looking to save money on airfare, It’s beneficial to be flexible with your travel dates and book in advance to get the best deals. Without a doubt, though, the best tool a traveler can have in their toolkit is Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going)

Scott’s Cheap Flights is a service that sends you FREE email alerts about mistake fares and other travel discounts. I never go anywhere without checking Scott’s Cheap Flights first. Frequent travelers can get access to even more discounts by signing up for their premium version. It costs just $49 a year, and you use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

An affordable passenger jet in mid-flight
There are plenty of budget airlines offering flights to the world’s cheapest travel destinations.

Is it safe to travel to these budget-friendly destinations?

Absolutely. All the destinations mentioned in this guide are generally safe for travelers. However, as with any travel, it’s essential to stay informed about the local conditions, respect local laws and customs, and exercise common sense to ensure your safety. 

What are the visa requirements for these countries?

Visa requirements vary widely depending on your nationality and the specific country you plan to visit. It’s crucial to check the latest visa information from official government websites or consult with your local embassy or consulate.

What are the best times to visit these destinations?

The best time to visit any destination largely depends on your preferences and the specific activities you want to do. Generally, traveling during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) can offer a balance of good weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices.

How can I ensure that my travel is sustainable and respectful to local cultures?

Choosing locally owned accommodations and eating at local restaurants can help support the local economy. Respect local customs and traditions, learn a few words in the local language, and always ask for consent before taking photographs. Furthermore, be mindful of your environmental impact by reducing waste, recycling when possible, and choosing eco-friendly transportation options.

A pair of tourists taking a selfie in front a distinctive local monument
One of the perks of traveling the world is immersing yourself in the local culture.

Can I travel to these places alone, or is it better to go as a group?

Both solo and group travel have their advantages and can be done on a budget. Solo travel offers more flexibility, while group travel can often reduce costs through shared expenses.

What is the cheapest way to travel now?

The cheapest way to travel can vary depending on various factors. This includes your destination, distance, and personal preferences. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider utilizing bus or train services, as they often offer more affordable fares compared to flights.

Additionally, carpooling or ridesharing services can be cost-effective for shorter distances. Planning your trip well in advance, being flexible with travel dates, and keeping an eye out for promotions and discounts can also help you find the best deals.

Finally, consider exploring local destinations or opting for off-peak travel periods, as these can often offer more affordable options. Remember to prioritize your safety and comfort while keeping your travel budget in mind.

What precautions should I take regarding health and safety in these destinations?

It’s important to research potential health risks, such as necessary vaccinations, before traveling. Consider investing in travel insurance to cover any potential medical expenses. As always, respecting local laws and customs, being aware of your surroundings, and securing your belongings will contribute to a safe travel experience.

Budget travel doesn’t mean compromising your experience; on the contrary, it opens up opportunities to engage more closely with the local culture and environment. I hope you found this guide helpful. Until next time, happy travels!

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