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What Are the Best Budget Travel Destinations?

Wondering how you can afford to travel the world – or even take a great vacation – without spending thousands of dollars? Traveling can be incredibly expensive, and most people can’t vacation without going into debt. A 2017 study by LearnVest found that 74 percent of travelers couldn’t afford the cost of their last vacation.

But heading to exciting and fun-filled travel destinations doesn’t have to throw you into debt. If you know the right places to look and the latest on cities around the world, you can plan a great vacation for less. If you’re looking to explore exotic destinations without blowing your entire budget, these are the travel spots you need to check out.

Montreal, Canada

Canada isn’t often thought of as the perfect vacation spot, but right now it’s one of the most affordable ways to explore beautiful European-inspired architecture, learn about the blended Canadian and French cultures, and try some incredible food.

Just a short flight away for American travelers, the city of Montreal is a great budget-friendly spot to visit. Featuring a strong French influence, Montreal is home to history, spectacular views, and awe-inspiring public art – all of which you can see for free. Even better, the dollar is strong in Canada, meaning your money will go far while you’re exploring everything from the streets of Old Montreal to the murals throughout the city.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

If you want to get as much out of your vacation as possible without spending significantly, plan a trip to Mexico. Flights from the U.S. are affordable, and sometimes downright cheap, throughout the year no matter the season. And once you’re in Mexico, your money will go far; the Mexican Peso is at an all-time low, giving you the chance to check out beaches, beautiful hotels, and exciting nightlife for mere dollars.

One of the best cities to visit in San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato. A smaller, quieter city than other famed Mexico tourist spots, San Miguel de Allende has a thriving art scene, luxurious hotels at low prices, and so many restaurants and nightclubs to visit throughout your stay.

Barcelona, Spain

Most people assume Europe’s most popular cities are far too expensive for budget vacations. But sometimes, the hottest travel destinations are also perfectly affordable – like Barcelona, Spain. One of the top travel spots for decades, Barcelona is a city filled with stunning museums, incredible architecture, and gorgeous beaches.

Right now, Barcelona is also perfect for budget travelers. It’s one of the most affordable cities to fly to and stay in throughout Europe, and there’s plenty to explore for free or very low prices. Check out the coastline at one of Barcelona’s many beaches without spending a cent, or wander the city’s streets to see sights like La Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, or the Picasso Museum.

Zagreb, Croatia

One of Europe’s hidden gems is the city of Zagreb. Filled with cheap eats, affordable hotels, and low-priced activities both in and around its borders, Zagreb is one of the most highly recommended budget vacation spots by travel experts like Samantha Brown and Laura Austin.

Located in Croatia, Zagreb combines the relaxing vibes of a beachside city with the natural beauty of its surrounding mountains. Travelers can check out centuries of Austro-Hungarian history in Zagreb’s buildings, visit wineries hidden in the mountains, and try new, exciting cuisine at the many cheap restaurants along the coast.


Tropical scenery, clear blue oceans, beachside resorts, and island hopping sound like an incredibly expensive vacation. However, if you travel to Fiji, you can experience the beauty of the South Pacific without breaking the bank. Despite common beliefs that Fiji is luxurious and pricey, it’s actually the perfect low-cost spot for those who love to travel for less.

Fiji is considered a “budget paradise” by Forbes, its shores lined with affordable homes that travelers can rent, cheap (or free!) hostels, and even camping options. Trekking the beautiful trails of Fiji, exploring its stunning beaches, or checking out the water by surfing or snorkeling can all be done at a low price – and the food you’ll enjoy on your vacation is inexpensive, too.

Moab, Utah (USA)

If you love the outdoors and vacationing without frills, head to Moab, Utah. This little-known locale is surprisingly beautiful and it’s just minutes from two incredible National Parks. Both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are within your sights, and you can check out one-of-a-kind views, vistas, canyons, and rock formations without spending much.

Plan a trip to Moab and you can choose from a number of cheap accomodations. Stay in a local campground, or pay a little more to “glamp” in a more comfortable setting. Travelers can also enjoy local food and see more of Utah’s sights, all without having to sacrifice or save.

Plan Your Next Affordable Vacation Today

Don’t let your budget hold you back. There are countless vacations you can take without spending thousands of dollars – and the destinations on this list are only the beginning. No matter what you’re looking for, from beachside fun to vibrant city life, you can enjoy the perfect vacation for far less than you think.

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