10 Super Cheap Countries To Travel To Right Now

Emily Zemler

Traveling can cost a pretty penny, especially if you want to venture outside the U.S. and explore the far reaches of the world. But not every destination has to break the bank. Sure, the flight might set you back, but once you arrive in certain places, it’s budget-friendly all the way.

We’ve rounded up 10 inexpensive countries to travel to this year, from Vietnam to Bolivia to Greece. And while we picked these places because they're relatively affordable, no matter where you go, the memories will be priceless.

Vietnam

Asian destinations like Japan and Singapore can be pricy, but Vietnam is notably budget-friendly. The food, which is just as good from a street cart as it is from a sit-down restaurant, is cheap (usually less than 10 bucks a pop) and hotels are reasonable, with luxury properties averaging around $80 per night. There’s a lot to see, too, from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to explore the country. Don’t be afraid to sample the street food, which includes signature dishes like beef pho and bun cha, and make sure to spring for a countryside bicycle tour from Hoi An, which run $17 and up.

Photo: Getty Images.

Romania

The Eastern European country of Romania stills shows traces of its communist past in the architecture, but the nation is full of vibrant, modern cities, and small, interesting countryside towns. It’s also totally affordable, which means you could book a winter escape to a ski resort in the CarpathianMountains for far less than the Alps or Rocky Mountains. The average lift ticket cost? About 30 bucks a day. In Bucharest, most hotels are less than $100 per night, including three or four start hotels, and restaurant meals run between $5 and $15. Romania is an incredibly interesting country, especially when you venture outside of the main city. Be sure to visit Brasov, which is known for its medieval walls, and stop by Bran Castle, the one-time home of the real Count Dracula.

Photo: Getty Images.

Bolivia

The South American nation of Bolivia is a good alternative to places like Argentina and Brazil. There, a nice mid-range hotel will cost you a mere $50-60 per night, and a day’s worth of meals less than half that. Start your journey in the hillside city of La Paz and then venture to Lake Titicaca, which is nestled along the border of Bolivia and Peru. You can visit Incan ruins and hike around the water; it is one of South America’s largest lakes. Be sure to try the street food, too — it's both delicious and budget-friendly.

Photo: Getty Images.

Kyrgyzstan

Let’s be honest: You’ve probably never considered taking a vacation to Kyrgyzstan. But you should. The Central Asian country is incredibly interesting, both in history and culture, and is known for its natural beauty (think: sprawling mountain ranges and green pastures). You can spend time in the capital city of Bishkek or explore the countryside, which is home to nomadic shepherds. Cholpon Ata, a resort town, is the place to be in the summer. The lakeside Balykchy is also worth a visit. You can find really nice hotels in Bishkek for less than $70 per night (although there are more luxurious – and pricy – options), which means you’ll have more funds to spend on souvenirs.

Photo: Getty Images.

Mexico

The current exchange rate between the U.S. and Mexico ($1 = 18.87 Mexican pesos) works in our favor, meaning your money can go a long way south of the border. Some of the more popular destinations, like Tulum or the Riviera Maya, can be costly due to the chic hotels, but you can seek out more affordable accommodations in cities like Mazatlan, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. Once there you don’t need much cash – just enough to lounge on the beach with a few margaritas and some tacos.

Photo: Getty Images.

Portugal

The dollar is strong against the Euro right now, which makes Portugal one of several European destinations worth visiting this year. It has several oceanside cities, with beautiful beaches and seafood for days. Portugal is also the home of port wine, which you can learn all about in Porto. Nice hotels can be had for around $100 a night – a great deal in Europe, especially along the coast. Check out Lisbon and Porto, but don’t forget to also book time on the Mediterranean beaches of Algarve or on Madeira Island.

Photo: Getty Images.

Panama

Panama is an easy flight from the East Coast (NYC to Panama City flights average $300 in the winter months), so you should consider it an option if you don’t have time to travel too far. You’ll definitely want to bunk up in Panama City for a few nights before you head to a beach town like Pedasi or the remote island of San Blas. Resorts have rooms for around $130, and you’ll love the laid back atmosphere of the country. Save some funds to book a boat trip (especially if San Blas is part of your itinerary), which is the best way to enjoy the turquoise waters of the Caribbean coast or the blue seas of the Pacific.

Photo: Getty Images.

India

There are pricy hotels in India, but for the most part the massive country is incredibly affordable. There are some amazing sites to visit, including the Taj Mahal (yes, you should actually go), and ideally you’ll want several weeks to truly experience all that India has to offer. In the bustling city of Mumbai there are high-end hotels for only $115 a night, an especially good deal when you realize that your meals will cost only a few bucks. Be sure to spend time in Jaipur, known as the “Pink City,” where you can explore historic sites and open-air markets.

Photo: Getty Images.

South Africa

South Africa is a good choice for travelers who want to indulge in luxury hotels, but don’t want to go bankrupt doing so. During the low season (between May and September), rates for hotels and safari lodges are particularly inexpensive. And the safari is obviously the main reason you’re here, right? There are ways to experience the nature of Africa without blowing your bank account, although it can take some creativity. You can book a tent at a game reserve for around $150 per night in various areas of the country, a rate that usually includes meals and guided safari tours. You can also choose to book B&Bs outside the national parks and those often run less than $100 a night. Either way, you’ll be sure to get close to a giraffe, which is worth every single cent.

Photo: Getty Images.

Greece

The Greek economy remains weak, which means the country is especially welcoming to tourists’ cash. Hotels, food, and attractions are remarkably affordable, and you can book a room in Athens for around $100. There are tons of historical sites to take in, including the famed Parthenon, and the capital city is home to a lot of delicious (and affordable) Greek food. When you’re ready to relax, head to one of the islands like Crete or Naxos. There you can soak up the sun, enjoy the beaches, and remember that a break from real life is worth spending a few bucks.

Photo: Getty Images.

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