That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your buck. From Greece to Guatemala, here are 20 of the cheapest places to travel. And if Greece is top of your list, knowing how to bag cheap ferry tickets for the Greek islands will bring your costs down even further. You're welcome!
This article is inspired by our Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget — your essential guide to making the most of this great region without breaking the bank. You might also want to discover how to explore the world's most expensive city without breaking the bank — find out how to visit Tel Aviv on a budget.
Despite the well-trodden routes through the country, it’s not hard to get away from the crowds. Check out Nakhon Si Thammarat for some of the very best food the country has to offer or hire a motorbike to make the 600km trip along the Mae Hong Son Loop through the forested northern mountains. See why Thailand made our list of the best places to travel alone.
Then there’s the cuisine – pull up a stool at a pho stall and for just a few dollars you’ll eat some of the best food on offer, shoulder to shoulder with the locals. Check out our 9 tips for backpacking Vietnam and the best time to visit Vietnam, plus discover how to get off the tourist trail before you go.
Plus, there are plenty of lovely beaches to choose from – head to Cabo Polonio for quieter sands and abundant wildlife – and the gorgeous old capital of Montevideo. Want to learn more? You'll find all the information you need to plan a budget trip in our Rough Guide to South America on a Budget.
Hit the salsa clubs of Havana, get caught up in the heady July carnival of Santiago, or dip your toes in the warm Caribbean at one of the picture-perfect beaches in Cuba – whatever you do, you’ll find it hard not to leave utterly intoxicated.
The city itself is a beauty, crammed full of history and perfect for leisurely explorations by foot - check here to see how to avoid the crowds in Prague, and a great train travel itinerary starting in Prague. Want to explore more of Europe on the cheap? Check out The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget.
If anything, the financial situation is all the more reason to travel here and to support the local people. Prices are still cheaper than they once were, so you might be able to squeeze an extra Greek island or one of the beautiful beaches into your itinerary.
Pay by credit card for whatever you can in advance, but take enough cash with you for your travels, and you’re pretty much guaranteed an amazing trip. Read our indispensable travel tips for Greece by Nick Edwards, co-author of The Rough Guide to Greece, before you go - and of course, the best Greek food you need to try,
Once your linguistic skills are up to scratch, jump onto one of the country’s famous camionetas or “chicken buses” to explore. Soak up the sights of graceful Antigua in the south of the country, explore Guatemala City or be wowed by the monumental Maya temples of Tikal.
For planning your trip, check out the best time to travel to Guatemala. It's also easy to extend your trip to see more of Central America, too.
One of the best and cheapest places to travel is Varna on the coast. Or the ancient Plovdiv — which made our Rough Guide list of the Best Places to Travel this year. Bulgaria also boasts a number of dramatic mountain ranges that are perfect for exploration on foot or by bike.
If you’re after a beach break, eschew Goa for the gorgeous beaches of the temple town of Gokarna. For amazing food, it’s hard to beat the puris and kebabs of Mumbai’s street stalls or head to the Golden City of Jaisalmer from where you can explore the seemingly endless sands of the Thar Desert. Need more inspiration? Check out our favourite places off the tourist trail.
Top of the list is undoubtedly the astounding Salar de Uyuni salt flats, a two or three-day tour of which will usually set you back less than £100/$150. Plan your trip with The Rough Guide to South America on a Budget, and be sure to try at least some of these best things to do in Bolivia.
Whether you want to string your hammock up along dazzling white sands, sample some of the country’s best street food in Oaxaca or cool off in a crystal-clear cenote (sunken swimming hole), the country will leave you eager to come back for more. To kick-start your wanderlust, these are 12 of our favourite places to visit in Mexico.
The city is best experienced slowly, and on foot; it’s hard to beat people-watching over a cup of coffee and a plate of sugar-dusted beignets at the Café du Monde. Find out where to sample the city's top cocktails with our best bar guide.
Head just north of elegant Luang Prabang to riverside Nong Khiaw, where for a small change you can bag a waterside bungalow and watch the boats travel up and down the karst-surrounded river over a cold bottle of Beer Lao. Get the full lowdown on this enchanting and unspoiled corner of Southeast Asia with The Rough Guide to Laos.
For birdlife, Baobolong Wetland Reserve is arguably the best place for ornithology on the continent and is at its most atmospheric at sunset. Read on for 8 off-the-beaten-track experiences in the Gambia.
It’s still possible to find an accommodation bargain at the lower end of the scale, and much of the city’s appeal lies in exploring its busy streets on foot and experiencing for yourself the juxtaposition between old and new China. You'll find recommendations for where to find the city's best street eats and budget sleeps in The Rough Guide to Shanghai.
Arguably the best ways to really soak up the city are from a Bosphorus ferry, wandering the streets of the Grand Bazaar or on a streetside terrace with a freshly-cooked kebab - read up our Turkish food guide before you go.
But – and it’s a big but – there are few places in the world that can rival the capital city for its plethora of free sights, where you can see the Rosetta Stone and the Lindow Man, works by Monet and Dalí, not to mention dinosaur and blue whale skeletons, for absolutely nothing. Get off on the right foot by choosing the right area to stay.
Note, that due to safety concerns some governments currently advise against travel to certain parts of the country; check the latest advice before you go.
Inspired to take a trip to Europe? Don't miss our Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget for more tips on making the most of this great region without breaking the bank.
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