35 Budget-Friendly Dream Vacation Ideas for 2024

This year, your vacation should not ruin you. Discover our list of the best dream trips in economy mode for a debt-free round trip!

Travel without breaking the bank

Worried that the vacation is beyond your budget? Stop counting your pennies and start planning! You can visit Europe, Asia, Central America, the United States, and even Africa this year without having to contemplate a personal financial crisis. Here are the best affordable destinations to fulfill your globetrotting dreams. Discover the world, and come home with money in your pocket: the ultimate memory of your vacation!

Europe

Europe remains one of the most expensive places to visit in the world. On the other hand, there are still some heavenly places to discover without breaking the bank. Also, there are, everywhere in Europe, good plans for the smallest travel budgets. Here are the best cities and the most affordable countries on the old continent.

Barcelona, ​​Spain

Spain has long been one of the most economical destinations on the globe. After some financial problems, the country has since rebounded and travelers are no longer taking advantage of affordable deals across the country.

Barcelona, ​​on the other hand, remains one of the most accessible cities in Europe. This is a more than interesting option for people thirsty for travel, but no debt! Locally, you will find youth hostels for as little as 10 euros a night. There are also hotels for 60 euros per night. As the city is served by the metro and buses, you can also get around at a low cost.

Several restaurants and activities are also cheap in Barcelona. You will be able to find everything you need for much less than in the rest of the country. There are also several free activities all year round.

Greece

Greece, much like Spain, is an economical destination, if you know how to choose the right places to visit. Indeed, if we limit ourselves to the most tourist places, like Athens or the island of Mykonos, we will pay for our holidays very dearly. On the other hand, by choosing to visit places like Paros or Skiathos, you will save big!

You can enjoy a good Mythos, a very popular local beer, for 2 euros. You can also eat, to the sound of the Aegean Sea, for a very reasonable price (about 10 euros). You can also sleep comfortably for 60 euros per night.

Portugal

Portugal also remains a good choice of economic destination in Europe. In Lisbon, the capital, good deals are becoming rarer. But they are always possible, with a little research. Otherwise, Porto, the second largest city in the country, is a good choice of inexpensive destination for a great vacation.

In addition to being able to taste port, a fortified wine drink that proudly bears the name of the city where it was born, you can eat, drink, sleep, and have fun at affordable prices. You can count around 40 euros per night for a 3-star hotel. You can also eat very well for around 15 euros. You can also travel by public transport for not very expensive. In all, count between 50 and 100 euros per day to live a very comfortable and pleasant stay.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is an unknown country in Europe. However, the seaside resorts bordering the Black Sea deserve to be known. On the other hand, the fact that the country is still very little visited compared to its neighbors makes it one of the best destinations for an economical trip.

In Sofia, one of the big cities of the country, it is possible to get by on as little as 25 euros a day. Like everywhere else, the closer you get to the big tourist resorts on the beaches, the more you will pay the price. On the other hand, the country is full of beautiful places to discover where you will manage to live a memorable trip while respecting your budget.

Hungary

The Danube, Budapest, exoticism on European soil… You will find all of this in Hungary. The cost of living has increased somewhat in recent years, but the country remains one of the least expensive to visit in Europe.

In Budapest, you can eat for just 3 euros and drink a good local beer for 1.25 euros. You can also stay in a 3-star hotel for around 35 euros per night. It is therefore certainly a very economical destination in which to plan your next dream vacation.

Croatia

Croatia, with its breathtaking landscapes, is reminiscent of paradise and overpriced islands. However, unlike these popular destinations, Croatia is still very affordable for budget travelers. As everywhere, coastal areas are more expensive than less popular places. Despite this, you will certainly be able to enjoy all the attractions while respecting your budget.

You can count around 70 euros for accommodation (two people), 15 euros for food and a few extra euros to move around the cities.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, in the Czech Republic, remains one of the best cities to visit if you’re on a tight travel budget. In addition to discovering many historical remains, Prague offers a unique encounter between the culture of Eastern Europe and that of Western Europe. History buffs will be served, as well as architecture, shopping, and fashion enthusiasts.

For accommodation, you can expect to pay between 25 and 50 euros per night, for two people. It will cost you around 10 euros per meal per person to eat and public transport is very affordable and efficient. They will allow you to move from one activity to another without taking too much money out of your pocket. In Prague, beer is also very cheap and delicious.

Antalya, Turkey

According to Budget Travel magazine, the Turkish Riviera is a beautiful European destination that comes without an excessive price tag. Hotel rates have dropped nearly 25% in the past year and as a result, Turkey has become a must-visit destination for savvy travelers. The city of Antalya, located along the southwest coast, offers nothing but the best: Mediterranean beaches, ancient ruins, shopping, and several 5-star all-inclusive waterfront resorts at rates of 60 euros a night which appeal to budgets.

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Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, has a lot to offer the most adventurous travelers. The country will also appeal to everyone, from history buffs to mountain adventurers and fans of white sand. The gastronomy of the country will also make you discover original and delicious flavors.

Accommodation is the most expensive thing in Turkey. You can indeed expect to pay around 75 euros per night for two people. On the other hand, you will save on food, transport, and activities.

North Ireland

Welcome to Derry or Londonderry, the UK’s city of culture. Music, literature, and theater take center stage in this affordable destination. Cleansed of its long-troubled past, Northern Ireland is now a tranquil and fascinating destination.

Budget Travel magazine reports that Londonderry has invested over $25 million in the local tourism industry and travelers are the first to benefit. Since autumn 2012, more flights than ever have been taking off between London and Belfast, and they are also cheaper. By adding more flights, Easy Jet and Aer Lingus raised the stakes in competition with British Airways, driving prices down for travelers seeking savings. You will therefore be able to benefit from competitive prices to travel to this wonderful country.

North America, Central America, and South America

The American continent, whether it is North America, Central America, or South America, has many travel destinations for small budgets.

Although the exchange rate with the US dollar was quite high at the time of this writing (approximately $1.30 Canadian for $1 US), you will certainly save on airfare or gas costs, for destinations in the United States, if you go there by car.

Also, check the exchange rate for each country’s currencies. Although they all accept US money, sometimes this is a way to pay less. Make sure you have US dollars in your pocket, but also local money.

The Maritimes (Canada)

Very close to our home, in the far east of the country, you will find a small corner of our land that is worth the detour and this, at a very good price. By car, allow a few hours to get there, and on-site, enjoy breathtaking landscapes, sea air, and pretty sandy beaches as if you were at the other end of the Earth. The gastronomy is also worth the detour with seafood and tasty fish.

As for the cost of living, expect to pay about the same as at home. There is no exchange rate to consider here since everything is in Canadian dollars. For an economical trip, nothing better than a good road trip!

New York, United States

New York is the land of all possibilities. Traveling there at a low price is therefore achievable! Of course, some concessions will have to be made. But, if you are ready to put in the time necessary for good preparation, you will be able to get by without exceeding your budget, however small it may be.

For example, opt for accommodation in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan, choose restaurants on a smaller scale, and choose a museum or two to visit before taking advantage of the free attractions of the city. In addition, you can get there by car, which will allow you to save a lot on transport costs. The best thing is to set yourself a budget before leaving and, by making the right choices, you will manage not to exceed it.

Dallas, Texas, USA

“It’s a great time to travel to the United States,” said Dianne Jackson, senior director of sales and marketing for itravel2000.com. “Airlines have started to be more flexible with their fare options and many US cities are promoting Canada with “special offers for Canadians”. »

Ms. Jackson cites Dallas as one of the American cities seeking to encourage Canadians to visit. The “Big D” offers excellent shopping, lively nightlife, and many cultural and sporting activities. You can, by making the right choices, enjoy all these attractions at very low prices.

Washington DC, United States

The American capital is one of Dianne Jackson’s favorite economic choices. “Combining Washington with Virginia Beach makes for a city/beach vacation,” she says. You’ll get more for your money and you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds by pairing these two neighboring destinations.

Washington DC is a great city for history and current affairs buffs. See the White House up close, explore the impressive collections of the Smithsonian Museums, and walk in the shadow of the inspiring memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. When you feel like taking a break from the city, head for the fresh coastal air of Virginia Beach to relax by the sea.

New Orleans (Louisiana), USA

New Orleans is quite a charming city. The atmosphere that reigns in the bustling streets of the capital of Louisiana exudes a mixture of history, culture, and mystery. Music is certainly one of the major attractions of the city, which has seen the birth of great names in jazz such as Louis Armstrong, Terrence Blanchard, and Wynton Marsalis.

Although it is quite expensive to stay in New Orleans, you will manage to eat, drink, and do all sorts of colorful activities for very little money. In February, Mardi Gras is in full swing and this is the most touristic season for the city and the region. It is therefore a less good time to visit New Orleans if you want to visit the city on a limited budget.

Orlando (Florida), United States

This Florida city is another American location that has special offers to attract Canadian travelers. For an idyllic family getaway, Dianne Jackson recommends renting a home with a pool in the Orlando area. “Where can you find amusement parks, shopping, golf, and the ability to just hang out with your family around your pool? » she underlines.

“You’ll save extra by preparing your meals to reduce restaurant costs, which can be expensive when it comes to a family. A favorite choice for this type of accommodation is Vista Cay, located near major attractions and theme parks,” notes Ms. Jackson.

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Cuba

Cuba offers much more than tourist resorts. Although these are numerous in the coastal regions, it is very possible to discover the country on your own, at a much lower cost. The history of the island alone is worth seeing. Who does not know the great Che Guevara or Fidel Castro? More and more people are also deciding to discover the island by bike, opting for homestays. This is arguably the most economical way to travel to Cuba.

If you still want to visit Cuba traditionally, you should budget between 100 and 150 US dollars per day. Accommodation will take the majority of this amount. You can eat, drink, and do activities at low prices. Hotels by the sea are generally only offered on an all-inclusive basis.

Mexico

Who doesn’t dream of the beach, mojitos, and tacos? Mexico offers all this, and at low prices, as a bonus! The country is indeed a destination of choice for a dream trip in economy mode, provided you know when to leave and where to go. The country is vast and prices can vary a lot depending on the region where you are. The most touristic regions, such as Cancún or Acapulco, for example, are more expensive. On the other hand, you will find such beautiful beaches elsewhere, without breaking the bank.

Eating, sleeping, drinking, and having fun will not cost you much in Mexico. Of course, you have to get away from the water’s edge a little and know how to spot bargains. But, you can get by just fine for US$50 a day. Plane tickets to Mexico are very often affordable, too, except at Christmas and in the heavy winter months, when you may end up paying a little more than at other times. Despite this, it is a very affordable destination for budget travel.

Honduras

Honduras remains an unknown country in Central America. Between Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the country remains a hidden treasure, well sheltered from the excessive prices of overdeveloped tourist resorts. Tegucigalpa, the capital, is the starting point for most of the most beautiful attractions in the country. You will also find some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America in Tela, in the northeast of the country.

In Honduras, you can expect to pay US$10-25 to sleep and US$5-10 to eat. Travel costs are also very low, provided you use land transport or boats.

Guatemala

Guatemala is full of historical wonders. Whether it is because of its colonial past, with the still perceptible presence of Spanish settlers, or that we go back to the mythical era of the Mayas and their almost indestructible ruins, culture lovers cannot find a better destination. economic. Adventure seekers can also indulge their passions since several colorful attractions are accessible in the country. You can, for example, spend a night in the jungle, climb to the top of volcanoes, face a river rafting, or fly in a paraglider.

Guatemala is one of the least expensive countries in Central America. You can live almost in luxury for just US$50 a day. To eat, count between $5 and $10 per person. To sleep, you’ll get by for less than US$30. The country is also full of public markets where fruits and vegetables are incredibly fresh at a very competitive price.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is another hidden treasure of Central America. Less popular than Mexico, Cuba, or other countries that are heavily visited each year, Nicaragua has a lot to offer, especially for travelers on a budget. Whether you want heavenly beaches, perfect waves for surfing, wild jungle hiking, volcanic landscapes, or all of the above, you will be served in Nicaragua, and at very low prices.

A mid-range hotel costs between US$30 and US$50 in Nicaragua. To eat, calculate about $5 per person. For transport, you will save a lot by using local buses or metered taxis.

Bolivia

Bolivia has the highest capital in the world. La Paz is indeed located at 3600 meters above sea level, which makes it an almost sacred and mythical place. The country is therefore reserved for thrill seekers. One adventure does not wait for the other, whether in the middle of the jungle, hiking at altitude, on a wild river, or at the top of a snowy mountain, you will not be bored and you will not ruin yourself. neither.

For a comfortable trip, plan around US$50 per day for your stay in Bolivia. It will cost you around $25 to sleep each night. If you are doing activities that require a professional guide or equipment, such as rock climbing or high-altitude hiking, then plan a higher budget for those days.

Cruises in general

Bargain hunters should look beyond the mainland for budget vacations. “ Cruises are great, offering many destinations for one price and the convenience of unpacking once,” suggests our specialist. “I like to recommend Portugal in the Algarve region. It’s very affordable and you can enjoy Mediterranean food, wine, and culture at a very reasonable price. »

Need proof? Comparing a week-long vacation to the Caribbean coast of Mexico with a 7-day Caribbean cruise, Dianne Jackson calculated that the cruise would cost $1,384 less than the mainland vacation option. Hard to beat!

Asia

Asia is a very rich and accessible continent, if you like a change of scenery! Most of your budget will be used to pay for the plane ticket to get there. On-site, you will be very surprised at the cost of living. If you have enough time to brave the massive jet lag, this is a great option for your dream trip in economy mode.

Thailand is exotic at its height. The ancient kingdom of Siam, which has never been colonized by any other country, has an exceptionally rich culture and history. Whether you prefer the exoticism of the jungle and the mountains, meet welcoming ethnic minorities, or even want to bask on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Thailand will not disappoint you, and this, at a small price.

This is the plane ticket that will cost the most in your travel budget. You can expect to pay around $1,500 Canadian to get there. Once there, however, you can live very well on US$50 a day. Hotels, even luxury ones, are accessible there and you will eat for next to nothing.

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Vietnam

In North America, Vietnam is often associated with the historic war that the country went through in the not-so-distant past. But, since 1975, the country has been quietly opening its borders to tourism and has plenty to offer those wishing to travel on a budget. You can easily cross the country from north to south and discover almost different cultures. In the north, you will meet peasants who cultivate rice in the mountains and rice fields in plateaus. In the south, you will witness seaside landscapes, floating markets, and fishermen in the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam is one of the cheapest destinations in Asia. It is also highly advantageous for you to get Dongs, the local currency since public places very often have two different menus, the one in American money containing much higher prices than the one in local currency. Allow a maximum of US$50 per day for accommodation and food.

India

India is the country of all possibilities. There are as many versions of India as there are people who visit it. Each region has its own culture, each moment will be different from the previous one. All your senses will be solicited by the noises, smells, colors, population density, pollution, the beauty of the landscapes, etc. India is aimed at an informed public: you will be seized. You will need to be patient and open. But once back home, you will have only one wish: to go back.

Prices vary a lot from region to region. If you stay in the major centers, you will pay a little more than if you move away from the bigger cities like Delhi and Mumbai. On the other hand, even in these large centers, you will get by for less than US$75 a day. Again, make sure you have some Indian rupees on you. You will gain on the exchange.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, which is in a way the little sister of India, is also a very affordable place to travel if you have a more limited budget. Filled with cultural and historical relics, Sri Lanka will make you discover the same spiritual richness as in India. You will be amazed at how easy it is to visit the country. Transport is simple and cheap and you will find accommodation and restaurants for all budgets, even the smallest.

To sleep in a mid-range hotel, you can expect around US$25 per night. To eat, it will cost you much less and the activities and trips are also very accessible.

Africa

The African continent is often forgotten when we think of our holidays. But, if our budget is rather limited and our taste for adventure is undeniable, Africa is full of wonders to discover, and this, at a low price.

Algeria

When visiting Algeria on a budget, you can still explore some of the country’s best tourist destinations. Algeria, with its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture, offers a wealth of experiences for travelers looking for an economical adventure. Here are some top budget-friendly tourist spots in Algeria:

  1. Algiers:
  • Casbah: A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Casbah is a maze of narrow streets and historical buildings. It’s free to wander through, though hiring a local guide at a small fee can enrich the experience.
  • Jardin d’Essai du Hamma: A beautiful botanical garden in Algiers. Entry fees are minimal, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.
  1. Tlemcen:
  • Renowned for its Islamic architecture and historical sites, such as the Great Mosque of Tlemcen and the ruins of Mansourah, Tlemcen offers much to explore with minimal entrance fees.
  1. Djémila:
  • The ruins of this ancient Roman town are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Djémila presents some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa, with an affordable entry fee.
  1. Timimoun:
  • This oasis town is known for its red mud-brick buildings and the surrounding Saharan landscapes. Exploring Timimoun and its salt lake can be done very economically, especially if you’re willing to stay in simple guesthouses and use local transportation.
  1. Ghardaïa:
  • Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Ghardaïa is the heart of the M’zab valley. The city is fascinating for its unique Mozabite architecture. Visiting Ghardaïa is affordable, with modest charges for guided tours.
  1. Tassili n’Ajjer:
  • This national park and UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its prehistoric rock art and dramatic landscapes. While getting here might be a bit more of an investment, the park’s camping fees are reasonable.

Tips for Economical Travel in Algeria:

  • Accommodation: Look for budget hotels or guesthouses. Booking in advance can sometimes secure better deals.
  • Food: Eat where the locals eat. Street food and local eateries are not only cheap but also offer a taste of Algerian cuisine.
  • Transportation: Use public transport where available. Buses and trains in Algeria are affordable and cover many tourist destinations.
  • Guided Tours: While exploring urban areas might not always require a guide, for certain historical sites and hikes, a guide might be necessary. Group tours can be more economical than private tours.

Exploring Algeria economically requires some planning and flexibility, but the country’s rich offerings make it a rewarding destination for budget travelers.

Morocco

The Sahara desert, camels, nomadic peoples and Berbers, colorful spices… the change of scenery is assured in Moroccan lands. On the border between Europe and Africa, this is an affordable and relatively easy way to access the African continent. It is a good choice of destination for your dream trip in economy mode.

In Morocco, you can stay comfortably for around US$100 per day. If you want to do activities that require a lot of preparation, a lot of equipment, or an accompanying guide, such as a hike or a night in the desert, for example, then you will have to plan a higher budget for these activities.

Egypt

If you’re a history buff, you can’t miss Egypt. At the heart of the history of civilizations, the riches of this country are everywhere around you and not in the hole they will leave in your wallet.

For limited budgets, Egypt is quite possible, provided you do not want to visit all the monuments that you will come across on your way. If you choose mid-budget accommodation and eat at affordable restaurants, you can get by for around US$50 a day.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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