8 Affordable Destinations That Feel Like Luxury Escapes in 2024

Make the most of your vacation and book a flight (or two!) to these amazing and inexpensive travel destinations. Once you’ve paid for your flight, the rest of the trip is virtually free.

Budget travel destination: South Africa

Your journey begins well. Sit back and enjoy free wine on South African Airways as you travel to its main city: Cape Town. The city has some of the most beautiful places for hiking in the world! Adrenaline junkies will love the Three Peaks Challenge, a route that takes climbers to various peaks of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Devil’s Peak in one day.
Prepare food for your hike, like an orange bought from a street vendor or a BBQ chicken sandwich from Woolworth’s grocery store that will set you back less than $2.50. Another expert (and free) hike is the ascent of Twelve Apostles Mountain in Camps Bay. Locals and tourists alike enjoy being on the road at sunrise to get the awe-inspiring view of the Rhodes Memorial on Table Mountain, and in the evening to watch the full moon directly atop Lion’s Head. For more leisurely travelers, an aerial cable car ($19 round trip) will give visitors a 360-degree view of the top of Table Mountain.

Thailand is a low-cost travel destination not to be missed

What we love about an inexpensive trip is that the exchange rate is advantageous. You get about 25 Thai baht for $1 Canadian. This means you can enjoy a full dinner for around $1, but beware of places that list the price of the meal in (US) dollars rather than the local currency. In Thailand, you can buy desserts or fruit from street vendors for the equivalent of a few pennies!

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Vietnam is a dream travel destination

Here’s a fun fact: Travelers come to Hanoi to get clothes for a fraction of the cost. You can get your hands on button-up shirts or even restock your wardrobe for less than the cost of a pair of designer jeans purchased here.

Budget travel destination? Peru is a must

Peru’s capital, Lima, offers some of the best coastal views, especially at Love Park (El Parque del Amor) and the Larcomar shopping mall. The latter is a two-story outdoor mall that was built into the cliff to provide unparalleled views while you shop and dine. The park, meanwhile, has a 5km multipurpose course for running, biking, or walking, as well as exercise equipment and tennis courts scattered around. Visitors can stroll through the park and then head to pebble beaches for a two-hour surf lesson with instructors (around $30).

Travel destination: Uruguay

A short ferry ride from Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Uruguay is a new place to visit for travelers who are already in South America. The exchange rate is advantageous and makes it possible to obtain approximately 21 Uruguayan pesos for 1 Canadian $. Inviting! Historic Colonia del Sacramento is the best place to visit for history buffs to see relics from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Listed on the World Heritage List, Colonia offers historic walking tours through cobbled streets flanked by colorful houses, restaurants, and shops. In the warmer season, residents organize parties where you can buy typical local dishes. Visitors can spend an entire day there without spending more than $10 on food, even in restaurants.

India

At an exchange rate of 48 rupees to 1 Canadian dollar, your wallet looks good in India, meaning you can upgrade your experience for less. The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, can be seen on a private guided tour, with transportation included, for less than $100. In Jaipur, a full day at the Elefantastic Elephant Sanctuary—a TripAdvisor-rated must-do activity—with a meal and required amenities will set you back at less than $55 per person. Travelers should splurge on activities in India, where the cost is lower anywhere else than other places in the world.

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Mexico

Mexico City has a host of world-class museums and incredible art centers. The Palacio de Bellas Artes features murals by Mexican artists and the Palacio Nacional hosts murals by famed artist Diego Rivera. A little further on are the Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo) and the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropología). Musa (Underwater Museum of Arts), one of the three incredible “underwater” art museums, is also located in Mexico City, which is worth a visit! Some museums will offer free admission on Sundays, and with the exchange rate of 13 pesos to $1 (Canadian), even the regular price won’t be too expensive for visitors to this low-cost travel destination.

Portugal

To increase tourism, the airline TAP Portugal offers an extended stopover program, which offers travelers an incentive to stay up to three nights in this location before proceeding to their final destination. With this program, you get “two destinations for the price of one ticket”. So travelers can travel on the cheap by getting discounted hotel rates and perks, such as free bottles of wine at select participating restaurants, guided tours, museum visits, and even a dolphin-watching activity… These discounts will help offset the dollar-to-euro exchange rate.

Cuba

When you’re in Cuba, dance like the Cubans do. Travelers should head to La Casa del Son for $15 salsa lessons before testing out their hips at bars like outdoor club Jardines del 1830 and Casa de la Musica in Havana. Admission to see these bands perform live will cost between $3 and $15, depending on location, and cocktails tend to be cheaper than here.

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Guatemala

8 Affordable Destinations That Feel Like Luxury Escapes in 2024

For as little as $22, tourists can get a local guide for a half-day walking tour of Pacaya Volcano in Antigua, which also includes park entrance fees, a bottle of water, and lunch. round trip transportation from the hotel. Travelers who bring marshmallows and skewers can roast them on site thanks to the heat emanating from the volcano. For travelers who prefer the water to the mountains, Jorge’s Rope Swing Center is a must-do activity off the coast of Lake Petén Itzá, near Flores Island. For around $3 to $5 you can swing on the ropes or you can pay around 10 dollars for a kayak or paddleboard rental. You can also spend the whole day just hanging out by the lake.

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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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