It’s easy to look at all the exotic destinations popping up all over social media and immediately assume that they’re out of your price range. Truth is, there are plenty of getaways that go hard on fun in the sun while being easy on your wallet. Between companies that allow you to put flights on layaway and websites that keep you up-to-date on the latest travel deals, seeing some world on a budget is easier than ever. These five amazing destinations prove that it doesn’t take a lot of money to create priceless memories that will last a lifetime.
NOTE: At the time of this post, the U.S. Department of State deems these international areas safe to travel, but as always, please exercise caution whenever you are traveling.
Southeast Asia has long been kind to travelers on a budget heading to countries like Thailand and Cambodia, and Vietnam is no exception. The exchange rate in Vietnam makes it extremely attractive with $1 USD equaling 23,289.94 Vietnamese Dong. Use the extra coins in your pocket to explore the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh checking out the former presidential palace and tasting your way through the city on a local food tour before heading to beautiful waters of Halong Bay and Hoi An. Looking for a way to make the trip even more affordable? Check out Friendly Planet’s Taste of Vietnam package that starts as low as $1699 including flights, lodging and tours.
They say Mexico is always a good idea, and with $1 USD equaling 20.2379 Mexican Pesos, they might be right. Flights to Cancun are always going on sale, often for less than $500, so you don’t even have to worry about airfare taking a chunk out of your budget. Stay in Playa del Carmen and book a trendy, but affordable Airbnb just off the popular Calle Quinta Avenida strip. Viator will help you save even more on tours to Tulum, Chichen Itza, Isla Mujeres and more.
If you thought a trip to the Motherland was out of your reach, think again. Keep your eye on sites like Friendly Planet and Secret Flying to find deals to Johannesburg or Cape Town that won’t break the bank. Still need a little help? Airfordable will allow you to book the perfect flight and pay over time. Once there, the $1USD to 14.3932 South African Rand exchange rate will be in your favor as you plan the perfect trip visiting Nelson Mandela’s house, walking on the wild side at the Lion and Safari Park, trying your hand at Malay cuisine and toasting to the good life in wine country.
There’s nothing like summertime in Europe, and Barcelona is the perfect place to be for a mix of great beaches, culture, food and exciting nightlife. Unlike other destinations, the exchange rate isn’t the greatest with $1USD equaling a measly 0.884379 Euro, but thankfully getting there makes up for it. Use budget airline sites like WOW Airlines and Norwegian to snag your flight for a steal or head to Groupon to find package deals to Barcelona, with flight, for as little as $699. Once you arrive eat paella along La Rambla, marvel at the Sagrada Família and watch the sunset from the rooftop of the W Barcelona hotel.
Aruba is a Caribbean destination that gets slept on a lot these days, but it has plenty to offer, especially as a budget destination. Head to sites like Cheap Caribbean for amazing package deals to the sun-soaked island for as little as $1559 for five nights, all-inclusive and airfare. Deals like that leave plenty of money left over for windsurfing, hiking Arikok National Park, horseback riding on the beach, exploring shipwrecks, grabbing a delicious meal at Flying Fishbone for the best seafood on the island, or simply sipping cocktails by the resort pool.