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Global Holiday Destinations Guide: Best 20 Cheapest Spots!

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Global Holiday Destinations Guide - Best 20 Cheapest Spots!

When organizing a vacation, various factors come into play, such as budget-friendly destinations, safety considerations, and accommodation choices. However, one factor tends to hold the most sway over our travel decisions: finances. With expenses like resort fees, airfare, and memorable dining experiences stacking up, it’s crucial to prioritize destinations where our money stretches the furthest. This article will provide the curated details of the best 20 cheapest spots with our global holiday destinations guide.

 

Global Holiday Destinations Guide:

Without delay, here are 20 top destinations for budget-friendly travel globally.

Hungary

1 USD = 351.21 HUF
Hungary’s thriving economy presents an excellent opportunity for travelers heading to Budapest. The city beckons with its burgeoning array of Michelin-starred restaurants and cutting-edge spas, attracting visitors from around the world. Celebrating its 150th anniversary in November 2023, Budapest offers even more reasons to visit in the coming year, including the recently reopened Chain Bridge and the newly inaugurated House of Music Hungary. For an unforgettable experience, contemplate reserving accommodation at the Art Deco W Budapest, opposite the Hungarian State Opera on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed street. The hotel, once a palace, opened its doors in July 2023.

South Korea

1 USD = 1,301.45 KRW
While many travelers flock to the well-known tourist spots of Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island, we’re drawn to another gem in South Korea: Mokpo. Situated in the Jeolla region at the southern tip of the peninsula, this port city boasts some of the country’s most intriguing dining experiences. Specialties like hongeo, a naturally fermented and intensely flavorful skate-fish dish, entice food enthusiasts from across the globe.

Mexico

1 USD = 17.22 MXN
Mexico remains a perennial favorite for budget-conscious travelers. In Mexico City, renowned for its vibrant street food culture and innovative dining establishments, much of your budget will be allocated to culinary delights. However, set aside some funds to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, beginning with a visit to the iconic Museo Jumex. For those seeking to venture beyond the city limits, a trip to Jalisco offers the opportunity to witness tequila production firsthand. At the same time, Isla Holbox promises a tranquil beach getaway.

Mongolia

1 USD = 3,449.69 MNT
Mongolia has long captivated us with its vast landscapes and adventure camps, and the affordability of travel here—averaging as little as $75 per day, including accommodations—only adds to its allure. In 2024, the country is ramping up efforts to attract even more visitors with initiatives such as its inaugural direct U.S. flight and visa-free travel for numerous nationalities. Additionally, travelers can anticipate unique cultural experiences next year as local operator Breanna Wilson expands her 2024 tours to include a digital nomad week, a women-only retreat in Orkhon Valley, and a three-day archery training session.

Vietnam

1 USD = 24,275.00 VND
Numerous Southeast Asian countries offer excellent value for dollar holders, but our top recommendation is Vietnam. Not only does Vietnam benefit from a steadily rising exchange rate, but it also boasts breathtaking natural beauty. While Hanoi stands out as one of the most romantic cities in the region, we encourage you to explore beyond the usual tourist trail on your next visit. Destinations like Ninh Van Bay and Phú Quốc Island boast pristine beaches and intimate resorts, providing a serene escape from the crowds often found in more popular areas.

Global Holiday Destinations Guide - Best 20 Cheapest Spots!

Brazil

1 USD = 4.94 BRL
Much like other destinations in South America, Brazil offers excellent value for budget-conscious travelers. However, you can expect even greater affordability with the exchange rate of nearly five Brazilian reals to the dollar. While Rio de Janeiro beckons with its stunning beaches and acclaimed dining scene—such as Lasai, a 2023 Hot List winner—don’t overlook São Paulo. A burgeoning younger generation has revitalized neglected neighborhoods with trendy galleries, museums, and bars, offering a vibrant cultural experience.

South Africa

1 USD = 18.30 ZAR
While the value of the South African rand has experienced fluctuations in recent years, we’re currently pleased with its standing. (For comparison, a decade ago, one U.S. dollar was equivalent to only 8.57 ZAR.) Take advantage of this favorable exchange rate by indulging in the Test Kitchen’s 21-course tasting menu in Cape Town, then embark on a wilderness adventure at Singita Castleton Lodge in the Sabi Sand game reserve.

Sri Lanka

1 USD = 327.31 SLR
The Sri Lankan rupee has steadily strengthened over the past few decades. Still, it experienced a significant surge starting two years ago (with one dollar converting to 200 SLR in February 2022). We’re more enthusiastic than ever to discover this remarkable island nation, renowned for its lush tea plantations, ancient Buddhist temples, pristine golden beaches, and extensive 200-mile hiking trails—all within one unforgettable journey.

Costa Rica

1 USD = 525.96 CRC
While the Costa Rican colón has experienced a slight depreciation in recent months, it continues to offer favorable conditions for U.S. travelers. Moreover, the country’s most prized asset—its natural beauty—is mainly accessible for free. Whether hiking through the lush tropical cloud forests of the Alajuela mountains or catching waves off the coast of Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica ranks among the globe’s top destinations for outdoor adventure. (And the accommodations aren’t too shabby, either.)

Philippines

1 USD = 55.89 PHP
We’re constantly daydreaming about island hopping in the Philippines. Astonishingly, destinations like Palawan and Siargao remain so economically accessible, considering their status as some of the most stunning places on Earth. Even luxurious five-star resorts like Shangri-La Boracay can be booked for under $350 per night, providing all the motivation to plan a getaway immediately.

 

Madagascar

1 USD = 4,580 MGA
For your next tropical island getaway, consider bypassing expensive and popular destinations like the Maldives and Bora Bora in favor of budget-friendly Madagascar—an Indian Ocean gem teeming with stunning rainforests and national parks inhabited by lemurs. Time your trip to coincide with the opening of Namoroka Tsingy Exploration Camp (set for mid-2024), offering seven luxurious safari tents within the virtually untouched Namoroka National Park. Alternatively, visit Madagascar as part of a cruise itinerary: Upscale cruise lines such as Silversea, Lindblad, Swan Hellenic, and Seabourn have all added the country as a stopover on their latest journeys.

Egypt

1 USD = 30.93 EGP
Embarking on a journey through the footsteps of pharaohs in Egypt may seem costly. However, with the Egyptian pound’s recent surge, exploring the Pyramids, cruising the Nile, and delving into Cairo’s wonders have become more affordable than ever. We’re eager to experience relatively new establishments like the St. Regis Cairo and the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria beach villas. Additionally, the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum seems poised to finally occur in 2024, adding to the excitement of exploring this ancient land.

Malaysia

1 USD = 4.67 MYR
Your money goes a long way in Malaysia, particularly if you indulge in street food and wander through cities like Kuala Lumpur on foot. Exploring the country’s pristine beaches, limestone caves, and stunning tea plantations is also inexpensive or even free in some cases. However, if you’re prepared to splurge, we highly recommend staying at The Datai Langkawi. While it’s undoubtedly pricey, the experience is worth it.

India

1 USD = 83.04 INR
India has long been known as a budget-friendly travel destination, but with the current exchange rate of 83 rupees to the dollar, it’s more affordable than ever. Accommodation options range from $60-per-night bungalows to luxurious Oberoi and Six Senses properties, with numerous choices in between. By venturing beyond your resort and exploring local attractions and dining establishments, you can enjoy a fulfilling travel experience on an extremely tight budget.

Serbia

1 USD = 107.45 RSD
Belgrade is rapidly establishing itself as one of Europe’s most vibrant cultural hubs. Yet, it remains significantly more affordable than cities like Paris or Berlin (at least for now). Finding hotels under $100 is relatively straightforward, although accommodations may take a backseat when you’re dancing the night away in the city’s lively clubs. However, it’s essential to recharge to fully explore Belgrade’s array of museums and contemporary art installations, many of which have debuted in recent years.

North Macedonia

1 USD = 56.44 MKD
Despite the coastal countries often stealing the spotlight, North Macedonia remains one of Europe’s most underrated (and consequently, affordable) destinations. This landlocked nation is a hidden gem for savvy travelers, particularly in the enchanting city of Ohrid. With its picturesque cobbled streets and charming churches, Ohrid offers all the quintessential European charm, enhanced by its proximity to the stunning and biodiverse Lake Ohrid.

Global Holiday Destinations Guide - Best 20 Cheapest Spots!

Nepal

1 USD = 132.92 NPR
Nepal stands out as one of the most economical destinations for travelers, and with the current robust exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, it’s even more enticing. While Mt. Everest may be the first thing that comes to mind, this tiny nation offers far more than iconic climbs. Although initially overwhelming, Kathmandu reveals hidden gems such as excellent hotels and museums upon closer exploration. Nearby Bhaktapur and Patan, nestled in the Kathmandu Valley, offer a more relaxed atmosphere while still brimming with rich cultural experiences.

The Gambia

1 USD = 66.99 GMD
Although it holds the title of continental Africa’s smallest country, The Gambia should not be underestimated. This incredibly affordable nation has been a sought-after destination for wildlife enthusiasts for years, and it’s now gaining recognition as both a culinary hotspot and a luxury cruise port of call.

Indonesia

1 USD = 15,556.65 IDR
Despite the surge in tourists following the popularity of “Eat, Pray, Love,” Indonesia remains a relatively affordable destination. While Bali attracts millions with its resorts and higher prices, you can opt for a more budget-friendly and tranquil experience on the islands of Sumba and Lombok. Additionally, Jakarta offers a budget-friendly culinary adventure where you can indulge in delicious greasy noodles and nasi goreng gila from street stalls for just a few U.S. dollars.

Albania

1 USD = 93.95 ALL
Albania stands out as a much more affordable option than other European countries—and it’s still slightly less explored by tourists, offering an opportunity to explore before it becomes overrun with crowds. One of the most appealing factors when arranging a journey here is the cuisine: Imagine tables adorned with fragrant rosemary-infused lamb, tangy mountain cheeses, freshly caught sea bass, and an array of fruit juices. In Tirana, consider booking a stay at Agroturizëm Gjepali, a former restaurant turned hotel offering river views and double rooms starting at just $70.

 

Conclusion:

After some research, these countries were uncovered where the U.S. dollar holds the most value, taking into account current exchange rates. While the global economy can be unpredictable, specific destinations have historically provided excellent value for American travelers, which will likely remain the case throughout 2024. So what are you waiting for? Pack up and travel to these budget-friendly yet beautiful places around the globe.

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