10 Destinations For A Tight Budget

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Finding both an affordable and exciting travel destination has never been easier. 

For example, it’s cheapest to travel to these cities during this particular season or months:

Venice, Italy | November-February

Los Angeles, California | January

Chicago | April

Beijing, China | June

London | May

There are many perks to the off-season, too, so don’t let that deter you from traveling during that time.


1. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is along the west coast of British Columbia, one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse cities.

The city is surrounded by water and mountains and is consistently ranked as one of the highest when it comes to the quality of life.

Vancouver also has a thriving music and art scene.

Free attractions:

  • Granville Island
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park
  • Grouse Grind Hike
  • Stanely Park
  • Lynn Canyon

Accommodations:

  • YMCA Hotel Vancouver
  • HI Vancouver Central
  • Vancouver Backpacker

Peak time:

  • April – October

Off season:

  • November – Early March

How to save in Vancouver:

  • Find a hostel with HostelWorld to save a ton of money on accommodations. You can see past reviews, photos of the hostel, and so much more. There are some awesome hostels on this website! ☺️

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

2. Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is well known for its ancient ruins and tropical beaches.

The country is also known for being extremely cheap, offering hour-long massages for under $5 U.S. dollars.

Free attractions:

  • Lumphini Park
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Bangkokian Museum
  • Most temples are free to visit
  • Chinatown
  • Khao San Road
  • Erawan Shrine

Accommodations:

  • Bangkok City Hotel
  • Bangkok Suite Hostel
  • Chatrium Hotel

Peak time:

  • November – March

Off season:

  • March, April, May hottest months

How to save in Bangkok:

  • Use packing organizers to pack more in your luggage and avoid taking more than one suitcase, while staying organized. 

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

3. La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz sits on the Andes Altiplano plateau, which is more than 11,000 feet above sea level.

From the city, you’ll easily see the snow-capped Mt. Illimani, which is over 22,000 feet high.

Free attractions:

  • Witches Market
  • San Francisco Church
  • Jaen Street
  • Valle le da Luna
  • Parque Mirador Laikakota

Accommodations:

  • Wild Rovers Backpacking Hostel
  • Loki La Paz
  • Pirwa Hostel La Paz

Peak time:

  • can be visited any time of year
  • highland areas – April – October

Off season:

  • can be visited any time of year
  • summer rainy season November – March

How to save in La Paz:

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

4. Madrid, Spain

Madrid is a beautiful city filled with well-cared-for parks and European art.

The city holds over 3.2 million people and is the third largest city in the EU, behind London and Berlin.

Free attractions:

  • Parque del Buen Retiro
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Prado Museum – Free visit Tuesday – Sunday from 6pm-8pm and Sundays from 5pm-8pm
  • Reina Sofia Museum – Free visit Monday – Friday from 7pm-9pm or Saturday from 2:30pm – 9pm or Sunday from 10am-2:30pm
  • Wander around Madrid Royal Palace
  • El Rastro

Accommodations:

  • Hotel Regina Madrid
  • Hotel Nuevo Boston

Peak time:

  • September – November
  • March-May

Off season:

  • June – August (Extremely hot and somewhat miserable)
  • December – January (Pretty cold)

How to save in Madrid:

  • Traveling can be more convenient in coach with this travel kit. 

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal sits on the Iberian Peninsula next to Spain.

Fish is very popular in Portugal’s cuisine due to it sitting next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Free attractions:

  • Coleccao Berardo
  • Rua Augusta
  • Igreja de Sao Roque

Accommodations:

  • Home Lisbon Portugal
  • This is Lisbon Hostel
  • Equity Point Lisboa

Peak time:

  • March – May
  • September – October

Off season:

  • June – August
  • November – February

How to save in Lisbon:

  • Use Ebates to get up to 10% back on flights and other travel-related expenses. Ebates also works for any online shopping, and it’s really easy to use. Get $10 for signing up here.

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

6. London, England

The capital of England and the United Kingdom, London is a modern city with incredible historical value dating back to Roman times.

Dozens of movies are filmed here, such as Harry Potter, Shaun of the Dead, A Clockwork Orange, and much more.

Seeing on London on foot is the best way to explore the majestic city.

Free attractions:

  • Watch the Changing the Guard ceremony in front of the Buckingham Palace
  • Check out the famous Abbey Road, which is where the iconic The Beatles album cover was made
  • Greenwich Park
  • Holland Park – Japanese Garden
  • Listen to the chimes of Big Ben

Accommodations:

  • Travelodge London
  • St. Christophers Inn
  • Qbic Hotel London City

Peak time:

  • Peak season is year-round, but late spring and early summer are the busiest

Off season:

  • November – March

How to save in London:

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

7. Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a city that sits in the Peruvian Andes.

The city holds an incredible amount of history which shows in its many museums and monuments.

The city is incredibly safe and has a booming nightlife.

Free attractions:

  • Explore the city by foot
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Wander around in the markets
  • Inca Museum
  • Choco Museo (I made chocolate here, and it was an amazing and affordable experience!).

Accommodations:

  • Ecopackers
  • Hitchhikers Cusco

Peak time:

  • May-August

Off season:

  • September – April

How to save in Cusco:

  • Book with a local tourist company. I used American Inca Trail Cusco Tour Company for a Machu Picchu 4 day hike, Sacred Valley tour, horseback riding on top of Cusco, as well as four-wheeling throughout the Sacred Valley and to the Salt Mines.

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

8. Shanghai, China

Shanghai is a city situated on China’s central coast.

It’s both China’s largest city and known for being a global financial hub.

The city is filled with unique skyscrapers that sit along the Huangpu River.

Free attractions:

  • Shanghai Museum
  • Shanghai Natural History Museum
  • Explore Ancient City Park
  • Explore water towns such as Qibao, Zhujiajiao, or Fengjing.

Accommodations:

  • Shanghai City Central Hostel
  • Shanghai Rock and Wood International Hostel
  • Laoshan

Peak time:

  • October
  • April – May

Off season:

  • November – March

How to save in Shanghai:

  • Purchase an STA Travel Discount Card which gives you discounts to thousands of places all around the world, including museums, tour buses, etc. Generally, the first time you use it will more than pay off the cost of the card. 

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

9. Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is broad, but I made it broad for a reason.

Eastern Europe is continuously overlooked, despite its historical value and beautiful cities.

Eastern Europe is much cheaper than in western Europe.

Cities to Visit:

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Bratislava, Slovakia

How to save in Eastern Europe:

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

10. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is famous for its cherry blossom season, which lasts for around two weeks in April.

The city is filled with different districts that offer something unique to each visitor.

Hit up Shinjuku for shopping, Harajuku for unique clothing and crazy hairstyles, and Ginza for more expensive shopping stores.

Tokyo is also the most populous metropolitan in the world.

Free attractions:

  • Explore the Imperial Palace and the park it’s situated in
  • Watch the Shibuya Crossing
  • Explore Harajuku
  • Senso-Ji

Accommodations:

  • Hotel Niwa Tokyo
  • BakPak Tokyo Hostel
  • Sakura Hostel

Peak time:

  • April – during Cherry Blossom season
  • September – November

Off season:

  • December – February

How to save in Tokyo:

Related: 10 Affordable Cities To Visit In The United States

10 travel destinations for a tight budget. This is such a great list for anyone who is trying to travel on a budget, travel cheaply, and have an exciting trip!

Have you been to any of the above destinations? 

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Fantastic guide and so helpful with the free attractions and accommodation suggestions.

    1. Thanks Mike!

  2. Gosh I haven’t been to any of these! Although in my own defense I would much rather travel in the U.S. There are so many states and cities I have not been to yet that I figure I should visit the places around here first, then I would be more interested in traveling abroad.

    1. I totally understand, Holly. I believe a lifetime could be spent traveling the United States alone. 🙂

    2. I am curious as to what are your favourite US destinations. Mine are New York City, Kentucky, Nashville, And thousand Islands.

  3. Thanks Alexis! Btw, love your name. 🙂

  4. Great list! I have just recently came back from my trip to Poland, and I was so pleasantly surprised with my trip! I didn’t really expect much but it turned out to be one of the best trips I have been on! For the most of the time I stayed with my friend in Warsaw and I loved it so much! It is very unique and beautiful city with many amazing spots to go to. One of the places that I liked was a bar in downtown called Bubbles. It was very cozy and casual, the atmosphere was amazing. We had some champagne and delicious dinner, which was delicious. The place was so great that we didn’t want to leave :p
    I hope to visit Warsaw again soon, but also go somewhere from you list!

    1. That’s so awesome! I want to go to Poland so bad!

  5. This post is so helpful! I will be studying abroad in France in the spring and blogging about it! I’m wanting to travel as much as possible, but I won’t have a lot of money! I can’t wait to visit some of the places you mentioned! http://carleehebert.com/

    1. That’s so amazing!

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