14 Cheap Destinations for 2014
Travelling is great … when you have no financial limits! But leaving for the Elsewhere on a budget can be a hassle. Can you still be trendy without money? Where to go on vacations without putting a death sentence on your piggy bank? Here is a list of 14 hype countries to see without crying on your way back to the bank.
Istanbul is on every lips. The amazing city has become in recent years a global airline hub and the whole country benefits from its unique situation between Europe and Asia. Turkey is praised for its ancient ruins, nice weather, warm hospitality and beautiful beaches. As a result, in the last decade, the country has grown its tourism infrastructure by 67 percent. This bargain and backpacking heaven is now also getting more and more expensive. But it’s still possible to visit Turkey for a reasonable price, especially if you spend some time outside of Istanbul. Check out Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Izmir or Gaziantep. Rather than going in the summer, try to visit in September or October.
The Khmer Kingdom, though still shaken up by its tragic past, is on the rise of being a major actor in the international tourism industry. Its culture is unique and the Angkor Wat complex is one of the World’s seven wonders. Cambodia is a cheap country and much more affordable than its Thai neighbor. Cambodian people are friendly and helpful with tourists, though few scams occur in Siem Reap. Don’t overlook its beaches and the coastal town of Sihanoukville.
Nicaragua has become the rising star of Central American Destination, thanks to its political stability in a continent ravaged by corruption, gangs, violence and drugs. The country isn’t all that safe though and you need to be an experienced and adventurous traveler to attempt this challenge. Often compared to Costa Rica for its lush jungles and amazing natural diversity, Nicaragua is also an interesting destination for culture vultures. Though the flight ticket is expensive from Asia, you can relax in luxury hotels for a very affordable price.
Think Russia but more welcoming and open-minded. Ukraine is a beautiful country, modeled by thousands years of a rich history. It is a magical and very exotic land where you can be treated like a prince without spending all your savings. Explore its UNESCO World Heritage sites and maybe go on a road trip to Eastern Europe.
Why not heading to Budapest then? The stunning capital of Hungary will keep you busy and amazed. Unlike Ukraine, Budapest has already been a major touristic attraction for travelers in Europe, but it is still way cheaper than France, Germany or Italy. You can try this destination in winter when the fairytale is complete. If you fear the cold, just warm yourself up in the famous Hungarian public baths.
Cheaper than Cambodia and friendlier than Thailand, Laos is the perfect place for backpackers and travelers who want some quiet time. Skip Vientiane fast (though you can stay a day or two to check out the Patuxai and Pha That Luang. Enjoy the rest of your trip in Luang Prabang, where the real Laos survives and prospers. Though tourism is starting to change the face of the city, you can still hope to get a piece of that cultural and natural succulent cake before the damage is too severe. Plus, Laos is one of the cheapest and yet easiest countries to travel around.
It isn’t as cheap as South-East Asia but if your dream is to go to Japan, why not giving a try to South Korea before saving up enough money. Seoul, Busan or Gyeongju have a lot to offer. South Korea has a dual image: futuristic in its technology and architecture, and traditional with its millenary culture. Even though it can easily get pricey, the flights are cheap and you can find travel savvy alternatives for accommodation, entertainment and food.
If you want to experience the South American warmth, but feel that Brazil is still too expensive (Rio is way too popular!), why not trying out Bolivia? Find peace in La Paz! This country is becoming more and more popular among American tourists and it’s perfect if you are on a budget. Bolivia with its Salar de Uyuni, a surreal salt desert, is a great place to escape from the world. With a more comfortable budget, you can even choose to kill 2 birds with one stone by crossing the border to Peru and its Machu Picchu amazingness.
Wanna feel the saudade? Lisbon and the whole portuguese country is a great visit. The euro-zone economical crisis is really helping out the tourists to get a cheap dael in a country that was already quite cheap to begin with. Amazing food, architecture, culture, friendly people and a way of life so relaxing. Portugal is a perfect Southern Europe destination and you can easily go to Spain as well.
This is probably THE backpackers’ heaven. Between Pokhara and Kathmandu’s valley, Nepal is a destination for culture lovers as well as adrenaline junkies. Nepal has a rich history and its testimony is literally everywhere. One rule applies when visiting this amazing land: wherever you go, open up your eyes and don’t be afraid to get lost (it might happen to you more than once).
Before its unification in the mid-eighteenth century, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, each capital having its own Durbar square, the historical center of the city. These plazas welcome the old royal palaces, temples and shrines devoted to the important deities, water fountains and other areas where the Newar people could gather. Three Durbar Squares have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. They are luckily all situated in the Kathmandu valley, just few minutes from each other.
If Croatia is now a member of the European Union, it doesn’t mean that it is an expensive destination, though with its economic boom, it will certainly be in the next few years. The rich people (jet set and company) from all over the world, have elected this destination to be the new French Riviera and ibiza combined. But you can still enjoy it witout a yacht or a gold visa card.
Going to India is dirt cheap, but it is overcrowded by tourists and finally not as special as it is used to be. Why not impressing your friends with another stamp on your passport? Affordable and spectacular, Sri Lanka is the place to be. It’s relaxing atmosphere, warm population, breathtaking sightseeing made it a must see in 2013, and the trend goes on for 2014. Enjoy a sip of coffee in the mountainous regions, or a gulp of fresh pineapple juice on the beach, Sri Lanka is diverse and will make you longing for more.
One of the three Baltic states, Lithuania is spreading its charming to a broader audience than just its neighbors. The small country offers great parks, a beautiful coastline and Vilnius and the little countryside towns’ architecture. A big bonus: you can do most of the travelling in the capital city by bike!
And what about Africa? If it’s difficult to find a touristic destination in a continent destroyed by political conflicts and poverty, Namibia seems to be an exception to the rule. With its desertic and heavenly vibe, Namibia is a country for nature and adventure lovers. Check out Etosha National Park and the Skeleton Coast, and be astonished by the warmth of people
5 tips for a cheaper holiday:
– Book well in advance
– Check out for online promotions
– Contact someone who lives there to get some insider’s tips (and why not a free accommodation)
– Beat the crowd and go off season.
– Look for free activities and tours, there are more than what you might think
- Luang Prabang, the Lao national treasure (damieniciouailleurs.com)
- Patuxai, Lao P.DR (damieniciouailleurs.com)