You can travel overseas without breaking the bank, even during times of inflation. GOBankingRates spoke to several seasoned travelers about the best countries to travel to and what makes these locations accommodating and adventurous to visitors on every budget.
Sammy Green, travel blogger at My Blonde Bucket List, has traveled to Thailand several times on various budgets and recommends the country for overseas travel.
Green said Thailand’s size is a great travel benefit. “Because it is such a large country, there are a ton of accommodation options and this helps keep prices competitive,” Green said.
If you’re looking for a hotel to stay at, Green said you can score a lovely hotel at a cheap price, especially in the offseason or shoulder season. Many hotels run promotions during this time with as much as 50% off rates. Travelers looking for even cheaper lodgings may consider staying at some of the hostels in Thailand, many of which Green said offer rates of around $10 a night.
Would Thailand’s large size mean travelers would spend more money on transportation? Not at all.
“If you are heading out to one of the islands, such as Koh Samui, it’s possible to get a ferry instead of flying,” Green said. “For short travel to and from restaurants or beaches, it’s possible to catch a tuk tuk which is the local version of a taxi.
Meals are also reasonably priced in Thailand. Green said in the North she ate meals for about $1 daily.
“You do need to hunt out the local places if you want to eat that cheaply,” Green recommends. “In the South, it tends to be a little pricier because it’s more touristy but it is still incredibly cheap. You could expect to eat a nice meal for about $5 to $10.”
Sightseeing and experiences are also reasonably priced in Thailand and a lot of fun.
“Thailand has a pretty special culture and the people are wonderful. You can expect to come across a lot of beautiful temples and usually, you just have to pay a small entry fee to go inside,” Green said. “Bangkok is very popular for this and a famous temple worth visiting is Wat Pho.”
Take Our Poll: Have Gas Prices Affected Your Driving Habits?
When Kimberly McCauley, owner of The Art of Living in Turkey, thinks of budget travel, Turkey immediately comes to mind. McCauley is an expat who has been to 19 different countries and enjoys helping people understand Turkey.
Travelers heading to Turkey will experience a country steeped in rich history and with a vast variety of affordable experiences. Visitors may sightsee at beaches, museums and mountains in cities as old as 12 and 13 centuries B.C.
However you budget for this trip, you can spend more or less money depending on your taste. McCauley recommends learning a bit of Turkish before traveling and researching specifically what you’d like to see and the areas you’d like to visit.
Dan Meyer, founder and director of BACK&PACK, recommends Peru for your next vacation destination.
“Peru has something for everyone within its borders. From the high Andes mountains to the desert coasts to the historic Sacred Valley, it’s a paradise for history buffs and nature lovers especially,” Meyer said.
One of Meyer’s favorite destinations is Peru’s Sacred Valley. Visitors can travel cheaply but still have mind-blowing adventures. While travel styles differ for everyone, Meyer said most can have a comfortable experience there for less than $60 per day.
The costs only get lower once you head into the rural towns and villages of the Sacred Valley. Meyer recommends visiting local markets as a cultural must-see and a great space to load up on souvenirs. You can also find affordable bed and breakfast lodgings for as low as $30 per night.
The one financial exception to the rule is Machu Picchu. While costs can add up quickly for this excursion, Meyer said there are ways to see this spectacular attraction without breaking the bank.
“I always advise travelers to skip the overpriced hotels (you won’t spend much time in them anyway!), hike in if you can (saves on bus and train fares) and pack your own picnic,” Meyer said. “You do have to hire a guide to enter the main ruins. But if you hire one on-site at the entrance gate, you can typically negotiate a great deal.”
Lindsey Calhoun, travel blogger at Leisurely Linds, recently returned from a trip to South America where she spent three nights in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Calhoun recommends Argentina for your next travel visit, especially if you plan to stay in Buenos Aires.
Often compared to Paris, as the “Paris of the South” for its architectural style, Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest city and famous for its steak and creating the tango. The city offers a wide range of hotel options to choose the best for your budget. There are also several free activities you can enjoy in Buenos Aires. Some of Calhoun’s recommendations include visiting free attractions like sightseeing in the colorful La Boca neighborhood, visiting the Art Museum — Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and strolling through Recoleta Cemetery.
While inflation is present in Argentina, Calhoun said it is currently about 50%.
“This makes your dollar go very far for things like transportation and meals. My husband and I enjoyed a nice dinner with many drinks for about $50 USD,” Calhoun said.
Head to New Zealand for your next holiday! Sarah Wilkes, travel specialist and content manager at Bachcare Holiday Homes, is a frequent national and international traveler who highly recommends visiting New Zealand.
One of the biggest perks of visiting New Zealand is experiencing an unforgettable vacation at a low cost, even on a tight budget. “When you compare USD to NZD, you get nearly $1.6 NZD for every $1 USD,” Wilkes said.
New Zealand offers a wide variety of short-term accommodation options and depending on what you’d like to see and do, there are a lot of low-cost tour options and sightseeing available. Wilkes recommends visiting some of New Zealand’s many beautiful coastal beaches and going for walks to check out the gorgeous scenery.
One quick note before you book your flight: Wilkes said that seasons are almost reversed in New Zealand. A Kiwi summer is winter in the United States, so determine which months would be best to travel depending on your climate comfort levels.
It is possible to take an inexpensive trip to Italy this summer. Keri Baugh, owner and travel writer at Bon Voyage With Kids, recommends booking your stay at an agriturismo.
What’s that? “An agriturismo is essentially a farm stay, typically out in the country, and is often visited by locals more so than tourists,” Baugh said.
What makes agriturismos affordable is that they tend not to be near big cities, though Baugh said you can get to a city to visit or a nearby village. Staying at an agriturismo allows you to enjoy a range of activities including those on the property like cooking classes, horseback riding, visiting farm animals, biking and local markets and handicraft activities.
How much can you expect to pay at an agriturismo? “Agriturismos range in price, but they can be anywhere from renting a small room in a bigger house all the way up to a luxury property with more activities,” Baugh said.
While Baugh said some agriturismos will arrange activities for you, including breakfast and help with transportation, it’s important to remember these are family-owned spaces and not hotels. Some agriturismos may have limited Wi-Fi and cell service, so Baugh recommends being flexible or looking for an agriturismo that can accommodate all of these amenities.
Baugh has an agriturismo booked for this summer in Tuscany and can’t wait. “It is a wonderful way to have a slower, more laid-back international vacation, to get a peek into rural Italian life and see the real Italy.”
More From GOBankingRates