Summer travel is upon us, and maybe this year you’ve got your sights set on somewhere more far-flung than the United States. Travel abroad can be incredibly enriching and full of new experiences you can’t get at home.
However, the cost to travel internationally can sometimes be prohibitive. Because of this, GOBankingRates contacted several travel experts to recommend the most affordable countries for Americans to visit right now — like these seven.
Charles Neville, with JayWay Travel, a specialist European custom tour provider, recommends Albania for food lovers.
He says, “Expect exceptional local produce and abundant fresh fish and seafood from the Adriatic and Ionian seas, combined with hearty traditional meat dishes, and more-than-decent local wine. Hotels work out to less than half what you’d pay for an equivalent property in western Europe.”
Alex Gillard, the founder of Nomad Nature Travel, also raves about Albania, calling it “a great, relatively undiscovered country to visit as an American tourist.”
He adds, “Depending on the season, you can get a 500 to 600 dollar round-trip flight. I’ve spent months in Albania and it is very safe, the food is an affordable and incredible mix of Greek, Italian and local fare, and you can rent a car and get around their beautiful country for very cheap.”
Ande Wanderer, a travel writer and owner and editor of the travel site, Wander Argentina recommends Argentina not only for its affordable travel, but its excellent track record with COVID-19.
“We have had continuous days with zero Covid deaths and 90% of the country is fully vaccinated.” Additionally, there are no vaccine requirements to enter the country.
She calls it one of the most affordable countries in the world to visit right now, where visitors “get double the pesos for their dollars.” She recommends coastal Patagonia around Puerto Madryn to see whales, elephant seals, sea lions, and dolphins.
Also, Buenos Aires is a culinary lover’s best bet, “with $12 steak and Malbec dinners, never-ending cultural events…weekly street fairs such as the huge San Telmo Flea Market, all night milongas and dancing in the street, especially on Argentina’s Independence Day, July 9.”
Andy Turlington, owner and travel advisor at Wildest Dreams Bookings in North Carolina, recommends Cuba, which is a short flight from Florida — only about 100 miles from Key West.
“Cuba [has] interesting architecture, and the cars are a step back in time. Hotels in Havana start at about 50 U.S. dollars per night, but they have an Airbnb equivalent called ‘Casa Particulars,’ and many of them can be had for roughly 30 U.S. dollars per night.”
This South American country is also extremely affordable. Turlington says, “You can easily get by in this country on about 30 to 50 U.S. dollars a day.”
He especially recommends the capital city of Quito, where meals can usually be had for less than five U.S. dollars. Additionally, a taxi will cost about two dollars “to pretty much anywhere,” and the bus costs about 35 cents. “Hotels can easily be had for less than 35 U.S. dollars a night, and for the ultra-cheap, they have plenty of hostels as well for about 10 U.S. dollars.”
A country that’s super affordable for an American tourist is Panama, according to Becca Siegel and Dan Gold, owners of the travel blog HalfHalfTravel.com. “The reason is that flights are often cheap from major hubs, especially if you can fly to Miami first, or through Miami with a short layover.”
Once you land in Panama, they say that food, tours and accommodation are extremely affordable. “In Panama City alone, you can go walking in Casco Viejo, see the Panama Canal, excellent museums and experience great nightlife and culture.”
An extra bonus is that Panama uses the U.S. Dollar, so you won’t have to do any currency exchanges, which they say is “super convenient for lots of American visitors.”
Todd Sarouhan, owner of Go Visit San Diego and Go Visit Costa Rica, recommends Cape Town, South Africa for an affordable travel experience.
He says, “The most affordable countries are the ones where the exchange rate is in favor of the US Dollar. Cape Town is no stranger to being voted the best city in the world, the last time and for the seventh time running in 2019. Cape Town is a coastal gem, lying in the shadow of a cloud-hugged mountain where wine flows, penguins waddle and there’s always something to do.”
Turkey is a great option for tourists wanting to go to Europe, Turlington says. “The lira has been greatly depreciated over the last 2 years or so, making Turkey a bargain hunter’s paradise.”
Istanbul offers some incredible cuisine, and plenty of historical locations and different architecture and religious sites. Istanbul has copious amounts of good hotels in the 50 US Dollar range as well. Armenia and Georgia are also lower cost options in this area of Europe.
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