If you’re getting the itch to travel abroad this winter but don’t want to spend a lot, there are still plenty of destinations to consider that offer low-cost accommodations and activities. Whether you want to escape to a warm beach, ski through Europe or snowshoe through a national park, consider one of these affordable international destinations recommended by travel experts.
Marina Beach, India
Travel blogger Kevin Mercier recommends this beach destination for its beauty and delicious cuisine.
“The beach is set on the scenic East Coast Road, a perfect destination away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” he said. “The temperature of the beach is pleasant during winter, which makes it perfect for strolling and walking in the evening with your loved ones.”
He particularly recommends the Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort for its top-class restaurants.
“The Reef and C Salt restaurants are a delight to visit and serve you some of the best seafood that you can find in India,” Mercier said. “The price per night for a single room for two travelers is around $150.”
Alex Tiffany, founder of the adventure guide site Just Go Exploring, recommends Albania as an affordable European winter destination.
“The average daily budget for meals and accommodation here is around $35 per day, including eating out one to two times per day,” he said. “Albania enjoys a much milder winter climate than most other countries in Europe and has several beautiful national parks that are relatively undiscovered. There are also a couple of small ski resorts offering some of the cheapest skiing in Europe.”
Tiffany especially recommends the capital Tirana for its ease of travel via public transportation.
“I recently spent six weeks in Albania,” he added. “There’s so much to see and do. It’s a fantastic country to explore and I’d really recommend it.”
Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Alex, owner of AM Travel Life, recommends Jasper as a winter destination for the outdoor enthusiast.
“An affordable and rewarding option this winter is a Jasper road trip,” she said. “Jasper National Park is a stunning region of Canada with spectacular mountains and seemingly endless views.
“There are plenty of free and affordable things to do in the region,” Alex continued. “Once you buy a park pass, you can hike one of the many breathtaking trails, rent snow shoes, visit Pyramid Lake and even try dog sledding.”
La Libertad, El Salvador
Courtney Newton, full-time adventure travel blogger and founder of Disorderly Drifters, spent her winter holidays on the beach in La Libertad last year and recommends it for others looking to travel during this time of year on the cheap.
“The beautiful ocean views were amazing, and the area is safe for travelers and nomads,” she said. “The locals are beyond friendly and welcoming, and are more than happy to include you in winter traditions and activities. You can find very affordable places to stay along the beach, and food and drinks are much cheaper than you find in the U.S.”
Pictured: El Zonte Beach, El Salvador
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
There are several destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula that make for affordable options this time of year, said Jessica Schmit, founder of the travel site Uprooted Traveler.
“Because of its proximity to the United States and the popularity of Cancun, you can frequently find awesome deals on airfare,” she said. “Beyond that, though, there’s so much to explore, like the stunning turquoise lagoon of Bacalar, the cosmopolitan city of Merida, literally thousands of cenotes and incredibly preserved ancient Mayan ruins. And of course, Mexico’s prices are quite affordable — you can usually get an incredible meal at a restaurant for well under $5 a person.”
Chiang Mai, Thailand
While most areas of Thailand are affordable, Ashley Flores, writer at TearFreeTravel.com, particularly recommends visiting Chiang Mai.
“Chiang Mai is the most popular and the most affordable city I found there,” she said. “There are many inexpensive or free activities and attractions to do or see, including visiting the ancient temples — such as Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chiang Man, exploring the Chiang Mai night bazaar, experiencing the nightlife at the Tha Pae and Loi Kroh Road, and visiting the many hill tribes that are found in the area.”
If you’re looking for an affordable ski vacation, consider Bulgaria.
“Both Bansko and Bovorets are popular ski resorts in Bulgaria that are significantly cheaper than the well-known resorts of Europe and the U.S.,” said Jessie Moore, founder of the travel blog Pocket Wanderings. “They still offer a fantastic variety of skiing and are particularly popular among those looking for lively après.
“Everything is more affordable in the Bulgarian ski resorts, from the accommodations and lift passes to the beer,” she continued. “It may not bring the glitz and glam of Aspen or St. Moritz, but visitors are guaranteed a fun time both on and off the slopes.”
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