Anyone who knows me, knows I love a bargain! Finding exciting but also budget-friendly destinations to travel to is always a massive help on the wallet. As we plan travel in 2022, picking destinations where your budget stretches further is key to travelling more!
A common mistake people make is focusing too much on flight prices. While flights can usually be the biggest expense, the actual destination can play a big factor in your budget. You might save some money by choosing the cheapest flights but there are places that are more affordable to visit, even if the flight costs a bit more.
Here are the top 17 budget-friendly travel destinations, suggested by some awesome travel bloggers, to visit in 2022!
1. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Contributed by Linda from Muy Linda Travels
Travelling in Vietnam is an amazing experience that won’t break the bank, with Ho Chi Minh City being one of the best budget-friendly travel destinations to travel to. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Ho Chi Minh City is the crazy traffic. A great budget way to see the sights is to hire a Xe-Om motorbike taxi like a local. Visit the Taoist Jade Emperor Temple, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon and escape from the craziness of the city into the lush Botanical Gardens without spending a cent. The impressive War Remnants museum, the Independence Palace and the Museum of Vietnamese History are also worth seeing. Ho Chi Minh City is a fun, fast-paced, budget-friendly place to visit.
Accommodation is relatively cheap. You can sleep comfortably in a 3-star hotel for the same price as a campsite in Australia. Vietnamese street food is delicious, fresh and inexpensive. Try a local Vietnamese Banh Mi or Pho and head to the Ben Thanh street food market for an evening meal.
Contributed by Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
One of the most stunning places to visit to explore nature, dramatic landscape, and wildlife in Namibia. And the good news is that Namibia is one of the most budget-friendly destinations you can travel to in 2022.
During a Namibia Itinerary, you’ll be able to explore some of the highest dunes on the Planet at the Sossusvlei, see the fossilized trees at Deadsvlei. You can also explore the magic Skeleton Coast where you can drive where the desert meets the ocean making such a unique landscape like no other place in the world. And the highlight of a trip to Namibia is going on safari at the epic Etosha National Park, where you drive among the plains and observe the big five and hundreds of other animals in one single day.
A trip to Namibia can be very expensive if you choose to go on private tours and stay at five-star lodges. But your trip to Namibia can be budget-friendly if you choose to go independently. The average costs can be $80 for simple hotel accommodation and $150 per day for a 4×4 rental truck. Food and fuel are lower than the average prices in the U.S. and Europe.
Contributed by Megan from Packing up the Pieces
One of the most budget-friendly destinations to travel in 2022 is Peru. This diverse country has so much to offer adventurous travellers for a small price tag.
Peru boasts unique experiences from visiting ruins once part of the mighty Inca empire, wandering along cobblestone streets in colonial cities, hiking trails through breath-taking landscapes, sand boarding in the arid desert, and relaxing at one of the many coastal beaches. Places like the magical Sacred Valley are filled with unique hiking trails, hidden Inca sites that are free to visit, and inspiring natural wonders.
Many of the accommodations options in Peru are extremely affordable. Find a wide range of hostels and guesthouses that oftentimes include breakfast and offer to store luggage for free. Intrepid travelers will love many free camping options found at the Archaeological Parks along with wild camping in the Andes Mountains. The buses in Peru are reasonably priced. Night buses are a great way to help save money on accommodation expenses. Head to the bustling local markets in any city or village where you can grab a daily menu that includes a starter, main course, and drink for around 5 Soles ($1.25 USD).
4. Koh Samet, Thailand
Contributed by Lotte from Gezond Weekmenu
One of the best budget-friendly destinations to travel to is Koh Smet island in Thailand; a popular weekend getaway for locals. However, if you visit during the week, the island is much quieter and you may even have one of the beautiful beaches to yourself, as well as excellent deals on accommodation. Check out Pon Resort for budget accommodation, a private room with bathroom is just €16 a night. And if you are lucky you may be able to stay at a fancy 4-star hotel like Ao Prao Resort for less than €100 a night (during weekdays).
Ao Prao means ‘Paradise Bay’ and this is the best place on the island to catch the sunset. Even if you don’t stay on this side of the island, be sure to have dinner here one night!
Koh Samet isn’t very large and three days is a good amount of time to spend here. Rent a scooter (~ €10 a day) to explore the island. The next day, join a snorkelling tour (from €12 for 3-hours) and on the third day relax on a nice beach. Street food here is cheap and there are many nice places to eat, you can’t really go wrong.
READ MORE: 15 CHEAPEST COUNTRIES TO VISIT IN EUROPE
5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributed by Paula from Truly Expat
Malaysia itself is a great place to visit on a budget, but there is nothing quite like Kuala Lumpur. From its densely populated city to its busy nightlife, this place has it all. From cheap eats to low-cost accommodation, Kuala Lumpur will have you living it up while spending less money than most destinations and feel like Royalty in the process.
There are plenty of free things to do in KL, such as the Petronas twin towers and KLCC park (take the free pink bus around the city) or visit the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (for a small fee of 63MYR); and then head over to the Perdana Botanical Gardens and enjoy the serenity this area has to offer.
Feel like taking a day trip? Then spend a day at the Kuala Gandah Elephant sanctuary or visit the synchronized flashing of fireflies by night. If you’re after diversity, then Petaling St Chinatown, Arab St Bukit Bintang and Brickfields Little India will have you seeing three unique cultures blended in one amazing city.
6. Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Contributed by Alya and Campbell from Stingy Nomads
Nusa Penida is one of three small islands separated from Bali in Indonesia on the east, by The Bandung Strait. This spectacular island is famous for impressive cliffs with unreal viewpoints, pristine beaches, caves, temples, waterfalls and amazing scuba diving. Travelling on a budget in Indonesia is easy; transport, food and accommodation are all very affordable and travelling without spending a fortune is not difficult on Nusa Penida. The island can be explored by renting a scooter, this is both fun and cheap. Renting a scooter usually costs around $5 USD per day! Driving here is challenging, if you are not a confident driver with a licence you can pay for a motorbike with a driver for about $20 per day.
Amazing sights not to be missed are Banah Cliff viewpoint, Kelingking Point, Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong and Crystal Bay. Scuba diving around Nusa Penida is excellent and this is a world renowned place to dive with the gigantic Mola mola, also known as the oceanic sunfish. Nusa Penida is a very affordable place to scuba dive or snorkel with majestic manta rays. These incredible animals can be seen at Manta Point, close to the island, all year round.
7. Istanbul, Turkey
Contributed by Corinne from Reflections Enroute
Istanbul, Turkey is one of the most beautiful and exotic cities in the world, and guess what? It’s one of the best budget-friendly destinations to travel to. The city is so old and full of history, that you can easily keep yourself busy here for a week. And it’s a great destination no matter what time of year you visit.
While in Istanbul, you will want to hit some of the big sights such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. You’ll also want to shop in both the Egyptian (or Spice) Bazaar and of course, the Grand Bazaar, where you can find amazing deals, especially if you don’t mind a little bartering.
For convenience, stay in the Sultan Ahmet area, where a pretty nice four star hotel with breakfast is only about $50 per night. Food is even cheaper, two people can eat out for about $25!
8. North India
Contributed by Mariellen from Breathe Dream Go
North India is home to many of the country’s greatest destinations and attractions, from the Taj Mahal to the Pink City of Jaipur, and from the Golden Temple in Amritsar to the soaring Himalayan mountains in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There is a lot to see and do, and most of it very cheap.
Delhi, the capital of India, is a fascinating and historical city. There are lots of amazing things to do in Delhi, and it was recently named one of the most inexpensive cities to visit. However, Delhi can also be extremely expensive, if you don’t research and discover the cheap areas, hotels, and restaurants. This applies throughout India: expensive options are often side-by-side ultra-cheap places. So look carefully at prices.
All over India, you can find guest houses and hostels for less than $25 per night if you search carefully, but do read the reviews and make sure the neighbourhoods are safe. Eating cheaply doesn’t mean compromising on hygiene. Look for chains such as Saravanna Bhavan, Haldirams, and Bikaner Sweets where a deliciously filling meal can be as little as $6-$8. Transportation in India can be very cheap. Use the metro in Delhi (except during rush hour), take tuk tuks, and even taxi services like Uber and Ola are inexpensive, often $2 or so for shorter distances. Trains and buses are also very affordable.
Contributed by Daria from The Discovery Nut
Guatemala is one of the most budget-friendly destinations to travel to in Central America, and you can easily visit this country without breaking a bank. Popular destinations in Guatemala like Lake Atitlan, Antigua, Flores and Monterrico all boast great budget accommodations, where you can stay for under $30 a night and try delicious food in small local restaurants for less than $10 per meal. Guided tours to famous landmarks like Pacaya Volcano, Acatenango Volcano, or the artisan market Chichicastenango will be your top expenses in Guatemala, as you can’t always visit these places on your own.
Public transportation around Guatemala is also cheap, but not always reliable, as buses take longer. This is why some travelers who are short on time choose private transportation. However, if you are traveling on a budget, public transportation is a great option as it allows you to get familiar with the country and get a better taste of its culture.
Overall, a vacation in Guatemala will offer less amenities and tourist infrastructure, but it will cost a lot less than a trip to more touristy parts of Central America such as Costa Rica.
10. Sri Lanka
Contributed by Haley from Haley Blackall
The teardrop Isle of Sri Lanka, off the southern coast of India, is culturally rich and full of things to do. And what makes it even better, is you can do it all on a budget, with affordable transportation, hostels, activities and local food. 3 weeks in Sri Lanka is the perfect amount of time to explore the highlights of this friendly country.
Due to the diversity of Sri Lanka’s landscape, you can trek through lush mountains, sunbathe on golden sands or surf in turquoise waters. A stop in the hilltop town of Ella offers many free hikes with panoramic views, or go on an elephant safari through Yala National Park. Head to the south coast and take a surf lesson (around $10USD for an hour) or enjoy an Ayurvedic cooking class or spa treatment.
If you’re looking for great places to eat, look at what roadside stall the locals are lined up at. This is a great indicator that the food is fresh and good quality. Local food comes around $3USD a meal. Make sure to try the Sri Lanka Thali plate, full of different curries and sides, or a Sri Lankan hopper.
Contributed by Erin from Sol Salute
Argentina’s economy is one of the most volatile in the world, which can make it either a very expensive destination or one of the cheapest, depending on when you visit. Luckily, at the moment, it’s one of the most budget-friendly countries to visit in 2022. High inflation has created a local demand for dollars, which has created a dual currency exchange. If you exchange your dollars in Argentina, you could receive rates almost double what you’ll get from an ATM, making it extremely affordable for foreign tourists.
Whether you come for a quick 3 days in Buenos Aires for the culture and nightlife or plan on backpacking Patagonia’s stunning trails, you can do so on a budget. In Argentina you can indulge in luxury steak dinners, drink wonderful wine, and travel to stunning destinations for a fraction of the cost that you’d pay in North America or Europe. Don’t forget to pick up leather goods (from custom jackets to bespoke footwear), handicrafts in the market, and wine to take home.
12. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Contributed by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat and a surprisingly budget-friendly destination to visit when traveling in South East Asia. While access to the ruin city can be expensive, the city of Siem Reap is very accessible for budget travelers and living costs are some of the lowest in Asia. You can find a fresh draft beer for only around $0.50 and a meal for less than $1. While the local currency is accepted, most travelers just use US dollars because the exchange rates are so unfavorable. For long-term trips, Siem Reap has very affordable rent and for around $250 per month, you can find a decent apartment with everything you’ll need.
Short-term travelers will appreciate Siem Reap’s central location and how accessible it is for the rest of Cambodia. You can take a bus to most places in the country, including the beautiful coastline, for only a few dollars. Another great budget-friendly activity in Siem Reap is visiting the Tonle Sap Lake which is home to the floating villages. Just take a taxi there and then hire a boat to take you around the beautiful lake.
13. The Philippines
Contributed by Emma from Emma Jane Explores
The Philippines is the perfect destination for those wanting a great budget-friendly holiday. The entire country is made up of islands, so beach life is definitely calling here. Island hopping from the stunning white-sand beaches of Boracay to the incredible Puerto Princesa Subterranean River will never disappoint. et a taxi, make sure you’ve agreed on either a metered fare or a negotiated rate before you drive away. Places you must visit on a trip to The Philippines include El Nido, Palawan, Bohol and Boracay.
Food and accommodation can be found cheaply by sticking to local favourites, rather than huge luxe resorts; (though many upmarket hotels are still markedly cheaper than in other countries). Water activities like snorkelling are super cheap here and spa treatments such as massages and pedicures are also very reasonable.
Expect to spend somewhere around $40 USD per day for local food, drinks and transport. Just remember, if you get a taxi, make sure you’ve agreed on either a metered fare or a negotiated rate before you get in.
Contributed by Emma Schnek from All Over the Place
From bustling medinas, to surfside coastal towns, rural mountain villages, and more, Morocco is the ultimate budget-friendly destination. RyanAir offers flights from many European cities directly into Casablanca and Marrakech; and Morocco’s extensive train and bus system can take you nearly anywhere you need to go.
Affordable accommodation is readily available, as converted traditional guesthouses (Riads) are the norm in hubs like Fez and Marrakech. A single bed in a simple Riad ranges from $7 to $20/ night, and there are affordable private rooms and Airbnb’s.
Moroccan food (in addition to being absolutely delicious!) is generally very affordable. A meal in a traditional Moroccan restaurant will rarely cost you over $10 USD. Morocco is home to a variety of outdoor activities like surfing, paragliding, ATV riding, and camel riding, all at reasonable rates. If that still hasn’t enticed you, Morocco is also home to sunny, seaside oases such as Essaouira and Taghazout where you can lounge with your toes in the sand!
Contributed by Disha from Disha Discovers
One of the most budget-friendly destinations to travel to in 2022 is Kazakhstan. For the traveler who wants to see a little bit of everything, Kazakhstan is the place to go. Kazakhstan is great with its diverse landscape, from deserts and volcanoes to mountains and steppes, and cities full of culture and history.
What makes Kazakhstan budget-friendly are the good deals on hotel prices and cheap food. You can get an ultra-luxurious hotel for under $100 USD per night and a nice meal for about $5.00 USD. I stayed at a four-star hotel for $50 USD per night and spent around $13 USD per day on meals. My tours and transportation costs were roughly $50 USD per day for travel all over the country over seven days.
Some of the best cheap things to do in Kazakhstan include visiting its many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, going on a hike or camping trip in the mountains, skiing or snowboarding in the winter, and exploring the cities and their historical attractions.
16. Sayulita, Mexico
Contributed by Jess & Justin from Uprooted Traveler
Sayulita, Mexico is a wonderful place to visit, with the boho-hippie vibes of Tulum, at a fraction of the price. Located on the Pacific coastline about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, this tiny town, named a pueblo magico by the Mexican government, first came on the map in the late 1960s as a world-class surfing destination. Since then, it’s been attracting visitors for its laid back vibes and incredible landscapes, with stunning beaches and lush jungles.
While you’re in town, consider taking a surf lesson, which typically range from an affordable $40-45. Alternatively, consider any of the amazing tours, like a whale watching cruise to see the impressive humpback whales in the warm shallow lagoons; or to Isla Marietas, known as “Galapagos of Mexico” due to its vast biodiversity. Mexico is known as a budget-frendly destination for travelers and Sayulita is no exception. You can snag a decent hotel room for as little as $30 a night and a delicious meal for $7-15.
Contributed by Laura from Laura Wonders
With its towering mountain peaks, lush green jungles, rich culture, and friendly locals, Nepal is one of the top travel destinations in the world. Not only is it one of the most budget-friendly destinations to travel to, Nepal has something to offer different travellers.
From trekking through the Himalayas to learning about Buddhism and Hinduism or savouring delicious Nepali dishes, there’s lots of variety. There’s a saying stating that you first visit Nepal for the mountains, then return for the people. The Nepali are renowned for being friendly and hospitable, which will make your visit to the country unforgettable. If you love adventure, you can easily tick off some of the most adrenaline-rushing experiences from your adventure bucket list. Besides trekking in the mountains, some great activities here are rafting, paragliding, rock climbing, and zip lining.
All in all, Nepal is a very safe and affordable destination where you won’t have to spend tons of money. You can easily find hostels for $5 a night if you don’t mind sleeping in dorms; whereas you can find private rooms starting from $8 a night.
A big thank you to all the amazing bloggers and their contributions to this post! Make sure you check out their bogs for some more information on these destinations.
What budget-friendly travel destinations are you thinking about visiting to in 2022? Do you have an affordable destination you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this post before you go!
Until Next Time xx