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Airfare and hotel rates are still more expensive than they have been in years. Heading to big cities like NYC or the most popular spots in Europe like London, Paris, or Rome will cost a pretty penny this year. But, as Kiplinger reported last week, there are still some inexpensive countries to visit. Here are the ten they called out as inexpensive to visit this year.
I laughed a bit at this one because it’s also one of the most expensive places to visit when you head to Santorini or Mykonos (think hotel rates over $1,000 per night). If you head to lesser-known islands, areas of the mainland like Thessaloniki (check out my tips for visiting there, here), or even Athens, there are some bargains.
Portugal has long made similar lists. It’s cheaper than visiting nearby Spain and has a great mix of food, history, culture, and beaches. I’ve been to Portugal many times and have found Lisbon, Porto, and even the Algarve to be inexpensive and lovely. Some of my favorite things to do in Lisbon can be found here.
8. Dominican Republic
I haven’t been to the DR since I was in college. It’s a quick flight from the US and makes up half of the largest island in the Caribbean. It offers beautiful beaches, rainforests, and lots of resorts at a bargain price compared to much of the Caribbean.
Mexico has something for everyone. From the cosmopolitan capital of Mexico City filled with amazing food and culture to the ancient temples of Chichen Itza to the beautiful beaches near Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and more, our neighbor south of the border has a lot to offer. Flights are inexpensive and often on sale. There are resorts for every budget including many all inclusive if that’s your thing.
6. Costa Rica
We’ll be heading here later this year. Costa Rica offers access to both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans, rainforests, volcanoes, and cloud forests. It’s natural beauty and low cost make it a great destination.
Budapest is an exciting, metropolitan city filled with history. The surrounding countryside offers mountains, rivers, and lush countryside to explore. Whether in Budapest or outside, hotels are inexpensive and dining out is a bargain. Check out Hungarian paprika for a fairly sweet and not smoky flavor added to some delicious dishes.
It’s not the cheapest place to fly, but once you’re there, the dollar goes far. Whether you want to visit temples and/or party in Bangkok or check out the low-key beach vibes of Phuket, Thailand has a lot going for it. And, don’t forget to stuff yourself with Thai food that will blow away anything you’ve tasted stateside.
I’ve yet to visit Bali, but might stop there after Hong Kong in May. Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands that offer amazing beaches, glimpses of rare wildlife, and of course a stop for Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. I’m hopeful this will be the year we get to check out some of this beautiful country.
Turkey straddles Asia and Europe and offers a melting pot of cultures. We loved our visit to Istanbul and I want to get back to check out more outside of the city. In Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar are musts. The recent earthquakes hit hundreds of miles from many of the most popular tourist destinations and tourism will be vital for the necessary rebuilding after these natural disasters.
I’ve been to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, but never made it to nearby Laos. I’ve heard good things about the natural beauty and friendly people. It’s definitely on my list.
Anthony’s Take: I’ve been to most of this list and hope to hit up some of the places I haven’t yet visited. Airfare might be a bit steep this year, but once you arrive in any of these destinations you’ll find affordable lodging and cheap eats. Do you plan on visiting any of these this year?
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