Grab your bucket list and read on…Don’t forget to pin this page for later!
I’m starting this list with Laos for entirely subjective reasons, as I’m about to travel there for a second time—and getting excited all over again.
Laos has an established tourist trail leading to the UNESCO world heritage city of Luang Prabang as well as the adventure travel hub of Vang Vieng. Nevertheless, Laos is a decidedly low-key place. Stay in small towns surrounded by rice fields and pokey karst mountains or simply unwind on an island in a Mekong riverine archipelago where you can spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
A room in a basic guesthouse costs just about ten dollars a night, and the food is cheap and super yummy. To get to Laos, you usually go to neighboring Thailand first, which has many budget flight connections from around the world.
The exchange rate between the Mexican peso and currencies like USD and EUR remains much more favorable now than it was just a few years ago, making it even easier to travel in Mexico on a budget.
Backpackers will love Mexico, but it’s also perfect for a bargain holiday. For best value, avoid resorts in Cabo or Cancun in favor of lower-key beach towns such as Tulum, Puerto Escondido, Zihuatanejo, or Mazatlan.
By the way, don’t brush Mexico aside based on safety concerns (especially based on US news). A few trouble spots aside, you’ll no doubt find the situation very different from what you imagine.
Oh, Nepal. You had me at “namaste.”
The hustle and bustle of Kathmandu and the kind nature of the Nepalese had me instantly enchanted when I visited this year. It got even better when I went trekking through the mountains: seeing the sun come up over the Himalayas while surrounded by some of the tallest peaks in the world is an experience I won’t ever forget.
Tour companies provide guided treks which can be pricey, but it’s possible to trek independently for under $30 a day (if you sleep and eat in tea houses along the way).
But Nepal isn’t just about its accessible and affordable trekking; other activities include jungle safaris, kayaking around Lake Phewa, and visiting the many temples of Kathmandu. With basic private rooms starting at $10, you won’t need to spend much.
No, not the US state! I’m talking about the country in the Caucasus.
Georgia is high on my list to visit in 2018 as the buzz around this country from fellow travelers just refuses to stop. While I have yet to visit, I wanted to include Georgia here as blog posts like these have persuaded me it’s now the place to go.
Situated at the edge of Europe along the Caucasian Mountain range, it’s clear that Georgia has so much to offer in both cultural and natural attractions. Accommodation is dirt cheap by international standards, with $5 dorms or $20 rooms not uncommon even in the capital of Tbilisi.
Don’t be surprised if I’ll be reporting from Georgia sometime this year…
From white sand beaches to jungles and savannahs, from blue flame spewing volcanoes to remote rainforests where you can meet orangutans in the wild… Indonesia is a whole world to discover.
Bali is the main tourist hot-spot thanks to its many beaches, Balinese Hindu culture, and easy airport access. But consider exploring other regions as well: adjacent Lombok and Java are equally fantastic in their own ways. In 2015, I had a phenomenal time exploring the Komodo islands and Flores.
Portugal is having its moment in the spotlight right now, as I’ve witnessed first-hand while living in Lisbon over the past year. Its tourism boom is fueling an incredible redevelopment (along with some inevitable issues), though it seems that at least for now Lisbon is maintaining its sunny charms.
Avoid the most touristy places, and you can enjoy some argain prices. The 60 euro cent coffee is not a myth…
Compared to neighboring Costa Rica, the tourism industry in Nicaragua is still in its primordial stages. While the former is busy trying to attract high-spending ecotourists from the US, Nicaragua isn’t yet on everyone’s radar—and that’s a great thing as it has kept prices low.
You can still use the better-connected Costa Rica as your entry point to fly into; grab a cheap flight to Liberia, from where it’s just a 1-hour drive to the Nicaraguan border.