Almost everything costs more these days, especially travel. But there are several places you can travel that won’t break the bank. These are my favorite budget friendly spots to travel internationally that are not in Southeast Asia (because we all know about Bali and Bangkok).
1. Fez, Morocco
A short flight from Europe will put you in the ancient city of Fez. Enjoy a walking tour to learn more about the local history in this longstanding Islamic city. You can take a day trip to the blue pearl city of Chefchaouen. No matter how long you visit, be sure to stay in a riad with beautiful interior courtyards and rooftop views. We stayed in the heart of the medina for $20/night! Visit the Chouara tanneries to see how they’ve been dying leather for more than 1,000 years (say yes! to the mint leaves offered to mask the smell). Moroccan cuisine is very reasonable, and while alcohol is found in more limited quantities, Berber whiskey (or mint tea) is readily available.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
Scandinavia is notorious for being pricey, but Copenhagen offers many free or low-cost activities for a fun-filled trip to the capital city. The city is also home to budget hostels with lots of amenities like the Steel House. Public transportation or rental bikes are great options for exploring the city on your own. Explore Freetown Christiana or hunt for Dambo’s hidden trolls. I’ve written a post with the top 8 free things to do in Copenhagen.
3. Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
Some of the world’s best diving can be found off the coast of Sharm el Sheikh. Spend a week lounging by the Red Sea. Take a day trip to Mount Sinai. Find an all-inclusive resort in Na’ama Bay, a hub of countless restaurants and bazaars. Hop on a 3-day liveaboard to dive for $100/day or a snorkeling trip to one of the shallow reefs for $50. Wander around the Old Market or find a traditional hookah lounge for a night on the town. Don’t forget to head down the beach to the famed Farsha Mountain Lounge for drinks at sunset. Sharm el Sheikh is a short flight from central Europe or the Mediterranean and you can travel to the area for up to 15 days without a visa.
4. Budapest, Hungary
There are several budget airlines that fly into Hungary’s capital, including their own Wizz Airlines. Pick a less-touristy, no-frills thermal bath like Veli Bej. Cruise the Danube on public transportation. Central Budapest has lots of hostels and low budget accommodations, as well as public transit that can be used via the BudapestGo app. While in the Schengen zone, Budapest still uses its own currency – the forint (HUF) so take advantage of the strong currency conversion and enjoy this affordable dream destination. Budapest is definitely worth adding to your bucket list. Check out this post for all the details!
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Boundless energy, colorful neighborhoods and haunted cemeteries are enough to refresh even the weariest travelers. Cheap flights from Miami or Las Vegas make this destination a budget destination in the same time zone. Stroll along one of the grand boulevards, stop at a local café, or find some local music. The “Paris of South America” won’t disappoint and won’t break the bank.
Some content may contain affiliate or referral links. When you click on and/or make a purchase through an affiliate link placed on Lifetime Tidbits, I may receive a small commission or other form of compensation at no additional cost to you. Please refer to my disclosures page for further details.