If you are looking for the best and cheapest places to travel and explore while you’re young, look no further. These locations from around the world are perfect for 20-somethings to visit without breaking the bank. It has never been this easy to travel on a budget!
1. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Thailand is an immensely popular tourist location for young travelers. The cost of flights and accommodations make even the most luxurious vacation only as expensive as the cost of living in a major city. And once you land you can do some island hopping while in Thailand, but you might want your final destination to be Ko Phi Phi.
Instead of dealing with the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, you can travel to the Phi Phi Islands and enjoy white sand beaches and crystal clear water. A mixture of lush greenery and mountainous terrain makes this location a unique blend of beautiful that you can enjoy. Not a bad deal for one of the cheapest places to travel.
2. Caye Caulker, Belize
This small island community off the coast of Belize is filled with rich wildlife and an ocean holding great diving points to take advantage of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Taking advantage of this amazing city is easy as high-class hotels run in the tens of dollars, rarely breaking 2 figures. It doesn’t get much better than that when you need to travel on a budget. For young people, there are plenty of opportunities for socializing and exploring.
3. Cusco, Peru
The former capital of the Inca Empire holds amazing ancient ruins, unlike anything you can see on the rest of the planet. But along with the very ancient city ruins that tourists can hike and camp around, there are also distinct remains of the Spanish settlements that were created when the region was conquered.
It is a place that everyone should visit, and because of its affordability and accessibility, it is an ideal place for young people to visit. You are going to want to visit this intense landscape while your body is strong enough to hike the trails you cannot access by car.
4. Cobán, Guatemala
This Guatemalan city is a nature lover’s dream destination. Experience the natural waterfalls and caves tucked among the lushness of this beautiful area of the globe. It is perfect for young people, and especially those who are trying to save money. Major destination: Las Victorias National Park, which will provide many hours of hiking through the wooded expanse of trails.
One of the few issues with traveling to Guatemala is how far away the different sites are from one another, but in the case of Cobán, you are in an area that could keep you exploring forever. Spending time in nature, you will end up with an unbelievable set of memories for an amazingly low price.
5. Budapest, Hungary
If you are already in Europe, Budapest is a popular destination, but it is often overlooked by those unfamiliar with the region. I was surprised when I planned my trip to hear from many of my more worldly friends that it was their favorite city and also one of the cheapest places to travel (though it is technically two cities, Buda and Pest). And after visiting it, I know why.
Hotels and daily expenses are rather cheap, and recent building booms have created “hotels” that use empty apartments, giving travelers affordable access to high scale accommodations. The city feels young and full of life because it is very easy to travel to on a budget. The city is very walkable, and public transportation is cheap and reliable.
6. Havana, Cuba
The capital city of Cuba has been a popular tourist destination even long before certain travel restrictions were lifted. The city’s history has created a very authentically distinct feel in terms of culture and appearance. You will see many old cars and buildings with very bright colors, underscoring the liveliness of the city itself.
No matter what your budget looks like, almost every hotel in the city is on the shoreline. This gives you amazing access to the beaches and nightlife of Havana.
7. Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known for its universally low cost of living, which extends perfectly to tourists. There are few places I would recommend once there more than Tamarindo. With beaches like the Playa Grande where you can see gigantic leatherback turtles, and a wildlife refuge filled with howler monkeys, this place is truly a unique experience.
If animals and wildlife are not quite your speed, take a walk along the coast or learn to surf in the beautifully clear Costa Rican waves. Hotel prices can be a little steep towards the higher end resorts, but Tamarindo is very doable on a 20-year-old’s budget.
8. San Blas, Panama
The expansive city along the coast of Panama opposite the coast that holds Panama City. Though some may prefer the latter to San Blas, these islands are often unfairly overshadowed by the capital city. The many islands off the coast of the city are beautiful palm tree filled oases in the center of crystal clear water.
The city often feels like a living postcard, and it is an extremely cheap destination with many quaint ocean side accommodations for around $40 to $63 dollars with anything rarely being $100 or more. Perfect for any young person looking for the cheapest places to travel.
9. Kathmandu, Nepal
A unique destination that is well within your traveling budget is the Himalayan state of Nepal. Kathmandu is the capital city and truly a sight to behold. In terms of architecture, it is extremely unique with its culture visually spreading through the terraced hills of the surrounding area.
A nice hotel is unlikely to break the single figure mark, with many hotels being under $10. If you are on a very tight budget, this destination is extremely inviting. You can certainly pay more for your accommodations, but it won’t be out of (travel on a budget) necessity.
10. Bali, Indonesia
With a distinct blend of culture and breathtaking scenery, Bali is like no other place on Earth. Of the cheapest places to travel, you can make the most of a trip to Indonesia because enjoying yourself only requires you to step outside. It is a city meant for exploring.
At the end of the night, you can find cheap and high-quality sleeping accommodations. Some three-star hotels costing as little as $17 a night. But with a more lenient budget, you can also get extravagant without stretching yourself too thin.
11. Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
A majestic green landscape with a variety of natural marvels. One of the most breathtaking of which are the many waterfalls. You will see waterfalls unlike anything you’ve seen before, as these bodies of water move bast vibrant green rolling hills.
This destination is very friendly toward young travelers in terms of the experiences it offers and the low cost associated with spending time absorbing it all. You can get great hotels without spending anywhere close to a fortune that this location is worth.
12. Bogotá, Colombia
I like to say that Bogotá is a city that oozes with culture. It is one of the few cities on this list that is noteworthy for its secular art. From the city streets filled with vibrant graffiti to the Museo Botero, this city dares you to imagine.
It is a truly inspirational place to travel and soak up architecture like the Holy Mother Of Carmen Church. It is an exciting and different place than most people would think to visit, and well worth the affordable price.
13. Sofia, Bulgaria
While it may not be the cheapest destination on this list, if you want to get a taste of Europe without paying European prices, Sofia is a great place to go. You can easily find hotels and other accommodations for around $25-$40 a night, there’s lots of free things to see and do and the food is reasonably priced as well. There’s plenty of art, history, castles and other sights to see and explore and it feels a bit like visiting Prague but with a cheaper price tag (although Prague isn’t expensive, either!)
14. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Most young people who are looking to start traveling the world today will have little issue starting their journey with Vietnam. A great city to visit is Ho Chi Minh, as it is centrally located among the wide variety of destinations in the country. It has both historical and cultural landmarks, mixed with sprawling city streets and access to nature.
This city has the perfect blend for those looking to get a diverse group of friends interested in a trip. The best part of all is the affordability of the city, as everything ranges from inexpensive to extremely cheap.
15. Kos, Greece
Greece is already overlooked as a top pick for the cheapest places to travel, with most tourists only flocking to Athens. However, I would recommend the island of Kos over all else. The average price of a hotel is around $35, and there are tons of outdoor activities to do in this scenic paradise!
Greece is one of the most historically significant places in the world. From literature to scientific thought to government, Greece has offered the world a lot. And while you are young and on a budget, you can soak up some of that history or soak up some sun on the lovely beaches of Kos!
There is no better time than your 20’s to take advantage and explore all the world has to offer. With so many options for the cheapest places to travel, it’s time to get planning!