A recent survey found that just under a third of all adult Americans have never visited another country, while more than 50% have only visited three other nations.
The U.S. is vast and there is a lot to see and do, from skiing in the cold northern states to sunbathing and cruising in the south, but it’s still fairly limiting. To really see and experience new things you need to jump on a plane and bid adieu to North America.
If you choose your vacation hotspots carefully and don’t visit during peak holiday season, you don’t even need to spend that much, as these budget vacation destinations show.
The German capital is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with a wealth of history and culture to explore and lots of great food to sample.
It’s also one of the cheapest, and travelers can expect to pay up to three times less for accommodations and food than they would in cities like Paris and London.
There is a misconception that all major European cities are over-priced, and this misconception comes from the aforementioned capitals of England and France, where a beer can cost up to $15 and four-star accommodation can cost $200 a night, but Berlin bucks this trend.
It also has just as much to offer. It is a young and vibrant city that is home to people from all walks of life, including countless Americans and Canadians who moved there to benefit from the low-cost of living and the high quality healthcare and education.
You can visit the jaw-dropping Brandenburg Gate, the award-winning Berlin Zoo, and dine-out in the countless amazing restaurants.
If you thought Berlin was cheap, wait until you see the cost of accommodations, food and activities in Transylvania, the birthplace of Dracula.
This is nowhere near as commercialized as you might expect, but it is every bit as beautiful and is the perfect location for horror movie fans and for anyone who wants to see Europe on a budget. There are hostels that will put you up for just a few dollars a night and the food is some of the cheapest on the continent, while still being delicious and providing plenty of variety.
South Africa is one of the most diverse English-speaking countries in the world. You can move from sprawling metropolises like Johannesburg to vast open safaris like the Kruger National Park.
It has a reputation for being a little unruly, but there are many safe areas and cities like Cape Town are some of the safest of them all, playing host to countless tourists from all over the world.
South Africa’s cultural diversity and unique location means you’ll never be short of activities and will be treated to an experience you won’t find on the North American continent.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you can’t make it to Europe then the city of Buenos Aires will give you a flavor of what you’re missing. The city pays homage to European architectural styles and from certain perspectives could be mistaken for Berlin, Moscow, London or Paris.
Argentinian barbecue is huge right now and there’s no better place to enjoy it than in the heart of its biggest city. There are also lots of cozy cafes to enjoy some of the finest South American coffee, as well as bars where you can mingle with the locals.
If you stray off the tourist path you’ll find a diverse and affordable city, and if you visit outside of the peak season you can find return flights for less than a couple hundred dollars per person.
India is vast and no two cities are alike, but to an outsider who has never left the United States, every single city and town is just as mesmerizing and breathtaking and it has just as many amazing sights, smells and experiences.
Indian street food is some of the best in the world and it’s also incredibly cheap. You can eat out every single day for less than you’d spend on a day’s worth of groceries back home.
They also have dirt-cheap hostels and hotels, and if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket you can stay in some of the world’s cheapest four-star and five star hotels.
Visit during Holi (the Festival of Colors) for an unforgettable experience – a Mardi Gras like atmosphere and a literal explosion of colors.
Guest Contributor Bio:
Nicky Sarandrea is a travel writer currently living in the Sunshine State. When he’s not enjoying the Florida weather, he’s off on some international adventure. He has visited over 50 countries and has many more left on his bucket list.