Is your travel itch screaming SCRATCH ME but your bank budget saying helllllll no?
Well, what if we were to tell you your dollar can actually stretch a whole lot further then you thought, thanks to travel being more affordable than ever before. And we don’t mean slumming it in a dingy highway hostel. Oh no, we’ve scoped out some travel treat worthy destinations where you can experience a slice of the high life for super reasonable prices.
A hidden affordable gem within Western Europe, Portugal brings sun, sea, beautiful beaches, culture and mouth-wateringly tasty food. If you’re looking for some down time, the Algarve is where it’s at. A surfer’s paradise and a beach bums retreat, you’ll find plenty of well-priced spots where you can feast on fresh seafood, chicken piri-piri and €5 wine to your heart’s content. Or, head a little further north where the capital, Lisbon, brings the perfect combination of city vibrancy and slow pace Portuguese living. Surrounded by beaches, cobbled streets and an abundance of history, spots like Sintra, Belem Tower, Cascais and Alfama, are just a few of the must go areas in and around Lisbon.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO PORTUGAL
Island hopping along golden beaches, tantalising Thai cuisine, partying it up full moon style, and a culture completely unlike your own – just a few reasons why Thailand remains one of the top go-to destinations for young travellers. Combine this with its low cost living and you’re in for one hell of a treat. Don’t let the Thai bhat currency throw you off guard; a decent hostel will set you back around 255 Thai Baht / AU$10.00. If you’re looking to steer away from the tourist trodden roots, Nakhon Si Thammarat offers some of the best food the country has to offer, or hire a motorbike to make the 600km trip along the Mae Hong Son Loop through the forested northern mountains.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO THAILAND
Situated in central South America, Bolivia is a country offering some of the most beautiful, diverse landscapes around. With the Andes desert, tropical rainforest and vast savannahs of the Amazon basin all spanning across this one country, it’s a mystery as to why it’s still something of an unknown. Most commonly known for its instagramable Salar de Uyuni salt flats, a two or three day tour of one of the world’s most incredible landscapes will set you back less than £100/AUD$170. This place is an absolute must for any adventure traveller or budget backpacker.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO BOLIVIA
A Central American hotspot which is often overlooked by the likes of Costa Rica, it’s hard not to fall in love with this country’s natural beauty and charm. Comprising of diverse landscapes, waterfalls, the monumental Maya temples of Tikal, the volcanoes of Antigua and indigenous markets, Guatemala sure does have a lot going for itself. And let’s not forget the rock bottom prices; with a meal setting you back a steep AUD$5.00, there really is no reason not to take a trip off the beaten track and explore this captivating country.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO GUATEMALA
Even within a region of budget-friendly destinations, Laos stands out. Situated in Southeast Asia, the slow paced country is known for its beautiful mountains, tubing parties (essentially floating down a river of bars) and Buddhist monasteries. Street food is in abundance just about everywhere you go, costing little to nothing, whilst accommodation is generally between AUD$15 to AUD$40 a night. If you’re looking to delve a little deeper into the enchanting country, check out The Rough Guide to Laos for some little known treats.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO LAOS
Sure Greece’s economic climate has been fairly tumultuous over the past few years, but if there’s any silver lining we can take from this, it’s the cheaper than usual travel. In places like Athens, you can now book a three or four star hotel for less than AUD$100, which comparative to most of Europe is really pretty cheap. Choosing Greece as your go-to destination won’t only result in treating yourself to luxury accommodation and sailing around the likes of Crete and Mykonos; it also means supporting and putting much needed money back into the local economy. Mediterranean food and crystal clear seas at this price…sold!
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO GREECE
Standing out as one of THE budget-friendly South Asian destinations – Vietnam’s healthy food, well priced upscale accommodation and beautiful beaches make this a popular choice amongst savvy travellers. Discover Ha Long Bay’s 600-mile turquoise bay filled with huge limestone islands, treat yourself to street food in Hanoi, or relax in ancient Hoi An and the nearby golden beaches. The food is as dreamy as the surroundings and for as little as $1 (or 22,000 Vietnamese dong) a dish, you’ll sure be getting a big ol’ dose of Vietnamese culture.
GO THERE WITH CONTIKI: TRIPS TO VIETNAM