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Top Budget-Friendly Destinations for 2024

Girls Who Travel | Budget Travel for 2024

Feeling the travel itch but your wallet’s whispering sweet nothings about staying home? Don’t worry, Girls Who Travel! There’s still plenty of time to find epic destinations that won’t leave you begging for a bank loan. We’re talking ancient ruins, sun-kissed beaches, and adventures that’ll fill your memory bank without emptying your pockets.

So, take notes because we’re going to show you to the top budget-friendly destinations for 2024. And when you’re done, be sure to check out check out the #1 Budget Travel Course for Women from Girls Who Travel!

Europe on a Shoestring:

Poland: Where History and Beauty Collide

Girls Who Travel | Budget Poland

Poland isn’t just about pierogies (although those are pretty awesome). This country is easy on the wallet while also filled with history and scenery Krakow’s cobblestone streets will transport you through history, with the awe inspiring Wawel Royal Castle and the somber Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site – two affordable, but impactful experiences. Want something a little less history lesson and a little more chill? Wroclaw’s your spot. This colourful city boasts stunning architecture and a lively market square, all without the hefty price tag.

Insider Tip: Dispose of the fancy hotels idea and bunk up in a cozy “pensjonat.” These Polish guesthouses are run by families, so you get a taste of local life and avoid hostel bunk bed nightmares.

Hungary: Thermal Baths and Architectural Gems

Girls Who Travel | Budget Hungary

Get your spa on in Budapest for not-spa prices. Szechenyi Baths let’s you soak in luxurious thermal waters for an ahh-mazing, but ahh-fordable price. Then take yourself out for an incredible meal with goulash and chimney cakes (think sugary, twisted pastry heaven). Budapest’s not just about indulging your inner foodie or pampering yourself at the baths though. This city is a photographer’s dream, with Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building looking like they stepped straight out of a fairytale.

Insider Tip: Skip the taxi and hop on the public transport. It’s a great way to save some cash and maybe even meet some interesting locals along the way!

The Czech Republic: Fairytale Towns and Budget-Friendly Delights

Girls Who Travel | Budget Czech Republic

Prague, this “City of a Hundred Spires” lives up to the hype without burning a hole in your wallet. Get lost (in a good way) wandering the charming Old Town Square, take in the majesty of the Prague Castle, and stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge – all for free. Then add some magic to your trip at Český Krumlov, a UNESCO gem with a perfectly preserved medieval center!

Insider Tip: Want to save more? Pack some snacks and then enjoy it at one of Prague’s gorgeous parks, like Letná Gardens or Kampa Island. Not only will you save some cash on lunch, but you’ll get to experience the local vibe.

Southeast Asia on a Dime:

Thailand: Land of Smiles and Affordability

Girls Who Travel | Budget Thailand

Thailand’s a backpacker’s paradise! And Bangkok, with it’s dazzling temples and food stalls serving up delicious eats for next to nothing, will make you and your wallet happy. After you’ve taken in the adventure of Bangkok, head north to Chiang Mai for some mountain air. There, you’ll find cheap guesthouses and scenery that you’ll never forget. And if you’re a beach bum, southern islands like Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi boast pristine sands and affordable stays.

Insider Tip: Try the songthaew, a shared red truck that’s a super cheap and adventurous way to get around Thailand. You might even make some new travel buddies along the way!

Vietnam: Unveiling a Hidden Gem

Girls Who Travel | Budget Vietnam

Vietnam is having a serious budget travel moment, and for good reason! This place packs a punch with history, culture, and jaw-dropping scenery, all without costing an arm and a leg. Ho Chi Minh City will blow your mind with its energy, Hoi An’s colorful lanterns will turn your Instagram into a masterpiece, and a cruise through Ha Long Bay is pure postcard perfection. Plus, the food scene is a win for every taste bud, from steaming bowls of pho to refreshing spring rolls.

Insider Tip: Learn a couple of Vietnamese phrases like “Cám ơn” (thank you) and “Bao nhiêu?” (how much?). It shows the locals you care and can help you score even better deals at markets and shops. You might even make a new friend or two!

Indonesia: Island Hopping Paradise

Girls Who Travel | Budget Indonesia

Indonesia is basically an island buffet for budget travellers! Bali’s bustling streets are lined with cheap guesthouses and warungs (local eateries) serving up delicious eats. Want to avoid the crowds? The Gili Islands are your chill zone, with turquoise waters and coral reefs that look straight out of a screensaver.

Insider Tip: Island hopping doesn’t have to break the bank! Indonesia has a great network of ferries that connect the islands. It’s a super affordable way to explore different vibes, meet some friendly locals, and experience the laid-back island life. You might even score a sweet tan while you’re at it!

Beyond the Usual Suspects:

Nicaragua: Central America’s Enchanting Secret

Girls Who Travel | Budget Nicaragua

Nicaragua is Central America’s hidden gem, waiting to be explored by budget adventurers! While its neighbours might get all the hype, Nicaragua offers a delightful surprise. Explore the vibrant colonial city of Granada, hike the majestic Mombacho volcano (if you’re feeling adventurous!), or kick back on the pristine beaches of Little Corn Island.

Insider Tip: Rid of the pricey tours and hire a local guide instead. They’ll share hidden gems, unique cultural insights, and all for a fraction of the cost. You might even make a new friend who can show you the ropes!

Morocco: A Journey Through Time and Spice

Girls Who Travel | Budget Morocco

Morocco is a feast for the senses on a budget! Get lost (in the best way possible) wandering the maze-like souks of Marrakech, where you can snag treasures like hand-woven rugs and handcrafted pottery without breaking the bank. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a camel trek through the stunning Sahara Desert and spend a night gazing at a sky exploding with stars.

Insider Tip: Don’t be afraid to embrace the maze! Getting lost in the medinas is the best way to stumble upon hidden courtyards, chill local cafés, and friendly shopkeepers who’ll share stories of their lives and culture. You might even score a sweet mint tea invitation!

Bulgaria: Where History and the Black Sea Collide

Girls Who Travel | Budget Bulgaria

This budget-friendly gem offers a history buff’s dream come true. Explore the ancient city of Sofia, where Roman ruins mingle with Ottoman architecture. For some beach time, the Black Sea coast boasts pristine sands for soaking up the sun. For some mountainous experience, Bulgaria’s got you covered with charming towns nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Insider Tip: Abandon the rental car and hop on Bulgaria’s reliable and affordable public transportation system, including trains and buses. It’s a great way to save some cash and maybe even strike up a conversation with a local along the way who can take you to lesser known spots.

Pro Tips for the Budget-Conscious Traveller:

Here are some additional tips to help you stretch your travel dollar even further:

  • Travel in the Shoulder Seasons: Avoid peak tourist seasons when prices for flights and accommodation skyrocket. Consider travelling during the shoulder seasons (end of summer and fall) to enjoy pleasant weather and lower costs.
  • Embrace Local Transportation: Taxis can quickly drain your budget. Opt for public transportation like buses, trains, or even bicycles. It’s a more authentic way to experience the local way of life and save money at the same time.
  • Accommodation Alternatives: Scrap the fancy hotels and consider budget-friendly options like hostels, guesthouses, or even apartments. Hostels offer a social atmosphere and a chance to meet fellow travellers, while guesthouses provide a more intimate experience with a local touch. Renting an apartment can be a good choice for groups or longer stays, offering more space and the ability to cook some meals at home.
  • Embrace Street Food: Skip expensive restaurants and indulge in delicious and affordable street food. From spicy curries in Thailand to savory goulash in Hungary, street food offers a chance to experience local flavours and save money.
  • Free Activities are Your Friend: Many cities offer a wealth of free activities, from exploring museums on free admission days to picnicking in parks and attending cultural events. Do some research beforehand and take advantage of all the free experiences your chosen destination has to offer.
  • Pack Light: Airlines often charge hefty fees for checked luggage. Pack light and efficiently to avoid these additional costs.

Travelling on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on experiences. With a little planning, resourcefulness, and a willingness to embrace the unexpected, you can unlock a world of adventure without breaking the bank. So, dust off your backpack, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the magic that awaits you in these budget-friendly havens!

Want more? Check out our the #1 Budget Travel Course for Women from Girls Who Travel!

Rachel Galvan

Rachel is an intrepid world traveller, lifestyle connoisseuse, and Girls Who Travel's resident beauty advisor. She is a lover of the ocean, flowers, movies, journalism, and has a penchant for medium-sized tattoos. When she is not busy with life, she writes stories of her globetrots as well as tips & tricks on how to make the best out of travelling.

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