As the new year ushers in, it’s not just our list of resolutions that becomes longer: so is our travel bucket list! New sceneries, thrilling experiences, amazing food, and of course, easy on the pocket! From a bustling European city, a gastronomic paradise in Southeast Asia, to a summer haven in Africa, we have rounded up for you the most affordable travel destinations of 2018:
A trip to paradise does not always mean a swanky villa in the middle of crystal clear waters that cost a fortune. Welcome to Zanzibar, a gorgeous island in East Africa that boasts of immaculate white beaches, teeming marine life, and an exotic culture that could all be enjoyed without breaking the bank. Before heading out to the beach, take time in exploring the historic city of Stone Town with its beautiful Swahili architecture and varied culture. Hostels can be as cheap as $11 a night and delicious local treats can go as low as $2. As you move towards the beaches such as Nungwi and Jambiani, new and stylish boutique hotels can be enjoyed for as low as $30pp per night. And freshly grilled octopus and seafood? Just a little below $10. Go start packing your bikinis, swim shorts, and tanning oils!
The amount of tourists cruising along arguably this country’s most popular attraction Ha Long Bay can be overwhelming. But don’t skip Vietnam just yet. A little more exploration may just give you the most delicious trip you will ever have. Soak in the colors and dynamism of Hanoi, get lost along the thick stone walls of Hue, or cruise back in time in Hoi An’s well-preserved and colorful Ancient Town --- with accommodations starting from as low as $8 for a hostel bed to $12-16 for a private AC room. But the best deal must be the amazing Vietnamese food: fresh spring rolls, a hot bowl of pho, or stir-fried noodles which you can get for $1.50 to $3! No leaving Vietnam without a sip of its popular coffee with condensed milk and $1 is all you need for one cup.
It may not be as popular as its neighboring city Buenos Aires but Chile’s capital deserves a spot in your next go-to destinations. It is a vibrant and bustling cosmopolitan that boasts of an eccentric art scene, top-notch dining, co-working spaces, and incredible parties, all can be enjoyed with great value. It has also long been known for its fruits, fish, and yes, wine! A bottle of decent red wine is yours for just over $4. Going around towns won’t cost a lot as the city has an excellent subway system. Entrance to Parque Metropolitano is only around $2-3 and a visit to famed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s home is only around $3 for students.
Nothing short of marvelous: this is how Hunan province in China can be perfectly described. A whopping 80% of the entire province is made up of precarious ranges and karst peaks that provide a magnificent and dramatic view that will surely take your breath away. Yes, those mountains in the film Avatar. If that’s not enough to leave you panting, the world’s longest and highest glass bridge, across a deep canyon, can be found in this exact same mountain park. If a walk here gets you a bit worried, your accommodation and meal costs won’t: sumptuous and fiery Hunan cuisine dishes and budget accommodations can go as low as $5-10.
An old town that may look like it’s still the Medieval era but has definitely kept up with modern, bustling times. This is Tallinn in Estonia, a city that is charming yet intriguing, peaceful yet vibrant with panoramic sights left and right. Its Old Town is UNESCO-listed and features lovely cobblestone streets, ancient churches, and towering walls looking as if they are hiding centuries of secrets just waiting to be uncovered. The town can be explored and enjoyed on foot for free and the accommodations are modestly priced. Dine in and have coffee in its quaint side-street cafes and you’ll be surprised how affordable this lovely European capital can be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grayson Yañez is an Integrated Marketing Communications graduate and brand strategy consultant from the Philippines but mostly likes to be known as (Gray)son of the beach. He is also a content developer, cat lover, and marine conservation advocate. He shares his images, experiences, and realizations through Graysonofthebeach and @graysonofthebeach