In Europe, workers typically receive 20 to 30 days of paid vacation annually, guaranteed by law. Here in the United States, not so much. Especially for low-paid workers, paid time off is a luxury they scarcely dream about. Even workers lucky enough to have paid vacations as part of their benefit packages often leave vacation time on the table, whether through fear of losing their jobs or simply because they can’t afford to travel.
Nonetheless, experts agree that vacations are vital to maintaining mental health. If money is an issue, there are low-cost alternatives that are fun and relaxing — without being a pain in the pocketbook. It’s worth your while to scour the Internet for bargain flights and inexpensive accommodations . If you have more money to spend, some of the best hotel rooms in the world are available for less than 200 dollars per night. The bottom line? Some of the most exotic vacation spots in the world are surprisingly affordable. The list below includes ten budget-friendly destinations to inspire you to pack your bags for a much-needed getaway.
World class cuisine, gorgeous scenery and exciting nightlife. What’s not to like about Argentina? Whether your budget is tiny or generous, it’s nearly impossible not to enjoy yourself. Budget-minded travelers can get by on well under 100 dollars per day. But there are also luxurious accommodations available for those who have money to spend. Be prepared to stay up late — dinner usually happens about 10 p.m. and many diners party until the wee hours.
It’s possible to score great package vacation bargains to the beautiful region of the world. By booking air travel and hotel together — or even an all-inclusive getaway, you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars over the cost of booking each aspect of the trip separately. Plus you enjoy peace of mind knowing all the little details are taken care of, allowing you to do what vacations are meant for — relax.
The cost of traveling to any of the islands within this tropical region is much lower than a trip to Europe, Asia or other faraway locations — especially from the East Coast. Be forewarned, costs are higher during the winter high season than during the summer. In addition, some destinations, such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are less expensive than St. Thomas, Martinique or Grenada. A bonus if you choose Puerto Rico: no passport is required.
If your time off is limited, consider Latin America. Many vacation destinations within Central America are only a four or five-hour flight away from many locations within the United States. Much of Central America (and South America for that matter) follows the same time zones as the United States, greatly reducing the risk of jet lag.
Malaysia can be easier to navigate than many Asian countries, especially for travelers with children. Many locals speak English and the water is generally safe to drink. There are also many attractions in a relatively compact area — ranging from beaches to jungles to colorful temples. A countryside stay in a bungalow can be had for well under 50 dollars per couple. Cities are a bit more expensive, but still cheaper than places like Japan.
While it’s true that some parts of Mexico are strictly off limits for travelers, you shouldn’t write off the entire country. The resort towns of Acapulco, Cancun, Los Cabos, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta can be pricey but are usually quite safe. The Copper Canyon train trip in north central Mexico can be fun for families with kids. One bonus — flights to Mexico from the United States can be had for bargain prices.
Practically touching the southern tip of Europe, Morocco is an undiscovered jewel on the edge of the Sahara Desert with uncrowded beaches, breathtaking mountains and gorgeous cedar forests. It’s possible to travel in luxury for less than 100 dollars per couple, per day.
The Incan ruins of Machu Picchu are world famous, but there is much more to Peru. Lush Amazon rain forests, mountain hiking and whitewater rafting are just some of the options available. Local restaurant meals are extremely inexpensive. Midrange lodging can be had well under 100 per night in Lima or Cusco and much less than that elsewhere in the country.
In this amazingly beautiful country, five-star hotel rooms can be had for the price of midrange hotel rooms elsewhere. Travelers on a strict budget can get by on less than 100 or even 50 dollars per day. And with snorkeling, sailing, hiking, open-air markets and even elephant rides, there’s something for nearly everyone to enjoy.
Straddling both Europe and Asia, Turkey is one of the most exotic vacation destinations in the world, while remaining a great travel value. Travelers on a midrange budget fare especially well in Turkey. One bonus for women traveling alone is the safety of walking the streets in Turkey.
Time to Go!
If you’ve determined that you cannot afford a vacation, think again. In many cases, with a bit of creative thinking, you can afford to get away. Whatever your budget, it’s in your best interest to take some time off and explore the exotic world around you.