Guest Post by Chetan Jadhav.
The New Year has begun and the hustle-bustle of your daily life has taken over, leading to monotony! It’s time to work on your resolution to explore some novel & interesting places this year. Worried about the big hole it will create in your savings? No worries, we have crafted here a list of top 12 budget travel destinations to visit in 2015. Here’s to a long and a happy holiday without glancing at your credit limit again and again!
- South Africa: The recent currency fluctuations & Ebola scare, despite of the proximity of affected areas being more with Europe and Brazil than Africa have ensured that this incredible country with its diverse landscapes is now in your budget. From its fantastically rich wildlife to the wide variety of options for adventure sports and some of the most surreal museums ever, South Africa promises a holiday of a lifetime. Add to it, the extremely cheap and tourist friendly public transport and reasonable cafes for repast, and this place becomes one of the most value adding travel destinations of all times.
- Hungary: Arguably the most affordable destination in Europe, because of its own currency other than euro, this tiny country has a lot to offer for an avid traveler. Its rich culture, scenic natural beauty, healing waters and yummy food ensure that this will be one vacation worth remembering. Budapest, the capital is a diverse location offering numerous experiences like a cruise along the blue waters of Danube to historical museums, galleries, magnificent castles. Outside summer, the hotel savings are also substantial, making this place top budget destination of Europe.
- Bali: Bali has always stayed the backpacker’s value beach paradise with its reasonable beach side bungalows, food & transport at throw away prices. The famed beautiful beaches, spa treatments and the intriguing Balinese culture make sure it is irresistible go to destination this year.
- Portugal: The country, already known for its reasonable rates compared to its pricey neighbors, has become doubly so after the recent financial crisis. The serene sunny beaches, hikable mountains, magnificent castles, charming cobblestone streets keep up the holiday mood and excitement alive.
- Burkina Faso: This little known tiny site in West Africa provides a complete holiday experience to savor. The visitors here are charmed by the lively & vibrant local markets, friendly people, and great spots for wildlife safari. With its highly affordable costs for food & lodging along with clean air conditioned buses for traversing from ends of this wild, magical country, this is good option for discovering the majesties of Africa without burning a hole in your pocket.
- Shanghai: China’s famed coastal town, Shanghai overwhelms the visitors with its colors, skyscrapers and its unique culture. The friendly people, multiple budget homestays and budget hotel options and the efficient and convenient public transport Is an added bonus for the travelers to explore. The variety of street foods, nightlife and art museums will make this unforgettable sojourn.
- Nicaragua: Forget Costa Rica, this is the new prime Latin American paradise, just waiting to be unwrapped. The underdeveloped tourism provides magnificent scenery at very low costs. You can discover incredible waterfalls, long mountain creeks with hikes or horseback riding or swimming at some of the most beautiful creeks. The country is also known for its amazing food options – both gourmet and street food. So what else do you need?
- Fiji: Availability of cheaper flight options from bigger airports and extremely affordable $25 beds dorm beds on Mamanuca Islands make these Islands finally a practical location in your bucket list. Once you reach there, the stunning beaches with their relaxing scenery, friendly people and multiple adventure sports and nightlife options can make you want to stay there forever.
- Dubai, UAE: With a variety of five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and gilded shopping choices, Dubai is generally renowned as a favorite travel hot spot among rich and well-heeled. But the truth is that it offers an exceptional variety of opportunities to fulfill the travel dreams of budget-conscious too. More precisely, you can spin out some wonderful Dubai memories while staying in one of its many low-cost accommodations, dining in a small-yet-elegant eatery, and visiting souks (traditional markets) along Bur Dubai or Deira, among others. Best of all, the emirate’s well-integrated public transport system comprising 45 plus metro stations, thousands of taxis, and over 500 buses ensures extremely affordable and worry-free mobility in and around the city.
- Japan: Since the tsunami in 2011, tourism at Japan has taken a huge hit. This has led the government to launch a massive tourism campaign, further encouraged by the sharp decline in the Japanese currency; this means that Japan is now a very affordable destination. Stunning scenery from beautiful countryside, rocky coastline, hot springs, surreal beaches mesmerize you with their stark brilliance. On the other hand, the bigger cities like Tokyo and Kyushu beckon with their futuristic skyscrapers, busy intriguing street markets, theatres and museums.
- Taipei, Taiwan: Wary of the usual South Asian destinations bulging with tourists and overpriced hotels, this is one location that will offer you so much more at so less! This Taiwanese city is considerably cheap from its neighboring counterparts like Hong Kong, Seoul and has a great deal to explore from national parks, museums, temples, wildlife and an amazing range of both street food and high end fare at lower prices than others.
Add to that, the extremely affordable homestays and dorms to park at, and the cheap rail passes to all major destinations and bingo! There lies the answer to all your queries.
- Uruguay: With its first cousin and the football mecca Brazil exploding as a tourist hotspot. Uruguay offers a peaceful, budget alternative for a mini trip to South America. A rocking beach ambience with a party atmosphere, healing hot springs, museums and the famed Montevideo carnival interspersed with history and culture keep the excitement alive. The yummy food and the connoisseur’s choice wines pricesat affordable make a picture perfect break.
- Tunisia: The massive efforts by the government and the tourism industry to charm back the crowds to this North African state has resulted in to a renewed interest and very reasonable packages to visit this piece of utopia. A land of diverse landscapes and intriguing culture, Tunisia offers you everything from the balmy Mediterranean shores to lush green forests, rolling plains to the dense sands of the desert and ancient ruins in one package. The efficient public transport, reasonable accommodation and the delicious food with laidback prices will ensure that this is one location you will keep on visiting.
The destinations given above will give some amazing and memorable holidays without causing a huge dent in your pocket.
Chetan Jadhav is an avid reader and loves to travel extensively. He is travel operator of the Dubai-based Rayna Tours – a destination management company offering comprehensive travel solutions.