Five Affordable World Travel Destinations
By C.J. Gustafson
Locations That Offer More But Cost Less
So you want to travel the world but you have a tight
budget? Are you tired of reading about everyone else's exotic adventures
and ready to have some of your own? Have you always wanted to take an
international vacation but thought you couldn't afford it?
There are numerous travel destinations across the world
that are both exciting and affordable. Five of them are described here
to give you ideas and get you started planning your own getaway.
There are two ways to approach affordable vacations
to distant destinations. Either you will save money getting there or
the savings will occur once you arrive at your selected spot. If you
want the trip there to be affordable, many travel consolidators recommend
choosing well-known destinations that are served by numerous airlines
and receive millions of travelers each year.
The competition for customers usually drives costs down
for everything from lodging to tour packages. Airfares between major
hubs tend to be more affordable and there are often plenty of discounts
and last minute travel deals.
In Europe, London is a top pick for affordable vacation
destinations, for these exact reasons. Not only do you have more flights
to choose from, they are cheaper than if you flew to a more remote location.
On average, staying in London may be a bit more expensive
than other European destinations, but the seemingly endless choices
in hotels, restaurants, transportation, tours, and other travel essentials
gives travels opportunities to mold their vacation to fit their budgets.
And you can use London as your home base to set out
on day trips to other more exotic locations or buy a Eurorail pass and
see those more remote countries without the expense of flying there.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
This theory also works well for traveling in the Caribbean.
Belize is an appealing destination, with wonderful Caribbean beaches
and a lush tropic setting, but since it has only recently emerged as
a popular travel destination, it is more expensive than Cancun, Jamaica
or other well-traveled locations along the Mayan Riviera.
With fewer flights, getting there is more expensive,
and there are few moderate lodging options. Development of larger luxury
resorts have begun to boom, but the only real alternative for those
on a budget is staying in local facilities that may be hard to locate
from home and may be more rustic than most travelers are willing to
Although there are many options for affordable vacations
in the Caribbean, an excellent pick is Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Accessible
via flights to Cancun, which are often some of the cheapest in the region,
Playa is just a half hour away.
It is filled with a multitude of lodging choices, from
expansive luxury resorts on the ocean to quaint but clean hotels downtown.
From Playa, travelers can branch out and visit Tulum and other locations
on the Mayan Riviera or take the ferry across to the island of Cozumel
where snorkeling is prime and the attractions are many.
For Asian destinations, travelers often do better to
focus on saving money once they get to their destination. Depending
on your country of origin, getting to just about any spot in Asia is
going to be a sizable chunk of your travel budget. The difference will
come from the cost of lodging, food, entertainment and other travel
expenditures once you arrive.
By choosing destinations where you get the most for
your money, you can save a great deal on your international vacation.
A drink or dinner in Tokyo will costs you many times more than what
it would in Saigon. The key here is to go where you dollars buy you
more and where the local cost of living is low.
An affordable yet exotic choice for Asia is Malaysia
and specifically Tioman Island, knows as the mythical 'Bali Hai' from
the film 'South Pacific.' Tioman Island is located at the southern end
of the east coast of Malaysia on the South China Sea.
It's sandy beaches, bordered by lush jungles and stunning
mountains make it a relaxing yet intriguing destination, ideal for sun
lovers, snorkelers and divers. The island also has many villages for
exploring and shopping.
English is widely spoken and the rates are amazingly
affordable, with a two night lodging package for a suite at a lovely
oceanside resort averaging around 100 U.S. dollars. Typically visitors
reach the island via the speed ferry from the mainland. Although the
trip can take over two hours, it is enjoyable and provides opportunities
for dolphin watching along the way.
South American also has many destinations that are affordable
because of the savings once you arrive. Locales like Rio de Janeiro
in Brazil, the areas top destination, are coming down in price but are
still more expensive than cities such as Buenos Aires in Argentina,
where the rates are lower and the U.S. dollar goes further.
A huge metropolis that is more European than South American,
the city has much to offer including cultural events, thriving nightlife,
shopping, local sports, and a host of tours and excursions. La Boca,
with its street performers, shops, and unique architecture is a big
tourist draw. The large number of choices for lodging, restaurants,
and activities provides opportunities for budget travel and savings.
Airfare to the city is relatively reasonable for an
international destination, with discount fares from the U.S. averaging
around $500 round trip. Buenos Aires might not be one of the most exotic
or inspiring destinations in South America, but it is a city that everyone
should see at least once, and with some of the most affordable rates
and fares around, it makes the list as a top South American destination.
The list would not be complete without a North American
destination, and the champ of all affordable locales is Las Vegas. It
too is a city that should be seen at least once, and many world travelers
return again and again for the gaming, art, shows and people watching
that just can't be found anywhere else. Close enough to other top U.S.
attractions like the Grand Canyon, Vegas provides other options for
those who have had their fill of casinos.
The city has long been known for its cheap vacation
packages with hotels and resorts that offer discount rates for rooms,
meals and entertainment in hopes of attracting people to their gaming
tables. Airfare rates into Vegas are some of the most reasonable in
the United States, no matter the origination destination. And with more
than 100,000 hotel rooms to choose from, there is sure to be a lodging
choice that fits your budget.
The world provides hundreds of affordable travel destinations.
With all the options available, there is no excuse to put off that life-long
desire to travel to exotic places at the far ends of the earth. Destinations
can be researched on the Internet or your travel consolidator can make
recommendations and help with locating discount flights and hotel deals
that fit your budget. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and
explore the world.