Eight Budget-Friendly Travel Destinations For Wine, Food & Adventure Lovers

Ask a room full of people why they don’t travel more, you’ll almost certainly come across one common answer: it’s too expensive. Sure, biting the bullet to buy a train ticket and a hotel room can be a pain, but the belief that traveling the world has to be a burden on your wallet just isn’t true. Cost can be mitigated in a variety of ways, such as utilizing the right travel reward credit cards, or choosing destinations that are more affordable.


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If you’re looking for your next big adventure, but a luxury vacation to Paris or Milan isn’t in the cards right now, then consider any of these eight destinations where you can go on nearly any budget and still live like a king or queen.

8 Affordable Travel Destinations You Need on Your Bucket List

Best Affordable Travel Destinations this year: Thailand
Turquoise-colored water and an incredibly relaxed atmosphere can be found across Phi Phi, Thailand.

Thailand

No list of budget-friendly travel destinations is complete without Thailand. The land of reclining Buddhas and temples has been one of the backpacking capitals of the world for decades, and it isn’t about to give up its place anytime soon. For an exciting urban adventure, check out the vibrant, colorful capital of Bangkok. From a cuisine perspective, it has one of the most impressive street food scenes on the planet. If an island vacation with crazy beach parties is more your scene, you can’t go wrong with Phuket, Phi Phi, or Koh Samui.


Fun Fact: Did you know you can also go wine tasting in Thailand?


Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia
The Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia near Siem Reap.

Cambodia

Just to the East of Thailand is the equally beautiful Cambodia. Having to compete with its more popular neighbors, Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia has often been overlooked as a travel destination. Fortunately, this means that you’ll have an easier time getting around without putting up with crowds of tourists and paying tourist prices. As a country filled with mountains and jungles, the hiking here is world-class, and you can’t leave Cambodia without seeing the Angkor Wat. Check out the itinerary below, which discusses how you can explore this remarkable country in detail.


RELATED: How To Visit The Angkor Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia: 3 Day Itinerary


Best cheap travel destinations - Bali
The “Gates of Heaven” in Bali, Indonesia.

Indonesia

Very few countries in the world have as much to offer as Indonesia and very few that are as budget-friendly. Take a trip to Jakarta and you’ll find yourself in one of the fastest-growing and busiest cities in the world. If you’re looking for something more laid back, the island of Bali has beautiful black sand beaches, exciting nightlife, majestic temples, and an engaging local culture unlike any other.

Aït Benhaddou between the Sahara and Marrakesh in Morocco.
The fortified village of Aït Benhaddou can be found between the Sahara and Marrakesh in Morocco.

Morocco

Morocco conjures up different images for different people. For some, it’s busy souks and market squares in one of Morocco’s dozens of medieval cities. For others, it’s riding camelback through the Sahara and camping out under the stars. Fortunately, both of these experiences are not only possible but they can be yours at an incredibly affordable price. If Morocco is where you decide to go, you’ll find yourself in an incredible country with amazing cities to choose from, great food, and some of the kindest, most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.

The pyramids in Egypt at sunset: Affordable travel destinations in Africa
The pyramids in Giza just around sunset.

Egypt

Egypt has had its share of bad press in the past decade, but don’t be fooled, it is a perfectly safe destination with so much to offer. Between the thousands of years of ancient Egyptian history and its relatively more recent history of being a cultural center in the Arab World, Egypt is truly every traveler’s dream. Because so many people have been shying away from Egypt over the past decade, you’ll have a very easy time seeing the world-class historical sites and museums this country has to offer, leaving you more time to explore some of Egypt’s hidden gems, like the Colored Canyon or Sharm El-Sheikh. As with any other destination, check travel advisories before you book your trip.


RECOMMENDED: 10-12 Day Egypt Itinerary: Cairo, Giza, Luxor and the Red Sea


Cheap beautiful travel destinations: Cappadocia Turkey
Cappadocia is one of the most affordable and unique destinations you can visit on the planet. The wine isn’t too shabby either.

Turkey

Turkey is famous for its blend of European and Middle Eastern culture, its incredible Byzantine and Muslim architecture, and of course, the city that embodies all these and more: Istanbul. Known as the crossroads between Europe and Asia, this gem is still a surprisingly affordable travel destination. Although Istanbul is a must-do for any traveler passing through Turkey, don’t forget to check out some other cities like Izmir, Cappadocia and Bodrum, where you’ll be greeted by sea breezes, Mediterranean weather, fantastic wine, and world-class accommodations.

Top Travel Destinations This Year: Budapest Hungary
Budapest, Hungary with the main tower of the famous Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) in the foreground.

Hungary

While Hungary is full of hidden attractions like anywhere else in the world, you absolutely must go to Budapest while you’re there. With a nickname like “The Pearl of the Danube,” how could you not? One walk along the river or through the Fisherman’s Bastion will show you why this has been one of Europe’s must-do destinations for so long. Even as a city with so much beauty and excitement to offer, you’ll have a hard time running up an expensive bill here. So, indulge yourself in all the goulash and Hungarian wine you want.


RELATED: 1 Week in Budapest Itinerary: A Food and Wine Lover’s Travel Guide


Best Affordable Travel Destinations: Portugal
As food, wine and ocean lovers here at Winetraveler, Portugal just might be our favorite country to visit. Especially when it comes to affordable travel.

Portugal

When you think of affordable travel destinations, Portugal probably doesn’t come to mind. Yet, it remains one of Europe’s most budget-friendly countries. As long as you steer clear of some of the touristy areas in Lisbon and Lagos, you’ll find that you can enjoy some of the best weather and seafood in the world without having to break the bank. So, if sipping wine and listening to a fado play in the background on a sunny day sounds like a good time to you, check out Portugal. It’s probably cheaper than you think.


RELATED: 10 Best Places To Visit In Portugal For Food, Wine, History & Nature


Make your plans!

Tell us in the comments, which of these destinations might you travel to first and why? Feel free to reach out to our team for any specific travel itineraries, tours or experiences you might be interested in.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greig Santos-Buch is a Co-Founder at Winetraveler, WSET II Merit wine thought-provoker and off-the-beaten-path outdoorsman. He first became involved with wine traveling after a month-long solo trip to Spain about 10 years ago, planning the trip almost exclusively around the gastronomic scene of the country. Ever since that particular trip abroad, he developed a passion for traveling and making wine tourism the core driver behind where he ends up. This has since led him to exciting destinations including the Czech Republic, to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, California, Washington State, Canada and beyond. His primary aim through Winetraveler is to expose this style of travel to the world and make it accessible to everyone.

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