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5 Exotic Budget-Friendly Destinations

5 Exotic Budget-Friendly Destinations

One of the most common excuses I hear from people not wanting to travel is how expensive it is. I’m here to tell you that’s not a good enough excuse on its own! There are plenty of places you can visit that are both exciting and budget friendly.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

This incredible city is one of the most budget-friendly places I’ve visited! American travellers may spend a bit more on the front end to get here but accommodations, activities, and meals offer opportunities to save without putting much effort into it. 

Where you spend: Airfare

Where you save: Accommodations (Airbnb’s for less than $40 a night), Activities (Countless attractions are free to visit), and Meals (Eat a multi-course meal with a view of the ocean for less than $50 or grab a sandwich from a local market for $5).

HAVANA, CUBA

The island of Cuba is a fascinating place to visit for so many reasons, and for the budget traveller it’s ideal. 

Where you spend: Tourist Attractions/Activities (Taxis, museums, cultural experiences, and day trips are almost always marked up for tourists in Cuba.)

Where you save: Airfare, Airbnbs, and Local Currency 

*Cuba has a currency for locals (CUP) and one for tourists (CUC). You can exchange your currency to CUC at the airport but visit a bank in Havana to exchange the CUC to CUP and you will save so much throughout your trip. Prices at restaurants and shops often stay the same amount for CUC and CUP but CUC is 1:1 with the US Dollar while CUP is 1:26. 

COSTA RICA

The country of Costa Rica is not only one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited but is home to some of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

Where you spend: Resorts (If you choose to stay at one) and Touristy Restaurants

Where you save: Airfare, Airbnb Accommodations, and Eating Local


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Source: Pexels.com

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Southeast Asian city on the list! SEA is truly a magical region of the world and often a very budget-friendly region to visit! I listed KL because it’s both a fantastic major city and a location rich with culture and amazing cuisine. 

Where you spend: Airfare, Big chain hotels (if you choose to stay at one)

Where you save: Local hotels or Airbnbs, Meals at local food stands or hawker centers, Transportation (Taxis and public transit).

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Buenos Aires is a city filled with history, culture, and, once again, great food. And while the old architecture will likely remind frequent travellers of Western Europe, the prices at restaurants and accommodations will not.

Where you spend: Tourist Attractions (Similar to Cuba, most tours, classes, attractions, etc are marked up for tourists). 

Where you save: Airfare, Airbnb accommodations, Eating local. 


So many people make decisions on where they can financially travel to based on the cost of airfare even though most of the spending happens on and throughout the trip. Think creatively about ways to save money on your trip beyond airfare. Let me know what other destinations should be added to this list in the comments below!

Things I NEVER Travel Without

Things I NEVER Travel Without