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12 Amazing and Cheap Places to Fly to in 2024

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People Traveling to a New Country

2024 is a new year, and with all new years come new resolutions, new opportunities, and new adventures. Whether you’re hoping to get started traveling the country or you’re a seasoned world traveler looking for new ideas, there’s surely a whole list of places you can visit all around the world. No one has seen everything, right?

Of course, the pressures of life don’t stop just because the number on the date ticks up. The cost of living is higher than ever, flights, travel, and lodging are all significant expenses, and it can really feel like less of an adventure and more of a burden if you’re trying to make the most of every second of your vacation. Then you need a vacation from your vacation!

Fortunately, there are plenty of places you can fly to and spend time in that are quite cheap compared to major destinations like Rome, Paris, or Tokyo. We’ve put together this list of a dozen amazing places you can visit without spending your entire savings account doing it.

Before We Begin

Before we dig in, it’s worth keeping in mind a few details about traveling on the cheap.

Perhaps one of the biggest details to remember is just that costs vary. Some places are popular at different times of year, and you can get a flight in to visit much more frugally if you pick the off-season. Your choice of airline, and even the class of seat you choose, can be impactful as well. While it can be nice to fly first class, it’s not always necessary, you know?

Picking a Flight

Second, there’s a lot of unrest and turmoil in the world today. Some areas may be more dangerous than average if there are local conflicts or wars in the area. For example, half a dozen years ago, we’d have recommended Myanmar as an excellent place to visit on a budget, but since 2021, the area has been suffering from a civil war, making it dangerous and inadvisable.

Third, always keep in mind that travel and budgets are what you make of them. You can visit some of the cheapest places in the world and still spend hundreds of dollars a day if you spend all of your time visiting top-end tourist attractions, expensive restaurants, five-star hotels, and other expensive ways to spend your time. On the other hand, you can visit some of the most expensive cities in the world and still stay under budget by choosing Airbnbs, eating delicious street food, and enjoying nature as your primary attractions.

That said, we’re still focusing on destinations where it’s easier to stay under budget and where relatively little will be off-limits to you due to the expenses. So, let’s get started!

1: Vietnam

The older readers among us might cringe at the idea of visiting Vietnam, but it’s actually quite a nice place these days. From gorgeous beaches to awe-inspiring mountains and incredible man-made wonders, Vietnam is an excellent place to spend some time. It’s also extremely cheap; you can easily enjoy a stay in the country at under $50 a day. Vietnam is also a growing global economy, and with many ties to American manufacturing and business, it’s relatively easy to get around without knowing much Vietnamese at all. A trip to Hanoi or Da Nang can be incredible, and there’s always the option to visit Ho Chi Minh City as well.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

All that said, Vietnam can feel a little wild and rough around the edges. In particular, it’s not uncommon to encounter scams and even outright pickpockets on a trip, so be sure to read about how to stay safe while traveling before you visit.

2: Thailand

Southeast Asia is a land of contrasts. Some of the coolest places to visit, like Vietnam and Singapore, are right there. At the same time, rougher areas like Myanmar are just over the border. Thailand is right in the center of all of it and is still an incredible destination to visit.

The City of Bangkok in Thailand

Truthfully, one of the best parts of Thailand is that a huge portion of the country is essentially just one long beach. Whether you find a villa on a small island to enjoy, travel from beach to beach throughout the country, or post up in one of the major cities like Bangkok or Phuket, there’s something for every traveler in Thailand. You can also look into some of the more out-of-the-way cities to visit, like Chiang Rai or Koh Phangan.

3: Turkey

Turkey tends to top many different lists as a cheap destination. It’s a little unfortunate that part of the reason why is their own economic crisis, hurting exchange rates for the locals but making the US Dollar stretch a lot further.

The City of Istanbul in Turkey

Turkey is a popular destination with incredible food and plenty of sights and experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Even major cities like Istanbul can still be pretty cheap when you pay attention to your budget, and if you want to spend time in a more seaside locale, Bodrum is the place to be. There may be a few places that are a little rough around the edges, but so much of modern Turkey relies on tourism that they do put some effort into making sure it’s safe for visitors.

4: Peru

Peru is an incredible destination high in the mountains of South America. It’s also home to some of the oldest architecture and archaeological sites in the Western world. Places like Machu Picchu are incredible, though you do have to prepare yourself for the altitude if you want to visit without spending half your trip feeling sick.

Machu Picchu in Peru

South America has some turmoil, particularly in Argentina, but many of the more tourist-focused areas are a lot more stable. Moreover, your money can stretch pretty far, and a visit to Peru means you get to see and do a lot of different things in a relatively small area. Definitely make sure to bring your hiking gear because exploring the mountains and checking out the waterfalls is an incredible way to spend a week or so.

5: The Philippines

As a large archipelago, the biggest expense you’ll have on a visit to the Philippines is travel. If you pick a region to visit, you can cut out most of the expense of a trip and enjoy an extremely light budget for an incredible adventure. On the other hand, if you want to island-hop from place to place, taking charter boats and private transportation from island to island, you can rack up more of a travel bill than you do lodging costs and food combined.

The Philippines

That said, it’s still pretty cheap, and there’s so much to see and do that you have complete freedom and flexibility to explore and know there will be something incredible around every turn. It is very much a water destination, though, so if you’re not a fan of diving, boat rides, and island tourism, you might want to choose elsewhere.

6: Mexico

Mexico is a lot closer to home than far-off Southeast Asia, but that doesn’t mean it’s correspondingly more expensive. It’s also a large country, which means you can get exactly what you want out of it. You can spend time in the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, visit the stereotypically tropical getaway of Cancun, or hit some of the more out-of-the-way and correspondingly cheaper cities like Sayulita, Progreso, or Sisal.

Mexico City in Mexico

Now, you’re not going to be quite as cheap in Mexico as you can be in places like Vietnam or the Philippines, but it also feels like less of a leap to visit. Especially for those of us in SoCal, it’s practically a day trip to cross the border and visit Mexico. That said, the further you get from the American border, the more adventurous you feel, and there are some excellent destinations further south. Spread your wings!

7: Cuba

Cuba is another of those areas where older travelers may be hesitant to visit due to our long history of aggression and political strife. Truthfully, though, it’s a perfectly fine place to visit, with incredible Caribbean beaches and great food to enjoy. Havana is one of the most popular destinations, but you can also visit areas like Santa Clara or Holguin for a less populated place to visit. If you happen to have family in active naval service and who are stationed on the base, you may also be able to visit Guantanamo Bay, which isn’t all just a military base.

The City of Havana in Cuba

Cuba is a little more expensive than Southeast Asia, of course, but just about everywhere will be. You can spend less than $150 a day pretty easily, though, and there aren’t a ton of places in the world where you can say that these days, especially outside of SEA.

8: Egypt

For those of you who want to visit one of the cradles of civilization and start visiting the wonders of the world, Egypt can be a great place to see. Cairo is, of course, the top destination, with the pyramids looming over everything and extremely easy to visit. Alternatively, you can set your sights on Alexandria and enjoy a more Mediterranean beach vacation.

A Pyramid and Sphinx in Egypt

Egypt is one of the most potentially dangerous entries on this list. Not to life and limb – if it’s physically dangerous, we won’t recommend it – but in terms of scams. Especially around the pyramids in Cairo, there are tons of locals who will try to convince you that there’s a fee to take a photo and more. Be cautious and aware of the actual rules, and learn how to bypass social scams, and you’ll be fine.

9: South Korea

South Korea is a land of contrasts. A visit to Seoul can easily cost 10x the budget of the other entries on this list, and you still feel like you’re missing out. Jeju Island is also expensive and is basically a sort of island-based Silicon Valley for the country.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in South Korea

On the other hand, if you visit further away destinations like Mokpo, you can get a lot more for your money and have a great time doing it. You aren’t getting quite the same level of high-intensity city experience, but for many world travelers, that’s fine. After all, you can always head to LA, NYC, or a major overseas city like Paris or London if that’s what you want. South Korea, especially in the southern region of the country, can be both a lot more idyllic and a lot cheaper to visit.

10: Mongolia

Traditionally, Mongolia has been pretty difficult to visit. But, coming up in 2024 and beyond, the country is investing more in tourism, including setting up its first direct flights from the US to the country.

The Genghis Khan Statue in Mongolia

It’s definitely quite unlike just about everywhere else in the world (unless you’ve frequently traveled to certain areas of rural China), and there are novel experiences to be had. It’s definitely worth considering!

11: Madagascar

It’s not just the setting of a series of animated movies; Madagascar is an often-overlooked tropical island destination with a ton to see and do. The national park is pretty much untouched wilderness, and if you want a more laid-back experience, it’s even a destination to visit via cruise.

The Country of Madagascar

The dollar can go a long way there, though a lot of your experiences can be fairly expensive, depending on what you like to do.

12: Romania

Much of Europe is expensive, but some of the less popular destinations in the eastern part of the continent can be great to visit while still keeping you under budget.

Transylvania in Romania

Romania, in particular, is full of ancient castles and incredible scenery for a fraction of the cost of many of the more popular European destinations.

Other Options

It’s hard to pick just a dozen places to visit in the coming year when there are so many great options to explore.

The Lovers Passport Exploring a Destination

We’ve only scratched the surface of Southeast Asia here, for example. Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore all have cheaper cities to visit and offer similar experiences to the locations already on this list. In Europe, you can visit Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, or even some of the more rural areas of Spain and France. Meanwhile, there are always options available in India if you’re willing to haggle, and Kyrgyzstan is a popular destination these days. And all of this barely even touches on the entire continent of Africa, where you can visit locations like Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, or South Africa and stay well under budget as well.

Where are your favorite global destinations to visit on a budget? Tell us your 2024 plans, and then come back when you’ve visited and let us know how it went!

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