It’s never been simpler to travel on a shoestring budget. While “revenge travel” has temporarily raised rates, they are already beginning to fall back to pre-COVID levels. And, with the rise of the sharing economy, copious low-cost flights, and cheap access to low-cost lodging, going away has never been more reasonable.

If you’re an American, the strong dollar has made visiting many destinations incredibly cheap (or even free). While this is bad for others, it is excellent for us Americans since we are enjoying the best exchange rates in years, and while absolute prices are rising, you should take advantage of this currency rate to travel right now.

While there are many wonderful places to visit, I’d like to highlight a few of my favourites. These are the places I believe are the most fascinating, exciting, and simple to get to, as well as providing outstanding value for money. Here are 11 cheap locations to visit in the United States:

1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is my favourite Central American country. Despite being one of the most costly in the region, your money will go a long way here. It also achieves a balance between being affordable and safe while yet providing a wealth of wonderful sights and activities.

There is a lot to see and do in this lovely place. Cloud forests, turtles, excellent surfing, volcanoes, white-water rafting, fantastic wildlife preserves, deep-sea diving, and some of the happiest and friendliest people on the planet can all be found here.

On the budget travel side, if you utilise hostels and buses and cook your meals, you’ll only need approximately USD 50 per day; you’ll also be able to undertake a few affordable activities, such as snorkelling or hiking tours. Flights from the United States are likewise quite cheap. If you’re flexible, you can obtain round-trip tickets for less than USD 300.

With a daily budget of USD 100, you may stay in an Airbnb, dine out more, have a few drinks, use the occasional cab, and participate in more paid activities such as guided tours, surf lessons, and museum visits. In summary, you won’t go hungry on this budget!

2. Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most affordable countries in an already affordable area. You would desire little if you had a daily budget of USD 25. Hostels are just a few dollars a day, and wonderful street cuisine costs about USD 1. (You may tour the country pretty well for $50-75 USD each day if you want more luxury.)

Spend some time in Hanoi, the bustling capital, and explore Halong Bay when in the north. Don’t miss the Chu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City in the south (used by the Viet Cong during the war with the US).

Da Lat is a great place to go if you want to do some extreme things like canyoning or cliff jumping. Nha Trang and Mui Ne should be at the top of your list if you’re seeking beaches!

3. Republic of Romania

Romania is not just an underappreciated European destination, but it is also inexpensive. Bucharest is a contemporary, up-and-coming capital, and Transylvania as a whole is stunning. Bra? Nov, my favourite city there, is rich in history (including the infamous Bran Castle). Transportation is cheap, and both ridesharing and hitchhiking are popular modes of transportation. It’s also a large country, so you could easily stay a few weeks and only scratch the surface.

Backpackers may spend a comfortable day here for as low as $35-40 USD per day, which is a deal in Europe. And if you want to spend and stay in hotels, dine out more, and enjoy a few drinks, you can easily do so for less than USD 100 every day.

As more people come here to wait out their Schengen Area visa limitations, it will certainly become more popular (and pricey), so go while you can!

4. India

While India has always been a cheap country, with the US dollar performing so well, it’s even cheaper now! You may survive on as little as $20-30 USD each day – and frequently much less! Delicious meals may be purchased for less than USD 2, and lodging can be found for as little as $5-10 USD per night, depending on where you go.

Even if you stay in mid-range accommodations and eat in mid-range restaurants, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than USD 50 a day unless you stay at five-star resorts – and even those are pretty affordable! While airfares to India might be costly, once there, everything is a steal.

5. Argentina

Argentina is one of my favourite South American nations, because of its rich history, attractive people, culture, wine, football, and natural wonders such as Patagonia. And its capital, Buenos Aires, is regarded as one of the world’s liveliest cities. (Because most people speak English, getting about is easy.) I’ve never had so much wine or consumed so much meat as I did here (which wrecked my budget — but it was well worth it!).

The main issue is that costs are always fluctuating due to excessive inflation. Even so, you may live on $40-50 USD each day by sleeping in hostels and doing cheap and free things like museum visits, hiking, and free walking tours.

Patagonia, with its beautiful scenery and world-class trekking, is the major lure here. Nature enthusiasts should also go to Iguazu Falls, the world’s biggest waterfall system! And, while guided walks can cost up to USD 450 for a multiday journey, that’s still a steal for such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

6. South Africa

South Africa has safaris, wines, mountains, and an unending coastline excellent for road excursions. As a backpacker or budget traveller, this country is an excellent place to visit because there are plenty of job options as well as adventurous activities (including some amazing trekking) to keep you occupied.

While South Africa suffers from corruption and petty crime, it also has a thriving tourism economy and a rising backpacker and digital nomad movement.

You may enjoy the magnificent beaches and laid-back lifestyle that make South Africa so tempting at just $40-60 USD each day. While there are cheaper spots on the continent, you’ll get a lot for your money here.

When in Cape Town, don’t miss trekking up Table Mountain or seeing the penguins. And if you want to go on a world-class safari, go to Kruger National Park!

7. Cambodia

Cambodia is one of my favourite places on the planet. The locals are exceedingly nice, and even after a lengthy break between trips, I found it to be one of the greatest Southeast Asian destinations: inexpensive, pleasant, and safe.

Prices have risen somewhat over the years, but not much (it is still cheaper than Thailand). Backpackers may easily survive on $40-50 USD per day or less. Street food is cheap and good (Phnom Penh is a fantastic gourmet city), and hostels cost less than USD 10 per night. For USD 20, you may also travel throughout much of the country by bus.

Angkor Wat is also one of the most spectacular historical monuments in the world (entrance costs USD 37). In Phnom Penh, make sure to visit the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum for a sobering look at the country’s horrific past.

8. South Korea

South Koreans walking about in traditional colourful attire

I’m not sure why most people don’t mention it, but South Korea is a great country in East Asia with cheap scenery. The country has a lot to offer!

When I visited South Korea a few years ago, I was astounded by how cheap everything was. Sure, it’s not as cheap as Southeast Asia, but it’s still cheaper than Japan or Europe. With the South Korean won at 1,372 KRW per USD and most things only a few thousand won, I can’t see you going broke here (unless you’re a huge eater, because the cuisine here is fantastic!).

My friend and I went out for a Korean BBQ with drinks and paid USD 8 each. Bottles of alcohol are available for a few bucks at 7-11. Seoul hostels start at USD 15 per night (hotel rooms start at USD 30 per night). Backpackers may get by on $50-60 USD per day here.

While in Seoul, don’t miss out on the city’s culinary culture or a visit to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. For a more opulent vacation, visit Jeju Island for beaches and fun in the sun.

9. Mexico

I admit that I was late for the party in Mexico. While I had visited certain tourist attractions, it wasn’t until later that I ventured outside the resorts. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Mexico City is a world-class metropolis with excellent cuisine and nightlife, Oaxaca has magnificent historic monuments and an abundance of delicious eateries (as well as unlimited mezcal), and the Yucatán Peninsula is ideal for road excursions and swimming in hidden cenotes (sinkholes).

While the country has a terrible reputation in the United States (because of aggressive media coverage), it is far safer — and cheaper — than many believe. Travellers may get by for as little as USD 50 per day ($80-120 USD if you choose hotels rather than hostels), and round-trip airfares from the US are sometimes as little as USD 200.

In short, it’s an excellent choice for US visitors who are short on time but yet want to visit somewhere enjoyable, sunny, and cheap.

10. The United Kingdom

In London, England, Buckingham Palace, and a traditional red telephone booth

In the past, the British pound (GBP) was valued up to twice as much as the US dollar. That is no longer the case. Still floundering in the aftermath of Brexit, it is currently worth only 20% more than the dollar, if that. So, while visiting the UK isn’t cheap, the weakening pound and strong dollar mean that you’ll receive a lot more value than in previous years. Backpackers may move about for as low as USD 75 per day by staying in hostels, seeing free museums, and eating at cheap pubs.

11. Throughout!

As someone bikes by, the beautiful buildings of Copenhagen line the river.

If you’re an American, everything is “discounted” right now. The euro is at an all-time low versus the US dollar, while the pound, yen, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand currencies, and so on, are all weak. It’s an especially opportune time to visit costly nations like Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and New Zealand. Your bucks will go much further than in previous years, so take advantage of this chance since you never know how long it will continue!


A strong US dollar makes travelling the world much more affordable than it would be otherwise, especially if you wish to visit some “traditionally pricey” sites in Europe. While a strong dollar does not imply “free,” it may certainly help you travel longer or in more comfort.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Because no one knows how long the dollar’s strength will remain.

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