The Most Budget-Friendly Destinations To Visit In 2024

With 2023 winding to a close, it's a great time to reflect on all of the epic travel you've enjoyed this year and start planning your travel bucket list for 2024! The International Air Transport Association projects 2024 as the biggest travel year on record, with more than 4 billion people predicted to take to the friendly skies. Travel demand has quickly recovered to pre-pandemic numbers, but the travel industry is struggling to keep up. With so much demand for flights, it's unlikely that passengers will see a significant drop in flight costs. And due to a forecasted slump in the global economy, many travelers might be looking for trip ideas that won't break the bank. 

If you hope to explore an incredible destination in 2024, fear not! We compared the costs of destinations globally to find the best value for accommodations, dining, and activities. Consider planning a trip to one of these underrated destinations worldwide, where you can enjoy culture, cuisine, and adventure for a fraction of the cost of some overcrowded tourist hotspots.

Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca City in Mexico may be the world's top-ranked city in 2023, but it remains an affordable destination for budget-conscious travelers. Oaxaca is pure magic, with plenty of opportunities to experience authentic Mexican culture and taste gastronomical marvels. You can find 3-star hotels in the city center starting at around $50 per night. Street food is everywhere, so it's easy to find a tasty meal for under $6. For about $30, you can enjoy a multi-course meal for two. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons from May to June or September to October for even more savings.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. While it might not be the cheapest destination on our list, it's affordable for a European getaway. Expect an eclectic cultural hub with tasty restaurants, quaint cafés, and breathtaking architecture. Take a boat ride on the river that meanders through the city center, or wander along the streets, taking in the architecture, ranging from Roman ruins to beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. You can even ride a funicular to a fairytale medieval castle for under $20. With breakfast included, hotels are about $100 per night; restaurant meals are also less than $15.

Cartagena, Colombia

Colorful Cartagena is an incredible coastal South American destination for travelers looking for the perfect combination of nightlife, history, and culture. The city's walled Old Town is full of colonial architecture and one of South America's oldest examples of military infrastructure. The port and fortress were dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. You can easily take a 45-minute boat to the nearby Rosario Islands, where you'll find beautiful beaches. Book a gorgeous hotel near the center of the historic district for around $100 per night and enjoy a multi-course meal for two for under $40.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya's capital, is an excellent place to base yourself for an affordable African holiday. The bustling city has a thriving culinary scene, fun nightlife, and opportunities to experience authentic African culture. It's also home to Nairobi National Park. You can easily visit as a day trip and see animals like lions, black rhinos, and giraffes. A day pass to the park costs $40 per adult during the low season (March to June) and $60 during the high season. Prices for 3-star hotel rooms in Nairobi start at around $30, and you can find meals for under $5.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is sandwiched between Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south, with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific oceans. Tourism in Nicaragua is steadily growing, and San Juan del Sur is popular for surfing and sun. Accommodations are plentiful, and you can find rooms for as little as $20 per night. A private bungalow with breakfast included can be found for around $50. If you dine at local spots or enjoy street food, you can easily find a meal for under $5, and a nice dinner for two costs around $30.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo is one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most budget-friendly. On a visit to Cairo, you can visit the Great Pyramids of Giza on a private guided tour, with prices starting at around $20 per person. The Nile River runs through the city, so you can take dinner cruises for about $40. A delicious three-course meal for two costs under $25, and there are plenty of gorgeous accommodations for under $100 per night.

Valencia, Spain

Budget travelers who dream of visiting Spain should consider skipping the classic tourist hotspots like Barcelona and Madrid in favor of beautiful Valencia. Perched on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Valencia is full of museums, historic architecture, and sandy beaches. Spend hours sunbathing or exploring the enchanting cobblestone streets. The charming European destination is surprisingly affordable — a three-course meal for two costs around $40, and private accommodations range from $50 to $100 per night.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Southeast Asia is well-known for being budget-friendly and is a trendy destination for backpackers. Most travelers visiting the region for the first time head straight to Thailand or Indonesia but don't sleep on a visit to Cambodia. Siem Reap has hip hostels and great food, and it serves as a perfect jumping-off point to some of Cambodia's most beautiful ruins, like Angkor Wat. Inexpensive meals cost as little as $3, and hotel rooms start around $20 per night.

Bristol, United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a notoriously pricey destination, but you can still plan a trip that won't break the bank by basing yourself in the eclectic city of Bristol. Known for epic street art by the elusive artist Banksy, Bristol makes an affordable jumping-off point for day trips to unique destinations like Bath and Stonehenge. You can even visit London via a train ride in less than two hours. Hotel rooms start at about $100 per night.

Our methodology for choosing these budget-friendly destinations

In order to determine the most budget-friendly destinations for 2024, we compared a variety of factors, including costs for accommodations, activities, and food. We excluded destinations without mid-range hotel rooms for under $150 per night.