As travel consumers we have tens of thousands of choices to travel to every year. Why do we pick the destinations we do? Is it the weather? Maybe the amenities or attractions? Visiting family? Maybe it was recommended to us or it was a place we always wanted to travel to. Whatever your reason for picking the location you do, one of the major concerns we are faced with is budgeting for the trip. If you are not going to visit family and you have some flexibility choosing the destination then this list of the least expensive cities to travel to is perfect for you.
A I wrote in a previous post Saint Martin along with many other Caribbean countries are making big strides rebuilding after Hurricane Irma and Maria devastated the tiny island countries. Many of the hotels and local attractions have discounted their prices quite a bit to attract tourists. For a great panoramic view you can take a hike to Pic Paradis and while you are up there catch a ride on the zip line back down the hill. If yo have an itch for gambling, place a small wager at the Casino Royale, which is one of the most popular casinos on the island known as the “Las Vegas of the Caribbean” I know this post is about traveling on a budget but you never know how far $10 bucks will take you.
Most people travel to popular cities list Cozumel, Mexico City and Cancun but their popularity has also driven up the cost so opt for Merida instead. It is the capital city of the Yucatan peninsula and these is a ton to do here without paying the high cost to stay in Cozumel or Cancun. If you are looking to see some of the ancient Mayan Temples without all the tourists then look no further than the town of Uxmal. The Pyramid of the Magician rises up to 130 feet and is was a major part of the Mayan culture but far less visited than the more common sites of Tulum and Chichén Itzá. It’s not uncommon to find 50 cent taco stands, most museums are free, free walking tours and hotels are frequently a fraction of the cost compared to some of the other larger tourist-heavy cities in Mexico. Many people will tell you there isn’t a particular place or thing that is a must see in Merida but it’s the culture that stands out. There are many cultural events that go on throughout the year including Merida Fest, which is a 17 day celebration similar to our Independence Day.
With a favorable exchange rate it makes traveling to Canada very affordable. There are many free and inexpensive things to do in the city including the HR MacMillan Space Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery and Stanley Park with it’s amazing hand carved totem poles. Vancouver has also become a popular film location for US production companies. Recent productions recorded in Vancouver include X-Men, Battlestar Galactica Deadpool, Godzilla, Planet of the Apes and many more. So there is a pretty good chance any time you visit there will be some type of filming going on and it doesn’t cost anything to be a spectator.
For those of us who live at sea level, La Paz will take some acclimating once you arrive. The airport sits at 13,323 feet above sea level making it the highest airport in the world. If you are into history and architecture then you have to visit the ancient Tiwanaku civilization close to Lake Titicaca that is believed to be date back to 1500 BC. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the highest civilizations ever created. If you like living on the edge then take a ride on the Death Road. It is 43 miles of the most dangerous road in the world that hugs the side of the mountain, narrow hair-pin turns and steep cliffs that drop off hundreds of feet below. Other fun and inexpensive things to do include $3 city walking tours, areal tram rides, walking through Witches Market or take in a Cholita Wrestling match.
Tallinn is the capital city on the northern coast of Estonia overlooking the Gulf of Finland. One of the best free things to do here it taking a guided tour of the Toompea Castle. Built between 1763 and 1776, it is not a traditional castle, it now houses the Estonian Parliament or Riigikogu. Another must see is the Kiek in de Kok artillery tower built in 1475. Don’t worry, it’s not as painful as it sounds. It translates to “Peep into the kitchen”, when it was built those in the tower could see into the kitchen windows of the nearby houses. You can still see cannon balls that are embedded into the walls since 1577. The cost is less than $6 for adults which includes entry to the historic Bastion tunnels as well.
This one might be a surprise to see on this list but the Egyptian pound has taken a big hit last year so it has never been more affordable. One can’t travel to Egypt without visiting the Pyramids of Giza. They really don’t need an introduction as they are one of the most photographed locations in all the world. They stand as a timeless tribute to the ancient pharaohs and the last remaining wonder of the ancient world. The Egyptian Museum hold more ancient artifacts (over 100,000 and counting) than one person can see in a day. You will find King Tut’s tomb, tons of ancient hieroglyphic tablets, jewelry, pottery, toys, grave artifacts and much more. If you like the hustle and bustle of the city you will find many local markets, street vendors crammed into every square inch of available space in the Islamic District of Cairo. Don’t buy anything full price, negotiating is expected.