Taking a summer trip doesn’t have to break the bank! There’s a plethora of destinations around the world that are great for budget travelers. We’ve rounded up some of our top cheapest destinations to visit in the summer of 2019. With these cheap destinations, your plane ticket will probably be the most expensive part of your trip. And with our cheap student flights, you’ll be scoring discounts on your flights too. Win-win!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a large, bustling city, but it’s a great place to travel on a budget. The exchange rate is particularly good in 2019—the US dollar is worth almost double compared to last year! Plus, costs are low, so this summer is a great time to visit Argentina (or travel throughout South and Central America). If you haven’t been to Argentina before, you might be surprised at how Buenos Aires blends together a modern city with beautiful historical districts. Stroll through the colorful La Boca district filled with street art (and street artists!) and head downtown to see some of Buenos Aires’ most famous sites, such as Plaza de Mayo, Teatro Colon and the Casa Rosado.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 42 Argentine pesos
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 300 ARS ($7), One night hostel: 420-600 ARS ($10-$14)
Summer flights: from $669* RT
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
It’s no secret that Southeast Asia is one of the cheapest destinations for budget travelers. But where to begin? Vietnam. It’s pretty cheap and the exchange rate is great! We recommend starting in Ho Chi Minh City—it’s a high-energy, bustling city that’s full of energy (and good food). And it’s the perfect jumping-off place for several great day trips around the region. Visit historic pagodas, try the street food or hang out at a rooftop bar for amazing views of the city. When you’re ready to get out of town, head to the floating markets in Cai Be or take a boat tour of the Mekong Delta and surrounding river islands. Booking a tour with fresh fruit and lunch included can be as little as $10 USD.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 23,205 Vietnamese Dong
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 50,000₫ ($2), One night hostel: 140,000-200,000₫ ($6-$9)
Summer flights: from $614* RT
Istanbul is a city full of rich culture, heritage and yes, food. Plus, with inexpensive prices and a great exchange rate in 2019, it’s one of the best cities to visit if you’re looking for cheap destinations in Europe! Explore the Old City for some of Istanbul’s most iconic sites and then indulge all your senses in the Grand Bazaar—over 4,000 covered market stalls are selling just about everything, from elegant lanterns and art to tea and spices. Need to get out of the city? The colorful neighborhood of Balat is the perfect place for a quiet walk and a cheap lunch.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 5.75 Turkish Lira
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 25-35 lira($4-$6), One night hostel: 69 – 80 lira ($12-$14)
If you’re looking for somewhere to visit in the US, you can find cheap flights and good deals to Albuquerque. Albuquerque is often overlooked as a travel destination, but it’s actually a great place to explore on a budget. There’s plenty of shopping and eating in the modern downtown area or hit up Old Town for historic museums and shops. Plus, there’s plenty to explore outdoors—check out the Sandia Peak Tramway for a birds-eye view of the city or go hiking in Boca Negra Canyon.
Another way to save big on US travel this summer? Visit a National Park! Go camping or stay in a budget lodge or hostel to save some money and explore some of the USA’s greatest natural spaces! Our favorites? Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are all great places to start.
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: $12-$15, one night hotel: $47-$90 USD
Summer flights: from $137* RT
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Montenegro
Haven’t heard of Sarajevo yet? You have now! If you’re traveling through Eastern Europe, this charming city is worth a stop. Sarajevo is full of European charm minus the tourists and expensive prices. Stroll through the city streets, check out the Baščaršija (an old market perfect for shopping), and then fill up on some delicious Bosnian food. You’ll find the Old Town packed with restaurants, cafes and plenty of street vendors. Try the ćevapi (the national dish!) and then indulge in some burek, somun, and baklava.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 1.73 marks
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: $7-$12 KM ($4-$6), One night hostel: $17 KM ($10)
Summer flights: from $682* RT
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Another great destination in Southeast Asia? Thailand. Chiang Mai is an ideal destination for young backpackers. Not only is it an inexpensive place to visit, it’s full of culture, nightlife, amazing food and tons of other young travelers, too! Fill up on cheap and delicious street food, visit some of Thailand’s most iconic and beautiful temples or go hiking in the tropical forests that surround Chiang Mai. Ready to keep traveling once you’ve visited Chiang Mai? Head to the Philippines and Singapore for more tropical budget destinations in Southeast Asia.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 31 Thai Baht
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 50-100฿ ($2-$3), One night hostel: 222-318฿ ($7-$10)
Summer flights: from $679* RT
Marrakech—and Morocco in general—is gaining popularity, but right now, it’s still a great budget destination. If you’ve seen the amazing Marrakech markets on Instagram and have been waiting for a chance to check this amazing city off your list, 2019 is a great year to visit. Visit ancient mosques and palaces, obviously shop ‘til you drop in the famous markets and try some delicious street food. Feeling adventurous? Head out of town and take a camel ride through the desert!
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 9.60 Moroccan Dirham
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 25-30 MAD ($3), One night hostel: 38-67 MAD ($4-$7)
Summer flights: from $761* RT
Romania is SUCH an underrated destination in Europe. Aside from being full of history, art and beautiful places, it’s a great spot for budget travelers. From stately palaces to stunning parks, Bucharest has a bit of everything you’d expect from a charming European city. Stroll down Calea Victoriei or take a free walking tour. And be sure to check out Lipscani, an energetic district of Bucharest that’s full of super cute cafes and a vibrant nightlife.
*Pro tip* Looking for flights to smaller cities in Europe can often make your flight prices more expensive. To get the best of both worlds, consider flying into a bigger city in Europe, like Paris, Madrid or London to snag a great deal. Then buy a cheap ticket to the smaller city on a budget European airline.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 4.2 Romanian Leu
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 30-45 Leu ($7-$11), One night hostel: 35-50 Leu ($8-$12)
Summer flights: from $702* RT
Get a tiny taste of France without leaving North America! Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, Canada, and it’s a perfect blend of French inspiration and Canadian culture. Try some poutine or fill up on tons of Canadian and international food at the Jean Talon Market. One of the reasons Montreal is a great place for budget travelers is because there’s so many free things to do! Climb up to the top of the Mont Royal for amazing views of the city, stroll through Old Town or explore the Old Port or visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Montreal. Plus, Montreal has several free museums, including the massive Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 1.34 Canadian dollars
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: $15 CAD ($11.25), One night hostel: $26-$40 ($20-$30)
Summer flights: from $196* RT
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has long been known as one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for backpackers and budget travelers, and that really hasn’t changed. The city is known for Old Town Square, an iconic and historic district at the heart of the city marked by ancient Gothic churches, colorful shopfronts and frequent markets, street musicians and events. It’s easy to enjoy Prague on the cheap because just walking around the city is amazing! Check out the castles, cathedrals and some iconic sites, like the Charles Bridge. Save your money for the amazing street food (chimney cake, anyone?) and the cheap beer!
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 22 Czech Koruna
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 150.00 Kč ($6-$7), One night hostel: 320-450 Kč ($14-$20)
Summer flights: from $445* RT
Cancun is usually thought of as a go-to spring break destination. And while it is amazing during spring break, that’s not the only time it shines! Ready for a trip to paradise but not ready to break the bank doing so? Cancun is a great place to get away. From the endless beaches to the cheap tacos, you really can’t go wrong. Visit Mayan ruins, go snorkeling or just sunbathe on the beach—you won’t have to spend a dime!
Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 18.75 Mexican Pesos
Average Costs: Inexpensive meal: 20-45 pesos ($2-$7), One night hostel: 190-225 ($10-$12)
Summer flights: from $243* RT
Which of these destinations is up next on your bucket list? Follow us on Instagram for more summer travel inspiration!
*A Note About Summer Flight Prices: All prices were current at the time this was published. Prices are subject to availability and subject to change without notice. Prices are based on searches done in the last 14 days for roundtrip flights from the United States to select destinations worldwide between May 2019 and August 2019. Flight prices vary by date, departure city, arrival city and availability. All taxes/fees are included in the price, except certain government taxes, change fees and fees imposed in destination and airline baggage fees if applicable.