The best budget destinations for traveling in your 20s

Let’s face it: most of us in our twenties don’t roll on the money. You may still be in school or just started your chosen career. But that doesn’t mean you don’t dream of taking a vacation to distant beaches and international cities you haven’t (yet) explored.

Traveling is absolutely possible in your twenties, even on a shoestring budget, and in these bustling, low-budget destinations you can still have unforgettable moments.

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1. Tulum, Mexico

Cancun may be a popular spring break destination, but just a two hour drive away is an unforgettable Caribbean town filled with gorgeous beaches – one is actually called Paradise Beach – ancient Mayan ruins and some of the best food and nightlife that Mexico has to offer. You’ll find fewer tourists here, but you’ll still have plenty to do: watch sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand, explore ancient cenotes, or snorkel along a coral reef.

Flights from most major US cities to the nearby Cancun Airport are generally inexpensive, which means it is often cheaper to get to Tulum than to cross the United States. The price of food and accommodation will save you even more money thanks to the current exchange rate. Because Tulum is popular with backpackers, you will be able to find plenty of budget accommodation options.

2. Hoi An, Vietnam

Many call Hoi An, Vietnam one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Imagine cruising down the river by boat past its historic old town, passing local artisans and colorful lanterns, and marveling at historic temples and pagodas. You can cross the 18th-century Japanese Covered Bridge or visit the Night Market for drinks, delicious local cuisine, and affordable shopping.

Hoi An offers inexpensive homestays in small, family-run hotels, as well as hostels that can cost as low as $ 4 a night. With extremely reasonably priced food (you can get banh mi, the famous Vietnamese sandwich, for $ 1) and the low cost of accommodation, you can splurge on local artisan products or a bike tour of the countryside. .

3. Marrakech, Morocco

Maybe you never considered a trip to Morocco to be achievable with your current budget, but I’m here to tell you that it absolutely can be done – and you are going to fall in love with this city. Strolling through Marrakech’s main square will introduce you to bright colors and fragrant spices that will make you feel like you’re walking in a dream. Visit palaces and mosques and prepare to be blown away by the history and culture of this incredible place.

Flights will be the most expensive part of this trip, although with the right credit card rewards, you could use credit card points to pay for your vacation. You can find cheap hostels in the city center and save even more if you visit out of season (October to February). You will find inexpensive food at the outdoor market that will still make your taste buds salivate.

4. Budapest, Hungary

If a great European city with a rich history and abundant nightlife is what you are looking for, Budapest may be the city for you. The metro system makes it easy to explore its many sights, from the Turkish baths where you can bathe and party to old buildings such as Matthias Church or Buda Castle.

You’ll find plenty of hostels and other budget accommodation options in this popular destination for young travelers. For those wishing to explore the best nightlife Budapest has to offer, your itinerary should include the city’s famous ‘ruin bars’, bars operating in its ancient ruins. Make sure to visit the iconic Szimpla Kert, then stop for a slice of pizza that will set you back as little as $ 1.

5. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is one of the best surf spots in the world. Puerto Viejo is a city filled with gorgeous beaches, incredible wildlife (including monkeys, jaguars, and sloths), and plenty of bars and nightclubs to fill your nights with Latin music and cane cocktails. If you are an experienced surfer, catch a wave at Salsa Brava beach, or just cycle along the quiet coast and stop at one of the nearby beaches which are safe for swimming.

The city is popular with young budget-conscious travelers, so you’ll find plenty of cheap hostels and hotels, as well as typical Costa Rican food that won’t leave a hole in your wallet. Use the money you’ve saved to snorkel or dive off the coast, or visit donation-based Cahuita National Park for pristine hiking trails and empty blue beaches crystalline.

6. Bali, Indonesia

Speaking of beautiful beaches, Bali is home to some of the most beautiful island landscapes in the world. It’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular vacation spot for many. From white sand beaches to ancient Hindu temples to volcanoes and rice paddies, Bali is sure to take your breath away. Relax with yoga on the beach or visit one of its many affordable spas. Or, if you’re looking for a thrill, go rafting down the Ayung River or party from dusk to dawn at one of its many clubs.

While activities might cost you a bit more, the current US dollar exchange rate in Bali means you’ll be spending a lot less than in any US city. To cover the expensive flight there, consider saving points with a good travel credit card.

7. Andalusia, Spain

Spain has a reputation for being expensive, but for travelers on a budget, the southern region of Spain known as Andalucia is the perfect choice. With eight different provinces and accommodation for as little as $ 12 a night, the only question is which city to explore first. You can get around the area on a budget using the popular European BlaBlaCar carpooling app.

You’ll find tasty and inexpensive food at a local tapas bar, where you traditionally get a free small plate for every drink you order – meaning you can basically dine for free every night, if you’re up for a drink. glasses of wine. Be sure to taste the olives the area is famous for, as well as any fish or shellfish dishes you can get your hands on.


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