Most millennials cite travel as one of their top financial drains. The desire to see and experience more is an innate part of our generational DNA. I’m not here to tell you to stop taking vacations — I'm a travel junkie, too. Instead, here are five cheap vacation destinations where you can make the most of a small budget:
The first selling point of visiting Thailand is the food. I could eat pad Thai every day for the rest of my life and still want more.
The second major draw is that gnarly exchange rate. For every one Thai Baht (the Thai currency), you spend 2.8 cents. That probably means nothing to you, but it translates into unbelievable savings. Most of the meals in Thailand will cost you a few dollars, with four-star hotels costing you as little as $35 a night. What’s more, Thailand is highly accustomed to the tourism industry, so it’s a go-to spot for backpackers looking to stay in safe hostels for a fraction of the already low cost of Thai hotels.
Further Reading: “How to Use Currency Exchange to Get Shopping and Travel Deals”
The average daily cost to travel comfortably in India can range anywhere from $20 to $45 a day, depending on where you are in the country. You can find basic hotels in India for as little as $10 a day, and cheap food and trinkets will be unavoidable.
India is known for its massive street markets and vendors, so make sure to budget a little bit for all of the goodies you’ll want to take home.
Consider taking a train ride to see some of the country while you’re there. It’ll probably be the cheapest luxury travel you’ve ever experienced. However, make sure you do the research before you plan a trip to India. The country is so large that it wouldn’t be a great option for the wing-it types of travelers. You may want to consider this list of the cheapest places to stay in India.
Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is my favorite place that I’ve never been to. Although it’s often left out from the “cheap vacation destinations” lists, it is (in my opinion) a top contender for affordable travel. Myanmar’s exchange rate is as competitive as Thailand’s in recent years, but its tourism industry is still growing. As a result, you will be able to enjoy those low costs (hotels for $20) without feeling like you're just one of a billion people thronging the place.
Further Reading: Check out these tips for traveling on a budget.
Are you seeing a Southeast Asia theme yet? The only reason Thailand usually beats Cambodia out as the cheapest vacation destination is because Cambodia was recently feared to be unsafe for travelers. But now that it’s widely considered a safe and is an increasingly common travel spot, it will soon challenge Thailand’s pedestal. You can find hotel rooms in Cambodia for just a few dollars, and visit one of Cambodia’s UNESCO heritage centers for around $20.
Iceland’s recent economic collapse may be bad for the country, but it has allowed for the tourism industry to grow exponentially, as young people choose Iceland as a low-cost alternative to European vacations.
You can spend around $40 for a hotel in Iceland, although you’re likely to spend more per day than you would in dirt-cheap vacation destinations like Thailand. Iceland offers breathtaking scenery and will satisfy your cravings for European cities, if you have them. What’s more, flights to Iceland from the East Coast in the U.S. often hover around $400, which is much lower than the average flight out to a country in Southeast Asia. And seriously, can you even put a price on seeing the Northern Lights in person?
Further reading: Learn what goes into the cost of a plane ticket.