5 best countries to visit on a budget
Costa Rica to Vietnam, here are five international destinations in Asia, Europe and Central America that are great options if you want to travel far away from home without having to dip too far into your savings.
An old quote says "if travelling were free, you'd never see me again." And for so many of us, the expression couldn't be truer. As incredible as exploring the world can be, the truth is, travelling can also be pretty expensive.
But the upside? It doesn't always have to be. While gorgeous-but-pricey destinations like Bora Bora and the Maldives will typically top the bucket lists of many jet-setters, all those life-changing meals, rejuvenating hotel stays, and outdoor adventures can add up to a painful hit to your wallet. The good news is, with a little research, you can find budget-friendly travel destinations teeming with vibrant culture, extraordinary views, unfamiliar cuisine, and so much more.
While we can't offer you many destinations that will wine and dine you for free, there are places where the Indian currency will go just a little further. And while the rupee won't get you quite as much as it did in certain parts of the world, even just a few years ago, there are still a few places where the exchange rate will be your greatest ally. Here are five such countries you should visit right now:
Vietnam (1 INR = 323.85 Vietnamese dong)
Plenty of countries in Southeast Asia are great deals for INR-carriers, but we recommend a trip to Vietnam — in part because of the steadily increasing exchange rate (INR is hovering close to around 324 Vietnamese dong), but mostly for the country's mind-blowing beauty. While a few Southeast Asian countries, like Singapore, can be pricey, Vietnam is notably budget-friendly. The food, which is just as good from a street cart — don’t be afraid to sample the street food, which includes signature dishes like beef pho and bun cha — as it is from a sit-down restaurant, is cheap and hotels are reasonable. There’s a lot to see, too, from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to explore the country.
Costa Rica (1 INR = 7.80 Costa Rican colón)
The Costa Rican colón reached an all-time high in November 2018, and has remained favourable since then. And the INR-to-CRC exchange rate only sweetens the deal for Indian travellers. You can easily travel to Costa Rica on a budget or plan a romantic luxury getaway. The Central American country, with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific, is a hidden travel gem with natural beauty, a welcoming culture, and abundant wildlife. Plus, it doesn't matter if you want to relax on a beach or have an epic outdoor adventure, Costa Rica has got you covered. The country is one of the best in the world for outdoor adventure, from trekking through the tropical cloud forests in the mountains of Alajuela to surfing off the coast of Peninsula Papagayo.
Hungary (1 INR = 4.18 Hungarian forint)
Hungary's conversion rates have been quite favourable and that's great news for anyone planning a trip to Budapest. The historical city is incredibly budget-friendly, and there are endless things to do there from sight-seeing to romantic river cruising. You can soak in medicinal waters — Budapest is known as the "City of Baths" for a reason, it’s the only remaining capital city in the world with healing thermal waters — or visit one of its unique museums — The Chocolate Museum alone is worth the visit, but Budapest also offers an interactive Pinball Museum. The city also boasts impressive architecture: The Matthias Church (pictured above) is just one example of the notable structures around Budapest. The State Opera House, Hungarian Parliament Building, Royal Palace (or Buda Castle), and Fisherman's Bastion are also worth adding to your itinerary.
Sri Lanka (1 INR = 2.53 Sri Lankan rupee)
Sri Lanka might not be quite as inexpensive as many other countries on this list, but the exchange rate is still much higher. Hence, it might be a good time to finally take a trip to this Instagrammer's paradise. A wonderland of rainforests, beautiful beaches, ancient Buddhist ruins, and exotic wildlife, this tiny island nation can offer extraordinary adventures without a steep price tag. Go elephant watching at Uda Walawe National Park or challenge yourself with one of the country's famous hikes. Family-run guesthouses are popular for accommodation in the country and usually offer travellers affordable rates and first-hand recommendations and tips from locals.
Albania (1 INR = 1.56 Albanian lek)
The country currently offers some savings for INR-carriers. Not only is Albania home to exceptional beauty and vibrant culture, but it's also one of Europe's most affordable travel destinations. Famous for its snow-covered Alps, this small European country on the Balkan Peninsula has so much to offer. For history buffs, the country is peppered with castles, archaeological sites, and timeless villages, and distinctive culinary culture for the foodies. There are also spectacular beaches and coastlines with far fewer crowds than Albania's more touristy neighbours (think Greece and Montenegro).