These 7 Countries Offer The Best Bang For Your Buck


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You worked hard for your travel savings, so you want to squeeze every last drop of fun out of them! Sometimes getting the best deal isn’t about what’s cheapest but what offers you the most value.

Let’s take a look at seven great examples of destinations around the world where your money can go a lot further.

1.      Bulgaria


In the 2014 Holiday Costs Barometer put together by the UK Post Office, Bulgaria came out on top. The study looks at the average cost of 10 of the most common items a tourist spends their money on, including sunscreen, drinks and food. Bulgaria was the cheapest of all 20 travel destinations in Europe and the USA that were included in the survey.

Bulgaria offers sandy beach resorts, snow-covered ski mountains, historical ruins and a rich and fascinating history. Check out some of the relaxing undiscovered resort towns on the Black Sea Coast, the capital city of Sofia or the wild forests along the coast.

2.      Vietnam


This vibrant and colourful Southeast Asian destination offers you the ability to live like a king on a very small budget. If you were a shoestring backpacker you could find a grotty hostel bed for only a couple of dollars in most cities – but we are focusing on value here. If you spend a little bit more (only around $15-$20 per night) you can get a private room in a decent hotel – which will be a much more enjoyable experience and still very affordable.

Your day to day expenses will be minimal, with delicious bowls of Pho noodle soup and other delicious foods available for only a buck or two and a glass of beer at a street side café for about 25 cents.  There’s plenty to do here, including soaking up the sun on tropical beaches, cruising around Halong Bay, visiting indigenous hill tribes and exploring the historic architecture in bustling Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

3.      Bolivia


If you prefer to head down to South America, check out Bolivia as this country is very affordable to travel. One of the advantages of travelling in Bolivia is that there is something for every budget and you will be able to afford plenty of great experiences on a travel budget that wouldn’t get you nearly as much in other destinations.

For example, you are likely to find a four star hotel in La Paz for only around $80 per night – much cheaper than it would be in a capital city in North America. A steak dinner at a nice restaurant will only cost around $15-$20 and amazing experiences such as guided hikes, day tours and more are surprisingly affordable. Make sure you take a 4×4 trip across the incredible Uyuni Salt Flats and relax for a while in the chilled out city of Sucre.

4.      Slovenia


This tiny Eastern European country borders Austria, Italy and Croatia but it is cheaper than any of those three. On a trip to Slovenia you can enjoy beautiful alpine valleys, mountains lakes, castles, caves and emerald coloured rivers. Go skiing in the Julian Alps, mountaineering in Triglav National Park or marvel at the fine art collection at the National Museum in the capital city of Ljubljana.

In most places in Slovenia you can expect to find a room in a midrange hotel or pension for around 30 euros. Even the best hotel in town won’t usually cost you more than 50 or 60 euros. You will also find that dining out and buying drinks is a lot cheaper than other European countries. If you want to beat the crowds and take advantage of the off season, visit between June and September – it will still be warm enough to swim in the Adriatic.

5.      South Africa


This is a great destination for those who love wildlife, whether you have always wanted to take a safari to see the big five or you would like to spot penguins on Boulders Beach in Cape Town. There are plenty of bucket-list-worthy experiences to be had here, from shark diving to whale watching. The beautiful beaches of Cape Town lie at the intersection of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and offer amazing swimming, surfing and sunsets.

The nature camps in the South African wilderness are open all year round, so you can take advantage of the off season between May and July and enjoy cheaper prices, as well as cooler weather and better chances of animal sightings. You can also get more bang for your buck by staying in the smaller owner-operated lodges, since they don’t have the large overheads of the chain resorts and can offer better deals.

6.      Latvia


Latvia is another great destination in which you spend less in comparison to other countries and get a lot more. Public transport is inexpensive, there are plenty of cheap local restaurants and there is no shortage of accommodation to choose from. It’s not uncommon to find a restaurant serving a full lunch including soup, main course and a beverage for less than five dollars. Latvia is known for its wild and unspoilt beauty and walking in nature is a popular (and very affordable) activity.

Check out the capital city of Riga, which was deemed a European Capital of Culture in 2014. As you stroll through the streets you will see why it earned the title, its gorgeous Art Nouveau buildings are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the majestic Riga Cathedral is a towering, intricate remnant from medieval times. Visit the Latvian National Opera and take in a choral performance or a ballet or marvel at the Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque design of St. Peter’s Church. If you want a break from city life, head out to the coast of the Baltic Sea where you will find white sand beaches to relax on.

7.      Puerto Rico


In a study by Tripadvisor’s TripIndex the cost of vacations in a number of Caribbean islands in March and April were compared. Out of the 20 gorgeous islands, Puerto Rico came out as the cheapest. Although this country might be more expensive than the others on this list, it represents one of the best options for value in the Caribbean. It also offers many options for cheap and direct flights, which will make it easier on your travel budget.

If you are day dreaming about sunbathing on a tropical beach, learning to surf in the sunshine or playing a few rounds of golf on a gorgeous day, Puerto Rico will offer you many unforgettable experiences. Popular activities here include kayaking, fishing, tennis, horseback riding, scuba diving and much more. It is also a prime destination for snorkelling and spearfishing.

These are just a few of the destinations around the world where you will get the most for your money on your next trip. Taking the time to shop around, do your research and find the best deals


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About the Author: Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style since 2011, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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