While the new year’s arrival sparks wanderlust in travellers, post-holiday spending can leave many feeling too broke to travel. But who says daydreaming of trips has to be a tease?

We’ve rounded up the most affordable destinations of 2017, so you can stop starving your wanderlust, and feed those travel urges. Here’s where you can best stretch your travel bucks this year!

Psst, want even more ideas? Check out our budget destination list for more inspiration!


1. Canada


Canada turns 150 this year, and to celebrate the entire country is offering free entry to all its national parks. To explore the parks cost-free, you must order a complimentary parks pass, which can be done online here.

Another perk to visiting Canada in 2017? The weakened dollar is favourable for non-Canadians (thrifty, eh!). If you’ve ever wanted to visit this awe-inspiring place, the time is now!

Costs & Highlights

Food: Fast food (e.g. Tim Hortons bagel) ~$2 USD, sit-down meal $10-$15 USD
Accommodation: ~19+ USD for hostel dorm, $30+ USD for private (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). Camping is a great way to affordably sleep & explore. AirBNB is abundant and is often cheaper than hotels or hostels.
Getting around: Public transit in nearly all cities. Cross-country train routes offered by VIA Rail. Limited budget airlines but New LeafPorter and Jazz Air are cheapest.
Top attractions: Banff National Park, Whistler Mountain, Old Montréal, Niagara Falls

2. Armenia

Eastern Europe is a treasure of affordable gems, and Armenia is no exception. Snow-capped mountains, ancient monasteries, and twinkling cities – this underrated country offers European flare on a dime. To top it off, the Armenian Dram has been on a downward trend, stretching tourist dollars even further.

Costs & Highlights

Food: Street eats like buns and fresh juices are 50 cents to $1 USD, simple sit-down meals 50 cents to $3.50+ USD per dish.
Accommodation: ~$5+ USD for hostel dorm, $12+ USD for private (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search).
Getting around: Public transit in major cities, minibuses available as well as trains.
Top attractions: Geghard Monastery, Khor Virap, Yerevan (city), National Gallery of Armenia


3. United Kingdom

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Thanks to Brexit, attractions like Stonehenge and the London Eye can finally move up the bucket list of cash-strapped travellers. While not a cheap destination by default, the U.K. is currently more affordable than ever. It can be done even cheaper via house sitting, campervan, car or RV travel across the country.

Costs & Highlights

Food: $6+ USD for street food (e.g. food trucks), simple sit-down meal $14+ USD
Accommodation: Hostel dorms $20+ USD, private rooms $50+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). Housesitting is very popular in the U.K. (check our how-to guide to house sitting!).
Getting around: Budget airlines abundant (e.g. Ryan Air, EasyJet, Jet2FlyBe). Car rentals and campervans are an affordable means to road trip (check our how-to on finding cheap RV relocations here). Public transit, buses and trains are also plentiful nationwide.
Top attractions: Stonehenge, Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster Palace, Windsor Castle

4. Sri Lanka

Beachy vibes, 2000+ year old Buddhist ruins, and tropical rainforests all wait to be discovered in this enticing island country. Oh, and did we mention cheap curries? (Take us now). Another plus is the drop in the Sri Lankan rupee, offering even better value to this already budget spot.

Costs & Highlights

Food: Simple sit down meals range from $1.60-$3 USD, fancier meals from $8+ USD
Accommodation: Hostel dorms from $6+ USD, privates from $26+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search).
Getting around: Taxis and tuk tuks are common in cities. Train travel is a scenic way for cross-country travel.
Top attractions: Sigiriya Rock, Udawalawe National Park, Anuradhapura, cross-country train travel, Horton Plains National Park, Ceylon


5. Greece

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The Greek economy has been on the decline the past couple years, and tourists have picked up on this. Despite the dollar drop, not everywhere in Greece is cheap. Accommodation costs can be steep, but alternative hotel options such as AirBNB or house sitting can slash these aspects of a trip. You can also try cheaper offbeat spots to visit, such as Peloponnese or Lefkada Island.

Costs & Highlights

Food: Street food such as kebabs are ~$3.50+ USD, simple meals from $7-$15 USD
Accommodation: $8+ USD for hostel dorms, $27+ USD for private rooms (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). AirBNB offers great value here over hotels and resorts.
Getting around: Public transport in major cities (most small towns are walkable). Ferries can be used to get between islands. Budget airlines exist (e.g. AeroPorika, Aegian Air) and train lines exist mostly in the North.
Top attractions: Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, Meteora, Erechtheion, Santorini caldera

6. Mexico

Balmy beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and a plummet in the Mexican peso puts this country high on the must-see list for 2017. Accommodation here is cheap, and tasty street food is abundant. What’s not to love?!

Swapping tourist-trampled hotspots (e.g. Cancun) for lesser-known beach towns is a great way to save here. Resorts can be exorbitant, but you can have a cheaper DIY luxe visit with a luxury AirBNB or hotel, and then buying your own food and drinks (tequila, anyone?).

Costs & Highlights

Food: Street food like tacos & empanadas will set you back <$1+ USD. Simple sit-down meals range from $3-$6 USD.
Accommodation: $8+ USD for hostels, $19+ USD for private rooms (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). AirBNB offers great value especially compared to resorts.
Getting around: Budget airlines exist, including Volaris, Interjet, Aeromar, and Aerobus. Inter-city travel can be done by bus (see TicketBus for details & routes), and a few routes by train.
Top attractions: Mexico City, Chichen Itza, Oaxaca, Palenque, Teotihuacán’s pyramids

7. Australia

Australia’s dollar decline combined with strategic planning can make a trip to this epic country much cheaper than you think. Visiting small seaside towns, embarking on road trips, doing free activities like hiking, and adding camping to world-class sites all stretch the budget comfortably. Worried about the costs to get here? North Americans can save by flying budget airlines to Hawaii, then Australia’s own budget airline Jetstar, from Hawaii to Aus.

Costs & Highlights

Food: Street eats like kebab shops will set you back $3+ for fries. Sit-down pub meals start at $7+ USD (lunch specials are common).
Accommodation: Hostel dorms are $8+ USD, privates from $50+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). AirBNB is the best bargain here, and house sitting is abundant if it fits your schedule. Campervans, RVs, or tent camping is a great way to explore cheaply and RV relocations are also common.
Getting around: Public transit is in all major cities. Buses are available cross-country, but the abundant budget airlines (e.g. Tiger Air, Jetstar, Virgin Australia) mean it’s usually cheaper to fly.
Top attractions: Sydney Opera House, Uluru and the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef

8. Indonesia

A stopover here is perfectly combined with a trip to #7 (Australia). Besides the country’s currency drop, Indonesia is enticing enough with its puffing volcanoes, lush rainforests, and friendly people. While Bali is overpacked with tourist resorts, visitors can live in luxury for less with AirBNB rentals throughout the country.

Food: Basic meal $2-$4 USD
Accommodation: Dorms from $10 USD (mainly in major cities like Jakarta), privates $15+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). AirBNB rentals common and a cheaper alternative for pairs or groups.
Getting around: Ojeks (motorcycles) are used like taxis, dokar (horse-drawn carriages) are fairly common. Buses in major cities only e.g. Jakarta. Budget airlines (e.g. Tiger) fly around the country.
Top attractions: Borobudur, Tanah Lot, Ubud Monkey Forest, Prambanan, Uluwatu Temple

9. Denmark

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If you’ve ever wanted to explore Scandinavia, this is the year to do it. Denmark (as well as Sweden and Norway) have had a drop in their dollar making it the cheapest it’s been in years. While still not a budget spot by any means, unravelling Northern Europe is now more reachable than ever.

Food: Simple meal, $4-$8 USD
Accommodation: Hostel dorm $17+ USD, private $80+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). AirBNB is common and better value here.
Getting around: Big cities like Copenhagen have excellent public transit. Trains and ferries are speckled throughout the country, though bike and car are a great way to DIY travel.
Top attractions: Kronborg castle, Tivoli Gardens, National Museum of Denmark, Church of Our Saviour

10. Brazil

Brazil is more affordable now than it has been in several years. With glittery white beaches and towering mountains, it has much more to offer than just the opportunity to stretch those travel bucks. Already a cheap country to travel in by default, your dollars can stretch even further here on fresh juices, swanky accommodation, and time spent in its epic cities like Sao Paulo and Rio.

Food: Simple local restaurants are ~$4+ USD for a meal, while basic street eats are $2+ USD for fresh juice or buns.
Accommodation: Hostel dorms are $11+ USD, privates are $40+ USD (HotelsCombined does a comprehensive search). Hotels or AirBNB can be much cheaper for 2+ people.
Getting around: Public transit or taxis are ideal for cities. Inter-city travel can be achieved via bus or plane (for a list of budget South American airlines, check here).
Top attractions: Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, beaches of Rio, Amazon rainforest, Iguazu Falls


2017 is looking to be a very good year for travel (let’s be honest, is there ever a good time not to?!). What spots would you add to this list?