The new year has arrived and if you haven't already done so, now is the perfect time to tidy up your wanderlist. The clean-up slogan here is out with the predictable and in with the offbeat. Bcametter yet? This hand-curated list has rounded up 12 unmissable destinations that are affordable too. Ready for some 2018 inspo? Here's 11 epic thrifty places to visit this year!



1. Newfoundland, Canada

Sea-green icebergs, viking settlements, waterfall-oozing fjords, and most notably, narwhals (the unicorns of the sea!). Sound like Iceland? Close, but not quite. Scooch over just 2,500km and you're in Newfoundland, Canada. This eastern sliver of the country offers raw wilderness that is surprisingly under-visited. Compared to its pricier neighbours Greenland and Iceland, this part of Canada can be explored quite reasonably on the Canadian dollar.

Psst, planning a trip to Canada? Check our super-comprehensive guide to seeing it on the cheap.

Costs & highlights

Food: Fast food (e.g. Tim Hortons bagel/snack) ~$2 USD, sit-down meal $10-$15 USD
Accommodation: hotels start at $100 USD/night, tent camping or RVing is a great way to immerse oneself in the outdoors. AirBNB is popular, with rooms starting at $30 USD/night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Outside of the major cities, a car rental, RV, or campervan is highly recommended. Compare car rental rates with BookingBuddy.
Top attractions: Gros Morne National Park, Skerwink Trail, Dungeon Provincial Park, L'Anse Aux Meadows (viking settlement)


2. Tasmania, Australia

Dew-soaked forests, neon Southern Lights, and the purest air on earth – Tasmania packs a juicy (and budget-friendly) punch to its southern neighbour, New Zealand. This island state of Australia boasts world-class hikes, epic scenery, and adorable wildlife. Better yet, the Aussie dollar continues to fare well for Americans, currently with 1 AUD only costing 78 cents.

Costs & highlights

Food: Fast food (e.g. kebabs) $7+ USD, sit-down meals $10+ USD (pub meals and lunches being cheaper)
Accommodation: Hotels start at $39 USD/night (lower priced rooms often with shared bathrooms), hostel dorms $31+ USD/night. AirBNB is available around the island, with rates starting around $15+ USD per night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Public transport exists in major cities but a car rental, campervan, or RV is ideal for exploring the full island. Compare car rental rates with BookingBuddy.
Top attractions: Freycinet National Park (and its famous Wineglass Bay), Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Cradle Mountain National Park, Port Arthur Historic Site


3. Cuzco, Peru

Home to astonishingly preserved Incan ruins, this cobblestoned city is teeming with culture of both present and past. The Peruvian sol is still recovering from its nosedive plummet in 2016, making an already affordable gem that much better. Many incredible ancient sites are located within and around Cusco (the most obvious being Machu Picchu). Still, don't give a miss to the plentiful nearby ancient sites including Tipon, Pisac, and the Sacred Valley – all feasible as day trips.

Planning a trip to Machu Picchu? Be sure to check our complete guide here to seeing it affordably. Also check our guide on finding cheap flights in South America to cut your trip costs down, too!

Costs & highlights

Food: Street food $1+ USD, basic sit-down meals $2-$5 USD, more formal dining $8+ USD.
Accommodation: Hostel dorms $13+ USD/night, hotels $35+ USD/night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: The city is very accessible on foot, though taxis are plentiful too.
Top attractions: Sacsayhuaman (tour guide recommended), Centro Historico de Cusco, Plaza de Armas, Cusco Planetarium

4. Istanbul, Turkey

The declining Turkish Lira means that travellers can explore Istanbul cheaper than ever. Home to one of the world's oldest markets and a delectable array of food stalls, spice carts, palaces, and more – Istanbul tickles the senses and appeases travel budgets of all shapes and sizes.

Costs & highlights

Food: $5+ USD simple meal, $7+ USD more formal dining.
Accommodation: hostels $14 USD+ per night, hotels $18+ USD/night. AirBNB is also available throughout the city, starting at just $10+ USD per night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Public transport is abundant and plentiful, and so too are taxis. Much of the city is best appreciated and explored on foot.
Top attractions: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Sultanahmet District, any of the abundant markets (Grand Bazaar, Bakirköy, Beşiktaş).

5. Jeju Island, Korea

Forest-shrouded temples, Koolaid blue water, and a dizzying array of flavour-packed food, Jeju Island provides a lesser known taste of Korea to the curious traveller. For developed Asia, its prices are surprisingly affordable and without the crowds. Be sure to check out some of the island's infamously quirky museums, including the Museum of Sex & Health and Jeju Loveland.

Costs & highlights

Food: Basic meal $7+ USD, more formal meal $14+ USD.
Accommodation: Hostel or hotel options starting at $27 USD/night. AirBNB is abundant with rates starting at $20 USD/night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: The island is best explored by car (be sure to have an international driver's licence), but intercity bus routes do exist. Compare car rental rates with BookingBuddy.
Top attractions: Seongsan Iichulbong (volcano + lookout), Jeongbang Waterfall, Hallasan National Park, Hamdeok Beach

6. The Philippines

Puffing volcanoes, gloriously green rice terraces, and white-sand beaches you'll reminisce on for years to come – the Philippines is simply tantalizing. Favourably for visitors, its currency has been on a decline for a few years. Another bonus is its accessibility with cheap flights due its proximity to Southeast Asia. Beachside bungalows, cabins with rice terrace views, and oceanside resorts are accessible to those on even the tightest of budgets. Your only challenge will be choosing which of the 7,000+ islands to visit.

Costs & highlights

Food: Basic meal $3+USD, more formal dining $7+ USD
Accommodation: Hostels from $10 USD+ per night (prices vary between city vs. rural areas), hotels $38+ USD per night, resorts and private cabins vary greatly. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Major cities have public transport and taxis on offer. Inter-island transport includes boat or plane.
Top attractions: Bacuit Archipelago, Banaue Rice Terraces, Calamian Islands, Bohol

7. Cairo, Egypt

The Egyptian pound has taken a serious plummet in 2017, making some of the world's most magnificent wonders even more tangible to visit. Wander pyramid ruins, gaze brilliantly tiled mosques, and sample an infinite variety of delectable dips. Cairo is lively and not short of excitement, with a wide range of activities and ancient sites to explore.

Costs & highlights

Food: Street food $1+ USD, $4 USD for basic meal, fancier meals $7+ USD
Accommodation: Hostel $11+ USD, basic hotel $20+ USD. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: A well-run, cheap public transport system is in place. Taxis and buses are also available. Exploring on foot is ideal, especially for markets and attractions.
Top attractions: Keops Pyramid, Abdeen Palace, Egyptian Antiques Museum, Gizeh Plateau

8. Kiev, Ukraine

Vintage cafes, rainbow-coloured residences, and eccentric cathedrals worthy of a Candyland backdrop, Kyiv is a delight to those who visit. The city is not only a feast for the eyes, but also offers a delectable selection of Eastern European eats on the cheap. Fill your belly with tangy borscht, chewy dumplings with sour cream, Ukrainian donuts and more – all for astonishingly cheap. Those seeking an offbeat venture can take a day trip to the eery remains of Chernobyl, a place frozen in time.

Costs & highlights

Food: Basic meal $8+ USD
Accommodation: Starting as low as $5 USD/night for hostels, hotels from $20+ USD. AirBNB is also popular. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Public transport connects the city. Taxis also available. Much of the city is explorable on foot.
Top attractions: Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery), Andriyivski Uzviz, Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum

9. Montenegro

It's not the size that counts, it how you use it. That saying couldn't be truer for this teeny eastern nation that is saturated in European culture. Thrifty-minded explorers who make it here will be greeted by majestic mountains, ancient Roman villas, translucent waters, and remote scenery. Quaint, under-visited, and captivating just about sums up this hidden gem of Europe.

Costs & highlights

Food: $3+ USD for street food/snack, basic meals $7+ USD
Accommodation: Hostels $13+ USD, hotels $60+ USD. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Most towns are so tiny they can be explored by foot. Weary walkers can take cheap taxi rides. Inter-city travel is done via bus or train.
Top attractions: Ostrog Monastery, Biogradska Gora, Black Lake, Kotor's Castle of San Giovanni

10. Namibia

Rust-coloured deserts, golden grass plains, and and watering holes reminiscent of the Lion King – and that's just the landscapes. Namibia is home to many of Africa's famed big animals, from giraffes and rhinos, to cheetahs and elephants. Oh, and did we mention it's affordable? In comparison to other parts of Africa, Namibia offers a range of safaris and accommodation options to indulge in the nation's seeping natural beauty.

Costs & highlights

Food: $6+ USD for basic restaurant meal, $12+ USD for something fancier
Accommodation: Dorm bed or campsites $25+USD, basic hotels $40+ USD. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: Namibia is most easily explored by car, as bus and local transport is spotty and slow. Luxury buses do exist, but your own vehicle or a guided tour offers the most freedom.
Top attractions: Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Twyfelfontein, Fish River Canyon, Big Daddy Dune, Kolmanskop Ghost Town

11. Montréal, Canada

A taste of Europe on the Canadian dollar (still favourably lesser than the USD), Montréal offers French charm on a dime. With its cobblestoned streets, French architecture, and the seemingly ever-present scent of crepes, one needn't spend thousands to fly overseas when such French charm can be found right here in North America.

Psst, planning a trip to Canada? Check our super-comprehensive guide to seeing it on the cheap. Visiting Montreal in winter? Read our budget winter activities guide here.

Costs & highlights

Food: Simple meal $7+ USD, more formal dining $15+ USD
Accommodation: Hotels $48+ USD, AirBNB (which is plentiful) rates starting at $14 USD/night. Compare hotels and hostels with the TripAdvisor search engine.
Getting around: The city is well connected by public transport including bus and and subway. The downtown is best explored on foot.
Top attractions: Old Montreal, Mount Royal lookout, Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal Botanical Gardens


And that's our budget destination list for 2018. Are there any you would add? Which are you dying to see first?

Want to travel cheaper in 2018? Here's the BEST budget travel destinations for this year. #budgettravel #budgetdestinations #budgetdestinations2018 #cheapplaces