5 Cheap International Holiday Destinations

We all love going on holiday, but spending thousands of dollars on a trip to a popular international destination may not always be achievable. It is possible, however, to have a great international holiday which fits within your budget if you choose your destination carefully. Read on to find out about some of the best budget destinations worldwide.

Beijing, China

Last week, I headed to Beijing. I got myself a really decently priced flight for just over $300 from London with Aeroflot, packed my bags and headed off. Accommodation in the capital is reasonably priced, but its in your day-to-day activities that you’ll see the most savings. On a budget of $80 per day for 2 people, we managed to see all the sites, dine out in exclusive restaurants and have enough left over for shopping. A 15 minute taxi ride in Beijing costs you about $2.5 – unheard of in the west – and a meal for 2 in a western chain about $15. A 3 course dinner in a fancy Persian restaurant in vibrant Sanlitun came to just $30, and a Mojito in cool Hou Hai bar area is $3. Entrance into many attractions is either free (for example the great Military Museum) or very cheap – the most expensive we found was the CCTV tower which came to about $10 each. With these sorts of cheap living costs you’ll have plenty of money to head to the famous Silk Street market to pick up all sorts of bargains on clothes and fabrics.


Eastern Europe

It’s not as cheap as it once was, but it’s still possible to do Eastern Europe on a budget. While some destinations like Krakow and Prague are begining to catch on that there is money to be made from tourists – I paid $12 for coffee and a croissant in the Market Square in Krakow –  there are gems to be found even further east. Sarajevo and Belgrade are two excellent locations with low prices for accommodation and dining out and a raw history ready to be explored. The cheap flights to Eastern Europe offered by many budget carriers have been a blessing, so head further east to Bosnia, Serbia, Romania and the Ukraine to get the best of the bargains before they go the way of Poland, Czech Republic and the Baltics by raising their prices to reflect the growing tourist industry.


Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Tunisia

If you’re not fussed on accommodation, location, dates and culture then you can get some of the cheapest and best deals online. With a little flexibility, I’ve managed a week in the Algarve for a stunning $120, and 5 days north of Barcelona for $160. I’ve taken a deal to Agadir in Morocco for $250, ditched the hotel after a few days and headed on the bus to Marrakech for half the cost of a normal flight. This idea isn’t for everyone, as these deals are based on limited flight choices, out of the way resorts and normally 2 or 3* accommodation. But if you’re looking at a week in the sun and live near a major airport this is a great way to get a last minute deal. Try icelolly.com for the best cheap deals, and remember not to expect too much accommodation wise, and be prepared to be slightly out of the way from the main tourist attractions.



A long term favourite, Thailand offers great savings in some of the cheaper resorts. Local transport costs next to nothing, food is delicious and cheap, and the services provided are second to none. Get yourself a massage for $5, and dine out on local specialities for under $10. A major benefit is the bed and breakfasts or guest houses in the country where you can still find rooms for as little as $10 for a decent room. Local sightseeing can be pricey in some of the tourist areas, but off the track you’ll find fantastic savings, souvenirs and friendly locals.



Some parts of Turkey offer warm weather into the autumn and winter months, when prices are low and the crowds are thin. Stay away from Istanbul and the major resorts and you can find some brilliant deals. There’s now a well developed low cost travel network from Europe, Asia and the Middle East to Turkey, and Pegasus airlines also offers cheap internal flights. Sites like lastminute.com and icelolly.com offer some great deals, where you can get a weeks board including flights for only $200. Dining out is relatively cheap by western standards, as is locally made beer and wine. If you’re savvy and don’t fall into the standard tourist traps, then Turkey can be a great cheap holiday.


UPDATE » If you liked this article, you’ll love our latest feature – 5 Cheap Travel Destinations to Visit in 2013!

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