Did you know that most Americans are taking vacations they can't afford?
In fact, 74% of vacationers go into debt in order to travel on their annual days off.
Vacations may sound like a worthy cause for going into debt. But financial obstacles can make it challenging to enjoy those beach martinis. Plus, vacation debt can get in the way of future travel plans.
Of course, it is possible to vacation luxuriously without breaking the bank. One of the best ways to do this is to choose an affordable travel destination.
Keep reading to discover cheap places to travel this summer and beyond!
If you are keen to travel to northern Europe but are conscious of your wallet, visit Estonia. A hop, skip, and a jump away from Finland, Estonia offers cost-effective lodging and public transportation.
For a glimpse of unique Estonian culture, pay a visit to any of the country's museums, such as the Estonian Open Air Museum.
Stop by Estonia's old medieval towns, some of which are UNESCO-protected, to explore the country's history and savor some Estonian fare: typically smoked meats, schnitzel, and rye bread.
Hostels start at $20 a night in Estonia, depending on where you travel. Aim to budget $5 - $10 for an inexpensive meal or $30 - $50 for a restaurant experience.
Of course, there is a time and a place for European luxury. Learn more here.
Vietnam is one of the cheapest places to travel in SouthEast Asia, and perhaps the most rewarding!
Wander the bustling old quarter in Hanoi or trek in the rice paddies of the country's northern reaches near Sa Pa. Travel to idyllic, riverfront Hoi An and enjoy a floating lantern ceremony while slurping on pho.
Depending on where you go in Vietnam, you'll be paying $5 - $15 a night for accommodation. What's more, individual meals typically cost just a few dollars, and beers can be as low as $0.20 a pop.
Public transportation is also relatively inexpensive. Use Vietnam's train or bus network and cheaply travel between cities. Even a flight cross-country can cost travelers as little as $75.
This little country has the advantage of being both captivating and cost-effective, making it an ideal destination for world travelers on a budget.
Start in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, where you'll wander streets filled with traditional Georgian homes and Soviet architecture. Tbilisi is a great stepping stone to the Caucasian Mountains, where travelers can explore untouched nature and visit hilltop monasteries.
Expect to pay very little while you wander Georgia. Backpackers can find hostel dormitories for a mere $5 a night! Spend mere dollars--or even cents--on various Georgian fare, and experience more luxurious private accommodation for $15 .
If a beach vacation is in your future, put Jamaica on your list. Of the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is the most cost-effective. Plus, English is widely spoken here!
If you're in need of some rest and relaxation, head to Montego Bay for a laid-back beach atmosphere. For some needed party vibes, Negril is your destination. For a true taste of Jamaican culture, wander to Kingston, a soulful capital positively bursting with music day and night.
Public transportation in Jamaica is wonderfully cheap: hop on a bus for a mere dollar, for example. Taxis can be expensive, though.
Accommodation can vary by price, but backpackers can rest comfortably for $14 - $30 a night, and budget hotels range from $60 to $150 a night.
Remember that Jamaica is still part of the Caribbean, a hot tourist destination, so plan your budget ahead of time.
European travelers looking to save some dollars should not overlook Romania. This European country located in the continents Transylvanian region is full of medieval churches, rich culture, and stunning mountain ranges.
Visit folk museums in bustling Bucharest or inspect the Gothic Black Church in Brasov. Buffs of the Middle Ages will want to drop by Sighișoara, a small city with a UNESCO-protected walled old town.
Backpackers, you'll find accommodation in hostels for as inexpensive as $14 a night. Travelers seeking some more privacy still may only spend $30-$40 a night for a comfortable bed-and-breakfast or budget hotel room.
Romanian food is delicious and cost-effective. Expect to fork out no more than $20 a meal at restaurants, and far less if you dine at informal locations.
Despite its proximity to Europe, Morocco is one of North Africa's most affordable travel destinations.
Visit Marrakesh’s iconic medina, the medieval quarter in the country's best-known city. Pay a visit to the Saraha Desert while you're wandering to catch a glimpse of the clearest constellations.
Morocco is starting to become backpacker friendly, so if you're comfortable toting your belongings on your back, stay at one of the country's hostels for as little as $14 a night. For more luxurious (but still affordable) accommodation, hole up in a riad, Morrocan hotels replete with gardens and courtyards.
Food can also be incredibly cheap in Morroco, especially if you concentrate on street vendors. Expect to pay approximately $10 - $20 a day on dining.
A little known gem between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe. Wine lovers will especially appreciate this country, as Moldova has a centuries-old winemaking tradition.
Expect to spend no more than $10 a bottle of wine in Moldova, and about the same price for a sit-down meal with dessert. Visit cave monasteries and ancient wine cellars to satisfy your craving for history, and don't forget to check out the country's distilleries.
Hostels cost as little as $12 a night, while hotels can range from $50 - $100, depending on where you stay.
8. New Orleans
If you're thinking about staying stateside for your upcoming vacation, look no further than New Orleans. Even a weekend in this vibrant, historic city is sufficient to keep your taste buds happy (and your wallet fat!).
Pop a squat in the city's iconic French Quarter simply to people-watch or enjoy some live music at any of the bars on Frenchman Street. Enjoy martinis for a quarter a piece at select local restaurants--yes, only twenty-five cents a cocktail!
Public transportation is easy and affordable, especially if you find accommodation in the heart of the city and are comfortable walking or taking taxis. Bed and breakfasts and hotels range from $50 to $100 a night.
Final Thoughts: Cheap Places to Travel
It is possible to satisfy that wanderlust without hurting your bank account. Keep these cheap places to travel in mind as you are planning your next vacation.
Of course, if you do feel like planning a luxurious vacation, nothing's stopping you. Check out these tips for saving up for your dream vacation!