Top budget-friendly destinations for millennials in 2023
- June 14, 2023
- 4 min read
Plane tickets. Hotel costs. Food. Tours. Entry fees. Souvenirs. Travel can be expensive.
But it doesn't have to be. There are deals to be had. Cities with great and cheap food, unexplored beach towns, adventure sports and affordable exchange rates. And, of course, sites that will make your social media followers jealous.
So get out and explore this great big world (on a budget). Here are six places to start.
Mexico City might be popular, but the smartest travelers know that the real vacations lie to the east. Isla Holbox is a chill beach town known for great fishing that's building out its tourism bona fides. There's excellent kiteboarding, a bioluminescent bay, swimming with whale sharks, and easy access from Cancún. If you want a bit more of a city vibe, while still being able to access a beach, consider Mérida. It's the largest city on the Yucatán, packed with free or cheap museums, excellent and affordable food, and a relaxed energy.
The capital of Argentina has it all: thriving culture, plenty of parties, a tourism ecosystem that's functional but not oppressive, wonderful traditional food as well as world-class restaurants, and more. It's a big, bustling city with millions of people going about their days, so be prepared for a few bumps and a bit of traffic along the way, but there are also plenty of areas to find some peace and quiet. The exchange rate cannot be beat, and the beaches of Uruguay are a short trip away if you want to get some sun.
This Balkan country, just north of Greece, doesn't appear on the top of many travel lists, but it should. Although North Macedonia (known simply as Macedonia until 2019) has fewer than two million people, the area's long history means there are plenty of ancient sites to tour and countryside villages to examine. It's known as one of, if not the, cheapest countries to travel to in Europe—and Skopje has everything a capital city should have. Head to nearby Matka Canyon or further afield to Lake Ohrid for watersports and scuba diving or simply rent a car and start driving.
This town of 16,000 on the country's south island just might be the adventure capital of the world. It sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, which presents opportunities for all kinds of parasailing, windsurfing, swimming, and more. Take a day trip to nearby whitewater rafting. If you want a bit more adrenaline, bungee jumping and skydiving are easily accessible. Or simply get thrifty, grab a snack at the local store and hike. The landscape, where lakes meet snow-capped mountains, is simply stunning.
In terms of bang for your traveling buck, Southeast Asia is one of the world's best options. And there's no better place than Vietnam. Start with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, two thriving metropolises with their own unique feel. Head a bit further out and you'll find stunning beaches or fantastic mountain ranges with extremely affordable-priced accommodations. The food is excellent; the pho not to be missed. You might never want to return home and the price means you can stay for a while.
You might not think the land of the pyramids would be an affordable destination, but you'd be wrong. Cairo is enormous, with price points for every budget and loads of free or cheap options for sights that tourists can enjoy. Walk along the Nile, take in the museums, or simply wander the markets. Get out into the desert if that's your thing or head to Alexandria for some time on the Mediterranean. Just don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and a light linen button-up.