Contrary to popular belief, international travel does not have to be expensive. Even though we think of high prices when thinking about a vacation abroad, not all international destinations need to be costly. In fact, there are plenty of locations that are much more affordable than the domestic ones.
These less expensive international destinations are enjoyable and wallet-friendly. You might even be able to travel to multiple countries in a year without having to put a hole in your pocket.
These international destinations are affordable because of their exchange rates in context with the US Dollar. Countries with weaker currency offer you spectacular international travel deals, which means you get more for every dollar you spend. Consider this when you are planning your next international vacation. If the currency of one country gains strength, you might want to consider another international destination to make your vacation even more affordable.
Leisure’s top travel guides experts have scoured the world to find you the five most affordable international travel deals and destinations. Let’s begin our adventure right away!
Our neighbor from the south, Mexico, offers an exotic touch to our vacations with an affordable price tag. It provides you with ancient ruins, history, tropical beaches, and so much more. The international travel deals for Mexico make up for so much fun for everyone in your entire family.
There are several airports you can fly into to get to Mexico. Cabo, Tijuana, Cancun, San Lucas, and Mexico City are some of the most popular options. It is also incredibly cheap to get there. One of the best international travel deals we found was a round trip from New York to Cancun, costing only $73.
Most cities in and around Mexico have plenty of affordable options. Of course, there are a few options suitable for people with a higher spending range. Still, the majority of these rates varied roughly around $50-$100. There are also a few highly affordable options that are available on Airbnb. One of which will only cost you about $28 a night.
Things to do
To be honest, the entire country is too large to be explored in just one trip. You need to make multiple trips to explore the whole country. However, you can decide what you need to explore in one trip. You can visit the ancient ruins of Oaxaca, explore the traditional architecture around the city, visit the museums in Mexico City, and party at one of the beaches near Cancun.
The European wonder is deep-rooted with a history reflected in its ancient architecture and culture found all over the country. From the northernmost mountains of Spain to its mesmerizing Mediterranean beaches, the country has everything to offer you to create a perfect international vacation for you.
There are plenty of great international travel deals to Spain which are incredibly light on your pockets, considering how expensive it is to take a European vacation. There is a wide range of flights flying to Madrid from New York, ranging from $300-$500. Check out this flight costing only $304 for a round trip to Madrid.
Spain is highly affordable when it comes to traveling on a budget. There are multiple Airbnbs in Madrid that you can rely on, starting at just $14. While in Valencia, an Airbnb can also fall in an affordable range. There are incredible accommodation options for just $13.
In Barcelona, you can get an affordable room that ranges from $50-$100. This 4-Star hotel will sweep you off the floor because it is only for $56.
Things to do
When in Spain, you have multiple options to spend your vacation time. The country is tiny, so you can easily move from one place to another. There are plenty of affordable things to do here in Spain. You can rely on their highly efficient train network, which is cheap and fast.
In the city, their taxis are also extremely cheap when compared to cab fares of other countries. You can easily catch a ride in Spain and go around the town for just a few dollars.
Madrid is blessed with several prominent museums like El Museo Reina Sofia, El Prado, attracting art lovers from all over the globe. While in Barcelona you will see some fantastic beaches and the La Sagrada Familia, which should be your priority if you are here.
While in the ancient city of Toledo, you will find yourself immersed in the rich medieval culture, which is still the same after several centuries. There is no shortage of exciting places to visit when you are vacationing in Spain.
If sunsets, beautiful beaches, and tropical forests are your thing, Costa Rica is perfect for you! With waterfalls and happy vibes, you indeed will have a fantastic time here. This can be your ideal vacation destination.
Flights to Costa Rica from New York can range from $300-$500. You can always get an amazing deal like this - A round trip from New York to San Jose for just $205.
There are plenty of great Airbnb options listed in and around San Jose. Once you are here, you will definitely not have a problem finding an affordable place to sleep. You can easily rent a villa with three bedrooms and enjoy it with your friends for just $47 a night.
If you prefer a hotel room, you can also get one for just $72.
Things to do
People come to Costa Rica especially to learn how to surf. So, if you are an avid surfer or are looking to learn new tricks, this is your place to be. The location is affordable for surfing lessons and renting surfing gear and other equipment amid calm, natural beauty.
There are also plenty of other hiking options available across the country. Most of these hiking adventures are, of course, centered around nature. So if you love staying amid all the natural wilderness, Costa Rica should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
If you crave a vacation to an exotic location that is power-packed with some amazing adventures, food, and history minus the high costs, consider visiting Turkey.
Turkey is one of the best ancient capital cities you could visit in your lifetime. Its breathtaking Mediterranean coast draws millions of tourists from across the world every single year.
Though flights to Istanbul are a little expensive compared to other destinations around the US, they are still pretty affordable when you consider one of the best international travel deals to Istanbul for just $644 for a round trip.
This price will be offset by the city’s incredibly cheap daily living costs during your vacation. The food, accommodation, and other activities are very affordable based on the falling value of their currency - the Turkish Lira.
You can easily get a hotel room in Istanbul for just $50 a night. This royal hotel room in the heart of Istanbul is as cheap as $25 a night. There are plenty of Airbnb options too that you can get in under $30. Get this entire serviced apartment and spend your vacation with your significant other for just $20 on your next Valentine’s Day.
You will definitely get a bang for every dollar you spend here!
Things to do
When in the middle of this beautiful Islamic city, you can wander around and marvel at the rustic charm and allure the place has. The city offers plenty of free activities to do to keep you engaged and entertained for hours. If you are looking forward to venturing into a mosque, you should definitely visit one, at least spend time taking in all the architectural wonders you are about to see.
The food in Turkey is also incredibly cheap and extremely delicious. You can find authentic Turkish food for almost $5. While you indulge in some hearty dining, you can enjoy the breathtaking views around the city.
The diverse, natural landscapes and their amazing beauty drive Ecuador to our list of top 5 countries you should visit. The country is blessed with pristine mountain ranges and the ever-so-famous Galapagos Islands. If you love being outside, Ecuador is the perfect place to visit and spend your vacation time.
Flying from the US to Ecuador’s national capital Quito is relatively easy and affordable. Most of the major airlines in the US offer flights to Ecuador for just under $500, with some options even falling below $400.
Once you are there, you can travel around Ecuador easily in an affordable fashion. You can simply hire a car rental service for $20-$30 per day and explore the country independently.
You can find plenty of affordable accommodations in Ecuador that will fit the budget of all kinds of travelers. The destination is top-rated among backpackers, so you will find an abundance of hostels that offer you a bed under $15.
There are many Airbnb as well, with prices ranging around $30 a night. If you do not prefer any of these two options, you can even consider a hotel room roughly costing you $100 a night. Check out this comfortable and luxurious suite in Ecuador, which is also one of the best international travel deals we found for you, costing only $45 a night.
Things to do
There are plenty of things to do in Ecuador that might leave you overwhelmed. There are many great and affordable options to enjoy. You can explore the trails around the country if you love outdoor activities. You can then spend the rest of your day lounging around Ecuador’s beach lines and watch beautiful sunsets.
There are also the Galapagos Islands that you can visit and enjoy. It might be a little over budget since we only consider affordable and cheap countries and activities, but it's completely worth every penny you spend. This is especially amazing if you love wildlife.
Traveling to exotic locations around the world does not necessarily mean you have to break the bank. You can travel to multiple cheaper countries more affordable than traveling within the United States and have the time of your life. All you need is a few dollars, your backpack, and the best international travel deals.
The world is beautiful; explore it. Don’t just limit yourself to domestic trips and locations. You will be surprised at how far your $500 can take you!