When you’re young and broke, finding money for a six-pack and a pizza can be daunting. Traveling the world is simply out of the question for most of us.
Choosing the right location and taking advantage of student discounts can help make travel much more affordable. Researching ahead of time can help you take advantage of money savers like public transportation, hostels or couch surfing opportunities, and free admission to museums and sites. Here are five destinations that you can visit on a budget.
Depending on where you’re departing from, finding a cheap, direct flight can be tricky, but once you arrive, you’ll start to feel the savings. In a European city, you’d have to stay in a hostel to get a reasonable rate, but in this large city, that is not the case.
Even historic hotels with gorgeous architecture can be had for just $50 per night. You can eat your fill at a taco stand for under $5. You’ll see interesting and fresh cuts of meat like cow tongue that don’t usually make the menu in the U.S.
The city is within a bus ride to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, which makes it even more attractive. If you can stomach a slightly windy and off-the-beaten-path bus ride, Puerto Vallarta can be easily reached in the other direction.
There are so many prestigious destinations around Europe that Portugal sometimes gets overlooked. Due partially to its economic woes, Portugal has a lower cost of living than many of its European counterparts.
Staying in hostels and eating at cheaper restaurants can make your money go a long way in Porto. A thriving art scene means there’s always something to do, and you can usually find an opening or performance for free.
Many museums in Portugal are free on Sundays, so if you plan ahead, you’ll save some cash. There are a surprising number of Couchsurfing hosts, and pensãos, or family-run inns, are cheaper than hotels if you need your own space.
This infamous city is crowded, noisy, a little bit wild, but also unforgettable. The best compromise for cost and comfort is renting a private room in a guesthouse, as opposed to staying in a hostel (which can cost just as much without the amenities).
If you stick to street food, you’ll save big on meals. Riding the bus and the Metro as opposed to using taxis is essential. Navigating can be intimidating, but with a map and the name of your destination, you’ll have no problem getting there.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a tropical destination closer to home, try Puerto Viejo. You can rent a home on Airbnb for about $40. You can get a hotel room for a little less than that if having internet access is essential.
Consider renting a bike for just a few bucks per day in this easily traversable town. Ride to the beach, check out the Iguana Conservation Tour, and check out the Jaguar Rescue Center. To keep costs to a minimum, frequent food stands instead of sit-down restaurants.
It’s not quite the same as going all the way to France, but it’ll give you a little of that feel for a lot less cash. The people of this cosmopolitan city officially speak French, but almost everyone in the service industry can quickly switch to English to help you out.
Montreal can be a pricey city for Canada, but if you stick to hostels, you can get a bed for about $10. The city was made for walking, so you’ll save on transportation costs as you hoof it through the historic streets. Make sure to hit up the Museum of Fine Arts, which is free if you’re under 30.