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Ready to make 2021 the best year yet? While many believe traveling the world can put a deep gouge in their wallet, nothing could be further from the truth! If the travel bug has bitten yet again and you’re ready to check off a few more destinations on your bucket list this year, here are 10 affordable and underrated places to visit in 2021!

Psst. This post has affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Updated January 2021

I’m a HUGE fan of creating a massive bucket list or just a general list of places I want to visit in the upcoming year. And boy oh boy, my must-visit list for 2021 is longer than any list I’ve created before!

Especially after so much time indoors in 2020 and for the beginning of 2021. (A massive f*ck you to C0VID-19.)

But anyways, there’s something I’m trying to stick to this year…

It’s that pesky little thing called a budget.

You’ve probably heard of it, right?

Budgeting is a big thing when it comes to traveling, as many don’t have the endless travel wallet we all dream of.

But don’t cry! Dry your teary little eyes, my friend. Even though traveling on a budget may seem like a hindrance, it’s most definitely not!

There are SO many places in the cheap travel destinations that can be done on small budget. And that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you today!

Ready? Let’s do this.


Sri Lanka

A magical country that became a personal favorite destination of mine in 2019, Sri Lanka is ridiculously affordable and being that there was some nasty bombings earlier last year, it’s pretty quiet, too.

And keep in mind, this country is totally safe! (Or, at least, as safe as it was before!)

In fact, Dan (my boyfriend) and I visited literally days after the bombing attacks and the only place we felt a bit off was Colombo — to which we immediately headed out of to explore other parts of Sri Lanka!

Not to mention, since tourism took a major dip, the locals were extremely appreciative of us visiting their country! It was an experience I’ll never forget.

If you’re thinking of traveling Sri Lanka, you’re going to be blown away at how far your monies go!

For just $8-10, you can stay in a pretty nice hostel or even a homestay. And if you want to go luxury, like Dan and I did when we were in Ella, plan to spend no more than $30-40.

Heck, our Udawalawe private jeep safari was only $75 TOTAL for two people! Unreal.

Not to mention, food is crazy cheap! For a massive buffet of food, like you can see here in my Sri Lanka photo diary, it’s only around $3-4.

Definitely consider traveling to Sri Lanka if you want to visit affordable places in 2020!

See how cheap flights are to Colombo with my favorite flight booking sites: Skyscanner and Momondo!

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

Imagine: breathtaking architecture, picturesque cobblestone streets, delicious food, easy breezy affordable accommodations, and cheap beer (I’m talking like under $1.50 for a pint or under $3.00 for a beer mug as big as your head!).

If you’re ready to venture a bit off the beaten track, give Poland a chance! Specifically, give Krakow, Poland, a chance. This historic, yet bursting city has so much to off — and at a cheap price, too.

Interested in seeing more? Check out flights to Krakow, Poland today through Skyscanner (my personal favorite flight booking website!). Also, don’t forget to download their app!

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

I know, I know — Bali is on the list of many! But just because it’s a hot destination right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pass it up!

Like so many other countries or destinations in Southeast Asia, Bali is really, really affordable. And it has SO much to offer both luxury travelers and budget travelers alike!

Think beautiful villas for under $30/night or luxurious apartments with a private plunge pool for $60/night. And street food that’ll do more than just fill you up for $1! Not to mention, incredible beach parties, magical temples, gorgeous views, and lovely locals.

Athens, Greece

Ancient Ruins in Athens, Greece • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

Think Europe is outta the question when traveling on a budget? Think again! Athens, Greece is one of the more affordable destinations in Europe and you can get some serious bang for your buck.

Smack dab in the city center, with the Acropolis and ancient historic ruins right on your doorstep, you can rent out an entire apartment on AirBnb for less than $40/night!

And the food is even better! Street gyros for $3 and a platter of falafel and hummus for around $5. Can’t go wrong with falafel and hummus, now can we?

Insider Tip: If you visit Athens, make sure to hop on a ferry to the island of Aegina! Learn more about this gorgeous island here.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Beautiful beaches, unbelievable snorkeling, delicious Mexican food, and gorgeous ocean views… Puerto Vallarta sure sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it sure is! And it’s an affordable dream, too.

While Puerto Vallarta isn’t as affordable as the other destinations above, as you can easily spend around $100 on an awesome boat trip and whatnot, PVR can most definitely be done on a budget otherwise.

Street food like tacos (even vegan tacos!) can be found for under $1 per taco, condos can be booked for $30/night, beer at a local restaurant for about $1.50, and homemade guac for $3 (because… who can say no to guac?! Not me!).

Take a look at accommodation prices (and prepared to be blown away by your options!).

Brasov, Romania

Brasov, Romania • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019
Romanian countryside near Brasov, Romania

Brasov, aka the jewel of Romania (in my opinion), is located in what was once known as Transylvania. If you’re ready to come face to face with the infamous Dracula, this is the place to do it… and on a budget, too!

Romania is one of the best underrated and cheap destinations in all of Europe.

It boasts beautiful landscapes, including both rolling hills and towering mountains; unbelievably Insta-worthy architecture, delicious food, wonderful locals, and even a magical little Romanian bear sanctuary!

Take a look at cheap hostels, hotels, or apartments in Brasov with

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne, Vietnam • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019
Mui Ne Fairy Stream

Is Vietnam on your bucket list? Although the awful Vietnam war is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this country (I’m looking at you Grandma!), this country has grown and blossomed over the years since then…

And omg, it has blossomed into something incredible.

Vietnam is no doubt one of my favorite countries I’ve visited. It ticks off everything on my must-have list: welcoming locals, affordability aspects (like accommodation, transportation, and food), breathtaking scenery, a multitude of different landscapes, and delicious vegan options.

Mui Ne, just one of the many awesome locations in Vietnam, is a small, fishing village in the southern part of the country that boasts sunny days (in fact, it’s one of the sunniest places in all of Vietnam!), amazing accommodations, ocean views, dream-worthy fairy streams, and incredible sand dunes.

Pssst! Click here for my best tips for traveling to Vietnam and click here for my top 10 incredible experiences to have in Vietnam!

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

Yep — another European destination makes a feature on this list of cheap destinations for 2020!

While Budapest didn’t totally blow me away or make my top 10 list, it’s still a pretty cool destination that can be done on a budget!

Cheap beer, cool sites, affordable accommodations, and great food — can’t get much better than that, eh?!

Plus, this city is extremely beautiful! I mean, just take a look at that photo above. Heart eyes, amirite?

Already in Europe? Flights to Budapest are hella cheap! But don’t think this destination is out of reach if you’re somewhere else… I’ve found flights from the US to Europe for under $500 roundtrip with Momondo!

Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

While Thailand and Cambodia are on the list of many travelers when backpacking Southeast Asia for their drool-worthy beaches and captivating historical sites, like Angkor Wat, they’re forgetting one incredible country… Laos.

Vang Vieng, Laos, features striking limestone mountains, wondrous caves, booming parties, cheap alcohol (sometimes even free!), and stunning landscape views.

If you’re planning on backpacking around Southeast Asia, or just figuring out where to travel to in 2020, Laos is an incredibly affordable destination! Don’t miss it.

Hey you — want some more information on Vang Vieng? Check out this post on 7 crazy-cool things to do there!

Koh Chang, Thailand

Koh Chang, Thailand • 9 Unbelievably Affordable & Underrated Places to Visit in 2019

If you’ve ever looked into traveling Thailand, you’ll probably have come across the many islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan (aka the island where you’ll find the Full and Half Moon parties), and Koh Tao.

Although those islands are great, Koh Chang is where it’s really at! A rather unknown and definitely underrated island, Koh Chang boasts spectacular views, a mountainous terrain, beautiful beaches, and — of course — delicious Thai food!

This is one of my favorite islands in Thailand because it’s affordable, relatively quiet, perfect for exploring (it’s much bigger than the other islands), and has a rougher, yet just as beautiful, landscape compared to Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi.

While there’s no way to fly to the island of Koh Chang, as you need to take a ferry, take a look at accommodation prices here! You’ll find bungalows for under $20/night on the beach or hostels for around $7.

With those affordable travel destinations in mind, you can finally feed your travel need and get to exploring! Don’t let a budget stop you from discovering what the world has to offer.

Have you ever visited one of these destinations? Or recommend any other affordable places to visit in 2020? Let me and others know in the comments!

Sophie xx

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