So, you’re dreaming of traveling around the world for your holiday in 2023 but not sure where to start planning? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Even though plane tickets and hotels are getting more expensive, you can still find some top travel destinations at an affordable rate as long as you know where to look.
Our 2023 travel trends list spans the globe, from thrilling places to go like the Komodo Islands and Manaus where it is surrounded by the Amazon rainforest, to romantic spots for couples like Mo’orea and Piran. We also favor tourism locations that are back in action after natural disasters struck, including Saint Martin and San Juan.
Without further ado, here is our list of the 21 best places to visit in 2023 .
1. Albufeira, Portugal
This is a sun-soaked and affordable vacation place located in southern Portugal’s Algarve region, and it should be on the top of your list. Albufeira is a place that boasts inexpensive hotels, amazing beaches, a spectacular climate and it has a central location in the Algarve. Therefore, it is one of the best summer vacation ideas.
Here you can find over 100 various nightclubs, bars and restaurants If you like history, you can visit the Old Town Centre. There you can see beautiful plazas and traditional streets of Portugal. The price for wine and food is really reasonable, and don’t forget to taste the delicious wines of Portugal.
This place is crowded in the summer, but it is also beautiful in spring. Especially late spring, when the climate is sunny and pleasant, and also there aren’t as many tourists as in summer. The hotel rates are much cheaper too.
The city also has great access to some of the towns close by like Loule, which is famous for its market and the authentic part of the culture of Portugal. By renting a car, you should definitely visit the Sao Lourenco church which is located in Almancil and is famous for its blue tile.
By going north of Lagos, you will be able to see Ponta da Piedade, which is decorated with the red formations of rock against the sea. Don’t forget to play a round of golf in some of the courses in Algarve.
The best place to stay at is the Epic Sana Algarve that overlooks the Praia da Falesia.
Zanzibar may sound expensive to you, but a lot of people who have visited it say that is actually budget friendly. And not to mention the beauty of the place. You can get there by a ferry from Tanzania, and it is only 35 dollars, as for the flights, they are less than 100 dollars usually. If you are wondering is Zanzibar safe, you can rest assured that the island is safe for tourists.
For a higher budget, then you can stay at resorts like Melia Zanzibar and Tulia Zanzibar (this one has pool floaties and a jungle waterslide). But if you are on a lower budget, then you can opt for Surf Escape via Airbnb. This one is only 40 dollars a night and it is located right on the beach, and it also has on-site wind-surfing, surf, and paddleboard lessons.
Here in Zanzibar, you can do a lot of different and interesting things with your family. Visit calming beaches like the Nakupenda Beach, Jambiani Beach, Kendwa Beach, and indulge the beauties of the sea. Besides that, you can go to the Turtle Conservation Pond and for 10 dollars only you can find out a lot about turtles, and even hold them or swim with them.
For something educational, you can visit the Zanzibar Butterfly Center where you can learn a lot about butterflies and even see some very rare species. It will only take 20-30 minutes out of your time.
3. Saint Martin
Yes, we know that you are thinking, “Isn’t it destroyed”? You are right, this beautiful island that is Half Dutch and half French was ravaged by Hurricane Irma. But now it is mending. The famous airport on Saint Martin Island called the Princess Juliana International Airport has been open since October 2017.
The electricity has been restored to the majority of the island, and a lot of the restaurants, businesses, bars, and beaches have been reopened. Many of the hotels offer amazing discount rates such as the Hotel Mercure which is 169 dollars a night. You can also find places to stay via Airbnb, and the prices start from 50 dollars a night. So it is actually a win-win, you spend lesser money and you contribute to the people in need.
There are a lot of different things you can do in Saint Martin. From surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling to Sky exploring the whole island. This is definitely the right place for a family to go and relax in the beauties this island has to offer. You can also bask in the wonderful nature at the Tintamarre Island, the Mullet Bay.
Are you a birdwatcher? You just have to go to the Parotte Ville Bird Sanctuary. Here you can get up close and feed some of the 170+ parrots and other bird species.
4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
This is an ideal getaway for people who love nature, art and, people who seek spa. It is located at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is surrounded by nature, and the city’s roots are intertwined with an Anglo, Native American and Hispanic heritage. This city is 407 years old which makes it the oldest capital in the USA.
This place has about 250 restaurants, around 300 galleries, and at least 100 shops. Besides that, a dozen fairs and festivals are being organized here.
One of the things you can do here is going on a stroll along the Canyon Road and visit one mile of galleries. Also, here you can see the oldest house in the USA and be a part of the mass at the oldest church in the USA, the San Miguel Chapel. Go to the Museum of International Folk Art where you can see 130,000+ folk objects that originate from more than a hundred countries for only 12 dollars.
Don’t forget to check the Santa Fe Tourism Office Calendar for festivals and events, as well for tours of historic walking that cost only 14 dollars. Be sure to visit the Whole Hog Cafe where you can taste the award-winning pulled pork sandwich. You must also go to the Farmer’s Market where you can sample some local dishes.
Here you can find some great prices for hotels like the winter promo rate for the La Posada De Santa Fe, which is an amazing hotel that costs 99 dollars a night. Fly to Albuquerque where you can rent a car at the Hertz for 14 dollars per day, and just drive up to Santa Fe.
5. Vancouver, Canada
The good thing about going to Canada is that they give us a favorable rate for exchange of .80 cents to the US dollar. Therefore, luxurious hotels like the Fairmont Pacific Rim which is located in the amazing city of Vancouver are really affordable.
Vancouver is one of the most linguistically and ethnically diverse place in the whole of Canada. A little above 50% of the people have a first language that isn’t English.
This beautiful city is set in a rainforest, so it is a great place for people who adore nature. They will actually love walking alongside the waterfronts which have fantastic views of mountaintops that are nearby.
For the ones who are curious about other cultures, we suggest that you take a walk through the shops and cobbled streets in the historic neighborhood of Gastown. Also, don’t miss the Kimprints, which is a shop that supports street artists that are underprivileged, or the Ok Boot Corral, a bootmaker who has been in business since 1833.
If you like fishing, that’s also another thing you can do here. Just get your sea legs on, and fish for what’s in the season. After that, you can make sushi from the fresh catch in the kitchen of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. And, let us be honest, what is sushi without some sake that is homemade? Go on Granville Island, find Masa Shiroki and try his bubbly sake.
6. Phuket, Thailand
Thailand is unbeatable when it comes to choosing the cheapest destination. Phuket is an amazing beach spot that is known for delicious street food, nice people and affordable hotels. The best time to go there is in the winter and the spring, because that is the low season, and besides that, during the summer it rains every single day.
When you get to Phuket, you must visit the Patong beach in the night (if you are traveling without kids). Here, the nightlife is something you have to feel, with the constant entertainment and loud music. The very next day, you should go to Phuket Town. Here you can enjoy the colorful buildings, and it almost seems as if you were in Portugal and not Thailand.
Make a reservation at the Andakira Hotel Patong for only under 50 dollars per night. And, before leaving this paradise, don’t miss out on the opportunity of taking a ferry to the Phi Phi Islands. It takes 2 hours of your time, but believe us, you won’t regret it, and it only costs 30 dollars.
Other than that, you can completely enjoy the nature with your family by going on an ATV Tour which takes you to off-road areas to explore wonderlands of jungles, plantations, and farms on a 2-hour tour that is guided.
7. Moab, Utah
This is a great place to visit if you are an outdoor fan and you like exploring it. Here you can find two main national parks: The Arches National Park and the Canyonlands National Park, along with many state parks and a lot of recreational lands. In many different areas of the city, you can camp for free, or you can simply find some cheap hotels or Airbnb.
If you are more of a camping kind of guy, then you can take your family to camp for free in an amazing place that has a canyon or mountain view. Another way of seeing Moab that is also affordable is by staying in one of the cabins like the Archview RV Park which is a basic cabin for camping with two beds. It costs only 78 dollars per night.
Moab offers you an infinite amount of various activities. You can go kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, explore the parks, off-road( by renting Jeeps, if you don’t have your own), skydiving and many more.
We would recommend the trip with a river raft with the Canyon Voyages. They are Utah’s first choice when it comes to kayak and river rafting tours. It is only up to you for how long would you like it to last, because they offer you full four-day and half day adventures. Moab is the best place for a fun family vacation and for people wanting to fill up their Instagram albums.
8. La Paz, Bolivia
For those who are looking for some adventure while in a bustling, vibrant city, then La Paz might be your perfect choice. The Bolivian Andes are surrounding La Paz, and that is the reason why it’s such a paradise for outdoor adventures.
The best time for going to the slopes is coming during the winter, from May to October. If you are up to a real challenge, then you can join a day tour which takes you to the highest ski slope in the world for only 70 dollars, which includes food and transportation.
For those looking to stay more grounded, then you should check out some of the local activities, like the bizarre Cholita Wrestling which is a specialty of La Paz, and it combines lunch and WWE inspired matches.
Don’t forget to visit the Mercado de las Brujas, which is an attraction you can’t miss. Here you can see folk and herbal remedies with some items that were locally handcrafted.
But, here comes the best part yet. You can find a place to stay at the luxurious 5-star hotels that are located around the city, and the price is never above 150 dollars a night. If you visit, be sure to check the best all-inclusive resorts Camino Real Aparthotel & Spa or the Casa Grande Hotel.
9. Trujillo, Peru
All of the northern beaches in Peru are the right choice for a budget trip. Therefore, Trujillo makes no exception. This is a vibrant and coastal city that is full with warm colored facades that date back to when they had the status as a colonial powerhouse. It offers excellent adventure and cultural activities, as well as some amazing restaurants that are really affordable (10-15 dollars).
The accommodation is also surprisingly cheap. The 4-star hotel named the Costal del Sol Wyndham can go as low as 65 dollars a night and is very closed to the Airport.
The city is also the home of the former capital owned by the Chimu people, which is the main archeological excavation of Chan Chan. Its bohemianism and architecture influenced by Spain were all an inspiration for Cesar Vallejo who is an illustrious author. Trujillo keeps the traditions alive by hosting some of the most prestigious events like the Marinera Dance Festival which lasts a whole month.
If you want to catch some sun, then go to Huanchaco, which is a famous beach and it was the first beach in Latin America to be designated as a world surfing reserve. Here you can also watch the wave chasers in the boats called Caballito De Totora, and also cool off with a tasty plate of ceviche.
Trujillo is the central place for tourists who focus on popular sites like Machu Picchu and Cusco. But even on its own, it is an amazing and spectacular place.
10. Oaxaca, Mexico
This is one of the best destinations Mexico has to offer. Delicious food, fun festivals, cobblestone streets, charming architecture, and colorful markets are only a part of all the attractions. Walk through the main square of Oaxaca, the Zocalo. Here you can relax in a café, or watch and be entertained by singers and dancers in the evening.
Only a couple minutes walk from the Zocalo is the Mercado Benito Juarez, and here you can find straw baskets and embroidered goods. Walking down the Calle Macedonio which is a pedestrian street, you will find boutique hotels, shops, cafes and art galleries.
Be sure to check the Santo Domingo de Guzman monastery and church out which was built back in 1555. You definitely shouldn’t miss the Oaxacan Cultures Museum, where you can find some of the treasures discovered on Mont Alban- ornaments, gold jewelry, jaguar bones that are carved and the skull that is covered in turquoise for a low price.
If you get hungry from all the walking, visit the 20 de Noviembre food market where you can try seven types of mole, coffees, chocolates, tlayudas, tortillas filled with meat, tamales, Oaxaca cheeses, and fried grasshoppers. Taste the local dishes for 5 dollars, and you can even get some free samples at the Mezcaloteca.
If you want to join a tour, just contact Enjoy Oaxaca, they offer you various tours that range from day tours to city tours. With them, you can visit Hierve el Agua Springs, Mitla Ruins, petrified waterfall, and Mont Alban. If you are visiting in November, then be sure not to miss the festival Day of the Dead which is on November the 2nd.
As for the accommodation, you can book a room at the Parador San Miguel Oaxaca for only 86 dollars a night.
11. Barichara, Colombia
When Colombia comes to mind, you don’t often think that it is a cheap place to visit, but because the US dollar is strong, Colombia has become a really compelling place to go to. The most famous place that is visited the most is Barichara, which is a small and beautiful colonial village located in the Andes.
Here you can dine at the El Carambolo which is a B&B that resembles the authentic hospitality of Colombia or even stay at the Casa Barichara for less than 200 dollars per night. This is a perfect place for tourists who love adventures, and you can even try paragliding here.
When traveling to Barichara, you can also visit Salamina, a town where tourists can find famous coffee production and some quirky architecture. Or you can even go to Medellin, a city that boasts friendly people, nightlife, museums, and music.
12. Mo’orea, French Polynesia
You have probably already heard of the islands of the French Polynesia Tahiti and Bora Bora, and yet you probably don’t have a single clue what Mo’orea is.
You ask yourself why?
Well, it is known as the most beautiful island you have never heard of. Therefore, this place is great for your wallet. Here you can find hotels with five stars for 200 dollars a night, or even Airbnb for 40 dollars per night.
Just for comparison, the Intercontinental Moorea Resort charges 250 dollars a night, while the Intercontinental Resort in Bora Bora charges you 1000 dollars a night. On these islands, you can have a lot of free fun due to the crystal clear and warm water.
On the other hand, if you are up to for some tours, then you can find them with Tahiti.com and Tahiti Legends who offer many tours for just 50 dollars a person. Like all of the islands in the French Polynesia, food is expensive in restaurants. But, they are also loaded with groceries who offer you sandwiches for 3 dollars.
This is also a cheap vacation idea for couples because it is a very romantic place. Here you can even order romantic dinners with a shuttle service that takes you from and to hotels.
You haven’t even read the best part. The ride to this place is actually very short, it only lasts 30 minutes by a ferry from Papeete in Tahiti, whose airport has direct planes from many towns in the USA.
13. Mostar, Bosnia
With its West-meets-East charm, this city that is located in the center of Europe, and which is a remnant of the Ottoman Empire offers a truly authentic and amazing experience. If you are searching for a getaway from everything commercial and you would like to try some spectacular organic food, then this is the place for you to go to.
Here you can also see the beautiful old town that is made out of streets that are paved with authentic cobblestones and Mostar is best known for its arched medieval bridge that is called Star Most and it arches over the cool and crystal cool river called Neretva.
Choose any hotel you desire because they aren’t that expensive. But for near city centre, Villa Fortuna is our first choice. Food is also cheap, and you can buy it anywhere on the street.
Our recommendation is that you try a meal named Burek, you won’t be disappointed. This place is also known for its alcoholic beverage named Rakija. Try that out too, but be prepared to feel the heat down your throat, as it is really strong.
14. Komodo Islands, Indonesia
For a spectacular adventure that won’t dry out your wallet, you should visit the Komodo Islands.
These islands are now considered one of the 7 New Wonders of Nature. One of the reasons Komodo Islands are underestimated is due to the popularity of Bali.
However, the Komodo Islands and the ones surrounding them are really an eye-opener, if you are daring enough.
The best part of hopping onto these islands is that you get to see the biggest living lizards in the world – Komodo Dragons, who are native animals on the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Padar and Gili Motang.
You get to see them if you go on a tour with a boat that drives you to a beach that has three colors. Here you can also swim in the crystal clear and warm waters, but don’t be afraid if you see any manta rays, because they are usually part of the tour.
Here you can go hiking on Padar Island, and a lot of people actually say that this is the best part of their trip to these islands. Almost every tour takes you here, and the most amazing thing here is the view when you get to the top. You get to see three beaches of different colors, separated only by water. It is breathtaking.
You can get to Komodo by boat from Bali, and it costs 40 dollars. If you are on a higher budget, then you can take a plane that costs 200 dollars. As for the accommodation and the food, both are very affordable, because, well we are talking about Indonesia. We recommend the Le Pirate Beach Club for an overnight stay as it is clean and cozy.
15. Central Coast, California
This coast runs from Monterey to Santa Barbara, and the unexpected surprise for the tourists is the string of towns that are located between Pismo Beach and San Simeon. Here, the fishing villages meet the SoCal town for surfing, and also the elephant seals and otters are sharing the spotlight with some European masterpieces at the castle of Hearst.
If you are a wine person, then you should veer away from the shore, and within minutes you will get to the wineries at the Paso Robles, where you can taste wines for half the price of Sonoma and Napa. For a special tasting, visit Adelaida and try the Vineyard Tailgate, Tour and Taste.
Don’t forget to taste the fresh and local dishes which are served across the whole region too. Moonstone Beach and Pismo Beach offer you the biggest selection of places to stay at, and you can get the best values outside summer and the holidays.
For a beautiful view of the sunset, go to the Cambria Shores Inn where you can relax in the Adirondack chairs and enjoy the atmosphere.
After that, only a five-minute walk away is the Sea Chest Restaurant where you can eat fresh seafood, or you can even go to the Cracked Crab located in Pismo Beach, and here is where the crew of Deadliest Catch dines. Also, on the menu, you can find anything related to crab!
16. Sri Lanka
Voted as the best country in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka is a great holiday experience that doesn’t cost much.
You probably expect that this place only has great beaches, but there is so much to it, like surfing at the Arugam Bay, delicious spicy food and the spectacular formations of rock in Sigiriya.
Here, you can also hike to the Adam’s Peak and try to survive those 5500 stairs trying to get to the top.
If you are visiting, don’t even think about not going to Ella which is a small town in the mountains with a hippy vibe. You can get to it with a brief train ride from Kandy, where you can enjoy the beautiful views, and it costs only 10 dollars.
The real magic happens outside Colombo, and because your flight always ends/begins here, we recommend you that you stay at the Penthouse Above Sea for only 100 dollars a night. Also, this hotel has a friendly owner who can quickly help you plan your trips and your time staying here.
Be sure to enjoy the nature of this place, culture and the spirituality of it. You will have the time of your life here.
17. Fez, Morocco
Fez is the 2nd biggest city in Morocco, and it has small cafes where you can try the original Moroccan tea and some local dishes, also it has fascinating leather tanneries, lively market and enchanting souk.
This city is full of Moroccan homes that are built around a garden or a central courtyard and palatial riads.
These Moroccan homes have amazing comfy rooms and terraces on the rooftop where you can lay back and relax after walking through the streets that are like labyrinths and are right in front of your front door.
Renting rooms is really cheap, for example, in a riad a double room is 60 dollars for a night at Riad El Yacout. And dinner only costs 6 dollars.
If you are obsessed with architecture, then we recommend visiting the Medersa, which is a college of theology. Here you can be amazed by the spectacular tilework and architecture and also get a wash at a hammam for a meager amount of money.
18. Jaisalmer, India
This fascinating place also known as The Golden City is often not visited, because it is a 14 hours train ride away from Delhi. But trust us, it is definitely worth going there due to the magical atmosphere and the stunning architecture.
It is located in the center of the desert called Thar, and it is entirely made out of sandstone which gives you the impression of a giant sandcastle that rises from the desert.
It only costs 50 rupees which are only 0.8 dollars to visit the Jaisalmer Fort, and it offers you an spectacular view of the town below. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the painted and carved homes (havelis).
For accommodation, most tourists prefer to stay in the Hotel Paradise on Fort Jaisalmer.
If you plan on visiting, be sure not to miss going to Gadisar Lake, where you can see stunning temples and you can also ride camels in the desert.
19. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Travelers might be hesitant visiting Puerto Rico due to the devastation that was done by Hurricane Maria. But, lately, Puerto Rico started to thrive once again and is open for business.
One of the best part when you want to visit Puerto Rico is that you actually don’t need to have a passport if you are a citizen of the USA.
In San Juan, there is a lot of things to do and see. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the bright colors and charm of the Old San Juan or even visit the Bacardi Factory and know how the famous rum is made by going on a tour that costs 15 dollars.
You can also go to the El Yunque National Forest and enjoy the beautiful nature.
A flight to San Juan is under 250 dollars, which makes it a close and really affordable place to get away from the city chaos and relax. In San Juan, you can easily find some cheap hotels due to the existence of boutique hotels and chain hotels, mainly in Old San Juan. When you get there, be sure to check in the Decanter Hotel or The Gallery Inn.
20. Piran, Slovenia
Slovenia is located in the center of Europe, and it borders the Mediterranean Coast and the alps. This is a country that has everything-city life in the capital Ljubljana, water springs that are healthy, a salt plain called Pannonia, castles, karst caves, pristine lakes, beaches, and mountains. This country is actually called the “New Zealand” of Europe.
Our recommendation for you to visit is the city called Piran, and it is located on the Adriatic Sea. When exploring this little town, be sure to try out some local seafood that costs under 10 dollars. If you like exploring on foot, then this is the right place for you.
If you like stunning views, then climb to the walls of the city and to the bell tower, from here, you can see the whole town. Or you can even rent out a bike and drive to the countryside.
You can easily make it as a day trip from Ljubljana, but if you more prefer to stay the night, that won’t be a problem either. Here you can stay at a 4-star hotel that is called Hotel Piran, and it only costs 80 dollars per night.
If you are having problems getting around, then be sure to visit GoOpti where you can find transfers for under 9 dollars. If you want to visit Croatia or Italy by carpool, then check on their sites for some cheap deals. If you go to Round About Slovenia, you can find tours that take you through the whole country and it costs around 30 dollars.
21. Manaus, Brazil
Only a short flight away from Miami lies Manaus which is in the northern part of Brazil.
This is one of the best spots to go if you seek for outdoor adventure, or you are a wildlife enthusiast. Also, if you like photography, this is the place for you. Even though this city has around one million citizens, it’s a famous getaway to the rainforest of Amazon.
Here, you can stay at places like the Caesar Business Hotel for only 63 dollars a night around the whole year. Besides the visits upriver to the rainforest, this places offers others sites too that range from the Amazon Theatre, Amazon tributary, and the Rio Negro.
For a better look at the wildlife, that also includes the species that are endangered, there is a small zoo that is totally free at the Hotel Tropical. This place is run by a biologist, and it is a state certified center for the rescue that holds some of the most elusive rainforest species ranging from the cute capybaras to the fierce jaguars.
You can also visit the Science Center (Bosque da Ciencia) which is a famous park for wildlife, and it is located just on the outskirts of Manaus. Here you can see animals roaming free just in front of the walking tourists.
Here you can book day trips that can assure your visits to the Presidente Figueiredo Waterfalls as well as the rainforest and the Gruta do Refugio, which is an enchanting cave filled up with bats and never seen before marine life.
If you decide to travel in rainy seasons, then that makes it even more affordable, and don’t worry, the weather doesn’t hinder you from boating and seeing some of the rarest tropical birds, beautiful dolphins and some greedy piranhas.
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