Lonely Planet is my favorite guide book to prepare for new destinations and I enjoy their publications to inspire me to visit new places! I recently reviewed the Top Countries and Top Cities to visit in 2019. If you are on a budget, don’t worry, there is a list of the Top 10 Affordable Destinations for 2019 as well – find out which travel adventures you can do next year on a budget, just in time for some holiday reading!
Some of the most popular destinations, from cities like Singapore or Paris, to beach destinations like Bora Bora, come at a steep price. But your next adventure doesn’t have to break the bank – some fascinating destinations can be visited on a tight budget. Sometimes they have been overlooked, are harder to travel to or have other reasons for the low prices. So check out Lonely Planet’s list for 2019 below as well as my comments and recommendations:
1.Southern Nile Valley, Egypt
The historic sites along the Nile, from Luxor to Aswan, are some of the most impressive creations of mankind and they are on the must-see lists of many people. You can combine these places with a cruise down the Nile and it doesn’t have to be expensive – flights, hotels and packages are often available at a bargain and, if you have some extra time, you can add some beach relaxation on the Red Sea to your itinerary.
I enjoyed my trip to Egypt many years ago, was impressed by the historic sights and was glad I went. But prices are low for a reason. Terrorist threats and plane bombings have captured the headlines over the last few years, having resulted in a drop of tourist numbers and much lower prices. Egypt has responded with tight security measures, leading to check-points on roads and at hotels, as well as armed security escorts for tourist buses. If the sight or sound of that makes you anxious, you should probably hold off on that Egypt trip for now. If it doesn’t, there are bargains to be had!
2. Lodz, Poland
I have visited many cities like Wroclaw, Poznan, Warsaw or Krakow in Poland and enjoyed them a lot, but I haven’t been to Lodz. It is the third largest city in Poland and a former industrial hub that’s being transformed into a city of cultural, shopping and entertainment districts.
I’m looking forward to returning to Poland soon for some exploration and I’ll add Lodz to my list of places to see!
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, United States
Most visitors to the US focus on the big cities, like New York or San Francisco, but the United States also have fantastic national parks, like Yellowstone which can get pretty expensive during the summer season. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee is free to enter and offers great hiking, at reasonable prices. I must admit, despite living in the United States for so long, I never made it here. Maybe something I need to fix?
The Maldives are one of my top romantic destinations with beautiful beaches everywhere you go. But those dream vacations come usually at a steep price of admission, with high-end luxury resorts having claimed many private islands, like the Conrad Rangali!
But in the last few years, independent, locally run guest houses have opened up on some of the inhabited islands, making these dream islands more affordable. Between flights, rooms and food, it’s still not cheap, but if you have the Maldives on your bucket list, it’s gotten more affordable than ever!
The rest of to Top 10 is made up of the following destinations:
5. Houston, USA
Argentina is a fascinating country and Buenos Aires is my favorite city in South America. Right now, you can experience it for less due to the economic situation and drop in the Peso, the local currency.
Albania is the forgotten country of Europe for as long as I can think, but has found a favorite place for budget travelers and has great historic sights, food and beautiful mountains. It’s on my list of places to see in Europe!
Slovenia was my first vacation abroad as a little boy of 3 years and my family visited frequently. I remember the mountain roads and beach towns fondly and would love to go back and see how the capital Ljubljana and beaches have changed!
Want to find out more about these destinations, check out Lonely Planet for more information, photos and videos!