12 Trips That Are More Affordable Than You Think

Travels and adventures provide mind-expanding experiences that accelerate learning and alter our lives forever.

“We are driven into wild rage by our luxurious lives, so that whatever does not answer our whims, arouses our anger.” –Seneca

At our roots we are nomadic. For however long humans have been around, we’ve been on the move: crossing land bridges, dodging global freezing and warming… so exploring somewhere new is really a call to get back to our evolutionary roots.

Unfortunately, traveling on a regular basis can be expensive, and for many of us, may feel financially infeasible. But travel is an important way to connect with the world and with yourself.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Scott’s Cheap Flights to bring you this list of the best vacations you can do without breaking the bank.

Let’s start off with four destinations that are typically expensive, but with these tips and flight deals, you can make work on any budget!


Incredible Flight Deals

Hawaii

Hawaii is an island paradise. The rolling green mountains, powerful volcanoes, and world-famous beaches give the impression that it’s an expensive vacation destination. However, the most popular adventures spread out among the eight islands are all free.

Enjoy natural wonders such as Wailua Waterfall, Kilauea Volcano, and the hidden Pa’ako Cove. The Dole Plantation on Oahu also offers train tours, a garden maze, and a look into the fascinating life of pineapple growing in Hawaii, starting at only $4.

Hawaii was one of the top five roundtrip fares on Scott’s Cheap Flights in the past six months, with nonstop fares as low as $177 roundtrip from West Coast cities.

New Zealand

One of the easiest ways to save money traveling is to go at the right time. For New Zealand, that would be April through July, the fall and early winter of the Southern Hemisphere.

Once there, check out the Queenstown Botanical Gardens, Auckland Art Gallery, and Rotorua Lakefront — all for free. Visiting places lesser known by tourists, such as Rotorua or Hastings, is also a great alternative! They are cheaper and give you a better chance to experience authentic New Zealand culture.

New Zealand was one of Scott’s top five flights from last year with fares at one point dropping to just $390 roundtrip from all over the U.S.

Paris

Paris is known for being one of the most elegant cities in the world. Although it has a reputation for being expensive, Paris can be done on a budget.

French bakeries are the best places to get cheap food. There are a seemingly endless amount of perfect croissants, quiches, sandwiches, and sweets that are a fraction of the price of a meal at a nice restaurant, but just as delicious.

You can enjoy spending your day visiting the Eiffel Tower, Sacré‑Cœur, the Museum of Modern Art, and many other world-famous sites, all with reasonable admission fees.

This year, Scott’s Cheap Flights has found non-stop flights to the City of Lights from NYC for only $306 roundtrip.

Iceland

Iceland is the ideal travel destination for people who enjoy an adventure!

The sun is out until midnight, the Aurora Borealis lights up the sky in such a way that it almost seems magical, and the geothermal baths will leave you more relaxed than you’ve ever been.

Camping is very popular and, at some places, can be done for as little as $14 a night. If you’re traveling with friends, you can all split the price of renting a car and road trip across the country, seeing national parks, glaciers, hidden caves, waterfalls, and the greenest mountains you’ll ever lay eyes on. Nature is always free!

Scott’s Cheap Flights gave people the opportunity to fly non-stop to Iceland, from all over the US, for just $191 roundtrip.


Often, the most expensive part of a trip is getting to the place itself. So here’s a list of exotic destinations that are cheap once you get there.

Affordable Destinations

Bali

Like many other countries in Southeast Asia, Bali has a very low cost of living. Most of your money will be spent on accommodation and food, but you can find a bargain for anything else.

Watching the sunset at Kuta Beach, catching waves at Uluwatu Beach, and visiting an ancient Buddhist temple could potentially be some of the best experiences of your life — and you still won’t spend a penny.

Even though Bali is incredibly affordable once you’re there, flights there are usually quite expensive. But in the past few months, Scott’s found roundtrip flights from LA and SF to Bali for just $479.

Mexico

Mexico is a vibrant country with much to offer.

All over, you will find amazing foods such as blue corn quesadillas, beef empanadas, and fresh fish tacos. The whole country, in general, is inexpensive, with an average daily budget of $20, compared to $50 in a city such as Berlin.

Everyone knows the major travel cities like Cancun and Cabo, but the best way to experience true Mexican culture is to get away from the tourist grid. Instead, visit cities such as Mexico City and Oaxaca. From there, you can enjoy some inexpensive day trips to the pyramids of Teotihuacan and the hot springs of Tolantongo.

Vietnam

Vietnam is known for having some of the best and freshest food in the world.

Even though you can find Vietnamese restaurants selling their classic noodles, phở, in any city in the US, it’s nothing like tasting the real thing. The streets are lined with stalls and carts of incredible food and you can have an entire meal for less than $3.

Motorcycles are the primary mode of transportation there, and anyone can rent them for as little as $4.5 a day. It’s an affordable way to see the real Vietnam.

Lithuania

Lithuania is not a common travel destination, but it should be!

The country is influenced by Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture, making everyday shops look like a fairytale. The country is deeply rooted in history, with the Lithuanian language being one of the oldest languages in use today.

What makes Lithuania so special is that it has a Western European vibe with Eastern European prices. Keep an eye out for the Devils’ Museum and the Hill of Crosses, whose admission is free… for those brave enough to enter.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is known for its ornate castles and history, but also for being the number one beer drinking country in the world.

People flock to the country for the $1 beer, which literally flows out of taps in the wall, and they stay for the underrated meat-centric cuisine. Be sure to leave time for a trip to the beautiful countryside that is not too far from Prague.

Taiwan

Taiwan has a vibrant nightlife, with people crowding the famous night markets like it’s their last day on Earth.

Besides the rich and delicious food that the country has to offer, Taiwan is home to some of the world’s best museums. More than 690,000 of mainland China’s historic treasures and artifacts are located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

For the adventurers and adrenaline junkies, riding motorbikes through Taroko Gorge, which is like a green Grand Canyon, is a must-do.

India

Flights to India are long and are often expensive, but they are worth every penny.

The country itself is incredibly cheap and there seems to be an unlimited amount to eat, do, and see. The cuisine is some of the best in the world and temples and holy sites are easy to find.

Flights used to average $1,400, but now we regularly see them down in the $500s and $600s. If you find yourself there in March, be sure to attend the Holi festival of color, a celebration of the arrival of spring.

Greek Islands

By far the biggest expense of this bucket-list destination is getting there, but this little hack can save you $1,000 on the flights.

Let’s say you live in NYC and want to go to Santorini. You pull up Kayak and find that fares for that route are $1,500. Yikes. Instead of giving up your Santorini dream, check flights to Athens, which we recently found nonstop from NYC for $439 roundtrip. Once you’re in Athens, flights to Santorini are about $60 roundtrip, bringing your total flight cost to $499 rather than the original $1,500. Plus you can spend some time in Athens as well before heading off to Santorini.


Travel is one of the most effective tools to accelerate your learning. If you make travel a priority, you’ll see drastic (positive) changes in how you think and perceive our world.

Scott’s Cheap Flights spends all day, every day, researching flights in order to give you the opportunity to travel the world on a budget. There’s so much of the world to explore and now, nothing is holding you back. Ready to book your next trip? Before you do, check out Scott’s Cheap Flights to find the best flight deals.


About the Author

Elena Goodson is the author of The Collective Works of Elena Goodson, a book of short stories and poems. You can learn more about her here.


We hope that this article has inspired you to pack up your suitcase and start planning your next adventure! If you enjoyed it, be sure to clap it up so that others can find it. What cheap adventures have you gone on? Share them in the comments below!