The most budget-friendly vacations to go on this summer

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The never-ending days of summer are here! And if, like us, you too are itching for a break from the monotony, then you’ve found yourself on the right side of the internet! While we’re all spoiled for choice when it comes to summer adventures, it’s always a task to zero in on one that suits both your budget and travel taste. But fret not, for we have shortlisted 6 affordable destinations around the world that will remove all the stress from your vacation planning! From South Africa to New Zealand, these dream international vacations are surprisingly affordable! So no matter what continent - and no matter what interests you have - here are the best budget-friendly holidays to take around the world!

How to make your summer vacation more budget friendly:

  • Work remotely when possible
  • Try house sitting or home exchanges and list your own place when you’re away
  • Find a travel buddy or group
  • Opt for long layovers
  • Take advantage of long weekends and holidays
  • Sign up for a short-term gig overseas: hostel volunteer, au pair, dive instructor, yoga instructor, English teacher
  • Use points and miles to earn free flights and accommodation
  • Look beyond traditional hotels and explore options like hostels, guesthouses, vacation rentals, or even camping for budget-friendly stays
  • Opt for public transportation or walking instead of taxis or rental cars to save on transportation costs

Vacations under $1,000 a week


Budget for a week: $426 or S/.1,570 ( includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing)
Best for: Families, groups, and solo travelers

Rainbow Mountain in Peru

Peru offers an affordable and unforgettable South American getaway. With its wealth of ancient ruins, natural wonders, and an interesting range of fun activities, this country is sure to provide you with endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Cusco: Cusco's like stepping into a storybook, with its beautiful churches, ancient walls, and winding cobblestoned streets. The main square, Plazas de Armas, buzzes with life and history. And those markets? A riot of colors and textures!
  • Lake Titicaca: Lake Titicaca is a wonderland of floating islands and boat adventures—a real treat for curious minds. Here you can discover ancient communities and breathtaking natural vistas.
  • Lima: Lima is the cultural hub you can't miss. Dive into Peru's culinary scene with a visit to hole-in-the-wall establishments serving menús (imagine authentic Peruvian flavors like stuffed avocado and creamy potato dishes) at affordable prices. And for a cultural experience, explore this Peruvian capital’s vibrant art scene by visiting galleries such as Impakto, Ginsberg, or Revolver—all for free!
  • Machu Pichu: Of course, your trip cannot be complete without visiting the legendary Machu Picchu! Whether you're taking the scenic train or tackling a hike, it's an adventure for the ages, one that can be undertaken with your kids too!
  • Amazon Rainforest: Lastly, the sprawling Amazon rainforest is perfect for all nature lovers. All you need is your hiking gear! Although, make sure you book yourself a guide instead of wandering in alone.

South Africa

Budget for a week: $615 or R11,573 ( includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing)
Best for: Families, groups, solo travelers, and couples.

Cape Town, South Africa

Taking a trip to South Africa is like going on a mini world tour because each region and city has something diverse to offer. Accommodations and dining are super affordable, even at luxury levels, compared to Europe and North America. Organized safaris and tours would be your main expenses here, but with planning, costs can be managed.

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Cape Town: Cape Town, the most popular South African city, tops the list of South African vacation spots, with its natural beauty, top-notch accommodations, and unbeatable weather. Don't miss the iconic Table Mountain and the world-class food and wine scene here.
  • Johannesburg: Johannesburg (or Jozi as it’s known to locals), once overlooked and only frequented for its airport facilities, now buzzes with culture and nightlife. The shopping scene here is unmatched. The Apartheid Museum is also located here and must be visited for a greater insight into the country’s recent past.
  • Cape Winelands: If you’re on the lookout for a culinary paradise, the Cape Winelands are where you should be headed. Just an hour away from Cape Town, you can unwind in the tranquil vineyards and sip on some award-winning wines.
  • Garden Route: Explore Garden Route - South Africa’s most breathtaking coastline that stretches from a couple of hours outside Cape Town to just after the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. It’s the ideal activity for you, your spouse and even your family, especially if you’re up to renting a car and driving around exploring sandy beaches, rocky shores, quaint towns and indigenous forests
  • Madikwe: About a five-hour drive from Johannesburg lies one of South Africa’s least known game reserves: Madikwe. Its Kalahari grasslands and woodlands are full of a variety of wild animals. Madikwe is perfect for a family-friendly South Africa vacation, as it offers incredible game viewing spots and exquisite safari lodges. You could also book a romantic retreat or honeymoon suite and turn it into a fantastic couple's holiday.

New Zealand

Budget for a week: Families, groups, couples, and solo travelers.
Best for: Families, groups, solo travelers, and couples.

Auckland, New Zealand

If you want to literally escape the heat and embrace the coolness,then New Zealand, with temperatures averaging 12°C (54°F) to 16 °C (61°F) from June to August, is your best bet. Though it looks small on a map, New Zealand is actually quite a large country.

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Auckland: Start on the North Island by paying a visit to Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, that promises a diverse culture and is a great place for nightlife and shopping.
  • Waikato: Next, head to Waikato – known for being an agricultural area and the dairy industry hub of New Zealand. It is also home to beautiful beaches, and you can keep yourself busy admiring New Zealand’s largest lake in Taupō and fishing in the Coromandel. This is also a great place for kayaking, mountain biking, skydiving, sightseeing, and experiencing the highest water-touch bungy jump in the country.
  • Cantebury: Canterbury is the South Island’s largest city, and the Christchurch region offers a little bit of everything: city life, beaches, lush rainforest, farmland, ski hills, hiking, and jaw-dropping scenery.
  • Southland: If hiking notoriously difficult trails and being surrounded by amazing scenery is your thing, then do include a trip to Southland, located at the southern end of mainland New Zealand and home to Fiordland National Park.
  • Kiwi Experiences: Make sure to go on a winery tour, experience the Maori Culture, see glow worms in caves, go whale watching in Kaikoura and try Kiwi coffee! New Zealand is a coffee lover’s paradise. You will find great coffee everywhere, even at gas stations!

Vacations under $1,600 a week


Budget for a week: $1,177 or €1,086 ( includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing)
Best for: Solo travelers and couples.

Santorini, Greece

It’s time to cross off a major line item from your bucket list: Greece! This fabled land remains at the top for many for its unparalleled culture, food, outdoor travel, art and, of course, beaches and islands. Thanks to the border-free Schengen Area, this European country is a breeze to visit for travelers worldwide. Exploring this Mediterranean paradise on a budget doesn't mean sacrificing on beauty, luxury and charm. With ancient ruins and sun-soaked islands, Greece warmly embraces budget-conscious adventurers

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Santorini: If you can only visit one island make it Santorini. This island paradise is jam-packed with boat tours, wine tastings, fantastic hotels, amazing dining spots, and tons of fun activities.
  • Crete: Crete, Greece's biggest island, offers a whole range of experiences without burning a hole in your pocket. You can explore ancient ruins, trek through Samaria Gorge, or simply kick back on some pristine beaches. Plus, the local food is delicious and won't break the bank!
  • Rhodes: Rhodes is a gem for budget travelers, with its charming medieval Old Town and crystal-clear waters. You can wander down cobblestone streets, check out the Grand Master's Palace, and enjoy some tasty street food without spending a fortune.
  • Corfu: Corfu's got it all—gorgeous Venetian architecture, lush landscapes, and stunning beaches—all without breaking the bank. Explore the vibrant Corfu Town, visit the beautiful Achilleion Palace, and soak up the sun on some of the island's most beautiful beaches.
  • Mykonos: Let's not forget about Mykonos! It's the ultimate party island with Greece's best nightlife. Plus, it's got amazing beaches and the quaint, charming Mykonos Town. Who wouldn't want to experience all that?
The most budget-friendly vacations to go on this summer


Budget for a week: $1,263 or €1,166 ( includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing)
Best for: Groups, couples, families, and solo travelers.

Rome, Italy

Italy offers endless possibilities for your summer adventure, whether you're craving a Mediterranean getaway, a scenic road trip through wine country, or an art-filled exploration of medieval cities. From its bustling cities overflowing with art and architecture to its breathtaking natural landscapes, including dramatic coastlines, serene lakes, and rolling hills, Italy has something for everyone. With so much to see and do, choosing just a few destinations can be tough—but that's all part of the fun!

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Rome: Rome is a must-visit for first-timers with its iconic landmarks like the Pantheon and Colosseum. But don't worry if you can't see it all in one go—just toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain and promise to come back for more!
  • Tuscany: Tuscany is like something out of a romance novel, with its picturesque landscapes of cypress trees and olive groves. Explore charming towns like Siena and San Gimignano, then sip wine in the famous Chianti region and soak in the beauty of the Val d’Orcia hills.
  • Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast is pure romance, with its stunning views and charming villages. It's no wonder it has inspired countless artists and writers over the years—it's the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.
  • Pompeii: Step back in time at the ruins of Pompeii, frozen in its ancient glory. Wander through ancient streets, villas, and even a brothel—it's like stepping into a time machine!
  • Naples: Naples is a city with layers of history, from ancient Greek and Roman roads to baroque palaces. And don't forget the pizza—it's some of the best in the world!
  • Venice: Venice, with its intricate palaces and quiet canals, is like something out of a dream—there's no place else quite like it!


Budget for a week: $1,600 or €1,477 ( includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing)
Best for: Families, couples, groups, and solo travelers.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco may be tiny—only second to the Vatican—but it packs a punch! With its glamorous casinos, vibrant nightlife, and the legendary Formula One Grand Prix (catch the 2024 Monaco GP on May 26 2024!) zooming through its streets, it's been a playground for the rich and famous for decades. Surprisingly, beneath the glitz and glamor, Monaco can be more budget-friendly than you'd expect.

🗺️ Must-see places:

  • Le Rocher: Take a stroll through Monaco's royal neighborhood in Le Rocher. Check out the Palais Princier de Monaco and catch the changing of the guard. Don't forget to visit the Cathédrale de Monaco to pay homage to Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
  • Marché de la Condamine: Head to Marché de la Condamine for some local eats. You've gotta try the socca at Chez Roger or indulge in truffle dishes at Truffle Bistrot.
  • Musée Océanographique de Monaco: Dive into Monaco's underwater world at the Musée Océanographique de Monaco. You can see over 4,000 fish species there! And guess what? It's cheaper to visit in the off-season, just €11.
  • Stade Nautique Rainier III: Want some sun? Hit up Stade Nautique Rainier III or chill at the pebbled bay of Le Larvotto. It's only €6 to get into the pool, and the beach is totally free.
  • Casino Monte-Carlo: Check out the grandeur of Casino Monte-Carlo without blowing your budget. Take a tour for €17 or head to the Sun Casino for free entry and complimentary drinks.
  • Brasserie de Monaco: Thirsty? Happy hour at Brasserie de Monaco is where it's at—€3.50 pints, anyone? Or swing by Le Before for cocktails.
  • Jardin Japonais: Find serenity at Jardin Japonais, a beautiful oasis in memory of Grace Kelly. It's free to enter, and you can meditate among the koi carp.
  • Place du Casino: Take a budget-friendly tour of Monaco on the Line 1 bus. For just €2, you'll see luxury cars at Place du Casino and jaw-dropping superyachts along the waterfront.