Seasoned travellers know that a good trip doesn’t have to cost a lot, and in fact it’s usually the other way around. Luxury hotels and air conditioned car rides don’t always amount to a good time, and almost always means that you won’t get an authentic experience of any town or city. Often it’s the wrong turns and spontaneous decisions that make a trip really memorable.
When times are tough and the purse strings are pulled tight, travelling is usually relegated to the bottom of most people’s list. However, some find it hard to give up on their favourite things. If you’ve ever travelled, you’ll know that it can feel as if you’ve been bitten by a bug. You’ve got your savings funnelled into a currency card that’s just waiting to be taken on a trip. You develop itchy feet every year to escape the routine of your life and just let it all go in some remote destination.
So to those who just can’t bear the thought of staying put for a whole year, take a look at these travel destinations that won’t be so hard on the hip pocket.
Listed in the Lonely Traveller's best value destinations for 2013, Georgia has broken free from its post-Soviet shackles to rise as one of the better choices for a holiday. Described as a 'deeply complicated history has given it a fascinating cocktail of influences from Turkey, Russia, Persia, Central Asia and beyond, with a wonderful heritage of architecture and art', it could well be just the treasure trove of beauty and culture for any intrepid traveller. Situated right next door to Turkey, it's not hard to get to Georgia, and when you get there you'll enjoy the natural extremes of the semi-tropical coastline of the Black Sea to the old world, European beauty of the towns and villages dotted along the Caucasus mountain region.
The eastern region of Europe is slowly coming under the gaze of travellers as countries in the west become less affordable and more crowded. Slovenia is known for it's natural Alpine beauty to rival even Switzerland. While the coastal towns might get pricey in the summer, the inland mountainous regions remain affordable through out the year. With a noticeable difference in cost to neighbouring Austria or Italy, anyone keen on trekking, skiing or scenic walks will be pleasantly surprised with what Slovenia has to offer.
The Mediterranean normally conjures visions of Cote d'Azur and Spanish beaches but Croatia is slowly becoming a more popular destination for those in the know. German tourists have known about Croatia's secret for years, and before the rest of the world finds out, make your trip a visit to the pristine shores of the Dalmatian coast. Even in summer, the cost of holidaying in Croatia is much lower than any other popular beachside country. With good food, cultural activities and the most beautiful coastline in Europe, Croatia is excellent value for money.
As costs rise in popular southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand and now Vietnam, Cambodia remains one of the lesser travelled countries in the region. With the dramatic highs and lows of this country's history from the marvels of Angkor Wat to the horrific rise of the Khmer Rouge, character and cultural richness exudes from every corner of Cambodia. Explore vast fields of rice paddies and swaying sugar palms of the country side or get lost in the chaos and excitement of the Phnom Penh. There's lots to see in Cambodia, and costs very little to see it.
More than just a bridge between north and south America, Costa Rica is a destination in itself. With a slow paced lifestyle and some of the most beautiful natural sites in the world, Costa Rica offers tropical beach breaks and action packed adventures for the budget conscious traveller. Often referred to as the Switzerland of Central America because of it's overwhelming natural beauty, Costa Rica can offer sandy beach getaways a wildlife paradise for creature spotters. However, like any country, the more popular areas are creeping up in cost, so stick to the outskirts where accommodation is still cheap and the culture is still vibrant.
Gavin Whittaker is a finance journalist with years of experience. Explaining the advantages of currency cards, presenting new technologies for credit card safety and analysing the financial markets is where Gavin's passions lie and he loves to share his insight on these issues with readers of a wide variety of blogs, online- and print-magazines. If you're looking for a currency card, Whittaker suggests you try Tuxedo.