With the arrival of the new year comes the question on every wanderluster's mind – where to next? For the savvy traveller, a place where their dollar will stretch far is a likely contender. Once again we've done the research for you in our annual round-up. We've considered factors like currency drops, new budget airline routes, value for money, and more. Here are the 10 best budget travel destinations for 2019!
tip: Although these destinations are cheap, flights are usually the biggest expense of any trip. Cut your costs by signing up for a travel rewards credit card with a massive points bonus (as much as $625 in points towards your flight), keep your eyes peeled for error and mistake fares, and use a broad flight search engine like Skyscanner. Check out all our top tips for booking cheap flights here!
1. Sri Lanka
This island nation is packed with surprises, from wildlife safaris and mountain climbing, to glistening beaches and eclectically coloured temples. Don't leave here without sampling the country's budget eats, including crunchy samosas and tongue-tingling curries. While not as cheap as neighbouring India, your dollars will still stretch remarkably far here, with far less tourists too. For more in-depth planning, check out our travel guide, written by a Sri Lankan native.
Food: Street eats $1.50+, beer $2-$3
Accommodation: Hostels $10+USD, hotels $20+ USD. Check Airbnb and HotelsCombined to see your options across all major booking sites.
Getting around: Bus and train are the two easiest ways to get around the country. Tuk tuks and local driving apps like Uber and PickMe are efficient for urban transport.
Top attractions: The towering Lion's Rock is a famous sight to behold. Lesser known is the abundant wildlife viewing & safaris across the country (Kumana National Park and Gal Oya National Park are both great options for this). Some of the world's best kitesurfing can also be had at Kalpitiya Peninsula and Mannar.
Getting there: Most flights from the U.S. require a layover before arriving in Colombo (CMB), and are served by airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways. Search Skyscanner and choose “entire month” for your dates to see the cheapest days for flying.