Where Can You Go For Cheap?

Last night I was at the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City, which is a college basketball post season tournament here in the US, and I was sitting next to a guy and we got to chatting about travel. He mentioned, as many people have, that the exchange rates for the US Dollar are awful and he and his wife had to cancel their trip to Italy because it was going to be too expensive. I have written on this site before about how bad the rates can be and how expensive it can be for Americans to go to Europe in the summer, especially for families. This guy certainly amplified my point but it made me want to write about the places that are still relatively cheap for Americans to visit.

While the exchange rates in the Euro Zone and the UK are baffling, Eastern Europe and the former Russian States remain relatively cheap still. The heyday of 8-10 years ago is over as you can no longer skate by on under $10 a day and live like a king but you can still live well out there for under $40 a day. Places like the Balkans, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova are pretty cheap and there is a lot that your dollars can get you. As the Euro Zone continues to move east in Europe, take advantage of these places while they are still on the cheap.

South America is still pretty cheap but rising quickly. I remember going to Argentina in 2002 right after the economic collapse in that country and living like a king for the 2 weeks on peanuts a day. It was wonderful. Brazil and several other countries were the same. While those glory days are gone, it is still pretty cheap in South America, although tourist hotspots like Machu Picchu, the Amazon and the Galapagos are quickly becoming overpriced. Countries like Bolivia and Venezuela remain relatively cheap as well and offer so much to travelers. Also, if you travel overland in South America, you can save big dollars as flights are expensive and the busses will go just about anywhere.

Southeast Asia is still cheap. The exchange rates haven’t been crushed in Asia as much as other places so Thailand, Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia remain cheap as well. However, with the increase in tourism and international investment, it is guaranteed that prices will be going up and up, so again get there sooner rather than later.

As former exchange rate bastions like Canada, Australia and New Zealand have caught up to the US Dollar, it is really throwing off the economies of these countries and is really hurting the ability of tourists to spend as much money as they used to. Places like Africa and Latin America aren’t nearly as cheap as they once were and unfortunately a lot of times, prices have gone up but infrastructure and amenities have not-so tourists see little ancillary value to their higher costs but they are still cheaper than Europe and the Caribbean.

The bottom line for me is that people should look into visiting other parts of the world besides Europe because there is so much more to see and you can really save a bundle and avoid long tourists lines, espeically during peak season.

Sharing is caring!


  1. I miss the old cheap days!

  2. You should have used a picture of the new $5 bill.

  3. I didn’t know there was a new $5 bill

  4. Africa is still extremely cheap, but I guess you didnt mention it since most people (besides me and you) would never think to go unless staying at those $1000 a night safari lodges

  5. Jake, I hear expensive safari gear is in style at the safari lodges.

  6. I recently went to Patagonia in Argentina and in Chile and it was fairly expensive because of the distances between places and the quality hotels become very expensive because they know they have a captive audience who has few choices. It’s also mostly western tourists who are willing to pay high prices for comfort.

  7. the way these markets are looking these days the US is looking cheaper and cheaper for citizens of most other first-world countries, especially those of the EU

Speak Your Mind