Already thinking about your 2018 travels? Don’t worry, so are we! Want to go somewhere a little different and get off the beaten track, but don’t want to spend a small fortune doing it? Say no more, because we’ve asked one of our travel bloggers to recommend 10 of his favourite cheap places to travel for 2018 that are probably not on your radar – but they definitely should be! Go now, but shhhhhh, don’t tell the others….
If you’re looking for the hottest places to travel this year then take a look at the world’s best backpacker destinations for 2018, but if you’re looking for something a little different then read on!
You probably can’t pick it out on a map, but Bishkek is a dark horse for the world’s next big travel spot. This charming outpost on the Silk Road is a comfortable base for exploring the incredible culture and nature of Kyrgyzstan. In just an hour you can be hiking nearby Ala Archa National Park, one of the best day hikes in the world. Or, venture a little further, and horse-riding and eagle-hunting are all at your fingertips. You read it here first: Kyrgyzstan is the next big thing. Oh, and be sure to check out the popular Interhouse hostel – it’s amazing!
Just a few kilometres away from overcrowded Santorini lies one of the best cheap places to travel in Europe. Ios is an island almost as beautiful and far more budget friendly than its bigger sibling. White walled buildings stretch across the hillside overlooking a gorgeous bay – sounds idyllic, right?! You can get even a room with a sea view at Francesco’s hostel, and for a couple more euros you can get yourself a delicious gyro (meat flatbread) for dinner. Fancy a drink (or ten)? Just head to town, where the many affordable bars pulsate until the wee hours of the morning.
Kiev is a cosmopolitan city for the budget traveller with high-end tastes. With hip restaurants, vibrant summer beach clubs, and stunning architecture, you won’t find this level of class anywhere else at these prices. And though a tragic war still envelopes the eastern part of Ukraine, you shouldn’t let that put you off from visiting: Kiev is entirely safe. Also, whilst a visit can be harrowing, do a tour in Chernobyl – a fascinating experience you can only have in Kiev.
In the middle of shark-infested Lake Nicaragua (don’t let that put you off!) lies an incredible figure-8 shaped island formed by an isthmus of sand and jungle between two imposing volcanoes. Ometepe is still mostly untouched (except by a handful of backpackers plying the Gringo Trail) which is what makes it not only one of the best cheap places to travel in Central America. The island offers incredible nature, views, and a laid-back island atmosphere – all at pennies on the peso compared to the much more popular Arenal volcano a few kilometres south in Costa Rica. Our suggestion: stay in ones of the fincas (coffee plantations) hostels lining the sides of the volcanoes for an authentic experience!
If you still think of Borat when you think of Kazakhstan, you’ve been tragically misled! Almaty is an amazing city with leafy green streets, a bustling cafe culture, and great nightlife – and its setting against the Tien Shan mountains is positively surreal. By day you can explore beautiful mountains on foot or ski, and by night you can join Almaty’s bustling Latin dance scene (yep, that’s right: salsa is big in Kazakhstan). Head to Almaty Backpackers which is a super popular place to meet new travel buddies.
In Oaxaca you’ll spend your days swimming in natural infinity pools fed by hot springs, exploring petrified waterfalls, and visiting thousand-year-old trees. But the real fun comes at night, when Oaxaca City comes to life. Just be sure to monitor your intake of mezcal – the local spirit that tastes like tequila’s smoky cousin! Famous for its indigenous culture, Oaxaca is poised for a big comeback in 2018 after a tragic earthquake briefly put it in the news. Stay at Casa Angel Youth Hostel, where sleek modern design and a large stunning patio are on offer for at little as £8 per night.
Okay, so Cairo isn’t exactly obscure. But since the 2011 Arab Spring and a handful of high profile but isolated terrorist incidents, its visitor numbers have plummeted, making it one of the better cheap places to travel in 2018. But between the high hotel vacancy rates and the crash of the Egyptian pound, right now Cairo is one of the best travel deals out there. The popular Meremees hostel only costs a few pounds a night, while a good falafel sandwich from a street vendor can run as little as 10 pence (not a typo!). Oh, and do we have to mention that one of the last standing Seven Wonders of the World sits just a short metro ride from downtown Cairo?!
The Mongols couldn’t conquer it. Nor could the Ottomans, Persians, or Arabs. Cut off from the rest of the world by jagged mountains, Svaneti is like a medieval land trapped in time. It’s also the perfect choice if you’re looking for cheap places to travel in Europe. An overland route used to be the only way in, but the Georgian government is now subsidising daily flights from Tbilisi at a mere £25 one-way – result! For a few more pounds stay at Nino’s Guesthouse, while waking up to some of the most stunning views in all of Europe.
Flights might cost a bit more, but you’ll quickly discover why Nepal is one on our list of cheap places to travel. If the madness of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is too much to handle, then hop over to nearby Nagarkot for a serene taste of Nepalese village life and stunning mountain views. For just £12 a night stay in the comfortable Hotel Mount Paradise, and for just £2 more you’ll get a warm and delicious dinner of Nepalese momos. You’ll want to wake up early, though, to catch the sunrise over the Himalayas – if this isn’t serene, we don’t know what is!
La Paz, Bolivia
Another far-flung budget destination for 2018. Situated in a valley among soaring mountain peaks, La Paz may leave you breathless – but not just because of its altitude (11,975 feet)! The streets of La Paz have an energy about them that evades description – buskers compete for sidewalk space with abuelas selling homemade confections, while cable cars whisk commuters from the busy city centre and up to the hillsides. And you won’t find too many other tourists in La Paz, so your pesos will go far here. For cheap drinks and a super fun vibe, head to Loki Hostel or Wild Rover.
About The Author