We all want to save a little while we travel. But we shouldn’t have to cut corners in order to cut costs. There are many suggestions out there for how to travel the world on a budget, but perhaps the biggest tip for finding affordable travel destinations isn’t knowing where to look. It’s knowing when!
So, stop scouring the internet for budget travel tips. Read on to see the best affordable destinations broken out by the month.
While winter is considered the off-season for travel to Spain, it’s actually one of the best times to visit for those seeking budget-friendly destinations. Temperatures range from low 50s to mid 60s, there are far fewer crowds, and everything is still open for visitors. You can explore the foods, drinks, and shops of the Market of San Miguel, wander through the Alhambra’s mosaicked courtyards in Granada, or dig into locally made olive oil and Andalusian cuisine in Seville.
“I definitely recommend the Grand Tour of Spain, especially in the cooler months of the year,” said 1st-time traveler Linda.
If you’re seeking budget travel tips for Ireland, consider planning your trip for February. Temperatures are a tad chilly, with average highs around 48°F, but if you bundle up, you’ll save up. Because it’s the off-season, flights to Ireland tend to be cheapest during February—and many popular restaurants and attractions will be, too. You’ll have the gorgeous green landscapes practically to yourself, and there’s nothing cozier than sitting in an old Irish pub with a hot bowl of hearty stew. Here are 5 things you should know before you go on an Ireland tour.
March isn’t the most popular time to visit Austria, but that’s what makes it an affordable international travel destination. Temperatures are moderate, with average highs between 44°F and 59°F—giving you a glimpse of a traditional Austrian winter, without too much snow covering all of your views. You’ll also be able to visit the best places to eat without the long waits. And as you see the grand Hofburg Palace in Vienna, it’ll be even more special knowing the Hapsburg family is still inside their winter home.
Springtime in Greece brings bright, sunny days, comfortable weather in the mid 60s, and crystal clear skies—making it one of the best budget-friendly destinations for your April travels. You’ll get to enjoy clear views of the Acropolis in Athens, stunningly vibrant seas surrounding Mykonos, and fewer crowds in Santorini, too.
Traveler Maureen said, “Absolutely loved this tour. It is one you will not want to overlook. The time spent in the four different areas of Greece was perfect. The scenery was jaw-dropping. The food was traditional Greece and was an asset to my first experience to this country.” See other reviews and photos from trips to Greece.
Of course, Canada is really, really big. Temperatures in May can range from low 40s to mid 60s, depending on where you go. Generally speaking, though, May is considered off-season for travel throughout Canada—making our list of affordable travel destinations for this month. May marks the end of the ski season and the beginning of springtime, so you can expect more mild weather, fewer crowds, and more affordable eats as you wander through Old Quebec, hike along the vibrant blue waters in Banff National Park, or explore the quaint fishing villages of Nova Scotia.
Traveler Gustavo said, “Bears, caribou, coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep—I was fortunate to see all of these animals and more during the early spring season. My group and I were even lucky enough to see a bear picking berries after it recently got out of hibernation!” Learn more about what you can expect in the Canadian Rockies in the spring.
Iceland’s next on our list of affordable international travel destinations. If you visit Iceland in June, you’ll get temperatures in the low 50s to high 60s. This is the third warmest month in Iceland, which brings less snow and ice for safer roads. You’ll also have plenty of daylight to go exploring—20+ full hours of it! With fewer tourists, you’ll feel like you have every site to yourself—even the wildly popular Seljalandfsfoss waterfall. For more on what to see, do, and eat in Iceland, visit our travel guide.
“From the black sand beach to the glaciers to the Blue Lagoon, this trip was more than what I expected! Especially loved being within walking distance to many restaurants and shops. The people of Iceland are warm and welcoming, I plan on revisiting this wonderful country,” said traveler Carol, about her tour of Reykjavik & the Golden Circle.
July: New Zealand
You may be surprised to find New Zealand on our list of affordable international travel destinations, but it is—if you go in the winter. Winter is the most budget-friendly time to visit because it’s considered New Zealand’s off-season. With average temperatures around the high 40s to low 50s, you’re still able to go spelunking in Aukland’s Waitomo Caves, experience the thermal springs of Whakarewarewa, gush over the glaciers, and gaze at the snowy mountaintops. Check out our New Zealand Travel Guide for more expert tips.
“The New Zealand: Untamed Landscapes tour was the trip of a lifetime!” said traveler Rita. “We enjoyed every piece of the trip, from the incredible scenery, diverse itinerary, and our amazing tour guide, Luke.”
Japan is on our affordable travel destinations list for August because it’s the country’s hottest and most humid month, which makes it a less popular time to visit (hello, low prices). August is also one of Japan’s main holiday seasons when many locals leave the cities for vacations. With fewer people around, you’ll have more opportunities to explore the top things to do, eat, and see in Japan.
If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to experience the miraculous Obon festival falls, which is all about remembering ancestors. It’s celebrated with glistening paper lanterns in the skies and waters, incredible bonfires, and traditional dances.
By now, you must be catching on: One of the biggest budget travel tips is to not plan your visit during the most popular months. Well, Peru’s most popular time to visit is the winter (our summer)—making September the perfect time to go. September is still considered the country’s dry season, but is less packed with people than the months that come before it. The weather is just beginning to warm up again, with temperatures in the mid-60s, which is ideal for hiking Machu Picchu, canopy walking through the Amazon, or learning about the Incan Empire in Cuzco, which is located at an incredibly high-altitude.
“For many in my group, it was a lifelong goal to see Machu Picchu and we all just let it soak in. I could hear murmurs of ‘Oh my gosh’ and ‘I can’t believe I’m here’ and even a few quiet tears. It was the most powerful moment of our entire trip,” said Group Tour Consultant Brittany.
October: United States
If we’re talking budget travel tips, we can’t not mention traveling within the United States. There are so many incredible destinations to visit right in our own backyards—from the Rockies, Yellowstone, Alaska, New Orleans, and New York. So, why choose October to stay in the states? Because there is so much to do—and with milder weather.
The fall is home to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in New Mexico, milder temperatures for hiking the Southwestern canyons, the most vibrant foliage in Vermont and Massachusetts, and so much more. Plus, if you’re coming from within the U.S. or Canada, you’re bound to save a little from not traveling so far.
One of the travel planning tips we love to give for those visiting Egypt is to go in the fall. The beginning of November is the beginning of the country’s busy season, so prices haven’t been hiked up as much yet, and you’ll still be able to get the full Egypt tour experience because everything’s open. Plus, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, the desert sun won’t feel as strong as you stand and admire the Great Pyramids of Giza, or walk along the bustling streets of Cairo.
Temperatures throughout Italy in December vary between the low 30s and low 60s, depending on how north or south you go. But if you can handle the cold, Italy is one of the best affordable destinations for December. This time of year brings fewer crowds and lower costs, along with fun festivities and incredible views. Venice and Florence turn into winter wonderlands that look like something right out of a snow globe, and the Christmas festivals and parades make for a magical time. Read 4 reasons to go on a winter vacation to learn more.
Wondering what to know before you visit Italy? Traveler Jamie said, “One thing is for sure: You’ll never be hungry!”