Travel agencies and visitor centers can target the budget-minded set by promoting packages and tours that are anything but cheap in experience. Forbes rounded up 21 budget-friendly locales to focus on for 2017, with a foreign focus sure to entice adventurers with willing pocketbooks. Here are 10!
1. Northern Vietnam
Northern Vietnam is where the most sensational scenery and culture can be found. Rice terraces, towering mountains, twisting roads and ethnic minority people all add to the adventure. For budget travelers, private accommodation can be found for between $10–15 a night. Food ranges between $0.50 — $2 a dish and transport never costs more than a few dollars between towns.
2. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
With 93 percent of the nation covered in mountains and a rich history and culture that goes back thousands of years, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most spectacular and underrated countries in the world. The capital city, Bishkek, is an incredible hub for exploring Central Asia, with Silk Road remnants like the Burana Tower just a short drive away and some incredible trekking opportunities in the surrounding mountains. Private accommodation in the city can be found for as little as $15 a night and good meals start around $2. Even a traditional yurt stay with 2 meals can be as cheap as $20 per person.
These off-the-beaten-path destinations could appeal to the well-traveled tourist. The latest AudienceSCAN study found 16.2% of Americans intend to take vacations outside of the U.S. during the next 12 months.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon offers a good mix of museums, historic buildings, eclectic music and nightlife, and squares and cafés to watch the world go by. It had this old, gritty feeling that gave it tons of character. Plus, it is much less expensive than many other European destinations, with budget accommodations clocking in around $30.
4. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a fascinating metropolis filled with high tech infrastructure, modern skyscrapers, historic buildings, a large expat scene and delicious Korean food all at rock bottom prices. Plus, since it’s a major hub it is easy to access this low cost city.
Price and budget will play a big role for many Foreign Vacationers. According to AudienceSCAN research, 19.3% of Foreign Vacationers bring home $25,000-$49,999 annually, and 19.7% have household incomes of $50,000-$74,999.
5. Bucharest, Romania
With several centuries of architecture in Bucharest, there is an interesting display of old and new here. There are plenty of museums, cemeteries, historical sites to explore, plus wild nightlife and cheap, hearty food to be found! A go-to spot for digital nomads, it's a city on the rise.
6. Cape Point, South Africa
Home to African penguins at Boulder Beach and Cape Point National Park, Cape Point is the most southwestern point of Africa. One can take an affordable day trip there from Cape Town with a hop on, hop off tour-bus. For 500 Rand or $35 for a full day, this tour is a must do in 2017.
Travel agencies can tout their "we'll take care of you and everything else" approach to appeal to Foreign Vacationers — especially for navigating these far-flung locales. The AudienceSCAN study reported 15.1% of Foreign Vacationers plan to pay for travel planning services.
7. Crete, Greece
The largest island in Greece, Crete is great for those looking to party on a budget, as it offers an array of clubs and restaurants with affordable prices. With idyllic beaches, there are lots of low cost lodging options, making it a steal when compared to the more well-known areas of Athens and Santorini.
8. Palawan, The Philippines
The Philippines is heating up as a destination for 2017. Palawan is where the magic still remains a little more untouched and quiet compared to popular, Boracay Island. You'll spend your days snorkeling, diving, beach hopping and exploring underground cave systems. Palawan is not a party island like Boracay, which means you'll save more money by spending your evenings relaxing with quiet conversation under a star filled sky instead of pouring it into the nearest beer bucket.
Agents and bureaus can reach Foreign Vacationers with daily deals. 61% of Foreign Vacationers took action after seeing one in the past year, according to AudienceSCAN data.
9. Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia
Australia has never looked better for travel from a budget perspective. Flight prices have plummeted and the Aussie dollar is much weaker, meaning travelers can get way more bang for their buck. Competition is also helping to lower the prices of accommodation, tours and eating out. Burleigh has the best of Australia wrapped up in one small bohemian beachside town. The natural beauty of the beaches, national parks and nearby hinterland provides plenty to do without spending a lot of money. It has a flourishing coffee, food and craft beer culture, making it a hip place for both young and old travelers. Plus, with a sub-tropical climate that sees 300 days of sunshine a year and very little sweater time, you can travel during off-peak times, save even more money and still have an incredible time.
10. Porto, Portugal
Porto is the second biggest city in Portugal. With its affordable eating, accommodation and inexpensive museums and tours, it is a trending budget destination in Europe. Porto has a historic center that dates back to 300 BC, a Unesco World Heritage colorful riverside quarter and dramatic 12th-Century Romanesque cathedral churches and chapels.