Travel is often recommended because it creates empathy in us, it broadens our understanding of the world and our place in it, and it helps us see others in ways that we just can’t if we remain in the same place we grew up.
Depending on your ability to travel, you may be feeling the itch after being grounded for so long. However, one of the reasons many people have put off traveling in the past is simply the cost. It’s not always your first priority to book time off work and see the world when you have car payments and the water heater just blew.
However, there are some amazing countries that offer so much to the soon-to-be world traveler while still being some of the most affordable places to visit and places that you’ll often see amazing travel deals for. As Expert Vagabond weighs in on the subject, travel doesn’t have to be expensive. As we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to blow over, here are six countries that should be first on your list, and easiest on your wallet.
1. The Dominican Republic
Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, not even when it comes to tropical countries. With a host of tropical paradise destinations like Punta Cana or Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic is a perfect destination for vacations, honeymoons, or even weddings. And it’s no wonder that tourists have flocked to the island nation, it has pristine beaches, crystal waters, and plenty of luxurious all-inclusive resorts, many of them even kid-friendly. However, with some highly publicized tourist deaths in recent years, there have been travel advisories urging people to use increased caution. While the country is considered to have minimal risk of terrorist activity, the availability of drugs and weapons has bumped the U.S. State Department’s 2019 travel advisory for the country to Level 2.
However, with rock-bottom travel prices to the country, if you take precautions and play things smart, then you can find a vacation to the safer tourist area of Punta Cana a great option. It’s advised to avoid driving as roads can be treacherous on the island, especially for those who are not used to them. And be extra vigilant against scammers, thieves, or drug dealers who can prey on unsuspecting tourists at the airport or beaches.
If you’re looking to explore mountains and forests with incredible views, traveling to Montana can be an incredibly affordable adventure with cheap flights readily available. Look forward to hiking the state’s diverse terrain that includes the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, as well as the Glacier National Park, an epic area of mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and of course, glaciers. You better bring your hiking shoes as the park boasts over 700 miles of hiking trails. The pictures from St. Mary Lake are especially breathtaking and are sure to make your travel album or social media pop.
3. South Africa
Another country that boasts travel sales will provide thrill-seekers plenty of reasons to have an adventure of a lifetime, but on a budget. South Africa offers your classic safari trip to see the savannah, as well as private game reserves and lodges for wildlife lovers. Here you have lions, leopards, rhinos, and elephants; some of the most majestic and exotic animals on Earth. Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg are also teeming with culture and history, including Soweto, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela.
If the savannah is too hot and dry for you, why not consider some skiing in one of the cheapest nordic countries to fly to, Finland. Along with beautiful and artistic cities like Helsinki and Turku, there are mysterious forests and wildlands to explore, including the Lemmenjoki National Park, covering over 2,500 square kilometers and many hundreds of trails to hike. Here you may very well spot some majestic wildlife like the golden eagle, moose, and reindeer.
You may be surprised by how affordable it is to fly to the Middle East in March and May as ticket prices dip, meaning a tour of Israel and Palestine could be in your future. Experience the culture, food, and thousands of years of history, as well as the famous Dead Sea. Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches and boardwalks that tourists flock to. And if you’re looking for a more cultured afternoon, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains works by Van Gogh, Picasso, as well as Jackson Pollock.
Flights to Athens are increasingly becoming more affordable, potentially turning the Mediterranean destination into one of the go-to destinations. Along with the perfect weather, the sights and history on display are second to none, with places like the Acropolis, the famous turquoise seas, and white sandy beaches.
In the end, if you’re patient and willing to do some research, the idea of being a world traveler may very well be within your grasp.