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Let’s face it, these days, one of the most common issues many people face when considering vacation plans is the cost. The cost of plane tickets, resort fees, life-changing meals, and even souvenirs can add up quite quickly. Thus the bottom line is the bottom line.  

We need to prioritize places where we can get more bang for our buck. In this article, we focus on countries where the US dollar provides people with the most spending power. (Readers from other countries can do the math using their own national currency. In fact, if your currency has more buying power than the US dollar, you’ll be better off than Americans traveling to these places!)

Remember, while the global economy fluctuates and rates can change at any given moment, there are vacation destinations that consistently offer real value. Hopefully, that won’t change in 2023. So, without further ado, here are 21 of the cheapest places to visit in 2023.

21 of The Cheapest Places To Visit In 2023

1. Hungary

1 US Dollar = 371.08 Hungarian Forint

Plan a trip to Budapest, Hungary. Here you will discover a wealth of high-tech spas and Michelin-starred restaurants and a number of five-star hotels that only charge three-star prices. If you would like to splurge on something more indulgent, book a room at the fantastic Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. It is said to be a true “old-world property” complete with white stucco, stained glass, and shining chandeliers. Budapest is known to some as the continent’s hedonistic capital.

2. South Korea

1 US Dollar = 1,244.37 South Korean Won

Travel experts say that while many tourists book flights to such popular places as Busan, Seoul, and even Jeju Island, you really should consider heading for the lesser-known city of Mokpo, situated in the country’s Jeolla region on the southern tip of the nation’s peninsula. This noteworthy port city offers visitors some of South Korea’s most interesting cuisine. Indeed, a specialty dish such as hongeo, a very pungent, naturally fermented, skate-fish dish, draws food aficionados from across the globe.

3. Mexico

1 US Dollar = 19.05 Mexican Pesos

By now it should be no surprise that Mexico is always a good place to travel when you’re on a budget. Mexico City has a super street food culture that is surpassed only by its progressive restaurant scene. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be spending your money on food!

Still, set some aside to see some cultural wonders as well. Start your visit at the nigh-iconic Museo Jumex. Consider a trip to Jalisco and watch genuine tequila being distilled, or enjoy the lazy beach scene at Isla Holbox.

4. Argentina

1 US Dollar = 180.38 Argentine Peso

The Argentine peso recently dropped to a record low against the US dollar. Additionally, US citizens have not had to pay the dreaded $160 “reciprocity fee” for a few years now. Back in 2016, the Argentine government also decided that visitors would be able to apply for a full refund on the infamous “21 percent value-added tax” which is added when you’re billed. Veteran visitors suggest spending that money on a steak dinner and a bottle of robust Malbec.

5. Vietnam

1 US Dollar = 23,447.00 Vietnamese Dong

As this goes to press, there are several nations in Southeast Asia that offer exceptional opportunities, nevertheless, Vietnam is the one that scores here. Vietnam reportedly has an excellent exchange rate and is surprisingly beautiful. The city of Hanoi is said by some to be the “most romantic city”, but travelers are encouraged to wander off the beaten track too. Both Phú Quốc island and Ninh Van Bay have intimate resorts and pristine beaches that you won’t find in the more well-known areas.

6. Brazil

1 US Dollar = 5.20 Brazilian Real

If you want to travel without breaking the bank, a lot of places in South America have potential, but Brazil offers travelers more value than others. Yes, if you’ve never been, spend time in Rio de Janeiro. Veteran visitors suggest booking your room at the 2018 Hot List winner, The Emiliano.  

It’s close to some of the best beaches in the world. But don’t miss São Paulo either. It’s rife with interesting museums, hip galleries, and exceptional bars too.

7. South Africa

1 US Dollar = 16.99 South African Rand

Travelers are generally happy with the value of the South African rand today. You can stretch your dollars with the “foodie” favored 21-course tasting menu at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town. Another must-see is the striking Singita Castleton Lodge nestled deep within the Sabi Sand game reserve. Visit Kruger National Park and if you enjoy adult beverages be sure to sample a few of the local critically-acclaimed wines as well.

8. Sri Lanka

1 US Dollar = 362 Sri Lankan Rupees

Exchange rates have become even more favorable over the past decade or so. Thus, it looks like now is an excellent time to explore this exceptional island nation in the Indian Ocean. Here you can visit Buddhist temples, elephant sanctuaries, golden beaches, and verdant, leafy tea plantations, all in one terrific trip. Visit in April and you can experience the Hindu and Buddhist new year festivals complete with whip dances, fire dances, decorated elephants, and more!

9. Costa Rica

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1 US Dollar = 578.35 Costa Rican Colón

Yes, the Costa Rican colón is said to have depreciated a little, yet things still look good for travelers in general. Mind you, this place is always a winning destination because its arguably best asset is its natural beauty which travelers can enjoy free of charge. Go hiking through the impressive tropical cloud forests nestled in the massive mountains of Alajuela or go surfing off the stunning coast of popular Peninsula Papagayo. The accommodations are exceptional as well.

10. Colombia

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1 US Dollar = 4,730 Colombian Peso

Colombia is another great comparatively cheap South American vacation destination. Some travel bloggers refer to it as “a microcosm of the continent’s best features. Within its borders, it includes Amazonian jungles, the Andean peaks, and sunny, sandy beaches to boot. Additionally, the nation’s major metropolises are reported to be in the midst of a real renaissance in art, food, and even technology; yet it still remains affordable. Be sure to visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and Tayrona National Park.

11. Philippines

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1 US Dollar = 55.02 Philippine Peso

If you have never considered island-hopping in the friendly Philippines and have budgetary concerns, it’s certainly time for you to think about it–hard. Places such as Siargao and Palawan are exceptionally economically accessible, despite being a couple of the most beautiful spots in the world. Believe it or not, if money isn’t too tight, you can actually spoil yourself and stay at a luxurious five-star resort such as the Shangri-La Boracay for less than $350.00 per night.

12. Egypt

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1 US Dollar = 29.65 Egyptian Pound

One might think that following in the pharaohs’ footsteps would be expensive. Thanks to the exchange rate, it’s not! You can be in the Nile without being in denial! Seriously, you can cruise the Nile River, explore Cairo, and tour the popular pyramids at an affordable price. If you would prefer relatively newer, sarcophagus-free accommodations, veteran visitors suggest staying at either the St. Regis Cairo or in one of the beautiful beach villas at the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria.

13. Malaysia

1 US Dollar = 4.37 Malaysian Ringgit

You can get a bit of bang for your buck in Malaysia. Indeed, you can really make your money go far if you dine on street food and explore places such as Kuala Lumpur on foot. Furthermore, there are a number of different places you can visit for little or no money whatsoever.  

Hit the beach, explore the limestone caves, and see a tea plantation or two. Want to indulge yourself? Consider booking a room at The Datai Langkawi.  

14. India

1 US Dollar = 81.65 Indian Rupee

India has been one of the cheapest places to visit for a long time now. Today though, it is reported to be “more affordable than ever.” You can stay in a bungalow for $60.00 per night or spend the money you saved by choosing this vacation destination by staying at the awesome Oberoi or Six Senses outposts. Other than opting for high-end accommodations, you can dine at an assortment of eateries and see many of India’s attractions on even a tight budget. 

15. Serbia

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1 US Dollar = 109.09 Serbian Dinar

Belgrade, Serbia’s capital and its largest city, has become an exciting, burgeoning European cultural epicenter. Unbelievably, at press time, it’s a lot less expensive than Berlin or Paris. It’s a simple task to locate a hotel that charges less than $100.00 per night. In addition to that, the city has numerous contemporary art installations and memorable museums to explore, and plenty of hot spots where you can dance the night away too.  

16. North Macedonia

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1 US Dollar = 57.24 Macedonian Denar

One of the reasons that North Macedonia is so affordable is that it is one of Europe’s most underrated countries. Sure, it’s a landlocked country, but it’s what some call “a sleeper hit,” especially if you spend time in the city of Ohrid. It comes complete with the charming churches and quaint cobblestone streets a traveler might expect from any European location, and it’s nicely nestled on the shining shores of biodiverse, lovely Lake Ohrid.

17. Nepal

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1 US Dollar = 130.52 Nepalese Rupee

Nepal is actually famous for being one of the cheapest places to visit for travelers from almost anywhere in the world. A lot of people think of Mount Everest when they hear “Nepal”, but this little country has more to offer than simply bucket-list mountain climbing. You might find the city of Kathmandu to be a bit overwhelming upon first setting foot there, and yet if you explore you’ll discover noteworthy museums and great hotels too.  

18. The Gambia

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1 US Dollar = 61.30 Gambian Dalasi

Yes, it’s Africa’s littlest country, but don’t overlook it, frugal flyers. Indeed, wildlife lovers who are in the know, have long coveted the country. More recently, the minuscule mainland nation has started to climb the charts as both a port of call for luxury cruises and a food destination of interest. If you’re a “foodie”, be sure to sample some yassa and domoda curries. They are praised by both tourists and locals alike.   

19. Indonesia

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1 US Dollar = 15,480 Indonesian Rupiah

Travel bloggers note that Indonesia has benefited from a significant influx of “Eat, Pray, Love” tourists, and yet this country still qualifies for inclusion on this list of “cheapest places to visit.” Yes, resort prices have risen in Bali in response to the millions of tourists that now travel there, but you can still have a peaceful, inexpensive vacation on the islands of Lombok and Sumba. Be sure to enjoy some nasi goreng gila in Jakarta too.

20. Uzbekistan

1 US Dollar = 11,317.10 Uzbekistani Som

Uzbekistan in Central Asia remains both an affordable and exciting foreign travel destination. The brutalist monuments and detailed mosques in the major metropolises here are free to explore. You’ll have to order extravagant dishes to spend more than $5.00 for each meal at any of the restaurants. As this piece goes to press, there aren’t a lot of name-brand accommodations open and competing there. Nevertheless, you can still book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Tashkent for under $170.00 per night.

21. Turkey

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1 US Dollar = 18.79 Turkish Lira

Yes, staying at a luxury hotel in Istanbul and touring all the well-known landmarks will cost some lira, Turkey can still be experienced on a budget. Simply avoid the touristy restaurants in favor of good street food vendors and eateries patronized by residents. Visit such free or inexpensive attractions as Hagia Sophia, Cappadocia, and the Grand Bazaar. Speak to the locals and try to live a bit like they do.

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