Travel is a real art and traveling smart is a double pleasure as you come back home with both unforgettable memories and bucks in your pocket.
1. China and Asia in whole Asia is the only place where backpackers no longer need to decide whether they want to exhaust their bank account or experience second-rate service. While worldwide economic crisis and expensive Euro make trips to Europe costly, Asian countries seem to be the right location. Current stats show each year Americans prefer visiting more Asian countries while Europe stats are flat. China remains the most desired Asian destination showing an unbelievable 83% increase in trips comparing to previous year. What makes China so popular? Only in China any traveler can both explore one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and enjoy cheap rates with quality service. Also China is tending to become a shopper’s paradise - it’s hard to find something you cannot buy on Chinese markets. The prices are not just low; they tend to go to zero. Don’t forget to try Chinese food - it’s totally different from something you used to eat. By the way, if you have never been in any Asian country, you can save your money by doing all-in-one trips that have recently become very popular. This includes 14-21 day vacation throughout continent starting from Bangkok to Bali, Taipei and Tokyo.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina Argentina’s economy has suffered from huge collapse for about 10 years ago and even though that financial crisis is over, prices are still lower than in neighboring countries. You can rent a nice hotel room just for $90 a night and an evening for two in a good restaurant will cost you mere $50-60. By the way, local cuisine is truly awesome, so don’t be afraid of visiting local cafes and trying traditional dishes like roasted partridge or chicken with honey and sesame. Argentina is a motherland of the most passionate and impressive dance – tango. You can watch professional dancers performing both in hotels and streets of Buenos Aires. Argentinean tango looks really sexy and amazing but there’s one thing you can do to turn it to unforgettable memory – do a little tango yourself. There are multiple master classes for dancers of all skill levels. A group class with one of major Argentina’s tango choreographers will cost you just $6 per hour.
3. Little Corn Island, Nicaragua Have you ever been dreaming of visiting Costa Rica, but $300-$400 per night hotels make you forget about this destination? There is a less expensive solution. Nicaragua is a Costa Rica neighbor and by far the best place to save money. Even in hottest vacation season and holidays most expensive rooms cost under $150. Little Corn Island is a lovely tropical island, a true must visit place for travelers seeking a remote tropical paradise. It’s not as well known as other Caribbean destinations thus less crowded. At Nicaragua you can learn to dive or, in case you’re already certified, enjoy watching stunning reefs, sharks, tropical fish and even barracuda! All this is available at absolutely reasonable rates. By the way, Little Corn Island is a great place to visit with your friends as only here you can rent a whole bungalow for less than $50 a night. This is truly a place where economical crisis can’t make you scratch own head and think of price! Sure, there is no satellite TV or Internet, but do you really need them on a tropical island? Food is cheap as well - there are not so many places you can enjoy freshly plucked lobster for just $20.
4. Bulgaria Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Founded in 681, this country has a deep history and is yet full of medieval castles and archeological sights. For example, Valley of Kings is not only a historical treasure, but a real one as archeologists continue searching ancient gold treasures buried with Thracian forebears. Bulgaria is a place from where civilization has spread to other Balkan countries. You can yet find here most sophisticated goldsmiths, so you will surely find absolutely stunning and reasonably priced souvenirs in Bulgaria. While strong Euro has made famous Europe destinations somewhat expensive for American travelers willing to save money, Bulgaria remains highly affordable country. As this destination is not yet heavily touristed, you can feel true national colour and successfully combine ancient churches and monasteries with spas and sea resorts. Prices are just great - multiple $50-100 a night hotels and cheap local cuisine that varies from $5 to $7 a dish.
5. Portugal Portugal is the most affordable destination in Western Europe. As it’s not widely advertised and thus not known among tourists, Portugal is an affordable Spain or Italy substitute. When you decide to visit Portugal, first spend several days in country’s capital – Lisbon and then move your feet to the coast, for example to Porto. At Porto you can find anything a tourist needs – old charming city, beautiful hotels at highly competitive prices and multiple entertainment ideas. Just to mention, make sure you try local wine as it’s simply great. Latest economic crisis seems haven’t affected much on Portugal and prices are not skyrocketing at all. In Porto a room in luxury hotel with antique furniture, tile mosaics and patio full of exotic flowers will cost you as little as $75 a night. Food is also not expensive at all. One can easily find lots of old taverns there everyone is welcome to try local dishes. Portuguese are proud of their food and I must say it’s really awesome - cod with béchamel, grilled sardines and other fresh fish from local waters not only sound, but taste great.
6. Jordan If you think it’s time to explore Middle East, but would like to save money, for example, for your next vacation, Jordan will surely show you the heritage of this region including culture and food. Surely, it doesn’t look like Vegas-style Dubai, but it’s the right place to discover Muslim culture. By the way, even though Jordan is a Muslim country, tourists here are served wine or beer and hotels have night clubs. Prices in Jordan are close to Lebanon and Syria, but Jordan is by far a much peaceful place thus is better for tourists. While staying in Jordan don’t forget to visit Petra – one of the world’s seven wonders. Usually Petra is a tourist crowded place, so I’d recommend you to rent a car in Amman (it will cost you approx. $50 a day) and explore it yourself. The second must-visit place in Jordan is Dead Sea. It has the saltiest water in the world and is widely known for its healing power. There is a wide hotel choice in Jordan fitting every budget. Basically, a great room with everything you need costs $120-140.
7. Hoi An, Vietnam Vietnam has everything that famous Thai resorts like Phuket and Koh Samui offer to tourists, but on sufficiently cut prices. Fight will be surely your most expensive cost item. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a real diamond of Southeast Asia. This tiny, historical and charming coastline town is not just a great vacation destination, but also a perfect place for best souvenirs. Hoi An’s talented tailors will sew almost anything you want. If you have spare hundred bucks or two, pay your attention to silk couture apparel and accessories. In general, Hoi An is a great place to turn off your cell phone, forget about TV, newspapers and get rid of news about that annoying world financial crisis. Best hotel room in Hoi An (like The Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa) will cost you around $140. Vietnamese food is incredibly cheap – a dinner for two is just around $6. Local cuisine is rather delicious one and offers much pork, chicken and fresh vegetables.
8. Tunisia If the only thing you know about Tunisia is that first Star Wars desert locations were filmed there and keep thinking this place is for campers only, you’re somewhat mistaken. Over the last 10 years Tunisia had become a popular tourist destination and thus many world class hotels were built. However that doesn’t affect much on prices as local rates allow combining great rest and saving money. Tunisia has various sightseeing places like Zitouna Mosque built in 800s. Whole Old City is worth watching. If you are ready to spend a little more, you can stay in a luxury hotel surrounded by ancient ruins. A high tech suite with own terrace overlooking the Mediterranean is approximately $300 a night. Medina is a great place to kill time. This is the center of the city there one may find endless cafes, restaurants, jewelry, apparel, local crafts, souvenirs and other pieces of art.
9. Family visits are your best travel. Let me give you one more idea. How about saving money by doing some local visits? I’m pretty sure your grandpa you haven’t visited for years although he lives in a neighboring state would be happy to listen to the latest financial news. Tell your children economic crisis is already knocking the door of your home, so no overseas travel in this or even next year. Anyway, you shouldn’t forget about your family members, so picnics with grilled hot dogs will help to spend great time with your family.
10. Let’s stick to home! Could that happen you still want to travel while whole world is suffering from economic crisis? No way, man! Don’t you need to pay out that endless home and car loan and have bills for education of your children? That’s it, so now it’s high time to save money and love the place where you live.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted by DIN GTF at 8:36 AM
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