When it comes to traveling the world, everybody wants to try it at least once. If you plan accordingly, you can travel in luxury and with style. Some of the destinations on this list are hidden gems, while others you may have heard of before. If there's one thing to remember it's that you don't need to break the bank to go on vacation.
There are hidden places that you can visit that are not only easy on the eyes, but easy on the pockets too. So we took it upon ourselves to research some places where the U.S. dollar has more value and will get you more bang for your buck on accommodations and sightseeing. It's important to take the time and visit different places around the world, not only for our sanity, but to learn about different cultures too. You never know what you may learn about yourself while on vacation, most come back feeling motivated and inspired. So when looking for a lavish vacation, check out these places where you can vacation like a baller while still being on a budget.
24 Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
When you think of the Dominican Republic, you think of Punta Cana. Well there is another hidden gem on the east side of this island — Puerto Plata. This cultural town is situated on the Atlantic coast of the Dominican Republic. The average price for a four-star hotel is estimated at about $200 a night. This providence does have its own airport, and although it is small, you can still get a flight with American, Continental, or United for under $500 if you leave from the right city. There are several sites to visit and the beaches are absolutely stunning.
23 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
This southern city in Vietnam is known to house the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and several other French colonial landmarks. This city is said to have a population of over eight million and is popular among tourists. This city made the list because the American dollar is worth over 22,000 Vietnamese đồngs. Aside from the currency exchange, a five-star hotel could cost you roughly $150 during the summer months, which is really not expensive compared to five-star hotels in other cities around the world. The most expensive thing on this trip would be the flight and if you get it at the right time or book it in advance, you could get it at a reasonable price.
22 Kotor, Montenegro
This beautiful mountainous city is settled in the Balkan Mountains and their official language is Serbian. In Montenegro, there are only two international airports, the first in Podgorica and the second in Tivat. When visiting this underrated beauty, you will not have a shortage of sites to see. Although this may not be a high-traffic tourist area, you will still feel like you are on top of the world while visiting the gem. The flight to Montenegro can cost about $600 and all the major airlines go to both airport locations. Finding a place to stay will be easy and cheap isnce there are several hotels ready to showcase the beautiful scenery this riverside city has to offer.
21 Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
When most people think of Thailand, they think of Bangkok. Well that is not the only exciting thing this country has to offer. When looking for a place to relax quietly and lavishly, Ko Phi Phi is the way to go. This city is a part of the Phi Phi Islands and they are known for their clear blue waters and white beaches. The most expensive part about this trip the flight to the island, but since Thailand is so cheap once you're there, it's totally worth it .
20 Caye Caulker, Belize
A small Caribbean island north of Belize is home to one of the many gems of the world, including Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. Most people, when they think of Belize, they think of Belize City and don't consider the other amazing cities this country has to offer. Funny enough, the only way to get around here with by foot, on a bicycle, or motorized cart because car are not allowed. Rather than stay at a hotel, we recommend renting an apartment or house to help you cut on cost and feel more like a local.
19 Budapest, Hungary
The capital of Hungary, Budapest, made this list for a number of reasons. For one, $1 is equivalent to roughly 278 Hungarian forint. You can cut costs by booking your flight and hotel together with the help of websites like Expedia. All of the major US airlines land in Budapest anyways, so you don't have to worry getting there once you land in Hungary. The average cost of a good hotel in the center of this beautiful city can cost as little as $140 a night. When visiting Budapest, make sure to take a look a the beautiful Danube or one of the many castles they have to offer.
18 Havana, Cuba
Despite the relationship between the United States and Cuba being rocky in the past few years, now that they have somewhat patched things up, Havana has been a nice destination to vacation in luxury. Taking a flight to Cuba can be inexpensive, and if you leave from Miami, it can be less than $300. That price combined with an average $180 a night for accommodations makes for an lavish trip under $1,500 for the week. Plus, once you're there, food and shopping is pretty cheap. Havana is a great city to take in the beautiful and colorful architecture and the beaches.
17 Tamarindo, Costa Rica
On the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica lies a little gem called Tamarindo. This quaint town is home to only 6,000 people, beautiful sandy beaches, and a marine park. When traveling to this gem, you are looking at an average price of $100 a night for a hotel. Although they do not have an international airport, they have a regional space set up for private planes, but if you fly to San Jose or Liberia, you can catch a bus for less than $15. When you get there, be sure to check out the beach hotels and if you are into surfing, this is the ideal location for you.
16 Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu is the capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. With all the temples around this city, you have no choice but to feel and look like you are living the high life. This place is full of bustling alleys, hidden backstreets, and temples. While visiting this historical beauty, you can keep busy visiting the sites from one of the more lavish hotels in the city. If you look in the right places, you can find five-star hotels for $120 a night, and it doesn’t hurt that every American dollar is worth over 105 Nepalese rupees.
15 Bali, Indonesia
Becoming more and more popular each year, Bali is a beautiful place to relax and soak in the culture. There are several reasons to take this location into consideration when wanting to take a luxury vacation without spending a lot. This city has everything you would want in a vacation and more. It has wonderful people, breathtaking beaches, impressive coral reefs, and volcanoes. An average night for a five-star hotel on this island could cost around $200, but with the currency exchange, it will be worth it.
14 Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an underrated country when it comes to travelling, and for reason, people don't think of putting it on their bucket list. This city is in the tea country hills and is full of luscious greenery and waterfalls. This city may not be the most popular, but it does have a lot to offer, including mountain views and natural waterfalls. Getting to this city is probably going to be the hardest challenge since there are only two international airports in Sri Lanka and the closest is Bandaranaike International Airport which is about four hours away by car. However, since it's a little bit of a trek, it won't be full of tourists.
13 Sihanoukville, Cambodia
In the southwest coast of Cambodia lies Sihanoukville, a province known for its beautiful beaches. This province was last recorded of having a population of 200,000. This tropical stop can be your personal paradise with great snorkeling spots and undisturbed jungles. Fortunately, getting to this beauty won't be very difficult because they have their own international airport, so transportation will be easy and painless. Finding nice accommodations should be just as easy because there are plenty of hotels and rentals to stay at while in this paradise.
12 Kos, Greece
When most people think of going to Greece, the first place they think about is Santorini. Well there is another gem in Greece that sits in the Dodecanese islands named Kos. This pleasant city is said to have plenty of beaches to go around and it is also home to many Greek and Roman landmarks. A four-star hotel here could cost roughly $200. When planning your travels to this quaint island, make sure to check out the castles and ancient city ruins that are still standing. There are many beachside resorts to pick from and they have an international airport to make travelling easy.
11 Merida, Mexico
Cancun is not the only place that is nice to vacation when thinking of Mexico. There is another city settled in the Yucatán Peninsula named Mérida. In this city, you will be able to find affordable but lavish places to stay at with views of the jungle or beach. While visiting this Mexican city, you also have to visit the Mayan heritage sites as well as the colonial architecture. There are several airlines that can get you to Mexico, but if you want to fly there directly, the best place to look for tickets are with United or American airlines.
10 Xi’an, China
China has a lot more to offer than Beijing and Shanghai. There is another popular city named Xi’an that is home to 12 million people and has become a growing tourist attraction. This city was home to four ruling dynasties so there is plenty of history to go around. While visiting, make sure you get a flight to their international airport and get a hotel that is smack in the middle of the city. With temple views and beautiful surrounding plains, you will feel like royalty waking up looking over the city.
9 Granada, Nicaragua
A place that should be on everyone’s list to travel to, Granada not only has some of the most picturesque beaches, but they also have colonial landmarks and vibrant cathedrals to tour. When traveling to this country, you must be prepared for the humidity which can be high during their summer months. Although they may not offer five-star hotels in this particular city, you can still get a four-star hotel for less than $100 a night. Spending little on accommodations means you get to spend the rest of your money splurging on yourself during your stay.
8 Siem Reap, Cambodia
Another Cambodian city has made this list — Siem Reap. This city made the cut because nothing looks more like wealth than being surrounded by ancient temples. To vacation where former kings and queens have ruled and lived out their lives, you can’t help but take a little of that home with you. When you visit Siem Reap, make sure to check out the complex stone buildings and visit the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom. This city has started to transform and become more up-and-coming with a vibrant nightlife and various cuisines to pick from.
7 Denpasar, Indonesia
Aside from being the capital of Indonesia, visiting Denpasar will have you feeling like royalty. The flight might be expensive if you don't book in advance, but if you do, you could get it for under $1,000. The good thing is, like other cities on this list, once you're there, everything is really cheap. Be sure to visit the Tanah Lot which is actually built on a rock. And while you're at it, you might as well travel to Bali.
6 Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is a popular destination place when thinking about going on a vacation. Unlike some other vacation spots in this country, this destination is not overrun by young spring breakers. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and is known for its monumental cathedrals and high altitude. When visiting this capital, make sure to book one of the five-star hotels that average at about $150 a night. With the conversion from US dollars to pesos always fluctuating, make sure to check before you go to get the best deals. There are several airlines that fly directly to Mexico City so you can get a round trip ticket for extremely cheap if you shop around.
5 Istanbul, Turkey
If you're going to visit Turkey, then Istanbul is a must. This bustling city has a population of over 15 million and sits between Europe and Asia. When you visit this city, you can live the lavish life for a week in one of their modern city-center hotels or you can wake up to the sound of the ocean. If you decide to visit this culturally-rich city, be sure to pass by the Hagia Sophia.
4 Rhodes, Greece
When in Greece, do as the Greek do. This Greek city of Rhodes is not a popular tourist place, but it is a place where you can get the best sense of Greece. On this island, there are many historical Greek castles and sites to see that it may seem your travelling back in time. This island is one of the Dodecanese islands and the largest of the group. This vacation spot has many upscale beach resorts for you to choose from, and because they have their own international airport, traveling there will be easy.
3 Bogota, Colombia
Colombia is a hot commodity when taking a sizzling vacation, and Bogota is at the top of that list. Bogota is the capital of Colombia and home to over 8 million people. This city will make you feel like you are living the high life as long as you are there. With an average five-star hotel costing about $100 a night, that leaves you with some extra cash to spend on shopping and the great nightlife. And of course, we can’t forget about the Gold Museum. Traveling to Bogota is easier than you may think — they have their own international airport and you can get a ticket for less than $700.
2 Johannesburg, South Africa
When you think of South Africa, you may think of how hot it could possibly be there. Well hot may not be a bad thing when taking a vacation to Johannesburg. This South African city is the biggest city in Gauteng. They not only have a diversity of food, but they also have several historical museums and sites to keep you occupied. As far as accommodations go, many may think there are not many options. Fortunately, you could book yourself a five-star hotel for as low as $100 a night. Living in luxury in this capital comes easy with the right planning.
1 Jakarta, Indonesia
Another Indonesian beauty made this list — Jakarta. When visiting Indonesia, Jakarta is a must-see when you are looking for a lavish vacation. When visiting this melting pot, you will get a mix of several different cultures and languages. This city may have a population of over 9 million, but you can find hotel accommodations for less than $150 a night in a four-star hotel. While in this multicultural city, you have to visit the Indonesian landmarks and theme parks. Since this city sits on the northwest coast of Java, you have a choice between ocean and city views.
Sources: justapack.com, lonelyplanet.com, scmp.com