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There are still places in the world where you don’t have to spend much money to have an amazing trip. In fact, the easiest way to elevate the way you travel is by changing your itinerary to one of these exotic destinations, not adjusting your budget. Live like the trip-hacking royalty that you are with our handpicked list of the best value places in the world!

RELATED: 9 reasons low season is the best value

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You need to see for yourself how amazing and cheap Vietnam is! | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Vietnam
There’s possibly no place on the planet where you’ll get more for your money than in Vietnam. If you thought Thailand was cheap, just wait. In this Southeast Asian gem, you can regularly find 4-star hotels for under $20 nightly. Regional flights are super affordable, and bus transport costs peanuts. It’s almost hard to spend a lot of money in Vietnam. A delicious bowl of pho will set you back a dollar and beers can be found for as cheap as 10¢ a glass. Spending more than $15 per day on great food would likely expand your waistline rapidly. While there might be a cheaper country out there, Vietnam is hard to beat with the quality level of rooms, food, and experiences you’ll get for the money.

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Guatemala is one of the most underrated destinations around with prices to match. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Guatemala
While the masses flock to pricey Costa Rica, savvy travelers head to beautiful Guatemala. In the country’s most popular tourist city of Antigua, rooms in a charming colonial-style hotel with mountain views won’t set you back more than $25 per night. Traditional Guatemalan meals are hearty and flavorful, yet easy on the wallet coming in around $3. Finish the day with rooftop sundowners with volcanic views for under a buck. For the price, it’s hard to beat the natural and cultural beauty of Guatemala.

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It doesn’t cost much to find yourself on amazing beaches like this one in the Philippines. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The Philippines
In the South China Sea are the 7,000+ gorgeous and very cheap islands of the Philippines. For an affordable and authentic trip, consider far-flung islands like El Nido in the Palawan, where you can score a beachfront room with a jaw-dropping view for less than $30 per night. While tourism is on the rise in the Philippines, there are still thousands of relatively untouched islands yet to explore.

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Come check out India, a heavyweight in the budget travel game. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

India
There are few places in the world where you can see and experience as much for as cheap as in India. The subcontinent has something to suit every interest and is jam packed with culture. Here you can find stunning beaches, wild wetlands, barren deserts, bustling cities, and peaceful mountains. While India is home to the Raj Palace, the world’s most expensive hotel, ($45,000 nightly), most places cost less than $15 per night. Food in India is as cheap as it is flavorful and even a trip to world wonder Taj Mahal won’t break the bank.

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You can’t go wrong with a trip to Thailand. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Thailand
This perennial backpacker favorite is still one of the world’s best value-travel spots. Thailand has it all, from beaches to culture, and at ridiculously low prices. Sink your toes in the sand in southern Thailand where beach side bungalows can be found for less than $25 nightly. Deliciously spicy curries will fill you up for around $4 a plate and drinks are cheaper than at dive bars back home. While Thailand is more than just beaches, even the big city of Bangkok goes easy on the budget.

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Better to get to Cuba soon, while it’s still cheap. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Cuba
With Cuba’s official monthly wage hovering around $25, you might expect the cost to travel to be among the cheapest in the world. While it’s not as cheap as you thought, it still has to be one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations out there. Rooms in Cuba will cost anywhere from $15–$35 nightly for a clean and comfortable place to lay your head. While the food in Cuba gets a bad rap from some, there’s no denying that a giant Caribbean lobster for $5 is a pretty good deal. You might want to head to this one-of-a-kind budget gem soon: Warming relations with the U.S. mean change is on the horizon.

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Think you can’t afford Mexico? Think again! | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Mexico
With the Mexican Peso dropping to 10-year lows, our southern neighbor’s most popular tourist destinations are cheaper than they’ve been in years. From the powder white sands of the Yucatan to the rocky shores of Cabo, now’s the time to head south. The country’s long history of tourism still puts Mexico on the higher end of this list, but it’s still a great budget beach vacation close to home. For a uniquely affordable getaway, trade in touristy Cancun for the laid back and budget friendly Tulum where hotels can be had for only $20 per night. Get more tasty al pastor tacos than you can handle for around $4, leaving plenty of dinero for some late night tequila. Outside the big resorts, this all-inclusive hot spot is surprisingly budget-friendly.

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Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, International, Mexico, Tips & advice

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If this spring’s lukewarm weather has you dreaming of an exotic getaway with cold drinks and a hot sun, you’re definitely not alone. Popular spots like Cancun and Cozumel are obvious picks, but there’s a lot more to our southern neighbor—and, specifically, these Mexico destinations—than powdery beaches. If you’re looking for something a little more authentic or less crowded, read on.

Go drinking and dancing in Guadalajara

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This is basically Mexico personified. Think mariachi music, always-flowing tequila and mind-blowingly beautiful plazas, but leave the stereotypes at the airport. Besides the admittedly dangerous margaritas and all-out fun that Cinco de Mayo is known for, you can easily discover some deeply enriching cultural experiences. Explore the historic center’s churches and cathedrals before settling in for a night of live music and fun. If you’re a fan of Mexico’s most famous elixir, hop on the Tequila Express (no joke) out to the Jalisco countryside to see how the inhibition-bending drink is made, have some samples, and dine on regional specialties before a mariachi dance performance. Snag a bargain at Hotel Morales in the colonial downtown district to stay plugged into Guadalajara‘s rapid, nonstop pulse.

Discover beautiful beaches and ancient ruins in Tulum 

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Ancient ruins? Check. Resorts galore? Check. Postcard-worthy beaches? They’re some of the best in the world. Welcome to Tulum, a fabled destination for beach bums and history-lovers alike. When you’re not exploring the ancient, walled Mayan city—which edges up against the turquoise Caribbean Sea—you can walk right onto the beach for a little sunbathing, or cool off in a gorgeous cenote or two. Plus, UNESCO World Heritage site Sian Ka’an is located just south of this surprisingly affordable beach town. It’s worth the trip to snorkel with the dolphins, turtles and fish that call the Mesoamerican Reef home, and take a boat tour along the diverse park’s mangrove canals and ruins. Rest your weary suitcases at Maison Tulum for a steal before heading to nearby Tulum National Park for a hike.

Get back to nature in Mazatlan

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‘The Pearl of the Pacific’ isn’t just a fancy nickname—this beach town is perfect for an outdoorsy adventure, thanks to its numerous islands, seaside promenade, beaches and lagoons. It’s also located along the migration routes of several whale species, who pass through the region between December and March. Get up close to the endangered Humpback Whale by signing up for a whale watching tour through Onca Explorations (which also offers mangrove kayaking, swimming with dolphins and plenty of other eco-adventures). In Plaza Machado you’ll find the the best restaurants and shops in town, and it’s not far from Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique, a great (and inexpensive) spot to lay your head at the end of a busy day. Plus, it’s within walking distance of Mazatlan Archaeological Museum and the Olas Atlas Beach.

Kick back on the beach in Zihuatanejo

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This Pacific Coast town is a far cry from the quiet fisherman’s village it used to be, but has still retained much of the charm that has attracted so many visitors for the last 40 years. Best known for its beautiful beaches and cobblestone streets, there is plenty to see and do here while soaking up that famously warm sun. Sign up for a eco-tour, kayaking, snorkeling or horseback riding on the beach to get the most out of your days. Then, at night, take a romantic (or friendly) sunset stroll along the waterfront. While the beach is by far the main draw, food comes in at a delicious second place. Learn to make local delicacies at the highly rated Zihuatanejo Cooking School, or scarf them down at eateries like the seafood-focused El Gabo and hipster cantina La Katrina. Need to sleep? Easy. Let the crashing waves lull you to sleep at Catalina Beach Resort.

Get your culture fix in Mexico City

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Cleaner, hipper, and better than ever (or at least recent history), the capital of Mexico is in the middle of a renaissance, thanks to its exploding cultural and culinary scenes. To that point: take a boat tour through the canals and nosh on Hidalgo-style barbacoa at El Hidaguense before exploring the vast collections of the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The city is also home to so many world-class museums and historic, beautiful buildings you’ll never see it all, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Spend some time checking out wonders of the ancient world like Templo Mayor—an old Aztec temple that dates back to when Mexico City was named Tenochtitlan—and the mysterious Teotihuacán Pyramids just north of the city. Visit Plaza de la Constitución for some people watching, and try Paseo de la Reforma for a lovely evening walk before retiring to the Hotel El Ejecutivo.

Get lost (metaphorically) in Copper Canyon

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If you’re up for some serious adventure, check out northern Mexico’s Copper Canyon, which is four times bigger than the impossibly huge Grand Canyon and tucked in the middle of the Sierra Madres. Considering its size, you won’t get far on foot (that’s not to say that the hiking is not 100% worth it). But to a big part of it, book a 14-hour ride on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway, which will take you between cities of Mochis and Chihuahua, and past lakes, forests and over bridges along the way. The lengthy itinerary includes plenty of stops where you can stretch your legs and check out the mind-boggling scenery.

Wander the heart-achingly beautiful streets of San Miguel de Allende

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This beautiful, old city nestled in central Mexico is chock-full of history. San Miguel de Allende gets its name from a prominent figure of the War of Independence, and offers well-preserved Colonial and Spanish architecture on nearly every corner. Best of all, the city is home to a thriving art scene that draws people from all over the world. You can spend your days drifting from galleries to shop-lined streets to find the perfect pieces to take home as a reminder of your more-memorable-than-Cancun travels. For an authentic, local experience, stay at Antigua Capilla Bed and Breakfast, just a few blocks from the city center.

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Tagged: Beach, City, Family, Holidays, International, Mexico, Tips & advice, Uncategorized