To help you find the perfect destination for a culturally rich and budget-friendly experience, Style My Soul asked nine travel experts and industry leaders for their top picks.
India: Diverse Culture and Affordability
For novice travelers looking for a culturally rich experience on a budget, India is a great option. With its diverse culture, fascinating history, and affordable cost of living, India offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
India is known for its ancient temples, bustling markets, and delicious cuisine, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a different way of life. Additionally, the cost of living in India is relatively low, making it an affordable destination for travelers on a budget. One real-life example is the “Golden Triangle” tour, which includes visits to Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, three cities that showcase the diversity of Indian culture. This tour offers an excellent introduction to India and its rich history, while also being affordable. - Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing
Cuba: Rich Culture on a Budget
Cuba provides a unique opportunity to explore an island nation rich in culture, history, and tradition while keeping your budget in check. As a novice traveler, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene, taste the flavorful cuisine, and explore the stunning landscapes. The country offers budget-friendly accommodation options such as casas particulares (homestays) and paladares (private restaurants), which are affordable alternatives to hotels and restaurants. Additionally, Cuba’s rich history and fascinating political climate make it an ideal destination for those looking to expand their knowledge of the world. So, pack your bags and get ready for a cultural adventure in Cuba, where you will enjoy plenty of experiences without breaking the bank. - Tarun Saha, Co-founder and CEO, StallionZo
Experience Vietnam’s Rich History Affordably
If you’re a novice traveler looking to experience new cultures and lifestyles while still staying on a budget, Vietnam is a great option. This Southeast Asian country boasts a rich history, delicious food, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals. From exploring the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to trekking through the rice terraces in Sapa, there is no shortage of experiences to be had in Vietnam. Additionally, the cost of living is relatively low, meaning your money will go further and you can experience more of what this vibrant country offers. Overall, Vietnam is a fantastic choice for travelers looking to immerse themselves in a new culture without breaking the bank.
- Jo Larsen, Travel Blogger, Best Family Beach Vacations
Andorra: Affordable Beauty and Culture
The principality of Andorra is a perfect destination for novice travelers looking to experience culture and lifestyle while sticking to a budget. The country offers stunning natural beauty with its mountain ranges and valleys. What makes Andorra stand out is its affordability compared to other European countries. Accommodations are reasonably priced, and food is inexpensive, making it a good option for those traveling on a tight budget. You can explore the country’s capital, Andorra la Vella, and its historic old town, visit the iconic Sant Esteve church or stroll along the beautiful Gran Valira River.
- Peter Lucas, Owner, Relocate to Andorra
Budapest: Affordable World-Class Culture
Over the past 24 years, our company has organized thousands of trips to almost every major European city, and most times, our groups are working within a budget. Your money goes further in Eastern Europe than anywhere else. Take Budapest as an example. The Hungarian capital has centuries of history, while there are museums and the Szechenyi spa baths that, as an experience, rival anything else in Europe but for a fraction of the price. On the other side, you have incredible nightclubs and the Szimpla Kert, a ruin bar in the Jewish Quarter that is a real bucket list experience. It is a world-class night out, yet a beer can cost around $1 and food and accommodation are much cheaper than most other European capitals. It is frequently one of our most booked cities, and customers often return because of the value for money it offers. - Matt Mavir, Managing Director, Last Night of Freedom
Discover The Cotswolds on a Budget
The United Kingdom is one of the most beautiful, vibrant countries in the world. In 2019, over 39 million tourists flocked to Britain, and it’s not hard to see why. While most tourists venture to the bright lights of London or travel to the tranquil Peak District, many completely overlook The Cotswolds, one of the UK’s hidden gems. So what makes it worth traveling to? The Cotswolds is home to the city of Gloucester, one of the UK’s cheapest student cities. The city is full of fun things to do, such as visiting its famous medieval cathedral or strolling alongside its peaceful docks. There are plenty of museums and galleries to explore (many of which are free), and the city has plenty of brilliant restaurants and bars. Looking for a cheap place to stay in or around the city? StayCotswolds has affordable accommodation — suitable for larger groups, solo travelers, or pet owners! - Hollie Marsh, Digital Marketing Assistant, Aqueous Digital
Welcoming and Economical Thailand
Thailand is an excellent country for novice travelers to experience local culture without breaking the bank. Exploring Thailand is easy for people new to traveling internationally, given that lots of people speak English, many signs and restaurant menus have English translations, and the people are welcoming and friendly.
Yet the beauty of traveling to Thailand is that it’s unmistakable that you’re in a different country; the food, religion, and tourist attractions differ completely from Western countries. Thailand is also an economical country to explore. Cheap hostels are abundant, transportation is low cost, and meals start at just a couple of dollars.
- Laura Olds, Travel Writer, A Piece of Travel