What Are the Emerging Cheap Destinations?

Montenegro - Flickr Creative Commons photo by Trish Hartmann

Montenegro – Flickr Creative Commons photo by Trish Hartmann

I’m in the thick of updating my Travel Writing 2.0 book to be released in November, but next year I’ll start the process of researching the bargain places to travel again for the 5th edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations.

I think by now I’ve learned a thing or two about this subject and I often get commissioned to write an expert’s view article on the subject, like this one: 6 Popular Destinations Where You Can Travel for Cheap. That one was on places that are famous and get millions of visitors each year, like Mexico that’s a better-than-usual deal right now, and Cambodia which will be a perpetually great deal for years to come.

Each time I do a new edition though, I’m surveying the whole landscape to see what has changed. Turkey and Argentina were in the first edition but faded out as they got more expensive. Argentina may make it back in on the next edition, at least as an honorable mention. (Turkey is a much better deal right now too, thanks to a sputtering economy and a currency devaluation.)

My question to you well-traveled readers is, which places should I be looking at to research in 2016? Where have you been lately that was a screaming bargain or at least a terrific mid-range value?

The New Backpacker Hotspots?

I’ll be looking into a lot of places that were off limits when I put out the first edition at the end of 2002, like Myanmar/Burma and Sri Lanka. I’ll also be checking out spots that everyone avoided even five years ago but are now getting a steady flow of backpackers. These are mostly in Europe, with Montenegro and Albania at the top of my target list. Both are kind of scruffy, but the coastal views are divine!

Albania travel

Albania – Flickr Creative Commons photo by Artur Malinowski

Every edition I try to find good candidates to join Morocco and Egypt in Africa, but always end up coming up short. If you’ve spent time in an African country that was a deal for travelers—without requiring you to live like an impoverished local to keep the budget low—I’d love to get your comments. Especially if there’s more to do there than listen to live music and go to the local market.

I know for sure I’ll be returning to a few favorites for some on-the-ground research of my own, especially India and Nepal, but I could use some recent eyes and ears for some reality checks on the other places. If you want to see what countries were included in the last edition, hit the Amazon page, click “Look Inside,” and check the table of contents.


  1. Deborah 09/17/2015
  2. Louisa 09/18/2015
  3. Cecilia Bratten 09/18/2015
  4. Mikaela 09/20/2015
    • Tim Leffel 09/21/2015
  5. arvi 09/24/2015
  6. Aleta H. 09/30/2015
  7. Morris McKinney 09/30/2015
    • Tim Leffel 10/02/2015
  8. Laurence 10/08/2015
  9. simon 04/12/2016
  10. David Whitley 04/20/2016

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