Well, we’ve crossed the threshold into August! For many of us, that signals a lot of impending changes: fall feels like it’s just around the corner, the new school year is steadily creeping closer and it seems as though that feeling of summer freedom is slipping through your fingers.
I’m here to tell you, your vacation doesn’t have to be over!
Think about all of those cool, global locales you’ve been dying to visit in the future…Maybe it’s your lifelong dream to see the vibrant, Latin culture of Central America or the mysterious, desert landscape of North Africa. Maybe you’re eager to visit every baseball stadium in America or experience the country music scene like you never have before. Our world is full of fascinating, unique places that can excite us, inspire us and make us better, more well-rounded people!
As you’re reading this, I would guess you’re a little bit skeptical, thinking: “Yes, Lauren, of course I want to explore Central America. That would be amazing! But isn’t travel like that for people with a serious nest-egg and all the time in the world to spare?”
I will say, from firsthand experience, some of the most awe-inspiring trips I’ve taken in my life have been to countries that are just a bit under the radar. So, take a minute and explore this fantastic roundup of five, diverse places you should travel to get the most bang for your buck!
Where is Nicaragua? Nicaragua is nestled tightly in the middle of Central America. It’s bordered on both sides by ocean—the Caribbean on the east and the Pacific on the west.
What’s so great about it? Many people say Nicaragua is the new Costa Rica, which essentially means it’s on its way up in the tourism world. Make sure you get there while it’s still partially undiscovered! Nicaragua is known in particular for its adventuring opportunities—think surfing, hiking and zip lines and jungle beauty. Be sure to eat at thefritanga (buffet style restaurants) and take whatever local bus transport you can find. And feel free to haggle!
What are the can’t-miss destinations? The capitol city, Managua, ocean fishing, colonial architecture in Granada, the Plaza de Independencia, Antigua Catedral, coastal town San Juan del Sur, Masaya markets, the ancient footprints of Acahualinca and any of the many volcanoes in the area.
What will it cost me to visit? With airfare, lodging, food and entertainment, most well-managed trips will run you just $25 per day.
Where is Morocco? Morocco is located on the Western coast of North Africa, touching Algeria to the East. Morocco sports some of the most stunning beaches in Africa and culture like you wouldn’t believe. You’ll be amazed for sure!
What’s so great about it? In Morocco, the richness of the African desert is at your fingertips. Full of Arabs, Berbers and Saharawis, Morocco is a beautiful meshing of ancient history and architecture. Here you can explore the dunes of the Sahara, take in the serenity of oases, or explore exotic medinas to do some shopping. Here are a few cultural tips to get you in the mood to visit Morocco.
What are the can’t-miss destinations? The High Atlas mountains, the Tizi n’Test pass,Essaouira, Marrakesh, the popular Fez medina, the Djemaa el-Fna street-theatre, Jebel Toubkal and more! Here’s a link for how to see much of this on a budget.
What will it cost me to visit? With airfare, lodging, food and entertainment, if you avoid the spendy tourist fares most well-managed trips will run you around $55 per day.
Where is Croatia? Croatia is an Eastern European country just a hop across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and on the edge of the Dinaric Alps. The landscape is diverse and full of breathtaking beauty; you’ll find everything from Mediterranean beaches to hinterland mountain regions glistening with crystal water here.
What’s so great about it? Croatia is right at the intersection of Eastern and Western European culture and demonstrates this in its architecture, history and cuisine. You’ll find a lot of people speak Italian here—second to Croatian of course—and the castles and forts are to die for! Be sure to taste their truffle delicacies, seafood and local cheeses for a truly Croatian experience.
What are the can’t-miss destinations? The capitol city of Zagreb, Diocletian’s Palace, Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Church of St. Euphemia, Mljet Island, the City Walls of Dubrovnik, and the Roman Amphitheatre in Istria.
What will it cost me to visit? With airfare, lodging, food and entertainment, most well-managed trips will only run you around $55 USD per day!
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Where is Nashville? In the United States, the city of Nashville, Tennessee is well-known as the country’s heart of country music. It is nestled in the southeastern United States and located on the Cumberland river.
What’s so great about it? Nashville is aptly nicknamed “Music City” and it is jam-packed with a number of fascinating, fun-filled American attractions. It’s glitzy, bright and free, and there’s something for everyone, from country music hot spots to a burgeoning foodie scene—much of which is extremely budget-friendly. Spring and Fall are the optimum times to visit Nashville if you want to get the best, most temperate weather.
What are the can’t-miss destinations? Be sure to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Grand Ole Opry, Honky Tonk Highway, Nashville Palace, thePancake Pantry, the famous Bluebird Cafe, local barbecue and fried chicken, RCA Studio B, Civil War battlefield Lookout Mountain and any local concert you can find!
What will it cost me to visit? With airfare, lodging, food and entertainment, most well-managed trips will run you around $87 USD per day. Try to save where you can on food and local entertainment to get the most out of this city. Bonus savings if you’re already local to the USA!
Where is Indonesia? Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country known for the vast variety it offers visitors. Indonesia is made up of over 13,000 islands and sports numerous volcanoes, sandy beaches and exciting urban cities.
What’s so great about it? You can’t go wrong with Indonesia. From Bali to Jakarta, you’re in for a real treat. Be sure to let the island life take hold of you. Go diving, visit a few UNESCO world heritage sites and get to know some of the cheeriest people you’ll ever meet! A big bonus? Local food is delicious and cheap! Eat on the street to save some cash.
What are the can’t-miss destinations? For a true island paradise, visit the Gili Islands to go snorkeling. I also suggest: The capitol of Jakarta, Komodo National Park to see ancient, dragon-like creatures, Hindi Prambanan, Bromo-Tengger-Semuru National Park, theBunaken snorkeling region, Borodudur Temple Compound and Denpasar.
What will it cost me to visit? With airfare, lodging, food and entertainment, most well-managed trips will typically run you, all in, about $30 USD per day. Some of the morebackpacker types say you can get by with $15 per day!
I sincerely hope you feel inspired to take a trip soon! Now name your dream, make a plan and save up those vacation days. You’ll be traipsing the globe in no time!
What under-the-radar travel destinations have inspired you the most? Where do you suggest we take our next trip?
Originally published for Care2 at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-places-you-should-visit-to-get-the-most-bang-for-your-buck.html