When you daydream of an international vacation, you’re usually thinking of relaxing on beaches, sightseeing in cities, or delicious local cuisines… not the price tag that comes along with it. But don’t give up on your international travel dreams just yet! There are plenty of international locales that are perfect for your summer vacay and won’t break the bank – and we’ve listed a few of our favorites below.
If an inter-continental flight is out of your budget, head north for a uniquely faux-European experience. There’s a reason Québec is known as “French Canada,” and Québec City is its crown jewel. Wander through Old Québec and Basse-Ville, and escape the city for a day to visit Montmorency Falls Park. Yes, you’ll have to brush up on your high school French, but it will be worth it for all of the Insta-worthy vacation photos. Since the American dollar is currently stronger than the Canadian dollar, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to one of the city’s nine (yes, that’s right, nine) Nordic spas.
When airports offer you a free “stopover” flight en route to a different destination, how can you say no? Stop at this Icelandic village for a few days, rent a car, and visit some of the most unique sightseeing attractions outside of the U.S. like the Giantess in the Mountain or an airport whale watching tour. For something a little more cultural, visit the Icelandic Museum of Rock ‘n’ Roll – which features musicians like Björk and Of Monsters and Men and has some fun interactive experiences.
This Mexican city is close to many of the places you already think of when you think about America’s southern neighbor – Cancún beaches, Mayan ruins, mangroves, etc. – but Mérida is perfect for a trip in its own right. The Yucatan capital’s culture is a combination of Mayan and colonial history; you can tour ancient temples and cathedrals by day and dine on classic Yucatecan dishes by night. Even though Mérida’s tourist culture isn’t dominated by resorts, there is still plenty of art museums and markets to browse and enjoy.
The flight to Nepal might be expensive, but you can make up for it by spending less than $20 a day when you’re in the country’s capital city. That’s not a joke, by the way – the American dollar is very strong in Nepal and as such, you’ll get a lot of bang for your American buck. Combine that with the seemingly endless numbers of temples, monasteries, and gardens to visit (for free), and you’ll come back home having finally found your center.
London is timeless. Sometimes, it never hurts to travel to a classic vacation destination, but it becomes a lot more wallet-friendly when you keep money-saving tips in mind. Grab a travel buddy and shack up in a hostel for the duration of your stay – it’s an easy way to make new friends, but also lets you spend your hard-earned cash on double-decker bus fares and pints at a local pub. Many museums in the city are free, and the extensive Tube (subway) system means you’ll never have to pay surge pricing for an Uber.