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Surprisingly Affordable but Amazing Places to Visit This Summer

By Rachael Shearer

Posted about 2 years ago

Summer is around the corner, what are surprisingly affordable but amazing places to visit? 

In spite of all of my wonderful plans and New Year’s Resolutions to save money every week for summer holidays, it is safe to say that has not happened. As I’m not exactly a CEO, us twenty-somethings have to make do with what little we have. Still desperate to get away this summer, even for a week or two, I went about investigating some great affordable places to visit. Get your backpacks on and prepare to do a lot of walking, absorbing surrounding culture, and enjoying the free lifestyle of traveling on a shoestring. Here’s a few of the best spots in the US, Canada, South America and as I’m Irish, I’ve included some great spots in Europe too – enjoy!

North America: Avoiding bigger cities like NYC, LA, Vegas and DC, go for more culturally exciting spots that don’t have the high tourist prices.

1. New Orleans: India House Backpacker’s Hostel is $20/night – The Big Easy is full of fantastic and reasonably priced food and drink spots, and is a hive of cultural and musical activity. Bourbon Street is the epicenter but take a $1.25 streetcar tour to see the rest!

New Orleans 


2. Montreal, Canada: Alexandrive Montreal Youth Hostel is $18.50 / night – Rich in French culture – check out the stunning Basilique Notre Dame and the multitude of other free activities, plus a huge range of summer festivals worth checking out – and a lot of maple syrup.

3. Portland, Oregon: AAE Portland Downtown is $29 / night – here’s something a little different for those seeking hipster activity – a blossoming music industry, micro-breweries, and beautiful forests makes for an ideal weekend break. 

South America: For sun, culture, and that real backpacker vibe, here’s three cheap and cheerful spots to hit up this summer:

1. Cusco, Peru: The Point Cusco is US$7.40 / night, and with Machu Picchu nearby, this is a beautiful cultural tourist town. Beware the train and admission for Machu Picchu are very pricey – Plaza de Armas, and Temple of the Sun are must sees!


Machu Picchu

2. San Pedro, Belize: Pedro’s Inn Backpacker Hostel is US$12 / night – head to the island of Caye Caulker as this is a more popular spot for backpackers and isn’t quite as expensive as other parts of Belize. Check out the beautiful wildlife, marine, and forest reserves – all free!

San Pedro, Belize


3. Roatan Islands, Honduras: Hostel la Buenda Onda is $20/night – diving, snorkeling, white sandy beaches and Caribbean vibes. The perfect spot to try out some watersports and explore botanical gardens and jungle trails.  

Roatan Islands, Honduras


Europe: As I am Irish, this is what I know best. Here are three of my favorite spots that are rich in culture, history, sunshine and fun – without breaking the bank! 

1. Krakow, Poland: Goodbye Lenin Hostel is $14/night – Do history by day – you have to see Birkeneu and Aushwitz. Not for the faint-hearted, but absolutely worth it. Then start drinking your sorrows and hit up the amazing hostel bar at night before hitting up Krakow’s insane nightlife. Check out Kitsch, a nightclub that exceeds its title. 

2. Florence, Italy: The Queen’s Hostel is $17 / night – survive on pizza, ice cream, and small hidden pasta restaurants to save on cash, and absorb the endless free cultural delights to soak in. Get a good pair of walking shoes and a decent guide book – check out the markets and incredible Italian vintage stores for some amazing shopping. 

Florence, Italy


3. Zadar, Croatia: Saving the best for last! Stay in a local’s house – there will be tons of them waiting by the bus / train to take you in at a great price –it’s the done thing there, just go with it! There are tons of nearby festivals like Garden & Soundwave that are reasonably priced and take place right on the seashore. When the music stops, everyone strips down and walks into the warm Adriatic ocean to watch the sunrise. Also, check out the sea-organ in the beautiful old town and be lulled into an afternoon nap as the sea creates music in the sun. 

Zadar, Croatia


As for getting there – check out Skyscanner and Edreams for the best cheap flight deals, but also don’t shy away from buses and trains. When travelling around Europe, my friends and I endured some long, hot journeys – but once you’re all together and you know you have an exciting trip ahead that won’t leave you bankrupt, it’s absolutely worth it! Plus it always gave me a few hours in between places to write down my experiences while they were fresh in my memory so I could relive them again and again – so don’t forget to pack a notebook and record your travels too!

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