Travel is one of the most looked forward things in retirement. But you would want to do it within a budget that doesn’t hurt your retirement plans. So here’s some budget destinations that you could look at. Though selected with the American traveller in mind, this list could be as useful to others. So explore the possibilities. This is Part 2 of the 2 part series. Team RetyrSmart
Travel well. Travel Budget (2)
10. Gobi Desert, Mongolia
My obsession with the remote corners of the globe led me to Mongolia this year. I spent two glorious weeks bumping around in the back of a blue Russian van named Boris. To cut down the cost of our tour to $50 a day, I asked my guide to find other travelers to join us and made a great group of new friends!
Through the windshield, we watched as paved roads faded into dirt tracks and the scenery transformed from the barren Gobi Desert to lush green forests. We had the place to ourselves a majority of the time even though it was peak tourist season. Mongolia is one of my top five trips of all time and despite the distance, cheaper than a summer trip to Europe.
Anna Mazurek is a freelance photographer and writer based in Austin, Texas. For more about Anna, check out her new book Good With Money: A Guide to Prioritizing Spending, Maximizing Savings and Traveling More and follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter and on her blog, TravelLikeAnna.com.
11. South Africa
I was blown away by the beauty of South Africa. It’s a very diverse place in terms of its nature, people and activities. One day we were hiking up in the mountain and the next day we were diving with sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.
Coming from Dubai, I was so surprised by the extreme low cost of Uber and transport there. The food is also fairly inexpensive, as well as delicious. If I could, I would visit South Africa every year.
Zanzibar is one of my favorite destinations! I am so in love with the ocean there and the people. Zanzibaris are so much fun and friendly. While there are expensive resorts there, you can still find some inexpensive bed & breakfasts and hostels in Stone Town that allow you to be right next to the Indian Ocean, where all the restaurants and fun is.
Haifa Besseisso is a Palestinian YouTuber based in Dubai. Her viral videos aim to bridge the east and the west, and are scripted in both English and Arabic. Follow her adventures around the world on Instagram and on her YouTube channel, Fly with Haifa.
Set in the Caucasus Mountains, Armenia is a hidden gem that’s still untouched by mass tourism , and yet has so much to offer: rich history, wineries, impressive landscapes, ancient monasteries and breathtaking mountains as far as your eyes can see. The capital, Yerevan, is a lively city with wide avenues, delicious restaurants, museums and street markets selling local handicrafts.
Because of my Armenian heritage, I grew up on delicious Armenian food. Some of my favorite local dishes include dolma, khorovats or barbequed meat, and local cheeses with lavash bread. For wine lovers, Armenia is the perfect place to try wines made from different fruits such as pomegranate (Armenia’s national symbol), blackberries and cherries.
Outside of the capital is picturesque nature. You can pay a visit to the oldest winery in the world in Areni, stop by stunning monasteries, or check out the oldest cathedral in the world in Etchmiadzin.
If you want more than the bustle of Belgrade, head outside to the city to Uzice for some beautiful nature.Asdghik Melkonian.
Serbia is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. It’s one of those places that has such an amazing energy that it leaves you wanting more.
In the bustling city of Belgrade, there is something happening every hour of every day. The streets are filled with amazing restaurants, cute cafes, bars and clubs. The friendly locals are always out and about. You will find people of all ages enjoying the outdoor cafes and drinking rakija (the national drink of Serbia). The restaurants have a great mix of both local and international dishes, and are great for trying new dishes. I’d recommend komplet lepinja, cevapi and karadordeva snicla.
The nightlife in Serbia is one of a kind. There are floating bars and clubs along the Danube riverbank. Parties go on till the early morning hours.
Asdghik Melkonian comes from a diverse multi-cultural background, which got her jet setting from a very young age. After working in the corporate world for years, she quit her job to follow her passion for travel. Her blog, The Jetsetter Diaries, is a travel and lifestyle blog featuring luxurious getaways, adventure trips and stylish travel tips. She currently travels full-time and runs her blog as her business from different parts of the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
15. Transylvania, Romania
Home to myths and some of the world’s most hospitable locals, Transylvania is a budget traveler’s dream destination. The stunning Carpathian mountains offer the perfect backdrop to one of Europe’s often overlooked regions.
Transylvania was the first real “culture shock” trip for me. While the military prepared me for war zones, I wasn’t prepared for roaming packs of sheep, beautifully preserved castles, the hospitality of the Roma peoples and some of the strongest spirits I’ve ever had. It was cultural immersion at its finest.
Being relegated to the stuff of legends has allowed Transylvania to develop a unique and authentic culture. Guests can experience Romania’s roots free of the mass commercialization, and the high prices, that we see in more popular European destinations. From sampling local dishes like ciorbă, mici and palinka, to skiing in Sinai, you’ll have a wide range of budget-friendly activities to keep you entertained. The country is a yearly destination for me and part of the reason might just be the food.
16. George Town, Penang, Malaysia
George Town is one of those cities that took me completely by surprise. A last-minute itinerary change brought me to George Town for what I planned to be a two-day stopover. It quickly turned into 2 weeks.
A mixture of cultures, cuisines and architecture come together to create an atmosphere that on paper shouldn’t work but somehow does. Chinese, Indian, Malay and British influences can be seen at every turn you make in this Penang Island UNESCO World Heritage Site. What makes George Town stand out are the quarters that make up the city, each one boasting a distinct community and history, all linked together by the beautiful street art found throughout.
With a diverse population, beautiful culture and amazing food, George Town is a perfect addition to anyone’s travel bucket list.
Erick Prince is a travel journalist and photographer on a quest to be the first African American to visit every country in the world. A military veteran, Prince believes in the power of travel to change lives. Follow his journey on Instagram or on his blog, Minority Nomad.
17. Moscow, Russia
I visited Moscow twice for the World Cup and their supposedly inflated prices for the competition still didn’t warrant it being expensive. The city offers plenty to see. A must-visit is Lenin’s Mausoleum, the former Soviet Leaders resting place. Throw in the city’s cover photo (Saint Basil’s Cathedral), and the famous Kremlin and you’ve already got a full day covered.
Moscow, like the rest of Russia, has a stereotype of being a bitterly cold destination. That is true during the winter months, with temperatures reaching well below zero degrees Celsius. Yet, a winter break is one of the best times to visit, thanks to the fairytale setting that the laying snow creates. During the summer, you can expect steady sunshine and clear skies so put on your shades, grab a bliny and wander around the Red Square with ease.
18. Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei is Asia’s hidden gem.. and the city might want it that way. But don’t leave this cheap capital off your list for 2019.Tommy Walker.
The capital of Taiwan is growing in popularity in East Asia but often goes un-noticed by the masses. In comparison to Hong Kong or Tokyo, Japan, think of Taipei as the quieter kid on the block. With some of the best food markets in the whole of Asia, buzzing shopping districts like Xiamen and the stunning nearby Yangminshan National Park, Taipei offers something for everyone.
Pro tip: Taipei won’t break the bank but don’t expect this to be as cheap as Vietnam.