Top 20 Budget Vacation Destinations For 2020

By Shannon
Top 20 Budget Vacation Destinations For 2020

Everyone dreams of going on a long vacation, but most of us don’t have an unlimited budget to travel. Broke backpackers have been making their way around the globe for years by staying at hostels. In Europe, it’s very common for young people to take a gap year to travel and figure out their life. This is far less common in the United States, however. In case you didn’t know, a hostel is a place where you can sleep in a bed, but you are sharing a dorm room and a bathroom with strangers. It is popular with young people in their teens and 20s, but even people in their 30s stay at hostels just to save money. Even if you have never imagined staying in a hostel before, this can be a great way to make new friends since everyone is there on an adventure too. 

Thanks to HostelWorld, we have data showing exactly where the hippest young travelers are headed in 2020. Some of these places may just be a brand-new place you never thought of visiting but could be the trip of a lifetime.

The beaches of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. Credit: Trip Savvy

20. Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia, is a small island southeast of Bali. It has become a really popular vacation location, especially for young Australians looking to find an escape from everyday life. If you go, there should be plenty of other English speakers to talk to. One of the most popular places to relax has been called “Dream Beach,” because it looks so perfect it’s like something out of a dream.

The popular “Dream Beach” in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. Credit: Shutterstock

There are luxury resorts on the island, and you can visit the restaurants even if you are not paying for an expensive hotel room. Lay on the beach, take a surf lesson, or go out for drinks at night. According to Hostelworld, there is a 10% increase in bookings going into 2020.

Bordeaux is famous for their wineries. Credit: Forbes

19. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is famous for being one of the best wine regions of France. You should have plenty of options to visit vineyards for wine tastings. There is also the famous Place de la Bourse, which is a castle open to tourists. If you’re looking for yet another fancy thing to do, go see an opera at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, or say a prayer at the Bordeaux Cathedral.

One of the best tourist attractions in Bordeaux is the Place de la Bourse Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There has been a 15% increase in bookings to Bordeaux on Hostelworld. Since this is more of a luxury destination, beds in a hostel are around $30 per night, and they have budget hotel options starting at $60 per night. Compared to the rest of the hotels in the area, this is a lot cheaper. Of, if you want to be extra fancy, you could splurge for nearly $300 per night to stay at the Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hôtel.

Lake Louise in Banff, Canada. Credit: The Planet D

18. Banff, Canada

If you are looking to visit somewhere close to the United State yet still in another country, why not visit Canada? Visitors to Banff, Canada may want to see Bow Falls, or visit some of the gorgeous nature trails. You can see the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, where they have beautiful works of art and folk art from local cultures.

Emerald Lake in Banff, Canada. Credit: Fun Life Crisis

This is the home of Fairmont Banff Springs, which is a luxury hotel that costs over $300 per night.  But according to HostelWorld, they have a 15% increase in bookings. There are plenty of people who are eager to enjoy the area without breaking the bank. 

Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Italy. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

17. Catania, Italy

On the east coast of Sicily, there’s an ancient city called Catania. This Italian port was once the center of commerce with boats from neighboring countries arriving to sell their goods. One of the most famous buildings in the city is the Cathedral of Catania, which was built all the way back in 1078 on top of Roman baths. Speaking of the Romans, there is even an ancient Roman theater still in the town, which would make a great place to take a selfie. There are also old castles, as well as a gorgeous view of Mount Etna.

The Catania skyline with the views of Mount Etna. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hostelworld has a 15% increase in bookings to Catania going into 2020. Since this is one of the largest cities in Sicily, it is a great place to stay at a slightly lower price before you visit some of the hotter tourist spots throughout Italy. The cheapest hostel is just $13 per night to stay in a dorm, and you can find private rooms starting at $45 per night.

Grindelwald, Switzerland in the summertime. Credit: The City of Grindelwald

16. Grindelwald, Switzerland

For those of you who are Harry Potter fans, the name Grindelwald might be familiar to you. But the name is taken from a real place in Switzerland. People love to visit Grindelwald during the holidays because it looks like something out of a Christmas card. It’s so beautiful it feels unreal. Travelers need to take a train to get into the village, which can feel like you’re taking the Hogwarts Express.

This train will take you through Jungfrau Mountain and into Grindelwald. Credit: Shutterstock

It is possible to stay in a pricey hotel near a ski resort if you want to, but there are also cheap accommodations for you to choose from. There has been a 15% increase in bookings among people who are looking to book on Hostelworld. Just don’t expect to find rock-bottom prices like you would in a bigger city. Even in the cheap hostels, a bed in a dorm room is still $41 per night.

These boats are docked at Paros, waiting to be taken out to sea. Credit: Discover Greece

15. Paros, Greece

In 2018, Travel and Leisure Magazine voted Paros, Greece, as the best island in Europe. A few hours away from Athens, Paros has been called “the best-kept secret” in Greece. History buffs will love to visit the sanctuaries of Delian Apollo and Artemis. In the daytime, you can swim and relax on their beautiful beaches. At night, the island is famous for having fantastic nightlife full of dancing and cocktails in elegant settings.

These iconic blue and white houses are all over Greece. Credit: The Crazy Tourist

Hostelworld has seen a 20% increase in bookings going into 2020, which means that you are likely to run into other ex-pats who are equally as excited to check out the gorgeous island. They have room options starting at just $30 per night. Or you could stay in a four-star hotel for $1,600 per night. While it’s possible to go all-out with luxury, you can just as easily find something within your budget.

The beautiful skyline of Anchorage, Alaska. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

14. Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska is the largest state in America, yet so few people in the mainland United States have ever visited it. Known for its cold weather, the city of Anchorage is becoming more popular recently. They have a lot of wildlife like moose, bears, and wolves. Some big-game hunters spend a lot of money to travel to Alaska in order to have the opportunity to track some of these creatures. For fun, you can visit the Anchorage Museum, have a small plane take you for a ride to soar above the landscape, go dog sledding, mine for gold, and watch the Northern Lights.

Enjoy the views of natural splendor in Alaska. Credit: Cloudinary

According to Hostelworld, they have a 20% increase in bookings going into 2020. Beds in a hostel are just $30 per night. Just like everywhere else in the United States, you can find private motel and hotel rooms from $60 to $100 per night. Even some of the more high-scale hotels in Anchorage are only $130 per night, making it a very affordable place to visit.

Paradise Cave. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

13. Phong Nha, Vietnam

Many visitors to Phong Nha, Vietnam are there to visit the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. This is a protected area with mountains, tropical forests, and underground rivers. There are wild tigers, elephants, and black bears inhabiting the park. Some of the most popular attractions are the ancient limestone karsts and caves. Tourists can take a boat ride through the cave.

One of the beautiful waterfalls in Phong Nha, Vietnam. Credit: Live Travel Teach

According to Hostelworld, they have seen a 20% increase in bookings going into 2020. You can find accommodations starting at just $4 per night, which makes it one of the most affordable places on this list.

The city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia was built up by the Soviets. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The city of Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia. Located in the Tuul River valley, Ulaanbaatar borders the Bogd Khan Uul National Park. The city was originally established as a nomadic Buddhist center. Eventually, more people began to visit and settle when it became a permanent city in the 1700s.  In the 20th century, the Soviet Union took control and built the city to Russian standards. Even now, there are monasteries that have survived. So they have a very interesting contrast to the more modern buildings that were left behind by the Soviets.

The old temples and yurts of the more traditional Mongolian culture. Credit: Shutterstock

Hostelworld is seeing a 30% increase in bookings in Ulaanbaatar. You can get a room for as little as $6 per night. Most people who go there are interested to see the museums that tell the story of the city’s very unique city. It has all of the modern luxuries you need to feel comfortable mixed with old-world charm.

The colorful houses in La Spezia. Credit: Shutterstock

11. La Spezia, Italy

The beautiful port city of La Spezia is located in Liguria, Italy. Built in the 1800s, the Technical Naval Museum has ships and models throughout the years of the city’s history. There is also an archaeological museum called St. George’s Castle. The Amedeo Lia Museum has paintings, bronze sculptures, and objects from the former convent.

There is a gorgeous cliff overlooking the city of La Spezia. Credit: Shutterstock

La Spezia, Italy has seen a 35% increase in bookings on Hostelworld going into 2020. Unlike some of the other destinations on this list, it’s not cheap to stay in Italy. Beds in hostels will still set you back $30 to $40 per night. Or you could spend over $100 each night on a hotel room or AirBnB.

The skyline of Bozeman, Montana. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana has seen a 35% increase in bookings going into 2020. This town is popular among outdoor enthusiasts because it is very close to Yellowstone National Park. People love to go to Bozeman because there are wild moose, elk, deer, and bear roaming through the mountains. There are plenty of great hikes for when you’re not visiting Yellowstone.

The beautiful Rocky Mountains. Credit: Shutterstock

Aside from enjoying the great outdoors, you can visit The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, where they have America’s biggest collection of dinosaur fossils. There is also the American Computer and Robotics Museum, as well as the Gallatin History Museum. On average, expect to pay $28.00 per night if you are looking for a bed in a dorm-style hostel. If you are looking for a more traditional place to stay, expect to pay in the ballpark of $150 per night. 

Lake Kayangan in the islands, Coron, Palawan Philippines Credit: Shutterstock

9. Coron, Philippines

Coron is one of a cluster of islands in the Palawan district of the Philippines. Its landscape is truly breathtaking, with crystal clear water that scuba divers love to explore. They are also home to Kayangan Lake, which is one of the clearest lakes in all of Asia. It has been included in many lists as being one of the most beautiful places to travel in the world.

Coron Palawan Beach aerial view. Credit: Shutterstock

Coron, Philippines has seen a 35% increase in bookings on HostelWorld. Room rates start at $14.85 per night, so it doesn’t cost a fortune to experience a little bit of paradise. If you would rather stay in an Airbnb, you can actually find entire apartments for $16 per night. Of course, the benefit of staying in a hostel is that you could meet other travelers and make new friends.

Yosemite National Park is absolutely gorgeous. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Yosemite, CA 

If you’re an American, chances are that you have heard about the famous Yosemite National Park. It’s smack dab in the middle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and there are huge sequoia trees. Nature lovers will enjoy visiting the Half Dome cliffs, Mist Trail, Vernal Falls, or the Nevada Falls. It’s a prime location for hiking and animal watching.

Explore and look at gorgeous waterfalls. Credit: Shutterstock

While it’s possible to camp in Yosemite, you might prefer to stay somewhere indoors, just in case you’re afraid of the black bears and bobcats. You can get an affordable rate on Hostelworld, starting at $29 per night. If you do, you’ll be a part of the 40% increase in bookings.

The skyline of Detroit, Michigan. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Detroit, Michigan

If you’re an American, you already know that Detroit, Michigan was, once a booming town and the hub of the U.S. automobile manufacturing industry. Today, most of those factories have shut down and people struggle to find jobs. The crime rate increased, and houses were sold for under $1,000. Years later, things are finally on the upswing.

One of the old railways going over downtown Detroit. Credit: Shutterstock

Today, young people have moved into Detroit to try to restore the abandoned city. There are a lot of artistic people who have opened breweries, music halls, and their famous Eastern Market, which has been standing since the 19th Century selling antiques and so much more. On Hostelworld, there has been a 50% increase in bookings to Detroit going into 2020. Rooms start at $33.60 per night.

Downtown Dallas, Texas at sunset.  Credit: Shutterstock

6. Dallas, Texas

As the saying goes, “everything is bigger in Texas.” When you go, there is no shortage of barbeque and entertainment. History buffs might be interested to visit The Sixth Floor Museum, which has all of the details of the assassination of JFK. If you’d rather not dwell on a tragedy, you could visit the art museum, botanical gardens, or the aquarium.

The famous ferris wheel in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Shutterstock

On Hostelworld, there has been a 54% increase in bookings to Dallas, starting at just $35 per bed in a hostel. Just like every other city in America, you could choose to find a private hotel room for $100 per night if you prefer more privacy.

You can see some beautiful wildlife in Jasper, Canada. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Jasper, Canada

In the wintertime, Canada is known for being extremely cold. But in the spring and summer, it can be a nature lover’s paradise. Jasper, Canada is the home of Jasper National Park, which is full of beautiful scenery, lakes, mountain towns, and hiking trails. You can also take the Jasper SkyTram, which takes you over the mountains so that you get a bird’s eye view of the landscape.

A gorgeous waterfall in Jasper. Credit: Shutterstock

Hostelworld has seen a 60% increase in bookings going into 2020 for both spring and summer. The rooms start at just $32 per night. If you prefer to drive and camp inside of Jasper National Park, you can pitch a tent starting at $16 per night, and up to $28. And, of course, you could book a normal hotel or AirBnB.

The gorgeous hills of Ha Giang, Vietnam. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Ha Giang, Vietnam

Right on the Chinese border, Ha Giang, Vietnam, has some amazingly stunning landscapes. Fewer travelers make it to Ha Giang because it is far from some of the larger cities in the country. But to those who visit, they say that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel down the winding roads and explore limestone outlooks. This vacation is especially popular among people who like to ride motorcycles since it is the main form of transportation.

Absolutely gorgeous mountains in Vietnam. Credit: Shutterstock

Ha Giang, Vietnam, has seen a huge 80% increase in bookings on Hostelworld going into 2020. The NoMadders Hostel is just $8.38 per night, even though it has a very high rating for quality. Just be sure to do your research ahead of time before you go, especially if you do not have a guide to help you with any language barriers.

Gorgeous villas in Kuta Lombok, Indonesia. Credit: Booking

3. Kuta Lombok, Indonesia

Kuta Lombok, Indonesia, is getting a huge spike in interest, with a 90% increase in bookings going into 2020. Just make sure you don’t mistake it with Kuta, which is apart of Bali. On the island of Lombok, you’ll find amazing rock formations, waterfalls, and the Gunung Rinajani volcano. If you love hiking, you will be happy to hear that they have a green trekking initiative that encourages people to pick up any trash they might find along the way.

The beautiful rock formations of Kuta Lombok, Indonesia. Credit: Jon is Traveling

One of the highest-rated hostels, Slumber Party Hostel Lombok  $8.72 per night. This can be a great place to visit if you are already visiting Bali, and you want to go somewhere away from the crowds. 

The gorgeous clear blue waters of Siargao Island. Credit: Rappler

2. Siargao Island, Philippines

The second-to-last destination on our list is Siargao Island, Philippines. They have received a 105% increase in bookings on Hostelworld. This is the perfect destination if you wish that you could relax on a remote island away from civilization for a while. The reason why more people are beginning to visit Siargao is probably because it has been voted the best island in the entire world by several travel magazines.

Siargao Island from a bird’s eye view. Credit: Metro UK

Siargao is an island 500 miles away from the coast of Manila. It’s considered to be the surfing capital of the Philippines, because the waves form perfect hollow tubes. So you can enjoy watching these athletes as you lay on the sand and enjoy the crystal blue water. They also have a huge mangrove forest, which is perfect for anyone who enjoys hiking and enjoying nature. If you book through Hostelworld, you can find accommodations for just $16.99 per night.

The gorgeous beaches of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

1. Vieques, Puerto Rico

We saved Vieques, Puerto Rico for last because it has the biggest spike in bookings on Hostelworld with a whopping 150% increase. So obviously people are learning about the island online, and they are suddenly excited to go. You may not have ever heard of Vieques before, but once you know a little more about it, this may just go on your list of ideal travel destinations.

There are loads of things to do with your entire family in Puerto Rico. Credit: Discover Puerto Rico

Vieques is an island off the main island of Puerto Rico. It has sandy white beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, which make it a great place to enjoy a tropical vacation. Its most famous attraction is called Mosquito Bay. That might not sound appealing until you learn that it’s a magically bioluminescent bay that lights up bright blue at night. For most people, this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it makes an amazing shot for an Instagram photo shoot. In the daytime, you can scuba dive, go horseback riding, or go to the beach or visit Fortín Conde de Mirasol, which is an old fort and museum.

Hostel beds start at $27.50 per night. If you’re an American, you’re in luck, because you do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico. All you need is your government ID or driver’s license.

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