10 Budget Friendly International Trips From United States

This is a guest post by Emma Richardson, a seasoned travel enthusiast and budget travel expert with over a decade of experience exploring affordable destinations worldwide. She specializes in uncovering hidden gems and practical tips for making international travel accessible and enjoyable for all.

Who says traveling to international destinations needs to break your piggy bank? It is a dream for every person to travel to a foreign country once in their lifetime. The globe is full of a number of places to go and explore starting from beach to mountains, from sand to snow. The only factor that comes to mind is the financial constraint that doesn’t let me step up for the dream trip. From the skyscrapers of Paris to the landscapes of Kyoto, there are numerous options that will give you a memorable experience. Places like Bali, Thailand offer very cheap flights in comparison to other countries which are affordable and these places have beaches, nightlife, street markets and ample number of street foods.

The island of Maldives offers crystal clear water and pristine beaches without spending much fortune. The picturesque island of Santorini offers stunning sunsets and crystal-clear waters that provides budget-friendly stays and local eateries offering delicious Greek cuisine. For those seeking a unique wildlife experience the Masai Mara in Kenya offers budget-friendly safari options that allows travelers to witness the majestic African wildlife.Further, Kashmir in India has rich history, diverse landscapes, that provide a cost-effective adventure.

European countries like France are also another wallet friendly option at a fraction of cost than the other countries. But don’t be disheartened! Here’s a list of budget friendly destinations to travel to in the US around the globe.


Settled amidst the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas , to the northernmost part of India lies Kashmir, called as the Paradise on earth. This place boasts about its breathtaking vistas, snow-capped mountains, pristine alpine lakes, lush green meadows and vibrant blooming flowers. The beauty folds multiple times by the Dal lake which is famous for its boathouses and the Mughal gardens glorifies its culture and history. Located in the Jammu & Kashmir , which is a Union Territory in the northern part and the airport to reach here is situated at Srinagar, named as Srinagar international airport.

Daily flights operate from Delhi or Mumbai. It dates back to very old architectural temples and is mostly known as the door to trek as there are a lot of options to trek for like Kashmir Great Lake trek, Tarsar Marsar trek. The summer months (April to June) are ideal for sightseeing and doing activities like trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, river rafting while the winter months ( December to February) are ideal for snow activities. Gulmarg here is the home to world’s second highest cable car, Gulmarg Gondola where the panoramic views of the Himalayan peak are worth visiting. Other places to visit include Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg known for the scenic routes and beautiful valleys. It will cost about 300$ to 500$ for a 7-day trip. You can also check out these beautifully designed Kashmir tour packages available with customizable options for an unforgettable experience.


This Indonesian country is a tropical paradise which is known for its rice fields, volcanic mountains, waterfalls, forests, beaches and coral reefs. There is no other place on Earth that provides the same amazing combination of spirituality, surfing, and sun-kissed bliss. Bali is the place to go if you’re a wanderer looking for a higher ground, a family trying to reconnect, or a traveler looking for fun.

Home to beaches like Kuta and Seminyak which are popularly known world wide. This captivates the tourists with its rich cultural legacy, handcrafted goods, markets, local cuisines and stunning temples. This place feels like paradise handcrafted by God himself. This place can be enjoyed on a low budget from hiking to visiting spas and relaxing in the lap of nature. Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar is the main gateway to Bali where frequent flights are available.

The best time to visit is between April to October where there is no rainfall, the season is dry with mild and pleasant weather. Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali for its traditional crafts and dance. Uluwatu is known for its temple and surfing spots. Nusa Dua has luxury resorts and pristine beaches. You can also go scuba diving, water snorkeling, hiking to Mount Batur and surfing at Kuta beach. The average budget is $720-$950 USD for a 7 day trip.


Known as Thailand’s capital, Bangkok is a busy street metropolis for its vibrant street life, beaches, temples and rich cultural heritage. Thailand is home to some of the most amazing natural landscapes on the planet, from the Similan Islands to Erawan National Park. Perhaps the elephant, a treasure of Thailand, is the most magnificent and beloved animal.

This thriving city is known for its cultural legacy, extravagant temples, with the grand palaces and temples that coexist together peacefully parallel with contemporary skyscrapers that are a fusion of old and new balance. Located at the central part of Thailand, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport serve Bangkok with numerous international  daily flights. The time to visit is said to be  November to February with cool climate and more comfortable sightseeing.

Famous spots like Grand Palace, situated at the heart of Bangkok, then Wat Arun called as the temple of dawn near a riverside location. The Chatuchak Market is said to be one of the world’s largest weekend markets. It is a haven for shopaholics. You can go for activities like boat rides on Chao Phraya River and also explore the floating markets. Indulge yourself in the local cuisines like Pad Thai, Khao Soi. It will cost $650-$800for a 5 day trip including food, accommodation, flights and local transport.


Located in the Southern part of Asia continent on the Indian ocean, Maldives is known for its crystal clear water, white sand beaches, luxurious water villas and sea facing villas. It is said to be made up of more than 1000 coral islands. The Male international airport is the main gateway to reach this place from around the world with direct flights or connecting ones. During the months of November to April , the weather is dry and pleasant and you can opt for different water activities.

The capital city, Male offers a mix of urban attractions and historical sites. Baa Atoll is a UNESCO biosphere reserve which is home to different marine species. The place has luxury resorts and diving spots which are included in the stays. Activities like scuba diving and snorkeling are much preferred. You can also enjoy the sunsets in the cruise rides and relax yourself in the spa treatment by the experts. Water sports like jet skiing, water surfing will fill you with an adrenaline rush. Book in advance and avoid the last minute rush as many hotels also include packages with meals, spas, alcoholic drinks and even the water sport activities. Average cost will be $1800-$2400 USD for a 7 day long trip.


One of the most spectacular wildlife reserves  of Africa is the Masai Mara national reserve. A common belief is that Nairobi serves as the starting point for flights to Masai Mara. Nonetheless, it’s a bustling city with enough to do. Without a doubt dedicate a day or two to pursuing its markets, enrolling in a cooking lesson or simply strolling around and taking in the atmosphere of a foreign land. This provides a classic African safari experience with its wide savannas brimming with animals.

Located in the South Western part of Kenya the nearest international airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. From there take a domestic flight to Mara Serena Airport or drive to the reserve.  July to October is said to be ideal time to visit as this period is called the Greatest migration as a large number of zebras cross the Mara river. You can opt for activities like hot air balloon safari, bird watching, visiting the maasai villages and indulging yourself in their local culture and heritage. This place is also known as the territory of big cats. Also the views of Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli park is every safari wish for. $1450-$2150 USD is the average budget for a 5 day trip. 


Situated high in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is an old Incan city that has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is a must-see location because of its stunning setting and historical significance. Located at Cusco Region, Peru, its walls, terraces, and enormous ramps appear to be carved into the rock like they are a part of the escarpments. To reach Machu Picchu, one has to take a train or walk the Inca Trail after landing at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco.

The best time of the year to visit is from April to October, during the aridity, which provides best hiking conditions. The places offer ecstatic conditions to enjoy the picturesque view of the ruins, named Huayna Picchu. Several pinpoints to visit in Machu Picchu include Aguas Calientes which is the gateway town to Machu Picchu, the foremost archaeological site : Machu Picchu Citadel and the Sacred Valley which serve as home to several other Incan ruins. While spending hours exploring this Inca city of wonders, taking in each new marvel as they come to mind, you can hike the trail of Inca, explore the serene beauty of Machu Picchu, visit local markets and learn more about culture and heritage about Incan History through the museum. $1800-$2300 USD will cost for a 7-day trip.


Situated on South Africa’s southwest coast, Cape Town is well-known for its breathtaking beaches, Table Mountain, and energetic cultural scene. This city is a must-see because of its natural beauty and rich history. Cape Town is a contemporary, international metropolis encircled by wilderness. The Mother City, which is centered on Table Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, abundant wildlife, fine dining and wineries, and wide range of activities. To reach Cape Town, the Cape Town International Airport serves as the chief gateway for scores of international flights. The best time to visit is from November to March, which serves best conditions for beach holidays due to its warm weather conditions. The most prominent destination of Cape Town is the Table Mountain. There is nothing that compares to the views that can be seen atop Table Mountain. On an unobstructed day, one can see for kilometers in all directions, including Robben Island. Another point which serves as a home for various fauna called The Cape Point consists of green trails, a rocky coastline and beautiful scenic views. The best activities are to enjoy the ride of a cable car up to the Table Mountain, while one explores the flora world in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. The approximate budget one can expect is from $1200 to $1675 USD for a week trip, including all their expenditures of flights, accompanied, food and local transportation.


Known as the capital of France, Paris is known for its art, fashion, and culture. The most iconic landmark, The Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum make it a top destination for tourists worldwide. Located in northern France Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport are the main international gateways with frequent flights from all over the world. April to June and September to November the weather seems pleasant with lesser crowds. The scenic Loire has a ton of chateaus and vineyards where you can find some of the world’s best wine along with charming little towns around. Marseille is a large metropolitan city with several dining options, theaters, museums, night clubs and even an international soccer stadium. The approximate budget is $1450-$1900 USD for a 5 day trip.  In Paris the Eiffel tower, the Seine, the museums, parks, jazz and also have delicious croissants, macarons, baguettes and croque-monsieur. Go for a cruise evening in the Seine river, explore the local cafes and bistros, go shopping on Champ-Elysees and live your life in real life as seen on Netflix – Emily in Paris!


To enjoy the Mediterranean landscape, Santorini is one of the most romantic places with a picturesque island in the Aegean sea for its stunning sunsets, blue and white washed buildings and crystal clear water. It is said that the unique landscape got its shape due to volcanic eruptions which are years old. Santorini (Thira) National Airport receives flights from Athens and other European cities or you can also opt for a ferry from Athens’ port of Piraeus. The best time to visit is April to November with pleasant weather and lesser tourists. Fira is the bustling capital of Santorini popular for shopping and dining. Oia is known for its beautiful sunsets and charming streets. Black sand beaches can be found in Perissa and have happening nightlife. Activities like sailing and boat tours, exploring the volcanic beaches, wine tasting tours are a must that should be in the bucket list. $950-$1450 USD is the approximate budget.


Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence. Known for its exceptional historic value, the city contains millions of habitats and modern face. It is in Central Honshu, Japan. The ceremonial customs of the city, like kaiseki eating and geisha female performers, are also well-known. To reach, Kansai International Airport in Osaka is the closest international airport, and it offers direct train service to Kyoto. Kyoto is also reachable by bullet train from Tokyo, where you may fly into. For cherry blossoms and fall foliage, respectively, the best times to visit are March through May and October through November. Top Destinations to vista are Fusumimi Inari Shrine known for its numerous scarlet torii gates, while the magnificent Zen Buddhist monastery known as Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion).  Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a beautiful and tranquil bamboo grove and Gion District distinguished by its traditional machiya dwellings made of wood. Sightseeing at Nishiki Market; taking a tea ceremony; strolling through traditional gardens; and visiting temples and shrines are the best things to do. The approximate budget is from $1450-$1900 USD for a week trip, including all the expenses of flights, accommodation, food and local mobility


Travelling gives a feel of freedom and peace , and also it becomes more enjoyable when it becomes affordable and budget friendly. From Paris to Bali, From Kyoto To Santorini, every place has its own charm and beauty of nature that must be experienced once in a lifetime.The Maldives is commonly associated with luxury travel and can be experienced affordably through meticulous planning and utilizing local guesthouses. Similarly Cape Town in South Africa offers a blend of picturesque landscapes, cultural heritage and varied activities at a reasonable cost. These examples demonstrate that with strategic preparation international travel from the U.S. can be both enriching and cost-effective.