Best 2020 destinations for those traveling on a budget (part 1: Jan-June)

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly May destinations

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A new year has arrived, and that means you have twelve more months to get out there and explore the world. Where should you go in 2020? As they say, the world is your oyster, but if you are looking for budget-friendly destinations, you may have to be more strategic with your travel plans.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly 2020 destinations

There are plenty of destinations for those without endless means. So, don’t despair! In this post, I am going to showcase five stunning vacation spots for each month of the year that can be visited without breaking the bank. You will find reasons why you should visit, suggestions on where to stay, and some ideas on things to do once you get there. Sound good?

Where to go in January

Obviously, January has already begun, but if you are looking for a last-minute destination for the month, you can’t go wrong with one of the places on this list.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly January destinations

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios is one of the most-visited spots in Jamaica, and it is a cruise ship port. While the beaches are one of the big draws, of course, it is also known for the tropical flora and cascading waterfalls. January is a rather busy time of year for Jamaica, but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the sparkling waters and sampling some classic jerk chicken.

January weather is on the cooler side for Jamaica, and you will see more rainy days than you do other times of the year. Expect daytime temperatures to be in the high 70s.

Where to stay in Ocho Rios?

You should consider booking a room at the Pink Rock Inn Bed & Breakfast which starts at $89 a night and has amazing ocean views. Another solid option is this two-bedroom villa on Airbnb which sleeps four and starts at $75 per night.

Five things to do in Ocho Rios:

  1. Dunn’s River Falls
  2. River Tubing
  3. James Bond Beach
  4. Bob Marley Tour
  5. The Green Grotto

San Diego, California

This California city is often called “America’s Finest City.” One glimpse at the white sandy beaches, and it is easy to see why! Located on the Pacific Ocean, San Diego sports more than 68 miles worth of beaches that are perfect for digging your toes in the sand or heading out in the waves with your surfboard. Plan your trip for the last two weeks of the month when things are predicted to be the least crowded.

The weather in San Diego is fantastic pretty much all year long, and January is no exception. You will find days in the mid-60s and nights that are just a touch cooler. If you are coming from a spot with a wintery climate in January, you will really feel like you are basking in the sunshine.

Where to stay in San Diego?

You may want to consider booking a room at the La Quinta by Wyndham which starts at $178 per night is in close proximity to many area attractions like the San Diego Zoo. Another good option is this one-bedroom condo on Airbnb which sleeps two and starts at $89 per night.

Five things to do in San Diego:

  1. Mission Bay Park
  2. The Children’s Pool
  3. Old Town San Diego
  4. San Diego Zoo
  5. Birch Aquarium

Tip: If you want to hit up several attractions of the not-free variety, you may want to consider purchasing a Go San Diego Card. This all-inclusive pass will get you into the attractions you want to enjoy at a fraction of the cost.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly January destinations

Seville, Spain

This Spanish city is known around the world for its culture and traditions. Plus, it is the birthplace of Flamenco dancing! You will find plenty of historic buildings to explore including churches and palaces. Seville can easily be navigated on foot, for the most part, making your travel around the city extremely affordable. Winter can be a busy time for tourists in the city, but if you plan around the holidays, you should be able to avoid the peaks.

Summer weather in this part of Spain can be scorching which makes the cooler winter months a great time to visit. January is generally the coldest month of the year, but the temps are still around 50 degrees—not exactly freezing!

Where to stay in Seville?

The Hotel Patio de las Cruces is located in Old Town Seville and is within walking distance from the cathedral. WiFi is included in your room price which starts at $49 per night.

Five things to do in Seville:

  1. Royal Alcazar Palace
  2. Giralda Bell Tower
  3. Casa de Pilatos
  4. Maria Luisa Park
  5. Plaza de España

Lonely Planet

Florence, Italy

Florence has some of the most awe-inspiring feasts for your eyes in the form of religious architecture. There is so much history in this charming Italian city that you could easily spend your entire trip just soaking it all in. November through March is considered the low season for the city, so visiting in winter can make seeing the sights easier because you won’t be battling the larger summertime crowds.

Plus, January is also sale season in Italy, so you will want to carve out some time to get your shopping on.

Expect the weather to be on the cooler side with highs in the mid-50s. You probably won’t need to pack a thick winter coat, but you will definitely want to dress in layers that can be added or subtracted as needed. Rain gear is also a good idea as the month of January usually sees about 11 days of rain each year.

Where to stay in Florence?

Consider booking your trip at the Sette Angeli Rooms which are located in the thick of it all. The rooms are plenty spacious and breakfast is included for a starting nightly rate of $70.

Five things to do in Florence:

  1. Uffizi
  2. Ditta Artigianale
  3. Climb to the top of Duomo
  4. Cook Tuscan Food
  5. Winter Park

Tip: Those wanting to see all of the museums in Florence may want to consider the Firenze Card. For one price, you will gain access to 80 different museums and other sights. If your trip is short, however, that may be biting off more than you can chew as you would be hard-pressed to hit them all in just one or two days.

Boston, Massachusetts

This American city is full of history, sports, and that famous bar from the TV show Cheers. It is also a good destination for those that like to eat lobster or lobstah as the locals call it. January is a great time to visit Boston because many of the museums and cultural sites offer free or discounted admission for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

January in Boston will be downright cold. Pack your warmest coat, gloves, and hats to stay toasty while you are wandering around the city. It is also likely that you will encounter a snow day or two, and it isn’t uncommon for three to five inches to fall in a single day in January. Historically, this is the coldest month of the year for Boston!

Where to stay in Boston?

Whenever I visit Boston, I have the option to stay with my in-laws so I get to cheat on accommodations a little. Even if you don’t have family living in the city, you can still find a place to stay without using up our whole travel budget. YOTEL Boston is located in the seaport district and has a rooftop terrace where you can get some pretty stunning views of the city. Rooms start at $127 per night.

5 things to do in Boston:

  1. Freedom Trail walking tour
  2. Taste of Chocolate Festival
  3. USS Constitution Museum
  4. Boston University art galleries
  5. Mike’s Pastry

Where to go in February

In February, many people are interested in taking a little romantic getaway to celebrate Valentine’s day or they are looking to get away from the chilly winter air for awhile. There are several budget-friendly destinations to choose in this shortest month of the year that won’t empty out your bank account.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly February destinations

Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam in February offers dry and bright weather throughout most of the country which makes a trip to Hanoi ideal. This city has strong French influences and is well known for its food scene. There are also plenty of nightlife options if you are looking for a place to party in the evenings.

February weather averages in the 60s and 70s, and there aren’t a whole lot of rainy days expected. On average, the month sees about three days of rain each year. February is still considered the low season as far as tourism goes.

Where to stay in Hanoi?

The Art – Graffiti House Old Quarter has air-conditioned rooms located just a few steps away from the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. You can expect free WiFi and private bathrooms starting at $29 per night.

5 things to do in Hanoi:

  1. Citadel
  2. Cooking class
  3. Thang Long puppet theater
  4. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  5. Ngoc Son temple

Riga, Latvia

This Latvian city is often called one of “Europe’s best-kept secrets.” You will find the multicultural heritage of Riga present in the architecture and cuisine. There are plenty of museums to explore, and the Old Town of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

February is still winter in Riga, and you are likely to see a bit of snow during your trip. Pack your warm clothes and plenty of layers because the average temperatures are in the 30s. However, the wintery weather and snow-peaked roofs only add to the fairytale atmosphere.

Where to stay in Riga?

If you don’t mind staying in a hostel and sharing a bathroom, you can snag a bed in the Hostel Tree House for less than $10 per night. It is one of the best-selling properties in Riga, and it is in close proximity to many area sights. Tree House offers free WiFi, has bicycle rentals, and also has a kitchen space for preparing a few meals—another excellent way to save money.

5 things to do in Riga:

  1. Explore Old Town
  2. Lido
  3. Freedom Monument
  4. St. Peter’s church
  5. Learn Latvian folk dancing

Disney World, Florida

Early in the month of February, you will find crowds in the park to be on the lighter side with wait times considerably shorter. Going at this time of year puts you after the super crowded holiday season, but before the equally busy Spring Break and summer season. So, if you really want to do a Disney World vacation this year, February may be the month for you! If you want to save even further, check out these tips from financial guru Dave Ramsey.

The weather in February is very comfortable with highs in the mid-70s. The chance of rain isn’t terribly high in February as it is one of the drier months of the year, but the park has rain ponchos for sale if you happen to get caught in a shower.

Where to stay in Disney World?

The eternal question when booking a Disney vacation is whether you should stay on or off property. Everyone has their own theories on which is better. You can often save money on things like transportation and parking by staying on-site, but you may pay a higher price for your room. The cheapest Disney property option is camping out at Fort Wilderness. Although, this option may be too rustic for some people.

If you think you would rather stay off-site, the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham is a solid choice. Breakfast is included with your nightly rate which can help stretch the dining budget a little further.

5 things to do at Disney World (beyond the main parks):

  1. Campfire sing-a-long
  2. Visit a water park
  3. Go to Disney Springs
  4. Watch a movie
  5. Eat breakfast with characters


The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly February destinations

Las Vegas, Nevada

When booking your trip to Vegas, you will find that the room rates are much cheaper during the week than they are on the weekend. In fact, Tuesday and Wednesday nights will have rates that can be close to half of what they are on Friday and Saturday nights.

February is the rainiest month for Vegas, but that means it rains on average four days out of the month. Temperatures are very pleasant and usually in the low 60s. Even a chilly day will likely still be in the mid-40s which is much more enjoyable than the 113º days you can see in the summertime.

Where to stay in Las Vegas?

If you are strategic about your booking days, you can capture those mid-week savings I discussed above. You can snag this Signature Suite at the MGM starting at $70 per night. It is located on the 32nd floor and offers an impressive skyline view.

Another option is the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino which has the largest pool deck in all of downtown Las Vegas. Rooms start around $80 per night.

5 things to do in Las Vegas:

  1. Watch a show
  2. The Aquarium at the Silverton
  3. Belaggio Fountains 
  4. Ethel M chocolate factory
  5. Hoover Dam tour

Tip: If there are a lot of attractions on your itinerary, you may want to consider purchasing the Vegas Explorer Pass for discounted rates.

New Orleans, Louisana

New Orleans can be brutally hot and humid in the summer months which is why a wintertime visit can be so amazing. The cooler weather means you can wander the French Quarter without melting out of your clothes. As long as you work around Mardi Gras, you can also find accommodations at good price points. It is also one of the best destinations to get a big bang for your buck!

In February, you can expect the temperatures to be in the 60s during the day and getting a little chillier in the evenings. Rain is expected about 8 or 9 days of the month, but an umbrella should be able to handle the downpours so you can keep letting the good times roll. 

Where to stay in New Orleans?

You can find places to stay in just about every single corner of the city and in every single price range. If you are taking a larger group, you may want to check out this apartment in the garden district. I stayed here on a girl’s weekend, and the four of us could not have been comfier.

If you don’t need that much space, you could try a room at hotel Indigo. You will have the trolley literally at your front door which will take you to other parts of the garden district, to the French Quarter, or to other parts of the city.

5 things to do in New Orleans:

  1. Explore Bourbon Street
  2. Listen to jazz on Frenchman Street
  3. Lafayette Cemetary No. 1
  4. Swamp tour
  5. Botanical Gardens

Tip: There is plenty of fun to be had in NOLA without forking over a ton of money in admission fees, but if you want to visit things like the zoo or the aquarium, then the New Orleans Pass may be worth your while.

An affordable weekend getaway to New Orleans!


Read about my budget-friendly weekend in the Big Easy! It was full of swamp tours, ghost walks, and tasty treats.

An Affordable Weekend Getaway in New Orleans

Where to go in March

Many schools have spring holidays starting in the month of March which is when a lot of families try to head out on a vacation. Don’t worry, you’ll find some great places to spend your Spring Break below.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly March destinations

Istanbul, Turkey

Spring is a great time to go to Istanbul as the sweltering heat of summer hasn’t started yet making your sightseeing much more enjoyable. The crowds also tend to be thinner this time of year as well. If you plan your trip for the very end of the month creeping on into April, you can enjoy the International Tulip Festival which takes place in the city, although, keep in mind, staying for the festival may effect crowd sizes and accommodation prices. 

You will want to pack some layers for your March visit to Istanbul as the average daily temperature is somewhere around 46º. Rainfall is expected 13 days out of the month.

Where to stay in Istanbul?

If you are looking for accommodations that are a little off-beat and quirky, this apartment bookable through Airbnb may pique your interest. It has two bedrooms and 1.5 baths, but one of the bedrooms is hidden beneath a trap-door in the kitchen! Rates start at $25 per night, and there is a discount for long-term stays.

For those that want the convenience of a hotel, Adelmar Hotel Istanbul Sisli is a solid choice. Breakfast is included with your room rate, and you will be within walking distance of many attractions.

5 things to do in Istanbul:

  1. Hagia Sophia
  2. Bosphorus dinner cruise
  3. Grand Bazaar
  4. Blue Mosque
  5. Visit a Turkish bath

Lonely Planet

Marrakech, Morocco

March is a lovely time to visit the Moroccan city of Marrakech. The chilly days of winter are passing, but the uncomfortable days of summer haven’t yet started. If you are planning to do any excursions that have you spending considerable time out of doors, you will be glad for the milder weather.

Mild for Marrakech is still in the upper-60s to mid-70s for the majority of the month, but that is a very comfortable temperature for exploring the city on foot. Will you may encounter a shower from time to time, the majority of the month should be clear and sunny.

Where to stay in Marrakech?

Those traveling with a big family should consider staying in this private riad available on Airbnb. It has three bedrooms and can sleep seven people. Plus, it starts at just $78 per night. If you would prefer to stay in the newer part of the city, you can find affordable accommodations at Hotel Le Grand Imilchil. Breakfast is included in your room rate, and the property has WiFi, a pool, and offers an airport shuttle.

5 things to do in Marrakech:

  1. Explore the souks
  2. Saadian Tombs
  3. Ouzoud waterfall tour
  4. Take a cooking class
  5. Bahia Palace

Hangzhou, China

A spring visit to Hangzhou means there will be plenty of beautiful flowers in bloom including the cherry blossoms of Taiziwan Park. While the weather is likely to be very pleasant, you will want to ensure that you have proper rain gear like boots and umbrellas because all those flowers require plenty of spring showers.

Weather in March is best described as changeable…you may encounter a range of temperatures on any given day. Be sure to pack some a coat and some layers that can be adjusted as needed to suit the day.

Where to stay in Hangzhou?

You will be enchanted with your accommodations if you book a room at the Blooming Lotus. The property is less than two miles from the Lingyin Temple, offers free WiFi, and has a restaurant on site. It also provides bicycles for guest use. Rates start at $44 per night.

5 things to do in Hangzhou:

  1. Lingyin Temple
  2. Fei Lai Feng
  3. Xixi wetland park
  4. Explore Hefang Street
  5. Cooking class and market tour

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly March destinations

Mykonos, Greece

During the winter season, many of the businesses on the island close up shop due to lack of tourists. Yet, by mid-March or so, you should find a good portion of them reopening for the season, but Mykonos won’t yet be swarmed with visitors. You may not find everything open and waiting for your arrival, but it is worth the trade-off to beat the crowds.

The average March day will be around 60º and blissfully sunny. The rains are starting to let up making it an ideal month for exploring the island.

Where to stay in Mykonos?

Budget-friendly accommodations can be found at Studio Eleni which is located right in the center of town. You will be in walking distance of places to eat and drink while staying in this traditional-style townhouse. You can snag a room for as little as $56 per night.

5 things to do in Mykonos

  1. Explore Matogianni Street
  2. Tour Delos
  3. Rarity Gallery
  4. Archaeological museum
  5. Agios Sostis beach

Seoul, South Korea

Spring and fall are the shoulder seasons in Seoul when you should be able to find accommodations at lower price points. The summer tourists haven’t yet arrived in droves, and the weather is less humid and much more pleasant.

While March tends to be substantially warmer than February, it is still a little on the chilly side with the average temperature being in the low 50s. Once the sun goes down, the mercury can drop below freezing. But you won’t be subject to the brutal humidity, so the chill will be a welcome factor!

Where to stay in Seoul?

Accommodations in the city can run the full gamut of price ranges, so to keep things within your means, consider this Airbnb property. A cozy little studio that can accommodate four guests starts at $50 per night and has a small kitchen for preparing some snacks. The owner also has three other units in the building if you are traveling in a group.

Another good option is the Sky Cozy House which starts at $47 per night. The property has a lounge and a terrace to enjoy. Plus, there is a garden and a playground on site.

5 things to do in Seoul

  1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
  2. Namdaemun Market
  3. Eat Korean BBQ
  4. Cheonggyecheon stream 
  5. National Folk Museum

Where to go in April

In 2020, the Easter holiday falls in April which means kids will be out of school on break, and many people can expect a long weekend. What better way to spend your time off than a trip to a budget-friendly destination?

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly April destinations

Tallinn, Estonia

In April, there may still be a bit of snow on the ground, but the temperatures are definitely starting to rise. This is the second busiest time of year as far as tourism goes, but it is considerably less busy than in the summer months. It will give you a good balance of crowd size to available things to do.

You will definitely want to pack your cozy sweaters and stuff a knit hat in your suitcase because the average temperature in April is only in the high 40s. Tallinn sees about seven days worth of rain in April, so packing your umbrella isn’t quite as necessary.

Where to stay in Tallinn?

You’ll feel like you are living in a fairy tale when you stay at the Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel. This property is located in a historic building nestled amid Lai and Pikk streets in Old Town Tallinn. There is an inner courtyard where you can enjoy some fresh hair, and each of the rooms are individually decorated.

5 things to do in Tallinn:

  1. Explore the Old Town
  2. St. Olaf’s Church
  3. Drink craft beer
  4. Telliskivi Creative City
  5. Balti Jaam Market

Lonely Planet

Huay Xay, Laos

Right on the border of Thailand and nestled on the banks of the Mekong River, Huay Xay is a great destination for those that like things a bit slower paced. Many people add Huay Xay to their travel itinerary for the sole purpose of taking the slow boat up the river and into Thailand.

In April, you can expect temperatures to hover around the 80º mark. The rainy season starts in April, so book earlier in the month rather than later if you don’t like getting wet.

Where to stay in Huay Xay?

Find a family room with a private bathroom at Thaveesinh Hotel. Rates start at $20 per night, and all of the rooms are air-conditioned. The property also has free WiFi, and is in a great location for experiencing the city.

5 things to do in Huay Xay:

    1. Shop in the morning market
    2. Wat Keophone Savanthanaram
    3. Gibbon Experience
    4. Visit a sauna
    5. Boat ride on the Mekong

Kyiv, Ukraine

Spring isn’t very touristy in Kyiv which generally means you will be able to find some good deals on accommodations. There may still be snow on the ground in some spots although by the end of April things will be warming up.

Temperatures may be in the 40s or 50s in April, and there are only about seven days of precipitation on average for the month. April through September are considered the warm months for Ukraine.

Where to stay in Kyiv?

If you want to stay in close proximity to all of the main attractions in the ciy, a room at Pasazh Center City should suit nicely. Each room has a private bathroom and a fridge for stocking some snacks. It also offers an airport shuttle and room service.

5 things to do in Kyiv:

  1. Kiev Pechersk Lavra
  2. Drink local beer
  3. Great Lavra bell tower
  4. Motherland Monument
  5. Landscape Alley

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly April destinations

Krakow, Poland

Easter in Krakow is pretty magical with the colorful painted Easter eggs all around. The Krakow Easter market is another big draw to the city. Crowds will be a bit larger during the holiday celebrations, and accommodations may see a little spike in prices. However, the rest of the month is also a very pleasant experience if you choose to skip out on the holiday celebration.

While still chilly after sunset, daytime in April can be lovely in the high-50s. The city sees less than two inches of precipitation which falls over 7-14 days of the month. With the proper packing list, you should be good to enjoy all the sites without a care.

Where to stay in Krakow?  

Booking a room at Hotel Ibis starts at $65 per night which is a good value. You’ll be a short walk from the main market square, and you may get lucky and snag a view of the Wawel Royal Castle through your hotel window.

5 things to do in Krakow:

  1. Wieliczka Salt Mine
  2. Visit the Main Market Square
  3. St. Mary’s Basilica
  4. Rynek Underground Museum
  5. Wawel Castle

Hazyview, South Africa

April is considered a “good” month for a Hazyview visit. While it is still part of the wet season, it is right on the shoulder of the dry. The scenery should still be green and lush, and it is a great time of year to spot some birds.

April to May the weather in this part of South Africa is mild and pleasant. The rains are manageable and the humidity is at an easily tolerable level. Daytime temperatures can crawl into the upper 80s, but they will drop down into the 60s after sunset.

Where to stay in Hazyview?

Have a great South African experience at the Sabie River Bush Lodge which is perched right on the banks of the river. You can book either a room or a luxury bush tent, and rates start at $70 per night. You will have a pool, uninterrupted views, and dining options all just 10 minutes from the Kruger National Park.

5 things to do in Hazyview?

  1. Kruger National Park
  2. Skukuza Museum
  3. Sabie river rafting
  4. Sabie Valley Coffee
  5. Long Tom Toboggan

Where to go in May

May is a good travel month because it is right before school lets out for another summer, and it is often your last chance to get in a visit during the shoulder season for a lot of countries.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly May destinations

Havana, Cuba

Room rates take a dip in the wet season, and May is when the rains start to fall. However, the rain doesn’t really hit its stride until June, so you can take advantage of the lower costs and still manage to stay moderately dry. The rains and warmer temperatures also mean the city will be less crowded.

May is right on the cusp of summertime in Cuba, and the temperatures will be amping up. You can expect days to hit in the upper 80s, and humidity will be on the rise. Rain is expected at least eight days out of the month, but an afternoon shower may actually be welcome to cool you off sometimes.

Where to stay in Havana?

If you really want to feel like a local, book this private room at Hostal Olga. It sleeps two and has a private bathroom as well as a glorious terrace perfect for sipping your morning coffee. You will get an authentic Cuban experience.

5 things to do in Havana:

  1. Explore Old Havana
  2. Take a cooking class
  3. San Jose Market
  4. Catedral de San Cristobal
  5. Buy a Cuban cigar

Lonely Planet

Mendoza, Argentina

If you are a wine drinker, then Mendoza is going to be the city for you. Home of the Malbec wine, Mendoza offers plenty of tastings and winery tours. May is the last month of the harvest season, and it is a great time to explore the vineyards on a bicycle.

Daily temperatures hover in the 60s for the most part, and you can expect a lot of your travel days to be overcast or cloudy. There will likely be rain at some point during your visit, but just grab an umbrella and hit the road anyway.

Where to stay in Mendoza?

The Urbana Class Hotel starts at a nightly rate of $46 with breakfast included. You will have free WiFi and a swimming pool while being just a few blocks from the center of the city. Ther is also an on-site coffee shop and room service is available.

5 things to do in Mendoza:

  1. Do a wine tasting
  2. Puente del Inca
  3. Parque San Martin
  4. Cacheuta Thermal water park
  5. Walk the Peatonal Sarmiento

Yerevan, Armenia

May offers pleasant temperatures because the real heat hasn’t yet set in, but the rains are slowly starting to dissipate. in mid-May, the city hosts its annual wine days where you can get a good sampling of the local flavors.

Expect temperatures to be in the high 70s most days you are in Yerevan. Evenings will likely be a little chillier, and there are roughly 8 days out of the month where rain is expected.

Where to stay in Yerevan?

You can book a room right next to St. Nikolai Cathedral at the Shirak Hotel. Rates start at $39 per night, and breakfast is included. The property offers an airport shuttle, free WiFi, and has a bar on site. Family rooms are available as well.

5 things to do in Yerevan:

  1. Vernissage Market
  2. Garni Temple
  3. Cascade Complex
  4. Fountain show in Republic Square
  5. Visit a wine bar

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly May destinations

Zagreb, Croatia

This capital city of Croatia is often forgotten when planning a European vacation, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Many call it a hidden gem, but this bustling city full of glorious architecture and a thriving foodie scene isn’t exactly hidden.

May in Zagreb is known for warm afternoons and mild evenings. The average high is 72º, and the average low is 55º. It rains for roughly nine days of the month.

Where to stay in Zagreb?

You can book a bright little studio apartment that sleeps three on Airbnb. Rates start at $25 per night, and the reviews call the place “sparkling clean.” It overlooks a park near Jarun lake, and there is a tram station within walking distance. It is on the third floor and has a small balcony.

5 things to do Zagreb:

  1. Zagreb Cathedral
  2. Mimara Museum
  3. Dining
  4. Dolac Market
  5. Art Pavillion

Budapest, Hungary

May is still considered the off-season for Budapest which means you can usually make your travel arrangements with an eye to savings. The crowds aren’t pouring in yet which also means you don’t have to waste as much time standing in line, and the weather is likely to be fairly pleasant. You may also find a fun beer or wine festival to attend when you book your trip in May.

The chance of rainy days increases as the month goes on, so book earlier in the month if you want to stay mostly dry. Temperatures should hover in the mid-70s with drops down into the 50s after sunset.

Where to stay in Budapest?

This cozy city apartment has four beds which can accommodate up to three people, and it starts at just $37 per night. You will be within walking distance of many restaurants, and just five minutes away from Petofi Bridge. There is a kitchen and WiFi.

5 things to do in Budapest:

  1. Roman ruins
  2. Kiraly baths
  3. St. Stephen’s Basilica
  4. Invisible exhibition
  5. Lehet Market

Where to go in June

Once school lets out for the summer, you can probably book a longer trip or at least not have to feel guilty about pulling your little ones out of class. June is prime travel season for a lot of the world, but there are still some budget-friendly destinations to visit that won’t make you drain your bank account.

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly June destinations

Nairobi, Kenya

June is when the rainy season is sputtering out in Nairobi, but the peak tourist season hasn’t quite started yet. You should be able to enjoy all of your desired activities, but you won’t have to fight huge crowds to do so.

As the rains quit falling, the temperatures begin to rise. Yet, in June, you will still find days in the 70s with a chill setting in at night. Layers are going to be your best friend while traveling around Nairobi.

Where to stay in Nairobi?

This little cottage will be your oasis while visiting Nairobi. There are two bedrooms and two baths, and it can accommodate up to four guests. Rates start at $65 per night, and the cottage comes with a lush garden to enjoy.

5 things to do in Nairobi:

  1. Elephant orphanage
  2. Nairobi National Park
  3. Lake Nakuru
  4. The Giraffe Centre
  5. Masai Market

Bucharest, Romania

June is when the touristy season starts in Bucharest, but if you plan your trip early in the month, you should be able to avoid the crush. Yet, you should find that everything is open and bustling with locals out enjoying the first touch of summer.

Days will be quite warm with temps reaching into the 80s some days. There are roughly eight days of rain in the month of June, but most days are clear and bright.

Where to stay in Bucharest?

The Antic Apartments are located in the Old Town on a main street. You will be within walking distance of Stavropoleos Church and Constitution Square. Rates start at $47 per night, and you get a private bathroom and free WiFi.

5 things to do in Bucharest

  1. Explore Old Town
  2. Obor Market
  3. Herăstrău Park
  4. Unirii Square fountain show
  5. Pub crawl

Santa Marta, Colombia

June is the start of the tourism season in Santa Marta, so you will want to plan your trip for early on in the month before things get really crowded and accommodation rates start going up. The weather will be warm and things are less wet than they are in the fall.

Pack your tank top because June will be hot in Santa Marta. Temperatures will likely hit in the 90s several days while you are there, but it is nothing a little sunscreen and a sun hat can’t handle.

Where to stay in Santa Marta?

If you want to really stretch your dollar while visiting Santa Marta, book a stay at Hotel de La Acequia. You can get a bed in the mixed dormitory starting at $8 per night. They also have private rooms with private bathrooms which aren’t much more expensive.

5 things to do in Santa Marta:

  1. Get Scuba certified
  2. Ciudad Perdida
  3. Tayrona National Park
  4. Santa Marta public market
  5. Paseo el Camellon

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly June destinations

Punta Cana, Dominican Republica

Since June is the official start of hurricane season, you can expect the crowds to be thin and the room rates to be cheaper. The trade-off for the savings is the risk of tropical storms and/or a hurricane striking during your visit, but if you ensure your trip with travel insurance, you won’t be out the cash should that occur. However, the “riskiest” month for a hurricane strike isn’t until September, so it may be a worthwhile risk to take for the savings.

Expect to meet see some showers during your June visit to Punta Cana, but you won’t mind them too much since the temperatures are likely to be in the high-80s. On average, there are 14 rainy days in June, but when you are looking out on the lush tropical landscape, you won’t mind a little rainfall.

Where to stay in Punta Cana?

Occidental Caribe starts at $131 per night, BUT it is all-inclusive. So, when you consider all you would be spending on food and drinks, the price tag isn’t that hefty, right? The property is located on Playa Bavaro and includes a full-service spa and a casino.

5 things to do in Punta Cana:

  1. Isla Saona
  2. Hoyo Azul
  3. Indigenous Eyes Ecological park
  4. ChocoMuseo
  5. Bavaro beach

Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

June is the start of the tourist season on Lake Issyk-Kul, so you will want to book earlier in the month rather than later. However, because the are is a bit touristy, you will find more things to do to keep you entertained during your stay than if you were to book in the off-season. This area of the world has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and the lake is the 2nd largest saltwater lake in the entire world.

The weather really starts heating up in June which means you will be glad of your lake time. It isn’t uncommon for the daytime temps to be in the high-80s, but they can reach over 100º sometimes. Although things are cooler near Lake Issyk-Kul than in Bishkek.

Where to stay in Lake Issyk-Kul?

Located in Cholpon-Ata, Inn Kochevnik is .02 miles from the lake. The property offers an airport shuttle and has a swimming pool and playground. Breakfast is offered daily, and there is a bar on site.

5 things to do in Lake Issyk-Kul:

  1. Nomad Museum
  2. Eat at the Green Pub
  3. Petroglyphs
  4. Rukh Ordo
  5. Visit the Bazaar

The world is your oyster--so get out there and explore it in the new year. Budget-friendly December destinations

Need some travel suggestions for the second half of the year? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there too! The list of budget-friendly travel destinations from July through December is coming soon!

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