The Most Affordable Travel Destinations of 2024

In today’s economy, the global love for travel is still as present as ever, but with the cost of living continuing to rise, jet-setters wanting to explore the world are taking a more budget-conscious approach and choosing future destinations based on their affordability rather than their ‘bucket-list’ status.

So, If you’re already eager to scratch your travel itch for 2024 and plan your next adventure, the team here at Wethrift, have got you covered with the most budget-friendly destinations to add to your travel bucket list. 

On our journey to determine the most and least affordable travel hot spots, as well as the cities with the most cost-effective attractions, we analysed the following elements:

With that in mind, delve right in and discover which destinations have ranked as the most budget-friendly cities around the world for 2024, and discover everything they offer – from local cuisine to infamous tourist hot spots.

Revealing the Most Affordable Travel Destinations for 2024

India’s capital, New Delhi, leads the way as the most affordable travel destination to add to your bucket list for 2024, with the budget-friendly city earning itself a score of 69.2/80. 

When jet-setting to New Delhi you can start your savings before take-off, as the city offers 145 different flight routes to choose from, meaning you can find the best deal on your flight. The city is famous for its historical monuments, lively food markets and tourist attractions that cost an affordable £50.89 ($64.54) on average.. You can even sample some of New Delhi’s delicacies like butter chicken and chaat, for as little as £1.90 ($2.41) per meal. 

If you’ve always dreamed of sightseeing the picturesque beaches and bustling city of Hanoi, Vietnam, then look no further. The city has secured the spot of the second-most inexpensive holiday destination, with a score of 63.0/80. 

Public transport can cost as little as £0.23 ($0.29), and if you’re staying in a self-catering property, you can enjoy a Vietnamese food shop for a budget-accommodating £32.45 ($41.13) Alternatively, if you want to get out and enjoy dinner amongst the locals, a meal will cost around £1.71 ($2.17) with the average price of a drink at £0.83 ($1.05).

For 2024’s third-most budget-friendly travel destination, holidaymakers will have to head to Cairo, Egypt, with a favourable economic climate that’s scored them 61.0/80.  

You can stay in the ancient city that sits on the river Nile for an average of £56.67 ($71.86) on average, and enjoy a traditional Egyptian dish like Baba Ghanoush or Shakshuka for as little as £3.86 ($4.89), with a drink for an average of £1.06 ($1.34). Getting around the city on public transport is also extremely cost-effective, with the average cost of tickets for a single trip an affordable £0.26 ($0.33).

Landing in fourth place for its affordability is Istanbul, Turkey with the holiday destination holding an appealing score of 59.3/80. 
The travel hot spot has 303 different flight routes, meaning you can compare prices and find the cheapest flights. Once you arrive, the savings don’t stop, as you can indulge in a budget-friendly meal for £6.86 ($8.70) or do your own mini food shop for £30.82 ($39.07). Make sure to try a kebab, meze, and sample some sweet treats like Baklava and Turkish Delight during your stay.

Revealing the Most Expensive Travel Destinations for 2024

Topping the table as the most expensive destination to visit in 2024 is Florence, Italy with a score of 11.5/80 for its affordability. 

Whilst the dreamy city is still well worth a visit, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got plenty of spending money for your stay, with accommodation costing £249.33 ($315.59) on average per night.

Boasting picturesque vineyards and tourist attractions like the Piazzale Michelangelo, Gallerie Degli Uffizi and Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, sightseeing will set you back £147.49 ($186.68) per activity on average. Eating in Florence doesn’t come cheap either with a mini food shop costing £61.67 ($78.06) and a meal at around £13.02 ($16.48).

Taking the title of the second most costly city to travel to in 2024 is Belfast, Ireland with a score of 17.4 out of 80. 

Staying in Northern Ireland’s capital will cost you on average around £131.27 ($166.16) per night, and if you’re relying on public transport whilst you’re there, be expecting to pay about £2.55 ($3.23) each way. Eating the delicacies of the Irish doesn’t come cheap either, with the average price of a restaurant meal costing £18.00 ($22.78) and a small food shop coming in at £37.24 ($47.14).

Renowned for being a desirable yet costly place to live, it’s no surprise that Sydney, Australia emerges as the third most expensive location to travel to with a score of 21.2 out of 80. 

If you’re planning a trip down under, you’ll be looking at accommodation costs of around £169.44 ($214.48) per night in Sydney. When it comes to sightseeing, the city doesn’t disappoint with must-see attractions like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge or even whale watching by boat. However, keep in mind these activities come at the cost of £128.66 ($162.86) on average, and public transport to get to locations will cost you about £2.70 ($3.42) each way. 

The Big Apple ranks as the fourth-priciest city to have on your travel wishlist, with New York, USA receiving a score of 21.7 out of 80. 

The city that never sleeps costs an average of £205.00 ($259.49) per night to stay, and has plenty to see and do, including ice skating under the famous Rockefeller Centre tree, visiting the Empire State Building, or a cruise past the Statue of Liberty – but keep in mind that tourist attractions cost on average £124.38 ($157.42). If you’re eating out in New York, a meal will set you back £19.82 ($25.09) with the average drink costing £4.56 ($5.77), while a small shop to take home will cost £82.42 ($104.32)

Finishing off the top five most expensive travel destinations to visit in 2024 is the UK’s capital, London, scoring 25.0/80. An overnight stay in the bustling city will cost you £150.00 ($189.82) on average, with your spending unlikely to stop there. Heading out into London town for a bite to eat will cost you £18.00 ($22.78) for a meal and around £3.76 ($4.76) for a drink. The average cost of tourist attractions is £163.47 ($206.93), but you’ll get to see iconic landmarks like Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

Revealing the Destinations with the Most Affordable Attractions

Taking the crown for being the most affordable sightseeing city is Cairo, Egypt, with the average cost of attractions totalling £38.19 ($48.43). With tickets to tourist hot spots being accessible, you can explore the Egyptian Museum, see the royal mummies and King Tutankhamun artefacts,or take a day trip to Giza to see the Great Sphinx monument and infamous pyramids. 

Hurghada, Egypt is the second-most budget-friendly destination to visit, with a number of tourist attractions and beach excursions, costing £44.42 ($$56.33) on average. From boat trips to Paradise Island, quad biking and camel rides in the desert to visiting many of the city’s water parks – Hurghada has plenty of affordable fun to be had. 

Following closely behind as the third-most affordable city for its attractions is Hanoi, Vietnam, with tourist activities costing £45.06 ($57.14) on average. Experience one of the city’s street food tours or cooking classes, or take an excursion to some of the surrounding must-see places like the Mua Cave and the rural Mai Chau District.
Bali, Indonesia has emerged as the fourth-most inexpensive city for its budget-accommodating attractions, costing on average £47.07 ($59.69) per activity. With many affordable sights to see, you can visit one of Bali’s many temples like Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and Tanah Lot Temple, enjoy an Indonesian food tour, or for something more outdoorsy, take a volcano trek.

Revealing the Destinations with the Least Affordable Attractions

Istanbul, Turkey ranked as the least affordable city for its attractions, with the average cost of tickets being more costly at £95.33 ($120.89). While Istanbul still boasts a range of unique attractions, including the likes of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, or a guided boat tour along the shores of the Bosphorus – it is likely to make a big dent in your budget. 

The second city charging the most for its attractions is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the average cost of tickets to tourist spots costing around £88.77 ($112.57). You’ll have to make sure you have plenty in your budget if you want to take a guided tour to view the iconic Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain, or enjoy one of many boat trips that stop off at stunning beaches around Rio De Janeiro. 

Phuket, Thailand landed in third place for being the least affordable city for tourists to visit attractions, with the average cost of tickets being £82.11 ($104.12). If you’re willing to spend a little more to see everything Phuket has to offer, you won’t be disappointed. You can enjoy a boat trip to the beautiful islands of Koh Phi Phi, see the 45-metre Big Buddha on the Nakkerd Hills, visit Siam Niramit Phuket (the World Class Thai Cultural entertainment attraction), or enjoy snorkelling in the crystal blue sea. 
The fourth-most expensive city for visiting must-see attractions is Bangkok, Thailand, where the average cost of tickets standing at £57.95 ($73.49). This city is another gem of Thailand, and if you’re willing to swap a little more of your hard-earned cash for some culture, then add the Wat Traimit, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun temples to your to-do list, alongside the famous floating market Damnoen Saduak and the Mae Klong Railway Market.

A Discount Expert’s Top Tips for Saving on Your 2024 Holiday Booking

With travel, it can be easy to get carried away in the moment, booking costly flights to expensive destinations and quickly blowing our budgets when we get there – leaving our funds running pretty low. So, if you want to get the most out of your trip and make sure your budget covers everything from delicious local delicacies to infamous tourist attractions, Nick Drewe, Discount Expert here at Wethrift has provided some money-saving travel tips to keep in mind:

Shop around with airlines 

Often, popular travel destinations have a number of flight routes in and out of them, with airlines offering flights at different costs, depending on their departing location and flight times. So, if you’re looking to bag the best deal, it’s best to use comparison websites like SkyScanner to find a bargain. 

Fly midweek

Booking a flight that begins midweek will often save you money, as not only are airfares cheaper during the week than on the weekend, but accommodation is likely to be cheaper as well – as long as it’s not the school holidays. 

Book last minute to grab a deal

This might not be for everyone out there, especially if you have children in school, but if you can be flexible with your travel, booking last minute can score you a bargain when it comes to flights. 

Stay in apartments rather than hotels 

While hotels definitely hold their own benefits, staying in an apartment or booking a place through Airbnb can really help with saving money. That’s because you will most likely have access to a kitchen during your stay, where you can cook your own meals to save money. 

Prebook tourist attractions online

Usually, booking your tourist attractions online and far in advance can help you make the most of any discounts and deals on offer. More often than not, buying a ticket for an attraction once you get there is a higher cost than online, and sometimes tickets have to be pre-purchased before anyway due to demand – so you don’t want to miss out.

Make packed lunches

While it might be tempting to eat out for every meal in the day, this is bound to rack up your expenses. If you’re staying in an apartment, you can do your own food shop for your stay, still buying in local foods to try and make a picnic or packed lunch to take with you on your travels. 

Public transport 

Make the most of public transport instead of taxis. Many big cities have really good public transport links and if you plan on travelling around a lot to see all of the different sights, it can make a big difference to your savings.

Methodology: Taking a seed list of the most popular travel destinations, the team at Wethrift analysed the following data points to give each destination an overall score: flight routes, number of passengers, average cost of tourist attractions & tours, average cost of public transport, average cost of meal, cost of a mini food shop, accommodation for a weekend for 2 people, looking at hotels, B&Bs and full apartments.