These Countries Are Dirt Cheap to Travel to From Canada

WRITTEN BY Dylan Callaghan | UPDATED ON: May 12, 2024

Cheapest Places To Travel From Canada

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Planning your upcoming adventure as a Canadian traveler can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when seeking pocket-friendly destinations. However, there are numerous economical destinations available. This article highlights low-cost travel spots that Canadian travelers can visit without foregoing unforgettable experiences and immersion into different cultures.

Numerous factors contribute to the cost-effectiveness of certain destinations for Canadians. These factors include affordable airfare, favourable exchange rates, and budget-friendly accommodations, dining, and activities.

Even points based and cash back credit cards can offer more attractive prices on particular destinations.

Travellers looking to stretch their dollars will find this compilation of inexpensive destinations perfect for fulfilling their wanderlust.

From off-the-beaten-path havens to popular tourist sites offering great value, each cheap destination offers unique ways for Canadian globetrotters to explore new cultures and make lasting memories.

Embarking on an affordable trip doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality, as these low-cost destinations prove that value and adventure can coexist. So, prepare to pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey without breaking your budget.

What are the cheapest places to travel from Canada?

  • Las Vegas
  • Washington D.C.
  • Miami
  • San Francisco
  • Mexico City
  • Jamaica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Columbia 
  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines 
  • Poland
  • Portugal

Affordable destinations in North America

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is an excellent option for budget-conscious Canadians looking for a fun and exciting getaway with cheap flights. There are plenty of affordable hotels and dining options, and many attractions are low-cost. If you're into gambling, many budget-friendly casinos offer lower limits and enticing promotions, just a plane ticket away.

Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. is an affordable choice for a cultural destination with its countless museums, historical sites, and monuments. You can save money on transportation by utilizing the city's efficient public transit system.

Miami

Miami offers a variety of budget-friendly options for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Miami and Florida City have many inexpensive hotels and dining options, particularly compared to other major tourist destinations. Visiting the Florida Keys allows you to explore unique ecosystems and enjoy various water sports without breaking the bank.

San Francisco

For a more historical and picturesque destination, consider San Francisco, California. The famous Golden Gate Bridge can be walked or bicycled free of charge, providing a memorable and wallet-friendly experience. Public transit options make this city easier to navigate without a rental car, and many of the city's beautiful parks are free to explore.

Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico, is a fantastic budget-friendly destination for those interested in history, culture, and cuisine. The city offers a variety of affordable accommodations and dining options, perfect for Canadians looking for an inexpensive getaway. Rich with historical sites, museums, markets, and vibrant neighbourhoods, this destination will appeal to many travellers while remaining budget-friendly.

Budget travel to South and Central America

Caribbean

The Caribbean is a popular budget travel destination for Canadians seeking sun and sand. Countries such as Jamaica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are known for their affordable all-inclusive resorts. In particular, cities like Puerto Vallarta and San Juan, Puerto Rico, provide a mix of relaxation and cultural exploration with their vibrant local scenes.

  • Jamaica: Famed for its beautiful beaches, Jamaica offers travellers a budget-friendly taste of paradise.
  • Cuba: With its rich culture and stunning architecture, Cuba provides budget-conscious visitors with affordable accommodation options and low-cost activities.
  • Dominican Republic: Known for its affordable all-inclusive resorts, the Dominican Republic works for those seeking budget-friendly beach escapes.

South America

South America is a diverse continent that offers budget travellers many experiences. Countries such as Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile have some of the most affordable cities to visit.

Country
Destination
Activity
Colombia
Bogotá
Explore historic neighbourhoods
Peru
Lima
Visit ancient ruins and museums
Argentina
Buenos Aires
Experience the vibrant tango scene
Chile
Santiago
Sample local wine and enjoy street art

When travelling in South America, remember that accommodation, transportation, and food costs will vary but can be budget-friendly with careful planning.

Central America

Countries in Central America, such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize, are often more affordable than their Caribbean neighbours and offer a variety of budget-friendly activities.

  • Guatemala: From ancient ruins to colourful markets, Guatemala is a perfect destination for culture and nature lovers on a budget.
  • Costa Rica: Known for its diverse eco-tourism options, visitors can explore rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches while keeping their expenses low.
  • Panama: Boasting a mix of modern and colonial architecture, Panama offers affordable urban exploration and outdoor adventures.
  • Belize: A budget-friendly haven for scuba divers and snorkelers, Belize provides access to the spectacular "Great Blue Hole" and world-class reefs.

Overall, these destinations in South and Central America offer a diverse range of cost-effective travel experiences for Canadians looking to stretch their dollars without compromising on unique experiences.

Low-Cost travel in Asia

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia offers some of the most affordable travel destinations for Canadians. The region is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cultures, and delicious cuisine – all available at a fraction of the cost compared to other parts of the world.

Vietnam

Vietnam has gained popularity among budget travellers in recent years. The bustling city of Hanoi is a great starting point for exploring the country. It boasts a rich history and a tasty street food scene that will delight any visitor.

Travelling across Vietnam is relatively inexpensive – a night in a budget hotel could cost you less than CAD 30, and a meal at an affordable restaurant can set you back only around CAD 5.

Thailand

Next on the list is Thailand, often called the "Land of Smiles." Known for its friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and attractive tourist spots, Thailand is a budget traveller's paradise.

You can have a memorable experience and still stay within budget. A night in a budget lodging might cost around CAD 20, while a street food meal might be as low as CAD 3.

Cambodia

Cambodia offers a unique mix of ancient temple ruins, bustling cities, and pristine beaches. The country is also easy on the pocket for accommodation – you can find budget lodging for as low as CAD 20-30 per night and enjoy a meal for around CAD 10.

Indonesia

Indonesia is a massive archipelago with something to offer for every type of traveller. Bali is a famous destination, but visiting lesser-known regions like Java and Sumatra can also provide budget-friendly options.

Expect to pay around CAD 20 for a night at a budget stay, while a meal at a local warung (small eatery) might cost you just CAD 3.

Philippines

Last but not least is the Philippines, known for its stunning beaches and numerous islands. With over 7,000 islands, the country offers many budget travel opportunities.

You can find basic accommodation for as low as CAD 20 per night and enjoy filling meals at local eateries for as little as CAD 3.

Inexpensive Destinations in Europe

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe offers a variety of affordable vacation options for travellers from Canada. Countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Albania are known for their rich history, stunning landscapes, and reasonably priced accommodations.

In Poland, travellers can explore beautiful cities like Warsaw and Krakow, which have stunning architecture and offer excellent local cuisine at affordable prices.

Hungary is famous for Budapest, with its thermal baths and picturesque views of the Danube River. 

Albania is another hidden gem with a beautiful capital, Tirana, and a charming coastal city, Saranda, located by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Portugal

Portugal is another budget-friendly European destination for Canadians looking for an affordable getaway. The capital, Lisbon, is an enchanting city that offers visitors a unique mix of modern and historic attractions.

Accommodations and dining in Lisbon are pretty affordable, particularly compared to other major European cities.

Just a short train ride from Lisbon, travellers can explore Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its palaces and verdant forests. Along the coast, surf enthusiasts will find some of the best and most affordable surfing destinations in Europe.

A trip to the dazzling city of Split in Croatia also offers an affordable seaside getaway for Canadians. The city boasts beautiful beaches along the Adriatic Sea and historic sites like Diocletian's Palace.

Prices for accommodations and food in Split are generally lower than in other more popular Mediterranean destinations.

In conclusion, Eastern Europe and Portugal are excellent options for Canadians seeking inexpensive European destinations, providing memorable experiences without breaking the bank.

Understanding travel costs

Flights

When considering budget travel from Canada, airfare can be a significant expense. Flights to nearby destinations in the United States may be cheaper than travelling abroad.

However, it is possible to find affordable flights by keeping an eye out for deals and utilizing discount airlines. Some factors to consider are:

  • Time of year: Travelling during off-peak seasons can lower airfare prices.
  • Flexibility: Being flexible with travel dates or airports can lead to significant savings.
  • Booking in advance: Purchasing tickets well in advance, typically 2-3 months, can result in better rates.

Hotels

Accommodations can also impact the overall cost of travel. Canadians on a budget should research various lodging options to find the best value:

  • Hostels:  Typically the most affordable option, prioritizing cheaper shared spaces and basic facilities.
  • Budget hotels: Choosing a lower-priced hotel in less touristy areas can help cut lodging expenses.
  • Vacation rentals: Renting a home or condo through a platform like Airbnb can offer more space and kitchen facilities at a reasonable cost.

Cost of living

The cost of living in the destination country is essential to consider when planning a budget trip. Remember that local currency and exchange rates can play a big role.

Researching daily expenses is vital to setting a realistic budget that ensures an enjoyable trip. Some aspects to consider are:

  • Meals: Eating at local markets and street vendors can significantly reduce daily food costs.
  • Transportation: Utilizing public transport can help save on transportation costs.
  • Activities: Research free or low-cost activities and attractions, or consider purchasing a more all-encompassing pass if it is available for discounted entry to multiple sites.

By considering all of these factors - flights, hotels, and cost of living, travellers can make informed decisions about their budget and the most affordable destinations for their next trip.

Timing your trip

Cheapest months to travel

Travelling during the cheapest months can significantly reduce the overall cost of your trip. The most affordable month to travel is January, as many people are returning from the holidays, and demand is lower.

Additionally, February tends to be more economical, especially for destinations with colder climates.

Most expensive months to travel

The highest travel demand usually occurs in the summer, from June to September. This period witnesses an influx of tourists as the weather is generally more favourable.

However, if you're looking for a more affordable option within the high season, consider planning your trip for mid to late April. This window lets you enjoy moderate spring weather while avoiding the largest crowds and inflated prices.

By carefully considering the timing of your trip, you can make the most of your budget and experience a comfortable, affordable journey. This includes being aware of high traffic times for the various locations that you are considering.

Most places have unique events that can sometimes cause a massive increase in costs in the area, in terms of flights and hotels, or activities. Sometimes we want to be in a location for a specific event, so we will pay some extra cash to just be there during that time.

But if you do not have to, avoid the huge events in the cities you want to visit, and this will make finding cheaper accommodation a lot easier.

Finding affordable stays

Airbnb

Airbnb offers a variety of accommodation options for travellers seeking affordable stays. From private rooms to entire apartments, travellers can find suitable choices for their budget. The platform allows users to filter their searches based on price, location, and amenities.

By booking through Airbnb, travellers can save money on accommodation while experiencing a local perspective.

Hostels

Hostels are a popular option for budget travellers seeking low-cost accommodations. These lodgings offer dormitory-style rooms with shared amenities such as bathrooms and kitchens, saving guests money.

In addition to affordability, hostels often foster a social atmosphere where travellers can meet others.

Unique options

All depending on your desired destination, the best time to be there, and what kind of experience you wish to have, there are lots of super interesting options for how to stay in any given place.

Some people look specifically for "work-and-stay" type arrangements, there is usually some type of room and board involved for a bit of help around the property whatever it may be. For backpackers and campers, Hipcamp is a site kinda of similar to Airbnb in that they allow people to list sites and stays.

These are all great things to check out as well, depending on where you want to go and what your timeline looks like.


Additional tips for cheap traveling from Canada

When planning a budget-friendly trip, conducting thorough research on your desired destination is essential. By exploring various travel websites, blogs, and forums, you can find a wealth of information on the cheapest destinations, such as affordable accommodations, activities, and transportation options.

Be sure to compare prices from different providers to find the best deals for your trip.

To save money during your travels, consider creating a daily budget and sticking to it. Tracking your expenses can help you avoid overspending and ensure you have enough funds for the entire duration of your trip.

Take advantage of local markets and grocery stores to prepare your own meals, as eating out can be expensive in some locations.

Many affordable travel destinations offer an array of free or inexpensive activities, such as whale-watching, walking tours, and water sports.

Spend some time researching these activities and incorporating them into your itinerary. Not only will some pre-planning save you money, but it will also allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy unique experiences.

Here are some additional cost-cutting tips for budget-conscious travellers

  • Take advantage of free attractions like national parks, art galleries, and museums.
  • Utilize public transportation to move around your destination, as it's usually cheaper than taxis or rental cars.
  • Avoid peak travel seasons, as prices for flights and accommodations tend to be higher during these times.
  • Look for deals, discounts, and special offers on popular travel websites.
  • Choose accommodations with kitchen facilities to save on meal expenses.

By considering these tips, travellers can maximize their experiences while minimizing their expenses in cheap travel destinations, ensuring an unforgettable and budget-friendly adventure.

Conclusion

Travelling on a budget can be both enjoyable and affordable. Travellers can find inexpensive options that provide unforgettable experiences by exploring options in advance for various destinations.

Definitely the exchange rates can play a huge part in travelling on a budget. Even then, sometimes it is not about finding the "cheapest places" but more so the cheapest options within any location. Some people will just travel to wherever is cheapest. Still, for those that have a particular destination in mind, chances are there are going to be some agreeable and affordable options for food, lodging, and activities.

It will just take some additional research to figure it out. Sometimes speaking with other travellers can help, or talking to local guides once you are on the ground.

For those seeking adventure in nature, countries like Belize or the Dominican Republic offer fantastic opportunities for exploring the outdoors. With pristine white sand beaches, fascinating caves, and lush tropical forests, these destinations provide a thrilling experience at a fraction of the cost of other popular tourist destinations.

For a more cultural experience, travelling to Cancun, Mexico, Lisbon, Portugal, or Paris, France, can provide a rich immersion in history.

With abundant museums, historical sites, and unique local cuisine, travellers can deepen their understanding and appreciation of these diverse countries without breaking the bank. Most destinations usually offer some options for those looking to travel cheap. It just takes some more in-depth research.

In Asia, Thailand and Vietnam are known for their warmth and hospitality, beautiful landscapes, and captivating cultural attractions. These countries are budget-friendly and cater to a wide range of interests, from outdoor exploration to spiritual retreats.

No matter the preference, travellers can confidently embark on budget-friendly trips from Canada, knowing they have a wealth of options. With careful planning and open-mindedness, an unforgettable travel experience awaits.