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Travel Trends 2021: 10 Best Affordable Places to Travel Internationally

From paradisiacal villas in Pattaya to a former fisherman’s home in Alanya, these are the best cheap places to travel internationally and where to stay in 2021

2020 has been a bit of a whirlwind. Many of us had to cancel our carefully laid plans and postpone much anticipated trips for the unforeseeable future. 

But while travel may have been disrupted this year, our yearning to go out into the unknown and discover the wonders our world offers never wavered. As a new year dawns upon us, so does the promise of a potential return to travel, with many countries around the world slowly re-opening their doors to welcome visitors from near and far. 

Though many of us are itching to get out and explore beyond our own backyards, we don’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg to get there, especially when times are so uncertain. 

We get you. We know how it is. That is why we used trivago’s exclusive data to make a list of the ten cheapest and most promising places worldwide to travel in 2021! All destinations, of course, are accompanied by incredible hotels with even more incredible prices – the great value for money is just one of their highlights.

Worried about changing travel regulations throwing a wrench in your plans? Before you book, remember to check out options with free cancellation – flexibility is key to help you stress less. After all, isn’t that what vacations are for? Let’s go!

10. Mix Luxury and Rusticity in a Former Fisherman's House in Alanya, Turkey

Plenty of sunshine and sandy beach escapades await visitors heading to Alanya, a truly underrated Mediterranean destination and one of our top cheap places to travel internationally in 2021. 

Overlooking Alanya Bay, Centauera Hotel is our top spot in town – a quaint family-run boutique hotel located in a former fisherman’s home. This rustic-chic property offers just five Art Deco rooms for a cozier stay just a stone’s throw away from Alanya Castle, the harbor and Red Tower. 

Private fireplaces, soaking tubs and balconies with sea views make this spot feel like all your own. A quaint on-site garden and an intimate restaurant with complimentary breakfast give that little something extra. 

Set along Turkey’s southwestern coast, this laid-back resort town has much more to offer than just its sprawling white-sand beaches that line the shimmery coast (though those are pretty great too). 

A haven for history aficionados, Alanya is also home to the impressive ruins of a Seljuk-era castle complex that presides over the town, an imposing 13th-century octagonal defense tower, and one of the country’s last remaining Seljuk-built shipyards. 

Centauera

Top rated
Alanya
9.3 Excellent (24 reviews)

9. Upscale Beach Life and Tropical Year-Round Temperatures in Acapulco, Mexico

With ideal temperatures that stay consistently in the 90s no matter the time of year, those seeking an adventurous start to their 2021 need look no further than Acapulco. And those looking for a stay in Acapulco need look no further than the Princess Mundo Imperial. 

Offering golf course access, the Princess Mundo Imperial hotel is an upscale resort set along Revolcadero Beach. Rooms feature private balconies and walk-in closets, helping you feel right at home – if home also had 24-hour room service. 

Practice your serve on the tennis courts or doze off deck-side at any one of the five outdoor pools. Kick back and relax after a full day of beaching in the garden or the full-service spa. Amenities also include several stellar dining options and a calm, cool and collected oceanfront beach club. 

As a top contender in cheap places to travel internationallythe city offers its guests everything from tranquil swims at Majahua beach to snorkeling day-trips at Isla La Roqueta, a lush ecological island reserve just off the coast. 

With an ideal location along Mexico‘s Pacific Coast, Acapulco serves as a year-round destination for outdoor revelers. No trip to the oceanfront city is complete without paying a visit to La Quebrada, where experienced cliff divers perform nerve-wracking acrobatic dives into the foaming ocean waves 80-feet below, several times a day. 

Princess Mundo Imperial

Acapulco
8.3 Very good (7219 reviews)

8. Live like Royalty in Hurghada, Egypt

Conveniently located along the shimmering Red Sea, the coastal Egyptian town of Hurghada is one of the best cheap places to travel internationally if you’ve been hoping to have more underwater adventures in 2021. For a luxury beach vacation, Baron Palace is the place to be. 

Opulence is always the word of the day at this swanky six-star beachfront resort set along Sahl Hasheesh Bay. With architecture inspired by classic Arabian palaces, the whole place appears as though plucked straight from a postcard. 

The sprawling property is home to several dining choices and pools, including one especially for kids, as well as a rejuvenating spa. Suites offer their own private pools, marble bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, and butler service (yes, butler service). 

Set right by the reefs and offering its own dive center, it makes the perfect home base for Scuba lovers. Multiple shipwreck sites, clear blue waters and vibrant coral reefs brimming with clownfish and giant morays have all played a role in transforming this once sleepy fishing village into an emerging destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. 

Baron Palace

Top rated
Hurghada
8.7 Excellent (372 reviews)

7. Jaw Dropping Views and Year-Round Sunshine Await in Durban, South Africa

With over 300-days of sunshine per year and temperatures that average in the 80s, it’s easy to see why the South African coastal hub of Durban would be an attractive year-round destination for 2021. The best place to stay in this KwaZulu-Natal city? Goble Palms Guesthouse. 

Set in an Edwardian mansion, this elegant hotel is situated right on a ridge, providing expansive views overlooking the waves below. The property is comprised of country-style rooms with traditional decor, an outdoor pool with a sunny rooftop terrace, and an English-style pub with an honesty bar. 

Free breakfast Is an added reward for all stays and can be eaten outdoors depending on the weather. Free parking and an airport shuttle service make it easy to get around and visit the nearby local sites, including the Durban Botanic Gardens and Ushaka Marine World. 

Durban makes our cheap places to travel internationally list not only because of its prices, but also for the sheer diversity of attractions it offers visitors. Whether you choose to spend your time basking on the beaches along the Indian Ocean or surrounding yourself with ancient flora and fauna at the Durban Botanical Gardens, the oldest in Africa and just a few minutes from the hotel, know that there’s truly something for everyone. 

Goble Palms Guest Lodge and Urban Retreat

Top rated
Durban
8.7 Excellent (155 reviews)

6. Overnight in a Trendy Neighborhood and Cultural Hot Spot in Buenos Aires, Argentina

As the cultural capital of Argentina, the thriving metropolis of Buenos Aires showcases everything from dance and vibrant art to notable European architecture and a rich culinary scene, ripe for tasting. The city ranks on our 2021 list of cheap places to travel internationally for guaranteeing bang for your buck. 

Set in the hip Palermo Soho district and within walking distance to some of the city’s best dining spots, the upscale Duque Boutique Hotel once served as the former private residence of the Argentine president. Today, you’ll find it playing host to the ever-discerning traveler. 

After a day exploring the city, spend time by the outdoor pool in the secluded courtyard garden. Indulge in a massage at the decadent on-site spa, or unwind in the hot tub and sauna before cooling off with a Scottish shower. A library and video library are available for in-room entertainment, and off-site fun is just a short trip away to Armenia Square, the National Museum of Fine Arts or the famous Recoleta Cemetery. 

Barbecue facilities let you cook up your very own fare, or for a change of scenery, feast on grass-fed steaks and glasses of Malbec at Don Julio, one of the best steakhouses in the city—the bife de cuadril or rump steak comes highly recommended. 

When you’re planning a trip to Buenos Aires, remember to catch a tango performance—after all, the dance traces its origins to neighborhoods in this city. 

Duque Hotel Boutique

Top rated
Buenos Aires City
9.2 Excellent (1115 reviews)

5. Family-Friendly Fun and Victorian Elegance Await in Blackpool, UK

One of the best cheap places to travel internationally in 2021, the seaside town of Blackpool is best visited in the summer season, when mid-60-degree weather and affordable rooms await. 

Overlooking the Irish Sea in a stately Victorian building, The Imperial Hotel is set along Blackpool’s North promenade and a casual 15-minute stroll from the iconic Blackpool Tower. The local landmark is one of the most prominent buildings in the city and has hosted many a royal, politician, and celebrity. 

Here, old school opulence mixes with modern touches. Onsite amenities include classic afternoon tea, an indoor pool and a serene spa, as well as spectacular views over the beach to the ocean. 

Besides being home to miles of sandy beaches along the brisk Irish Sea, Blackpool is also filled with family-friendly attractions, with many located close to the hotel. Try Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a family-run amusement park dating back to 1896, or Stanley Park, a 390-acre oasis in the heart of the city. 

The Imperial Blackpool

Blackpool
7.9 Good (2081 reviews)

4. Zen and the Art of Relaxation in Overwater Villas in Pattaya, Thailand

While the coastal town of Pattaya may be known for its favored stretches of sandy beaches that line the Gulf of Thailand, visitors seeking zen when looking for cheap places to travel internationally in 2021 need not worry. 

A tranquil oasis away from Pattaya’s bustling center, Z Through By The Zign is a refined boutique resort featuring posh villa-style rooms à la Maldives fame; view of the water below your feet through glass flooring. Pick a Pool View room or upgraded accommodations offering direct pool access. 

Lush tropical gardens surround this haven in North Pattaya, providing privacy and serenity right near the beach. All-day international dining plus a café and bakery cater to all your cravings. 

A complimentary beach shuttle and plenty of activities are available if you do ever feel the urge to leave your room. The Sanctuary of Truth, a painstakingly carved wooden temple, as well as the Wat Chaimongkol and Wat Phra Khao Yai Buddhist temple complexes serve as welcome reprieves in this relaxed Southeast Asian destination. 

Z Through By The Zign

Pattaya
8.2 Very good (294 reviews)

3. Stay the Night in a Historical Home in St. Petersburg, Russia

With fairytale-like buildings, cobblestone streets, verdant gardens, and world-renowned art venues, St. Petersburg exudes culture and is surprisingly one of our cheap places to travel internationally in 2021. 

Occupying a two-century-old home, Alexander House is a four-star family-run property situated right in the historic centre of St. Petersburg. Choose from 20 city-themed rooms, including standard, deluxe and two-bedroom apartments. 

Onsite amenities include a 24-hour restaurant and quaint courtyard garden. The concierge can help you with every need, from excursions and transport to visas and plane tickets. Crack open a novel in the library and living room next to the crackling fireplace, or lounge on the outdoor patio in the warmer months. Breakfast is free, and so are stays for kids under seven. 

You can spend all day exploring this historic Russian city on the Baltic Sea without spending a dime. Start off with a visit to the Bronze Horseman, one of the most iconic statues in the city and commissioned by Catherine the Great in the early 1700s. 

A quick five-minute stroll from the hotel brings you to Nicholas Trinity Cathedral or Mariinsky Theatre, while a 10-minute drive gets you to the city center and Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg’s main shopping drag. The royal gardens surrounding the Peterhof are free to visit and home to gilded fountains and hundreds of perfectly-manicured acres, perfect for an afternoon picnic in the summertime. Then, slip into the hotel’s provided cozy slippers and bathrobes after a long day of exploring. 

Hotel Alexander House

Top rated
St Petersburg
9.2 Excellent (296 reviews)

2. Retreat from the Amalfi Crowds at a Mansion in Maiori, Italy

Perfect for those seeking to avoid the crowds of Positano, the Italian coastal town of Maiori offers visitors the longest uninterrupted stretch of sandy beach on the Amalfi coastline. With hotel prices averaging $56.50 per night, this idyllic town is one of the best cheap places to travel internationally next year. 

Breakfast and parking are free at Limoneto di Ercole, a cozy Amalfi Coast property that’s off-the-beaten-path. Overlooking the seaside village of Erchie, this converted mansion is located on the quietest end of the famed Italian paradise, offering additional privacy and peace. 

Eleven luxury one-bedroom apartments feature free Wi-Fi, kitchenettes and minimalist white furnishings, as well as desirable Tyrrhenian sea and rugged mountain views from every direction. Take a much-needed soak in the outdoor hot tub or top up your vitamin D on the sun terrace. 

Inhabited since ancient Roman times, Maiori is also home to several monuments of historical significance, such as the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey dating back to 973 A.D., the 13th century Collegiate Santa Maria a Mare, and the Castle of San Nicola, which towers over the town below. 

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the beach, the hotel is also a quick drive to both Vietri sul Mare and Cetara, a picturesque fishermen’s village. 

Limoneto di Ercole

Maiori
9.2 Excellent (128 reviews)

1. Stay the Night in the Former Home of a Legend in the Musical City of Salvador, Brazil

Year-round sunshine, tropical temperatures that rarely dip below 70 degrees, and hotel rooms that average $54 per night all make Salvador top our list of cheap places to travel internationally in 2021. Our top pick to spend the night – Mar Brasil Hotel. 

This four-star historical hotel was once the residence of Vinícius de Moraes – the famed poet, lyricist, and composer of “Girl from Ipanema.” Mar Brasil sits squarely in front of Itapuã Beach—the subject of “Tarde em Itapuã,” another well-known song by de Moraes. It is also ideally located down the street from Vinicius de Moraes Square and close to Parque das Dunas. 

Colorful rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with hammocks, while upgraded suites offer ocean views. Two outdoor pools, including one for children, and a garden with a playground promise plenty of fun and relaxation. A seafood restaurant onsite and free breakfast each morning makes for an additional perk. 

Rich in culture and history, the seaside capital of Bahia (Brazil’s northeastern state) is known for its golden sand beaches, its pastel-colored colonial buildings, and as being the birthplace of Axé, an Afro-Brazilian genre of music – more than enough reasons to come and stay. 

Mar Brasil Hotel

Top rated
Salvador da Bahia
8.7 Excellent (897 reviews)

*  All prices were checked in December, 2020. The nightly rates are just for reference and can vary depending on your search and travel dates.