5 Budget Alternatives For Premium Travel Destinations

There is a lot of good stuff to be said about travel. You get to see the world, get to experience new things, meet new people and broaden your horizons. And maybe best of all, if you are like us and working a regular 9 to 5, you get to be away from the constant stress and pressure of your day job.

Yet the unfortunate and somewhat harsh truth is that travel is expensive, which creates an automatic link between how much you earn and how much you get to travel. Of course there are many travel hacks and these can ease the burden a bit, but no one is going to hand you a budget trip to the Maldives... but not to worry, Travelindicator is in our opinion the most useful tool out there right now to find budget alternatives to luxury travel destinations.

Premium travel destinations and their budget alternatives

So that all sounds great, but how do we do that in practice? Not too difficult. Let's say you were to head over to our price rankings of travel destinations and have a look at some of the more expensive ones for each continent. Depending on when you head over to that page and take a look yourself you are going to find different names there, but at the moment we for instance see that Zürich in Switzerland and Yokohama in Japan are pricing themselves out of the market.

So what's next? Well, we head over to the pages of both of those cities and scroll down the page to head to locations similar to Zurich and similar to Yokohama. This gives you an overview of the 25 places most similar to each city according to the Travelindicator.com algorithm. But more interesting perhaps is that under each suggested similar destination, you see an icon. Depending on whether it shows a plus or a minus, that tells you whether at the moment a certain place is cheaper or more expensive.

Note that alternatively, you could zoom in on places nearby a certain destination (for instance here for the Maldives) and you could filter away destinations much further from it. This then gives you a view of destinations close by that may be cheaper or more expensive - here too we show you the icon.

The destinations

Zürich

Zurich

Look. We really do love ourselves some Zurich. Pretty neighbourhoods, historical sites, mountains in the background. But we also know this place is painfully expensive. Our algorithm suggests as cheaper alternatives places like Gwangju (South Korea)Utrecht (the Netherlands)Lindau (Germany) and Cahors (France). Maybe give those a try? More can be found here.

Maldives

Maldives

Granted, this one may already be trickier as the Maldives are such a fantastically beautiful place. But not to worry as our amazing algo has got you covered. There are Aitutaki (Cook Islands)Koh Lipe (Thailand)Moorea (French Polynesia) and Rawa Island. Find a few more suggestions in our list here.

Aruba

Aruba

Aruba, there are worse places in the world. But there are certainly a lot better places for your wallet! Check out the similar destinations to Aruba for yourself, but may we just go ahead and suggest the likes of Formentera (Spain)Kos (Greece)Antigua and probably most relevant of all: St. Maarten? The latter currently goes for about 15% cheaper than its Dutch brother island.

Antigua

Antigua

Our article on this island is titled "Nothing but the beach" which is pretty telling, really. But let's not fool ourselves, it is also a sh*t expensive (apologies) place to travel to! But funnily enough, lots of places have beaches, and a lot of them apparently cheaper than Antigua. You must check those similar yet cheaper destinations for yourself, but may we suggest Carriacou (Grenada)Koh Tao (Thailand)Okinawa (Japan) or Zakynthos (Greece)?

Kyoto

Kyoto 

OK, so realistically Kyoto is pretty cool and unbeatable. Temples, shrines, tea houses, parks, it is all in all a pretty fantastic place and probably our favorite city to be in in Japan. But a popular place is never a cheap place. That's why we are going to suggest you a bunch of similar and often cheaper places. First of all there is the equally stunning Nara (Japan) which goes at a 20% discount. Elsewhere in the region there are Ubud (Indonesia) which can be expensive but on average should be about 70% cheaper. The same goes for Chiang Mai (Thailand) and to throw you a bit of a curve ball our algorithm suggests heading over to Europe instead and checking out the lovely Guimaraes (Portugal)

New Feature - Destination Price Rankings

Hi all,

Just checking in to let you know that we have added a small new feature to the site that we thought might be of use to some of you: price rankings for all destinations per continent. This feature allows you to quickly get a rough idea of a visit to which locations comes at a premium, and which are relatively cheaper than others to visit.

Of course there were ways to get this information out of Travel Indicator before we added this functionality, but we still thought it would be handy to have an overview - that is live updated on daily basis - in one place.

We are not done with adding new features yet. What about the ability to check out a travel destination and get suggestions for similar destinations (nearby) that are cheaper? We are working on that. Till later!

(Surprisingly) Cheap And Expensive Destinations

OK, so we know that although we have started giving an indication of the average nightly rate of hotels for every city we cover, that is hardly painting a complete picture of the real cost of travelling there. The obvious missing component is the cost of getting there, and this is something we are at the moment still asking you, the visitor, to fill in for yourselves. Eventually we would like to address this by including the information as well, but for now we'll have to make do like this.

Nevertheless, even being able to compare the price of all the different locations along these dimensions is interesting. Some places are remarkably more expensive than you might initially expect where some are surprising in the opposite sense. Of course it should be noted that these prices do fluctuate quite heavily on a daily basis, but in general the rankings remain fairly stable. Prices below are as of 15 December 2013. and are of course going to fluctuate.

When scouring through the list of locations currently covered, the following 10 are currently the most expensive:


Who would have thought that seeing some wildlife in the Serengeti, or the capitals in the middle of nowhere of Bhutan and Kazakhstan would be so expensive to reach? And what about not-much-to-see-here Riyadh? We find a somewhat less surprising "cheapest" ten places:


So, all in all not too surprising. What is perhaps more so is how many premier southern European destinations find themselves near the bottom in terms of costs. If you are considering a budget trip around some renowned cities in Europe, consider touching down in the following:


Finally, if the north of Europe is more your cup of tea, consider Berlin (USD 115/night) or Riga in Latvia (USD 74/night).