23 Cheap destinations for 2017 with great weather in May

Anyone looking for an affordable destination with very good weather during the month of May will be happy to know that the list of possibilities is long. There are fascinating cities in most regions of the world that are worth a look, as well as many affordable beach areas for those looking to relax in the sun. Many people are just interested in where is it hot in May, and the list below will answer that question as well.

The list below is broken down by region to help you narrow the choices of holiday destinations in May more efficiently, and there are also links to pages with information about the cheapest beach destinations in the Caribbean and in Europe, which both are loaded with bargains this time of year. Of course for each city mentioned there are plenty of smaller cities nearby that are usually even cheaper, so hopefully this gives you some ideas. Click to read more

6 Australia and New Zealand cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Queenstown ViewUpdated and expanded for 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Backpacker Index includes 6 cities that are generally the most popular for foreign visitors. For the first time in a while, the currencies of both countries didn’t move much, and inflation was almost zero in both countries as well.

More good news is that both countries have a robust infrastructure for budget travelers, with more hostels (called ‘backpackers’ usually) than almost anywhere else in the world. Self-catering will cut costs in both countries since even fast-food restaurants tend to be quite expensive. Camping or going with a group in a campervan is another good way of seeing a lot while spending less money. Click to read more

13 Africa and Middle East cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Dubai Mall ViewUpdated and expanded for 2017, the Africa and Middle East Backpacker Index once again shows that travel is quite inexpensive to many popular cities, but some in this area are among the most expensive in the world. Generally speaking, Africa and most of the Middle East get very little tourism compared to the rest of the world, so one major problem is infrastructure. In other words, there may be a few international-standard hotels in the larger cities, but there aren’t many hostels or quality budget hotels.

Many people who travel in this region do so partly because it hasn’t been well trodden like Europe or most of Asia. Those travelers are probably best off with traditional guidebooks because there just isn’t much information online, at least that gets updated regularly. Fortunately, adventurous backpackers can spend a long time in this region and get very good value to go along with unforgettable experiences. Click to read more

13 North American cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Downtown Los AngelesOur 2017 update of the North America Backpacker Index once again finds us with the unfortunate news for foreign visitors that the US Dollar continues to be unusually strong. This of course makes all the destinations in the United States quite expensive for those with any other currency. The good news is that Canada’s amazing tourist cities are all fairly cheap by comparison.

Inflation in the United States and Canada was very low again in 2016, so nominal prices haven’t shifted much. There is some good news in hostel prices, especially in New York City, where some new and popular hostels have suddenly made that city more within reach of a typical backpacker. Click to read more

16 South and Central American cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Rio De JaneiroSouth and Central America are sometimes forgotten by residents of the rest of the world, but savvy travelers continue to flock to this region for a great variety of reasons. In addition to the cultural and scenic highlights, the entire area is quite cheap by international standards, at least once you are here. Backpacking in South America can be very inexpensive and mid-range travel can be surprisingly affordable as well.

This list has been completely updated for 2017 in late 2016, and most rankings stayed close to their 2016 levels. Most currencies in the region were stable, as was inflation, except for Argentina and Venezuela. Buenos Aires is a bit more expensive for foreigners in 2017, but it’s still an excellent bargain by most standards. And things in Venezuela have gotten so bad and so weird that it’s hard to imagine anyone is going there, or at least to Caracas, unless they know the city well already. We give up on keeping up with prices there as of this year. Click to read more

31 Asia cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Hoi An BridgeOnce you get to Asia you’ll find most of the world’s best travel bargain cities, particularly in southeast Asia. We’ve updated and reranked all of the major tourist cities again for the 2017 travel year, and prices remain amazingly low in many wonderful places.

Many Asian currencies weakened against the US Dollar during 2016, but many other international currencies did so as well, so the region only really got cheaper for Americans. Inflation was very low in most tourist countries with only a few minor exceptions. Regardless, these Asian cities pretty much all represent fantastic bargains for foreign visitors, and airfares into the region are very reasonable this year as well. Click to read more

City Passes: Good value or good way to ruin a visit?

As summer is upon us, many of the world’s great cities are clogged with tourists racing from one famous attraction to the next. Especially on our first-ever visit to any famous city there’s a tendency to try to jam in as many of the ‘checklist’ attractions as possible, and buying a City Pass might seem like a very good option.

At this point pretty much every large city on the planet has at least one ‘City Pass’ available, which allows visitors to pay a flat fee upfront for a given number of days worth of free admission to various museums and other attractions. For each city they are obviously different, but oftentimes the math does make it look like they can offer great value. However, in many cases these cards might feel more like a ball and chain, so we’ll discuss who should consider them and who shouldn’t below. Click to read more

56 European cities by price: Europe Backpacker Index for 2017

London View Eye Big BenEurope continues to be home to many of the world’s most expensive cities, as well as some bargain cities where many things cost only about a quarter as much for an international traveler. Now in its 7th annual edition for 2017, the Europe Backpacker Index ranks 56 of the continent’s most popular cities from cheapest to most expensive.

Thanks to a stagnant economy and virtually no inflation (except for a few countries), prices for visitors in Europe held very steady throughout 2016. Iceland keeps getting more expensive, partly due to its soaring popularity. And Britain is now a relative bargain after the post-Brexit currency weakness. That probably won’t last too long, so don’t put off your next London visit. Click to read more

Iceland: How much things cost & how to visit on a low budget

Iceland FarmhouseSince its currency crash in 2008, Iceland had gone from absurdly expensive to somewhat reasonable in cost, and that has prompted thousands of new tourists to stream in to see what all the fuss is about. It’s hard to find a visitor to Iceland who didn’t absolutely love the place, but you won’t find anyone who tells you it’s cheap, so planning ahead is essential. Prices have continued to creep up in 2015 and 2016, so it’s again among the most expensive European destinations.

Many visitors arrive on an Iceland stopover going between North America and Europe, but with very cheap flights to and from Europe it’s becoming popular for adventurous types from all over the continent. In 2013 I spent 9 days in the country, always checking for prices and the cheapest ways of doing things, so below I can lay out how to budget and what to do to keep costs down. Click to read more

Is the Dublin Pass 2017 worth it? We review value and prices here

GuinnessStorehouseAs popular as Dublin is for tourists, it’s actually quite compact and easy to visit in only two or three days. The Dublin Pass is a standard “city pass” that covers admission to pretty much every popular attraction in town for one flat price. The Dublin Pass doesn’t include public transportation, but most attractions are within walking distance for those staying in the city center anyway.

The most popular attraction in Dublin is the extremely entertaining Guinness Storehouse, and of course it is included in the Dublin Pass (including a free pint in the top-floor Gravity Bar at the end). Assuming you are planning on visiting the Guinness tour, it’s very likely that the Dublin Pass is a good idea, but we’ll run the numbers below. Click to read more