18 Cheap destinations for 2024 with great weather in May

May can be an amazing month to plan an international trip because there is nice weather in the vast majority of the world’s favorite destinations. Southern Europe is warm enough to enjoy spending time outdoors, while most of the tropical destinations are still pleasant with the rainy season at least a month away. Many people are wondering where is it hot in May and also cheap, and the list below covers all of the best options.

There are lots of great options in different parts of the world for a great destination in 2024 and inflation seems to have stabilized in most of them so you shouldn’t be getting many shocks once you arrive. More good news is that most of the places on the list below are quite cheap even in high season and May is usually a shoulder season so hotels are cheaper and crowds are smaller.

Important May Holidays in 2024

  • May 1 – International Workers’ Day/Labour Day/May Day: A public holiday in most of the world
  • May 1 to 5 – Labour Day in China (rest days for workers)
  • May 9 – Ascension Day (Most of Europe plus a few other Christian countries elsewhere)
  • May 20 – Whit Monday (public holiday in France, Germany, and many other European countries)
  • May 27 – Memorial Day (USA)
  • May 27 – Spring Bank Holiday (UK)

These are cheap destinations, just to be clear

If you have an unlimited budget then you have an amazing number of choices with great weather in May including Paris, New York, and Tokyo, but this list is created for people looking to get value for money. Depending on where you are starting it might cost quite a bit to get to some of these cities, however costs will be relatively low once you arrive.

My video showing many of the places below

Over on my Youtube channel I recently made a video showing 10 of the places on this list with great video footage and some additional reasons you might go along with cheap hotel recommendations in each place.

The Caribbean

For those looking just to relax in the sun, May is the perfect month to head to the Caribbean because high season is over but the weather is still dry and perfect. Better still, prices at many of the resorts come down dramatically from their highs of earlier in the season. Independent and cultural travelers can do it cheaply by booking a hotel and exploring, but honestly the best deals are at the all-inclusive resorts. Long story short, the Caribbean is hot in May and also cheap because it’s between the two high seasons of winter and summer.

Cancun, Mexico

  • May avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • May avg low: 76°F/24°C
  • May avg precip: 3.5″/8.8cm

The famous Mexican resort area is an ideal choice for beach and adventure holidays pretty much all year round. You’ll have a huge range of accommodation choices ranging from simple and cheap to some of the world’s best resorts.

Why visit Cancun in May?

May is a slow month in Cancun so hotels are cheaper and crowds are smaller. It’s also the last month before the start of hurricane season, so the most you’ll deal with are a few quick afternoon rain storms each week.

Cancun highlights

  • Gorgeous beaches with turquoise water in some Cancun areas
  • The Caribbean’s best nightlife if you want it
  • A wide range of all-inclusive resorts in all price ranges
  • Every imaginable activity, water sport, and golf, plus famous ruins
  • Cenotes, which are semi-enclosed sea caves that are unique to this area

Where to stay in Cancun

Cancun has a wide variety of options, with the most famous being the Hotel Zone stretching out into the Caribbean lined with big hotels and timeshares. There are also nearby towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum, as well as cheaper places in Downtown Cancun itself. The nearby islands of Cozumel and Isla Muerte are also great options and all are served by Cancun Airport. Check our guide for choosing where to stay in the Cancun area to make the best choice for you.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$67 per night for two people
  • 3-star all-inclusive resorts from: US$184 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$107 per night for two people

>>>Cancun travel guide
>>>Check current Cancun resort and package deals

Getting to Cancun

Cancún International Airport (CUN) is large and has direct flights from large cities all over North America and some from Europe as well.

  • 2-hour flight from Miami
  • 4-hour flight from New York
  • 3.5-hour flight from Chicago
  • 10-hour flight from London

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • May avg high: 87°F/31°C
  • May avg low: 75°F/24°C
  • May avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

Punta Cana is a large region occupying the entire southeast corner of Dominican Republic. It’s home to great beaches and hundreds of all-inclusive resorts, many of which are run by large European chains.

Why visit Punta Cana in May?

Punta Cana has a near-perfect beach climate in May, with warm days and nights, almost no rainfall, and pleasant ocean breezes most of the time. The busy winter season is over and the hurricane and summer seasons have yet to begin, so hotel prices are low and crowds are thin.

Punta Cana highlights

  • Excellent all-inclusive beach resorts at shocking prices
  • A large and modern airport and highways to get you in safely
  • White, sandy beaches at most every resort
  • Fishing, sailing, water sports, and other adventure excursions available
  • Family-friendly resorts are plentiful for families with kids

Where to stay in Punta Cana

The Punta Cana region is all about all-inclusive beach hotels and the crazy competition keeps room rates surprisingly low all year round. Honestly, there isn’t much local culture outside of the resorts, so almost everyone is better off booking at an all-inclusive hotel. If you want to experience local customs and culture, go to Puerto Rico instead.

Also, Punta Cana is our pick for the best Caribbean destinations for families with kids because there are so many great resorts that cater to families offering water parks and much more.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 3-star all-inclusive resorts from: US$137 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$158 per night for two people

>>>Check current Punta Cana resort and package deals

Getting to Punta Cana

Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is one of the Caribbean’s busiest airports with direct flights from most major cities in North America as well as the major airline hubs in Europe.

  • 2.5-hour flight from Miami
  • 4-hour flight from New York
  • 4.5-hour flight from Chicago
  • 9-hour flight from London

Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • May avg high: 88°F/31°C
  • May avg low: 75°F/24°C
  • May avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

Located in the northwestern corner of Jamaica, Montego Bay is the main resort center for the island as well as its transportation hub for nearly all of Jamaica’s tourism. There are resorts in the town and near the airport, as well as stretching all along the northern and western coasts of the island. In fact, Jamaica is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, including overwater bungalows.

Why visit Montego Bay in May?

Just as with the entries above, Montego Bay has warm sunny days and pleasant warm evenings in May, with very little rainfall and no chance of large storms. The winter crowds are gone and the summer crowds are yet to arrive, so hotel prices are very appealing.

Montego Bay highlights

  • Jamaica has a distinct cuisine and beachy drinks
  • Sandy beaches at most resorts
  • Excellent sunsets in Negril and other west-facing beaches
  • Music and nightlife for those brave enough to leave the resorts
  • The only large Caribbean island where all the locals speak English

Where to stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Here’s the thing. Jamaica has scores or hundreds of nice beach hotels and resorts, and for most people it’s best to plan on staying within the resort for most of the trip. If you’d like a self-contained beach holiday like this, look for a resort in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, or Negril, which are all served by the Montego Bay Airport. If you want to experience some local culture and go from a small beach bar to some local beach restaurants, it’s best to find a hotel along 7-Mile Beach in Negril, where most things are relatively safe and close together.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$89 per night for two people
  • 3-star all-inclusive resorts from: US$197 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$243 per night for two people

>>>Check current Montego Bay resort and package deals

Getting to Montego Bay

Sangster International Airport (MBJ) is not the nicest airport in the Caribbean, but it is one of the busiest for international tourists.

  • 90-minute flight from Miami
  • 4-hour flight from New York
  • 4-hour flight from Chicago
  • 12-hour flight from London

North America

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  • May avg high: 88°F/31°C
  • May avg low: 68°F/21°C
  • May avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

As a former fishing village, Puerto Vallarta’s history goes back to the 1500s and it still has a thriving historic center, unlike most other Mexican beach resort areas. The area now has large and small beach resorts up and down the coast from the town center, so guests can stay at a self-contained beach resort and also enjoy the culture and nightlife of an actual city here if they choose.

Why visit Puerto Vallarta in May?

Puerto Vallarta is yet another beach destination on this list that has excellent and dry weather in May, with much smaller crowds than the winter months and much less rain than the summer months. The evenings are still cool enough here so as not to be annoying as well, and the culture is still thriving all year round.

Puerto Vallarta highlights

  • Historic town center with sights and history
  • Great beaches at most resorts (but not the entire coast or town center)
  • Authentic food and nightlife scene, with tequila production nearby
  • A wide variety of hotels and resorts of different sizes and prices
  • LGBTQ friendly, especially in certain central neighborhoods

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta

There are beach resorts large and small both north and south of the town center, as well as some smaller and boutique hotels in the town center itself. It’s fun to experience the historic center so if that sounds interesting it could be best to book a resort not too far away. There are also all-inclusive resorts where most guests don’t leave during their stay, so those could be anywhere.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$48 per night for two people
  • All-inclusive resorts from: US$183 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$171 per night for two people

>>>Check current Puerto Vallarta resort and package deals

Getting to Puerto Vallarta

Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) has direct flights from most large North American cities, although many are only in high season. There are a few seasonal flights from Europe as well.

  • 2-hour flight from Los Angeles
  • 2-hour flight from Dallas
  • 4-hour flight from Chicago
  • 5-hour flight from Vancouver

New Orleans, USA

  • May avg high: 85°F/29°C
  • May avg low: 66°F/19°C
  • May avg precip: 4.6″/11.5cm

Undeniably one of the United States’ best tourist cities, New Orleans is also as affordable as it is fun. The food scene is one of the best in the world, with unique combinations of French, Creole, Cajun, and international. There’s a lot of history to go along with the nonstop parties along Bourbon Street as well.

Why visit New Orleans in May?

New Orleans can be chilly and wet in winter, and sweltering and humid in late summer, so May is just about the perfect balance in between. May is also before most schools get out, so crowds are smaller as well, especially early in the month.

New Orleans highlights

  • A seemingly nonstop party on Bourbon Street
  • Amazing food at often great prices
  • Some of America’s most interesting architecture and culture
  • Many diverse and interesting neighborhoods
  • Swamp tours and other adventures nearby

Where to stay in New Orleans

There are plenty of good hotels all through the downtown area of New Orleans. If you think you want to party in the French Quarter then it could be wise to choose a hotel a short walk from Bourbon Street. The public transportation system is good so you can stay a bit away from the center to save a bit of money. Parking downtown is limited so you probably don’t want to drive around sightseeing.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$156 per night for two people

>>New Orleans travel guide and prices
>>>Check current New Orleans hotel deals

Getting to New Orleans

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) isn’t a major airport, but it does have direct flights to all major US airline hubs as well as a few flights from Toronto and London.

  • 3-hour flight from New York
  • 3.5-hour flight from Los Angeles
  • 2.5-hour flight from Chicago
  • 10-hour flight from London

Mexico City, Mexico

  • May avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • May avg low: 53°F/12°C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

A chronically underrated destination, Mexico City is one of the nicest and most interesting large cities in the Americas, and somehow most people expect it to be a crowded and poor mess. The central business and tourist districts are modern with museums and shopping centers everywhere you look. The city has 170 museums, 100 art galleries, and 30 concert halls, for example. English isn’t widely spoken, so being prepared with a translation app is wise.

Why visit Mexico City in May?

As a high-altitude place, Mexico City actually has a mild climate all year round, and May is one of the nicest months. You can see above that the days are warm, the evenings pleasant, and there is very little rain to worry about. May might be the best month of the year here.

Mexico City highlights

  • Historic colonial city center
  • Modern culture and shopping districts that are surprisingly posh
  • Excellent food at modest prices
  • Pyramids and other nearby Aztec ruins that are easy to reach
  • Very affordable accommodation at good standards

Where to stay in Mexico City

At least until you know your way around, it’s probably best to stay in the central neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa, Polanco, and Zona Rosa. This is where most tourist hotels are located and they are well covered by public transport as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$35 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people

>>Mexico City travel guide and prices
>>>Check current hotel deals in Mexico City

Places to combine with Mexico City

If you are considering a beach holiday in Mexico it could be good to combine it with a few days in Mexico City on the same trip. The domestic flights are generally quite inexpensive.

Getting to Mexico City

Mexico City International Airport (MEX) is a major hub with direct flights from most major North American cities as well as large European airline hubs.

Central and South America

San Pedro/Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • May avg high: 83°F/28°C
  • May avg low: 79°F/26°C
  • May avg precip: 4.0″/10cm

Belize is gaining in popularity with those who want a Caribbean vacation with a bit more personality than you get at the big resorts in the Dominican Republic and Cancun. Tourism is mostly centered on the small islands of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula. Most hotels are small and almost everything is low-key and friendly.

Why visit Belize in May?

Similar to other places on the list above, May is kind of an in-between month for tourism since its after the Spring Break and Easter seasons and before the summer season begins. The May weather is warm pretty much around the clock, and yet rarely scorching. Hotel prices are lower than in winter as well.

Belize highlights

  • Amazing diving and snorkeling at the world’s second largest reef
  • An unhurried vibe at small hotels and local restaurants
  • Most car-free islands unlike most of the Caribbean
  • Mayan sights and ruins nearby for day trips
  • Beach bars with a rasta vibe and good prices

Where to stay in Belize

Most of the nicer hotels and small resorts are on the island of Ambergris Caye and in its main town of San Pedro. Budget travelers will find more cheap options on nearby Caye Caulker, which is otherwise similar. Those looking for the best sandy beaches might want to head instead to the Plancenia Peninsula, which also has lots of small beach hotels.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$180 per night for two people

>>Ambergris Caye, Belize travel guide and prices
>>>Check current San Pedro, Belize hotel deals

Getting to Belize

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) has direct flights from major airports in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Once in Belize City, most visitors will take a short flight to an island or a taxi to a ferry for a short ride to an island.

  • 3-hour flight from Dallas
  • 3-hour flight from Atlanta
  • 2.5-hour flight from Miami
  • 90-minute flight from Cancun

Cartagena, Colombia

  • May avg high: 87°F/31°C
  • May avg low: 79°F/26°C
  • May avg precip: 3.8″/9.5cm

One of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean, Cartagena is Colombia’s tourism hub. The colonial walled historic city center is incredibly well preserved and teaming with sights, restaurants, bars, and shopping. The beach area not far away is lined with hotels and restaurants itself, so it’s easy to experience both on any visit.

Why visit Cartagena in May?

As yet another beachfront destination with lower prices and smaller crowds in May, Cartagena is a great choice for those looking to linger and hang out this month without spending a fortune while still getting warm weather.

Cartagena highlights

  • Historic walled city
  • Pleasant beaches and other nearby sights
  • Great food and drinks at very affordable prices
  • A unique vibe that is unlike the large Caribbean islands
  • Nearby islands and abundant water sports

Where to stay in Cartagena

The historic walled city has dozens of smaller hotels in all price ranges, starting at very basic places and way up. The beach area just to the west has some larger hotels and even some all-inclusive resorts.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$26 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people

>>Cartagena travel guide and prices
>>>Cartagena hotel and resort deals

Places to combine with Cartagena

Getting to Cartagena

Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) has direct flights from major US and Canadian airline hubs, with more flights during the winter high-season period. There are flights from Amsterdam and Madrid as well.

  • 3-hour flight from Miami
  • 5-hour flight from New York City
  • 1-hour flight from Panama City

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • May avg high: 82°F/28°C
  • May avg low: 66°F/19°C
  • May avg precip: 2.8″/7cm

Arguably the most beautifully set city in the world, Rio de Janeiro is a place you should visit at least once in your life if at all possible. The gorgeous beaches and unique beach culture are unforgettable, and the major attractions are on a memorably large scale as well. That said, Rio is not the safest city you’ll ever visit, so paying attention to warnings is important.

Why visit Rio de Janeiro in May?

Being located just inside the Tropics, Rio de Janeiro is warm all year round, but May is one of the more pleasant months with reasonable temperatures and not much rainfall to worry about.

Rio de Janeiro highlights

  • Copacabana and Ipanema beach areas
  • Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf cable car are amazing in person
  • Famous beach culture where locals far outnumber tourists
  • Great food and drink culture at reasonable prices
  • Surprisingly affordable hotels in the nicer beach areas

Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Again, safety is a concern here, so staying in the well-lit tourist areas and being especially careful at night is important. The Copacabana and Ipanema beach areas are close together and staying in that general part of town is probably best for most first-time visitors.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$104 per night for two people

>>Rio de Janeiro travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Rio de Janeiro hotel and resort deals

Places to combine with Rio de Janeiro

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Montevideo, Uruguay

Getting to Rio de Janiero

Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport (GIG) has direct flights from most major airline hubs in the US, Europe, and within South America.

  • 8-hour flight from Miami
  • 10-hour flight from Houston
  • 12-hour flight from London


Only the southernmost edges of Europe really enjoy what you’d call “good” weather in May, but still this is an excellent month for cultural tourists before the summer crowds swoop in.

Since most of Europe doesn’t fit the typical definition of “cheap,” you’ve only got a few entries on this list. However, several of Europe’s cheapest beach areas are worth considering in May because it’s already warm enough yet off season prices are still in effect.

As of the latest update to this article, the Euro and the European currencies are weaker than they have been in most of the last twenty years or so, which means the area will feel a bit cheaper to the rest of us.

Here is our list of the best Europe destinations for May.

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • May avg high: 75°F/24°C
  • May avg low: 64°F/18°C
  • May avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Located off the coast of northern Africa, the Canary Islands are part of Spain known for warm temperatures all year round. Tenerife is the largest of the islands and probably the best choice for English speakers as well, but the islands of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and La Palma all have beach resorts and a similar climate.

Why visit Tenerife in May?

The month of May is one of the nicest months in Tenerife and it’s also the first month of the year where you will get reliably good beach weather almost every day. The summer months can get quite hot, so May is a very nice compromise with hotel prices and crowds being lower and smaller than in most other months as well.

Tenerife highlights

  • Sandy beaches and abundant hotel pools
  • A pleasant vibe with very affordable food and drinks
  • Interesting and mellow nightlife with no mega clubs
  • Teide volcano and national park
  • Comfortable for English speakers getting out of the cold

Where to stay in Tenerife

There are hotels and rental apartments in areas all over Tenerife, but the highest density of them are in Los Cristianos and Playa las Americas in the southwest of the island. These areas probably have the nicest weather as well, and the most English speakers.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$68 per night for two people
  • All-inclusive resorts from: US$167 per night for two people

>>Tenerife prices
>>>Check current Tenerife hotel deals

Places to combine with Tenerife

Getting to Tenerife

There are large airports in the north of the island and the south of the island, with a bus connecting them in about an hour. If you are staying in the south it’s best to fly into Tenerife South Airport (TFS), but if you can get a much lower fare it’s pretty easy to get anywhere on the island from either airport.

  • 3-hour flight from Madrid
  • 4.5-hour flight from London
  • 5.5-hour flight from Berlin

Lisbon, Portugal

  • May avg high: 71°F/22°C
  • May avg low: 56°F/13°C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

One of Europe’s most underrated destinations, Lisbon is a gem that usually gets overlooked, probably due to its somewhat remote location at the edge of the continent. Lisbon has Europe’s best big city weather for much of the year, and it’s cheaper than you’d expect based on how nice it all is.

Why visit Lisbon in May?

May is the first month of the year that anywhere on continental Europe could be considered “great weather” and Lisbon probably has the best of it. You can get by with a light jacket or sweater and spend plenty of time outdoors in May, and the city still has very affordable hotels and smaller tourist crowds as well.

Lisbon highlights

  • Castles, towers, and cathedrals, all in the historic center
  • Tram 28, which connects many of Lisbon’s tourist sights in style
  • Elevador de Santa Justa – the famous outdoor elevator
  • Great food at appealing prices
  • Fado shows to go along with great meals

Where to stay in Lisbon

The central district of Lisbon is a valley between two hills, with worthwhile sights throughout. It’s most convenient to stay in the valley area below, but the hill neighborhoods are also quite cool and the tram system is good enough that getting around is fairly easy, even at night.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$67 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$103 per night for two people

>>Lisbon travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Lisbon hotel deals

Places to combine with Lisbon

Getting to Lisbon

Lisbon Airport (LIS) has flights from most large European airports as well as a few from North America and Brazil. The only international trains to or from Lisbon are overnight services to Madrid or the border of France. In other words, it’s better to fly for most visitors.

  • 9-hour overnight train from to Madrid
  • 2.5-hour flight from London
  • 7-hour flight from New York

Athens, Greece

  • May avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • May avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

One of the world’s most historic and important cities, Athens is another place that every serious traveler should try to visit at least once in their life. While Athens had gotten a bit run down at one point, it has been revitalized and feels comfortable with modern public transport and hotels.

Why visit Athens in May?

Just like almost all of the rest of continental Europe, Athens is fairly chilly from November through April, and May is the first month of the year that you can expect pleasant outdoor temperatures each day and into the evenings. The summer crowds are still a month or two off, so hotel prices tend to be very reasonable in May as well.

Athens highlights

  • The Acropolis topped by the Parthenon
  • Acropolis Museum
  • Great food and drinks at reasonable prices, largely outdoor
  • Syntagma Square and its ceremonies
  • Great shopping and flea markets

Where to stay in Athens

The tourist center of Athens is fairly compact and it’s best to stay somewhere fairly central. Look for hotels within walking distance of Syntagma Square or the Acropolis since you’ll be spending time in this area regardless.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$79 per night for two people

>>Athens travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Athens hotel deals

Places to combine with Athens

Spend 2 to 4 days in Athens and in May you can also visit one of the famous Greek islands for a few days, reaching it by flight or ferry from Piraeus port just south of town.

Getting to Athens

Athens International Airport (ATH) is where nearly all visitors arrive since Greece doesn’t have extensive or fast train service connecting it to the rest of Europe.

  • 2-hour flight from Rome
  • 3.5-hour flight from London
  • 10-hour flight from New York

Istanbul, Turkey

  • May avg high: 71°F/22°C
  • May avg low: 54°F/12°C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Another of the world’s most historic and important cities, Istanbul is loaded with amazing sights, and it’s generally very reasonably priced compared to other European capitals. The city famously straddles the border of Europe and Asia, with almost all of the famous sights being clustered on the Europe side of the Bosphorus Straight.

Why visit Istanbul in May?

While it might be easy to picture Istanbul being located in the desert, it’s actually on the same latitude as Chicago, Rome, and Barcelona. In other words, it gets pretty chilly in the winter and May is the first reliably warm month. Hotel prices in 2024 are still low compared to other cities in the region so it will feel like great value.

Istanbul highlights

  • Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar and general shopping
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Great food at very reasonable prices
  • Bargain hotels in central locations

Where to stay in Istanbul

Most of the famous Istanbul attractions are located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, so it’s most convenient to book something there if possible. The Beyoğlu neighborhood around Taksim Square can be a good choice for modern hotels and shopping centers.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$43 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$59 per night for two people

>>Istanbul travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Istanbul hotel deals

Places to combine with Istanbul

Getting to Istanbul

Istanbul Airport (IST) was the busiest airport in Europe in 2021 and it has direct flights from all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and even a few from North America.

  • 90-minute flight from Athens
  • 2.5-hour flight from London
  • 10-hour flight from New York


Northern Africa gets extremely hot in mid summer, so May is a great choice in that region. South Africa does get a bit cool this month, so it’s not quite ideal.

Marrakech, Morocco

  • May avg high: 82°F/28°C
  • May avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

While Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city, Marrakech and Fez are the two main tourist hubs and visiting both is best if possible. Marrakech is in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and has a more striking historic center than Fez, so it’s the better choice if you can only visit one.

Why visit Marrakech in May?

In spite of the desert location, Morocco is chilly all winter and in May it’s nice and warm, so it’s an ideal time to visit before the summer heat. And once again, the crowds are still a bit thin so hotel prices are more reasonable in May as well.

Marrakech highlights

  • The Medina (Old City)
  • Djemaa El-Fna (huge main square) – Spectacles during the day and dining at night
  • Souks (markets) and tanneries
  • Ville Nouvelle (New City)
  • Great food and fresh juices at great prices

Where to stay in Marrakech

Marrakech has a staggering number of hotels. It’s best to stay either in the Old City near the main square, or in the New City not far from the Old City. You can get around on foot if you book a central place.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$39 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people

>>Marrakech travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Marrakech hotel deals

Places to combine with Marrakech

Getting to Marrakech

Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) has direct flights from most larger cities in Europe, and Casablanca has a larger airport where it’s easy to get a connecting 45-minute flight into Marrakech. Morocco also has a good rail network between major cities. One popular option is taking a short ferry ride from Gibraltar or southern Spain to Tangier and then taking trains within Morocco.

Cairo, Egypt

  • May avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • May avg low: 63°F/17°C
  • May avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Cairo definitely makes the list of important destinations that all travelers should see at least once if they can. It’s kind of a gritty city with very little green space, but it is located on the Nile and there is plenty to see and do. The Great Pyramids and Sphinx are located in Giza, which is across the Nile from central Cairo, and all part of the same metro area.

Why visit Cairo in May?

Cairo is chilly in winter and blazing hot in summer, so May is a very nice time to visit with pleasant and bone-dry weather every day. The days do get warm, but humidity is very low and it usually starts cooling off by late afternoon.

Cairo highlights

  • Great Pyramids and Sphinx complex in Giza
  • Egyptian Museum and Mummy exhibit
  • Cairo Tower
  • Felucca (boat) rides on the Nile
  • Great food and great prices

Where to stay in Cairo

Central Cairo and the main business and shopping districts are very dense with little green space and not many views, so it’s nice to stay on or near the Nile with a river view if possible. City hotels with city views can be much cheaper.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$34 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$50 per night for two people

>>Cairo travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Cairo hotel deals

Places to combine with Cairo

Getting to Cairo

Cairo International Airport (CAI) is huge and has direct flights from all over Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East.

  • 3.5-hour flight from Dubai
  • 5-hour flight from London
  • 10.5-hour flight from New York

Middle East

Dubai, UAE

  • May avg high: 100°F/38°C
  • May avg low: 76°F/24°C
  • May avg precip: 0.0″/0.8cm

While Dubai can be divisive as a tourist destination, it’s got plenty of fans willing to visit almost any time of the year. This sprawling and modern city is something that really should be seen at least once so you can make up your own mind. Famous for skyscrapers and shopping malls, Dubai doesn’t have a deep history or old landmarks to rely on, but it can be interesting and fun. Those looking for something more compact should head to nearby Abu Dhabi instead.

Why visit Dubai in May?

Even though Dubai is built for the summer heat, it’s still more pleasant the rest of the year. May is the last month before summer that visitors can be comfortable outside most of the day and into the evening. The crowds are small and hotel prices in May are very appealing as well. Rooms that cost US$200 per night in January can be half of that in May so it’s a perfect time to visit.

Dubai highlights

  • Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa
  • Burj al-Arab hotel and the beaches
  • Huge shopping malls
  • Desert safari and cultural shows
  • Amazing international dining options

Where to stay in Dubai

Dubai is famously spread out and the public transportation system is very efficient, as long as you are close to a stop. Hotels in Downtown Dubai tend to be expensive and staying closer to the Dubai Creek or even on the other side of it can save you quite a bit of money.

If you are doing the main attractions you should consider the Go Dubai Card as a way to save some money.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$42 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$50 per night for two people

>>Dubai travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Dubai hotel deals

Places to combine with Dubai

Getting to Dubai

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic and it has direct flights from all over Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa among others. Flights tend to be cheap and it’s a major connection hub for anyone going between Europe and Asia.

Travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi or elsewhere within the UAE is done by efficient bus service.

  • 4.5-hour flight from Istanbul
  • 7-hour flight from London
  • 7-hour flight from Bangkok


April and May are the hottest months in most of southern Asia, so many of the cheapest cities on earth are quite uncomfortable at this time of year. Heavy rains start in some areas as well, so the choices now are a bit on the narrow side. As a result, the list of places to visit in May in Asia is a bit shorter than you might expect.

For even more great choices check out our article on the best Asia travel destinations in May.

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

  • May avg high: 86°F/30°C
  • May avg low: 78°F/26°C
  • May avg precip: 3.0″/7.5cm

Bali is almost the definition of a tropical holiday island and it’s easy to love the place if you know where to go. This small Indonesian island just south of the equator is a mecca for surfers, beach lovers, and those who enjoy an outdoor party atmosphere. Choosing where to stay is critical though as the island is crowded with bad traffic in most of the famous areas.

Why visit Bali in May?

It is hot and at least somewhat humid almost every hour of every day of the year in Bali, but May is one of the better months with lower rainfall and humidity, yet May is still before the big June crowds roll in. Hotels and resorts here are great value all year, and May is one of the better months for deals.

Bali highlights

  • Great beaches and surfing in many areas
  • Stunning temples and monuments all over the island
  • Amazingly cheap hotels, with fairly cheap food and drinks
  • Fascinating Hindu culture and music
  • Excellent resorts in secluded area

Where to stay in Bali

The Kuta Beach/Legian/Seminyak area is one continuous tourist zone that is cheap, fun, and perfect for the party crowd. But it’s not very peaceful. The purpose-built Nusa Dua area in the south of the island is loaded with big beach hotels and is much less crowded, although quite a bit more expensive. The Ubud area in the foothills is a great place to stay for the spiritual crowd, while old-school visitors should head to Lovina in the north, which is still barely developed.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$16 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$27 per night for two people

>>Kuta, Bali travel guide and prices
>>>Check current Bali hotel and resort deals

Places to combine with Bali

Getting to Bali

Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is a large and busy airport with direct connections to major airports all over Asia.

  • 2.5-hour flight from Singapore
  • 4-hour flight from Bangkok
  • 9-hour flight from Dubai

Beijing, China

  • May avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • May avg low: 57°F/14°C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

The capital of China is a sprawling city of 21 million people and is one of the modern world’s most interesting destinations. Most visitors will need a visa to visit, which must be arranged well in advance, but it’s worth it and visiting multiple cities in the same tour is also highly recommended. Shanghai is the other popular big tourist city (and the largest city on earth), while Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors are also popular along with Guilin to see the amazing karst formations and natural beauty. In fact, for most people it’s best to visit China on an organized tour rather than independently, unlike most other places.

Why visit Beijing in May?

Beijing is yet another city that is very chilly all winter and can be sweltering in the peak of summer, so May is an ideal month for weather with very little rainfall. And again, the peak crowds of summer are still a month or two off, so hotel prices are reasonable in May.

Beijing highlights

  • Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
  • Nearby sections of the Great Wall
  • Palace Museum
  • Amazing food and drink culture
  • Hutongs (ancient alleyways)

Where to stay in Beijing

Beijing is huge and quite spread out, but most of the hotels that are well suited to foreign visitors are clustered in the city center and within reach of the Forbidden City area. The metro system is efficient, although it can be intimidating at first, and it’s hard to catch taxis or rideshares if you don’t speak the language.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$88 per night for two people

>>Beijing prices
>>>Check current Beijing hotel deals

Places to combine with Beijing

Getting to Beijing

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is a huge and busy airport with direct connections to all major cities in Asia as well as the Middle East and some in North America. It’s best to arrange a ride to your hotel in advance as it can be a bit confusing the first time.

  • 2-hour flight from Seoul
  • 4-hour flight from Tokyo
  • 8-hour flight from Dubai

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All Comments

  1. Megan says:

    Hi Roger
    We have just returned from a trip to Istanbul. May I please use this opportunity to emplore travellers to go there dispite the recent attacks. It is a beautiful city full of historical sites, excellent food and very warm, welcoming people. Currently prices are low for accommodation and even on items for sale in the bazaars. You can spend a week just in Istanbul and still not have seen and done everything! Then there is all the rest still to explore. Please go there people!!

  2. Janki says:

    Hey Roger….

    I am planning for solo trip and was hell confused between Norway and Lisbon after reading this post i will pick lisbon…

    Thanks for the help 🙂

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I think you made a good choice. Lisbon will have great weather in May and there is a lot to see and do. Norway will still be chilly, and it’s very expensive. -Roger

  3. Narendra says:

    looking for Economical tour packages from India -Kolkata for 4 adult 1 child (4 yr 3 month old) and 1 infant (6 month old)

    provide me the best available tour package including cruise


    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m not a travel agent so I can’t help you with this. I just try to give advice and answer questions when people ask for help. Best of luck with your trip. -Roger

    2. Roger Wade says:


      I’m not a travel agent so I can’t help you with this. I just try to give advice and answer questions when people ask for help. Best of luck with your trip. -Roger

  4. Kadir Khan says:

    I like this blog it is a fantastic idea to list the places as per the months. would be much more specific if instead of generalizing this it should be with the month with existing specific years

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Thanks. I’m not sure I understand your suggestion, but hopefully you’ll be happy to learn that these month lists are updated, revised, and added to each year. So the May 2016 above was updated to reflect May 2016. Not much changes in most of these places each year, but we do make revisions and edits when needed, and we added several for this year as well. -Roger

  5. Adveturous Aubrey says:

    Nice Post. I’m planning to travel this coming summer with my backpacker friends.And as a traveler I’d like to share this page to my friends in Philippines. Thank you for this information I’m sure this will help.

  6. Ruth Fox says:

    This is a great blog.

    I would say that “cheap” would depend on whether you mean cheap to get to or cheap once you are there.

    For Greece I recommend Lindos in Rhodes from mid may onwards ( for weather). Its 10deg hotter than the rest of Rhodes due to its unusual geography and mossie free due to its dry climate unlike the rest of Rhodes.
    The beaches will be less crowded and the attractions of Rhodes old town and the Acropolis on Lindos will be more comfortable to view.
    But its not cheap, its cheaper than it was 4 yrs ago, but still compared to maybe Haraki or Pefkos, resorts either side of Lindos its more £££. But then its simply beautiful and I think worth the price.

    The Canaries off the West coast of Africa (part of Spain) are a year round destination and offer good value- for Europe.

    Otherwise if its cheap Europe you’re looking for- try camping in South Of France ( on an organised site that provides tents), that should be a budget buster especially if youve got kids.


    1. Roger Wade says:


      Thanks for the comments and suggestions. And yes, in this case it’s about cheap places once you get there because people from around the world read these articles and the transportation is obviously different. I mention the Canary Islands on a few months rather than all year round, though I agree that I actually could have listed it every month. -Roger

  7. Janice Robinson says:


    Great post! It is amazing how inexpensive some places can be to visit. This really shows people that travel is affordable. I love the idea of the series highlighting the cheapest destinations for each month. I will be following this blog. I have bookmarked it.

    1. admin says:

      Thanks, Janice. I’m compiling these partly for my own purposes too, since many places in cheaper parts of the world have some months of terrible weather, and they aren’t always predictable. The June one will be out soon, and the others should be following to allow more time to plan.