The Most Affordable Time to Visit 12 Expensive Destinations
Think these pricey places are out of your budget? That depends on the month...
Singapore earned the title of the most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year. That said, there are wallet-friendly finds—you just have to know when to book. Summer is peak season, but things slow down in September, which means better deals. For a unique culinary experience that won’t break the bank, head to the hawker stands to fill your belly with dishes like laksa (spicy noodle soup) and chili crab for just $3. You can also to venture to Singapore on a cruise.
Zurich came in second in Mercer rankings for quality of life. It also has the sky-high prices. Visiting this global banking center is costly, especially when it comes to accommodations and entertainment. A movie ticket rings in at $19 and partying isn’t cheap either. Between club entry, drinks, and cabs, a night out will set you back $100. On a budget? Booking.com found that stays are 15 percent less in April.
Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe—and the world, for that matter—so traveling during the off-season is recommended to take advantage of more economical rates (February is the least expensive month) and shorter lines at iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. And you can put the extra euros towards sweet crêpes or a red cashmere beret. Très chic! Here are 10 unforgettable European vacations under $400.
Thinking about a trip to Hong Kong? Set your sights on March, when you can save 10 percent on flights and $5 on hotels. While that may not sound like a lot, it’s enough to buy an egg waffle from the many street food stalls located around the city. “The only downside is the fog that sweeps over the harbor during March, but that won’t keep you from ogling the massive Tian Tan Buddha,” explains Christie Hudson, senior communications manager at Expedia.
White sand, sparkling waters, and breathtaking bungalows make Fiji the ultimate bucket-list locale. And when it comes to privacy, few places compare. You can spend hours paddle boarding without encountering another person. Not surprisingly, all this comes at a price. For the budget-conscious traveler, going in February can be worth the risk of sporadic storms to save 30 percent on flights. Find out other secret island escapes around the world.
Fall is one of the loveliest times to visit South Korea’s capital. The cool, dry climate hasn’t yet turned the corner into freezing—and leaf-peeping opportunities abound. (For an Instagrammable photo opp, venture to the stunning Asan Gingko Tree Road, a three-hour train ride from Seoul.) “Beyond that, airfare is 12 percent cheaper in November and hotels are relatively inexpensive,” says Hudson. Save up for experiences; don’t waste your money on these unreasonably expensive everyday products.
With its golden shore and epic sunsets, it’s no wonder tourists flock to Maui. A trip to this hotspot doesn’t have to cost a fortune—provided you fly in September when plane tickets drop by 20 percent. And did we mention you can save $70 per night on resorts? Since the majority of kids have gone back to school, you’ll also enjoy some much-needed serenity. Here are 11 secret travel deals you won’t be able to pass up.
Sydney is among the most desirable destinations in Australia. And May is a great month to visit. The daytime temperatures average a pleasant 60°F, ideal for sightseeing, whale watching, catching a rugby match, and touring the Taronga Zoo. While you’re there, be sure to carve out a couple of hours for the Bondi to Coogee walk that stretches 3.7 miles along the coast. Learn the 9 secrets to traveling cheap, according to travel agents.
One of the coolest cities on the planet, Tokyo’s multi-story department stores and towering skyscrapers come with equally high price tags. Michelin-starred restaurants won’t do your wallet any favors either. Luckily, there are tons of cheap eats such as ramen and tempura. Coupled with reduced rates in November, bargain hunters can save big. Bonus: Watching the leaves change is a sight to behold. Don’t miss these hidden gems you can only see in Japan.
The home of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey isn’t just renowned for its landmarks. London is also known for its five-star stays, designer boutiques, and fine dining. Pinching pennies? For starters, skip the swanky hotel and opt for a rental. You can expect to pay up to 33 percent less the second week in February. And the chilly weather is perfect for getting cozy at a traditional pub.
From colorful row homes to the boat-lined harbor, Copenhagen is totally charming.—and it’s not cheap. Looking for a bargain? Consider January when accommodations are a whopping 41 percent off, based on Booking.com data. It tends to be gray, windy, and wet with temps hovering around 32°F, so be sure to bundle up. Exploring Amalienborg, the winter residence of the Danish royal family, is a splendid way to spend the afternoon. Find out how to take your dream vacation on the cheap.
New York City
Planning a romantic weekend in the Big Apple? A recent UBS study reports that dinner for two at a date night-worthy restaurant costs $144. While visiting in March won’t lower your dining bill, it will yield an average hotel savings of $158, according to TripAdvisor. The weather might be a bit unpredictable, but between world-class museums and Broadway shows, there’s plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained. Next, find out more cheap travel destinations that still feel like adventures.