When planning your perfect wedding day who wouldn’t be looking for the dream honeymoon to match? But between the flowers, favours and the flights, costs can rack up pretty quickly. With these best international budget-friendly getaways you can count your pennies without compromising on all the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, dynamic culture and delicious cuisine you could want for your first adventure as newlyweds. Pick your favourite place and plan your dream vacation.
Cambodia is a happy marriage of world-beating sights and budget-friendly prices. There’s a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. Despite having the eighth wonder of the world in its backyard, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people. Thanks to an unbreakable spirit and infectious optimism, they have prevailed with their smiles intact. No visitor comes away without a measure of admiration and affection for the inhabitants of this enigmatic kingdom. Cheap beers, meals and ever-improving low-cost accommodation ice the cake.
Also Read: 10 offbeat honeymoon destinations in India
Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food make Sri Lanka irresistible. You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight. The country is now moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its myriad charms. Lying between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s history, culture and natural beauty are undeniably alluring. It’s the place you haven’t been to yet, that you should.
You could get by for less than INR 1000 a day in Vietnam and still eat like a king – it’s street-food heaven. Make sure to sample the city’s signature dishes: beef pho, bun cha (barbecued pork with rice noodles) and chow a bánh mì (baguette) as you wander. A mid-range trip won’t break the bank either, but will buy more characterful guesthouses, a better Halong Bay cruise and memorable experiences (a cookery class, a cycle around Hoi An) with change left for a beach stay on beautiful Phu Quoc Island.
A trekkers’ paradise, Nepal combines Himalayan views, golden temples, charming hill villages and jungle wildlife watching to offer one of the world’s great travel destinations. There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.
Little-visited, little-known Paraguay is a country much misunderstood. It is ideal for those keen to get off the gringo trail for a truly authentic South American experience. Paraguay is a country of remarkable contrasts: it’s rustic and sophisticated; it’s extremely poor and obscenely wealthy; it boasts exotic natural reserves and massive human-made dams; it is a place where horses and carts pull up alongside Mercedes Benz vehicles, artisans’ workshops abut glitzy shopping centers, and Jesuit ruins in rural villages lie just a few kilometers from sophisticated colonial towns.
Rugged Mongolia is an adventure destination where travellers can experience nomadic culture and vast, untouched landscapes. Its nomadic culture is famous – visitors can sleep in a herder’s ger (traditional felt yurt), help round up the sheep, ride horses and simply ‘get back to nature’. A culture of tremendous hospitality makes locals more accessible. In a world beset by locks and gates, it’s refreshing to meet people willing to open their doors to strangers.
Numbers are high, costs are low in Indonesia. It’s easy to be a millionaire here, so even budget ’mooners can afford plenty of fun. Obvious-choice Bali has great beaches, boutique stays, culture in Ubud, cracking surf. But Indonesia has 17,000 isles! Consider Lombok and the Gili Islands, culture and volcanoes on Java and jungle adventures on Sumatra.
Japan is truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. The neon-lit streetscapes of Japan’s cities look like sci-fi film sets, even though many of them are decades old. Meanwhile, cities such as Tokyo and Osaka have been adding new architectural wonders that redefine what buildings – and cities – should look like. Travel is always smooth and efficient, whether you’re using the subway to get around or the shinkansen (bullet trains) to go from one city to the next.
Centering yourself on a surfboard or yoga mat, descending into bat-filled caves or ascending misty volcanic peaks, hiking, biking or ziplining – your only limit is your return date. If marketing experts could draw up an ideal destination, Costa Rica might be it. The ‘rich coast’ has earned its name and stands apart from its Central American neighbours on the cutting edge of so many trends: surfing, farm-to-table restaurants, and sustainable tourism.