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If you are planning a major trip in 2018, here are some epic destinations that will be surprisingly affordable. 

If you are planning a major trip in 2018, here are some epic destinations that will be surprisingly affordable. 

Check your passport, pack your bags, and save.


A fantastic alternative to its more touristy neighbor Thailand, Malaysia has some of the best street food and night markets in the world. "Spend some time in Kuala Lumpur, where three-star accommodations start at just $15 per night and $10 will cover three meals in one day," says Jessica Bisesto, senior editor at the travel deals finder TravelPirates. "Looking for a cheap island destination? Head to beautiful Langkawi after you've spent a few days enjoying Penang. Offering the perfect combination of cities, highlands, beaches, and islands, Malaysia is an under-the-radar budget destination that offers something for everyone." Tiny Gaya Island is one of the top 30 secret island escapes around the world.


Argentina is an exciting, versatile country with something to offer for all tastes and travelers. "From wine country in Mendoza to Buenos Aires—which has been called 'the Paris of South America'—to Patagonia's gorgeous peaks and valleys, this is a country that's bouncing back as a top destination for tourism," says Diana Plazas, VP of branding, marketing, and digital for Marriott International in the Caribbean and Latin America. What's especially attractive at this point in time is the exchange rate, which at around 17 Argentine pesos to the U.S. dollar, represents a bargain for the U.S. traveler; your money will go a very long way here. "Argentina lifted its VAT tax on hotel stays for international visitors, which represents a savings of 21 percent—that leaves you with more to spend at alluring tango shows, museums, vintage shops, and the country's famous parrillas for authentic Argentinean barbecue," says Plazas. You'll be surprised at how affordable a steak dinner (with wine!) can be. Don't miss Iguazu falls, one of world's the most incredible waterfalls.


A nature lover's dream come true, Nepal is also an incredible destination for budget travelers. "Three-star hotels can be found from as little as $10 per night and three square meals will run visitors less than $9," says Bisesto. "Explore the many villages or make the trek to Mount Everest basecamp. Famous for its jaw-dropping mountain views and stunning temples, this small country packs a big punch and is a fabulous alternative to its more touristy neighbors such as China and India."


"As more under-the-radar countries begin to experience higher levels of tourism, we anticipate prices in those destinations to increase, which is why now is the time to visit beautiful Estonia," says Biseto. "Castles, palaces, and a beautiful coastline await visitors to this small Baltic country. Accommodations start at about $40 per night for a three-star hotel and meals for one day will run visitors about $18. Tourists should take advantage of the free walking tours and check museums as there are frequently free admission days throughout the year."


Known for UNESCO World Heritage cities and Machu Picchu, Peru is a fantastic option for those traveling on a shoestring budget. "Food is delicious and cheap, with three meals costing less than $10 per day. Peru offers stunning beaches, mountains, canyons, and rivers making this country an incredible destination for budget travelers," says Bisesto. As for a fabulous place to stay, consider the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, a 16th century convent turned five-star hotel, located just two blocks from Cusco's Plaza Mayor.

Sri Lanka

This tiny island country packs a big punch at a small price. "Warm weather and stunning scenery await travelers to the "pearl of the Indian Ocean" nation. Guesthouses and Airbnbs are readily available at rock-bottom prices; three-star hotels start at just $13 per night. Meals are inexpensive and budget travelers can enjoy three square meals from $9 per day. Sri Lanka is lesser-traveled than other countries nearby, such as India and Thailand, meaning that more authentic experiences are there to welcome visitors," say Bisesto. Check out the best time to visit Sri Lanka—and other popular destinations.


"Filled with fantastic and cheap food, wine, attractions and accommodations, the Azores islands are our top choice for budget destination in 2018," says Biseto. "Off the coast of Africa in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, these islands are great for nature lovers and couples looking for romantic getaways, these gorgeous islands offer visitors impeccable views, unspoiled beaches, and coastal towns. Three-star hotels start from $63 per night and a nice meal in a restaurant will set you back about $8." For those who want to splurge, check out the world's most expensive vacations.
Although the flights might set you back a pretty penny, the money you can save once you're there in Chile is staggering. "Admire the Andes Mountains, hike the Chilean Incan Trail and explore Torres del Paine National Park. With a great mix of city, beaches, mountains, and desert landscapes, Chile offers something for everyone. With three-star accommodations starting at $20 per night and daily meals with local wine setting you back an average of $10 per day, this South American destination should be towards the top of any budget travel bucket list," says Bisesto. Bonus: Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, is also one of the top 10 extreme travel adventures.