“Budget travel.” The words strike a certain amount of fear into a wanderer’s heart. They cull up images of the indignities of economy class, bone-rattling bus rides, and bed bug-infested hostels. These aren’t the trips you carefully filter and share with envious Instagram followers.
But low-cost doesn’t have to mean bad. Plenty of nomads see the world without breaking the bank, whether by backpacking or travel hacking or simply choosing inexpensive destinations. This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report recently named the cheapest countries to visit in 2017.
The report, which is published every two years, measures the relative health of 136 leading countries’ tourism sectors using a variety of sub-indexes, including safety and security, natural resources, cultural resources, health and hygiene, soundness of infrastructure, and price competitiveness.
“The World Economic Forum has, for the past 11 years, engaged key industry and thought leaders through its Aviation & Travel Industry Partner Community to carry out an in-depth analysis of the Travel and Tourism (T&T) competitiveness of economies around the world,” reads the report. “The resulting Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report provides a platform for multistakeholder dialogue with the objective of achieving a strong and sustainable T&T industry capable of contributing effectively to international economic development.”
The highest ranking countries in the price competitiveness category are the best destinations for tourists who want to travel on a budget without the trials and tribulations of “budget travel.” You’ll find the top 20 cheapest places to visit now in the gallery above, and can read the full report here.