Want to travel in 2016, but not sure where to go?
Here is a list of 5 Countries that should be on any budget savvy traveller's radar.
Kimado Beach, Morocco. Photo - www.pinterest.com
Morocco is Africa's not so hidden north-western gem. Sitting just below Spain, it is often overlooked by travellers on the classic Euro trip, which is strange because Morocco has a lot to offer. In 2 weeks you can camp in the Sahara desert, go skiing...(yes skiing in Africa!), explore historical colourful cities, indulge in a local delicacies and then finish it all off on the coast soaking up some rays...or maybe surfing at one the various surf breaks up and down the coast!
Accessibility: Because of Moroccos proximity to Spain, you can easily find a cheap flight from almost anywhere in the world into Madrid, Barcelona or even Lisbon, Portugal. From any of these cities it is an easy train ride to Gibraltar. If your on a tight schedule try and find a direct flight into Casa Blanca, Marrakesh or the capital of Morocco, Rabat.
Side Note: If your comfortable booking flights try getting a cheap flight to Madrid, then booking a cheap flight with Ryan Air to Marrakesh. This might save you some time and money by avoiding train and travel costs.
Learn more at http://www.lonelyplanet.com/morocco
Milos, Greece. Photo: www.newsonly.gr
Everyone knows Greece for its amazing white washed hill side villas overlooking picture perfect ocean vistas. Yes its perfection, and now is the time to go!
We have all been hearing about Greece's economic situation, its hard not to have heard about it. As terrible as it may be, the economic crisis makes it a great time for foreign travellers to visit the country. If you avoid the classic tourist destinations like Santorrini (which is the only place the economic crisis seems to have not hit due to its endless high tourism demand), you can save big time! Especially if you go in the pre, or post high season (April-June and Sept-Oct). Right now from Canada and the U.S you can get cheap flights ($700.00-$1000.00 roundtrip) almost year round to Athens.
Consider Milos instead - http://www.greektravel.com/greekislands/milos/
San Lorenzo, Ecuador. Photo: www.coastallivingecuador.com
Ecuador really? As much as Ecuador may not seem like your classic travel destination, it has more to offer then you might think. Quito (the capital) sits right in the dead centre of the small country, making it a perfect base camp to start your trip. In 2 weeks you can stand on the Equator, trek in the Amazon, climb a 5000 meter snowcapped mountain or surf one of many world class surf breaks along the Pacific coast. If you haven't considered Ecuador before it may be something you want to look into, especially if your into adventure travel on a budget.
Side note: Its closer then you think! You can fly to Ecuador in 5-7 hours from anywhere in Canada and 3-5 hours from anywhere in the US!
Things to check out:
Summit of Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: google.com/images
Climbing Cerro Cotopaxi (5800 Meters!): You can often get a guided climb, all inclusive with transportation and gear from Quito for $200.00 (Ecuador uses US currency which makes things easy).
Surfing in San Lorenzo: The surf scene in Ecuador amazing. Its super low key but a few breaks have been getting some attention in the last few years. Check out http://ecuadorsurftrip.com for more info.
Cappadocia, Turkey. Photo: www.transturk.com.au
Turkey is the gateway to everything east and its location offers an access to many places most people will never visit. Simply walking around Istanbul will be a thrill to your senses, with the eclectic mix of eastern and western cultures all culminating within the city.
Things to see:
Cappadocia (Pictured above): Is a truly otherworldly place. Just google it, it's fairy land. Consider taking a hot air balloon tour to get a better view of the surrounding area.
Check out http://www.hotairballooncappadocia.com for more info.
Babadag, Turkey. Photo: www.goldenlifehotels.com
Babadag: Want some beach time? Or how about an adrenaline rush? Or Both? Then head to Babadag, Turkeys premiere beach and paragliding hub. Filled with beautiful beaches, and surrounded by towering mountains makes it a must see destination you won't want miss on any trip to Turkey.
Mendoza, Argentina. Photo: www.tcsworldtravel.com
Argentina has it all. You name it they have it. Want to ski, drink great wine, eat an amazing meal, then party all night? No problem. Want to eat a fresh chocolate croissant with a perfect cappuccino then shop all day, followed by partying all night? No problem. However, maybe partying is not your thing. No problem. Head south and do a 7 day hike through the most pristinely raw landscape in the southern hemisphere...why not? This is Argentina, and the time to go is now.
The Argentinian economy has been a roller coaster in recent decades and like Greece the time to take advantage of their current downfall is now! You can stay at a nice hostel with breakfast included for $10.00- $15.00/night, a steak dinner will cost you the same, and a bottle of wine at a restaurant starts at $5.00.
Side note: Argentinian bus travel is very costly for some unknown reason. If you can opt to fly around the country, its the same price or cheaper then the bus and will save you some serious time wasting away on a 20 hour bus ride.
Places to visit:
Mendoza: In other words, the wine production capital of South America. Don't beat around the bush here...Indulge in all Mendoza has to feed you. Theres a reason its the Ino-tourism (Wine tourism) Capital of the south.
Ushuaia: Is the most southern city in the world. Its worth the trip just to say you've been, but also it is the gateway to Antartica and is close to all things Patagonia.
Patagonia: Just go...please. For your own personal enlightenment, you will not regret the trip.
Cordoba: Like to party? Go to Cordoba. It is a university town/city, where you can party all night...literally, and not to mention it is full of very good looking people.
Find more of Jesse' photos and videos @jdelgrosse, @gringosontherun and @soulsticeswim