Want to save money in 2019? Every year, I tap into experts and influencers to find out their picks for cheap travel in the upcoming year. For 2019, I convinced a group of travel wizards to open their little black books and recommend their favorite places to travel on a budget. They also shared the smartest ways to see these places (affordable hotels, bargain restaurants), and they zeroed in on some money-saving ways to visit otherwise expensive locations. While experts like the Global Business Travel Association are predicting that travel prices will rise sharply in 2019, you don’t need to worry. With this list of inexpensive places in hand, you’ll be able to travel for less. See the full list below of the cheapest places to travel in 2019, and compare it to the best budget travel destinations in 2018 and 2017.
Where: New Orleans
Chosen By: Alexandra Baackes is founder of Alex in Wanderland and Wander Women Retreats and the author of the Wanderland Guide to Koh Tao. Baackes has been addicted to storytelling since 2009, sharing the behind-the-scenes of her world travels, adventures in entrepreneurship and experiments in living abroad on her blog and social media channels.
Why: New Orleans is known for colorful nightlife, a bursting festival calendar and a decadent local cuisine — but the Big Easy is also an undercover gem for budget travelers. Let’s start with the basics. Most NOLA must-dos are free: people watching in the French Quarter, house peeping in the Garden District and bar hopping the live music venues on Frenchman Street. But get creative. Need to cool off after all that strolling? Head to fun and flirty The Country Club, where entry to the pool out back costs a reasonable $15 a day and the bar provides a steady stream of frozen cocktails. Worked up an appetite? SoBou and Commander’s Palace are two of many local restaurants keeping the 25 cent martini weekday lunch alive. You read that right. Order lunch, and martinis are a mere quarter — though most enforce a limit of three, because, as the menu states, “that’s enough.” Need to work off all that indulgence? Head to one of the several free weekly fitness events thrown by Move Ya Brass. They have a calendar of running clubs, yoga classes and dance-based workouts heavy on local music and flavor. Need a place to recharge so you can do it all again tomorrow? Check in to the Catahoula Hotel, a chic boutique design hotel in the Central Business District with rooms starting at a mere $100 a night.