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Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

If you’re travelling on a budget, this list of affordable vacations for Canadians will surely reignite your love for travel.

Please note: Due to the on-going situation with COVID-19, travel restrictions to some of the destinations mentioned below are still currently in place. Always check the latest travel updates and advisories for Canadians before planning a trip.

Budget vacation destinations for Canadians

  • Portugal: Beaches, budget-friendly, walkable cities
  • Morocco: Markets, unique food, history
  • Thailand: Spirituality, thriving city life, architecture
  • Spain: History, hiking, great food and wine
  • Nepal: Culture, art, world-class hiking
  • Czech Republic: City life, historic towns, budget-friendly

Even with a weak Canadian dollar, these dream-worthy destinations offer plenty of adventure, relaxation, and transformative experiences that won’t cost you a fortune. Here are some destinations around the world to consider when it’s safe to travel again.

1. Portugal

woman looking out at the hills of Lisbon, Portugal, an affordable vacation for Canadians
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

You can easily snag an affordable flight from Toronto or Montreal across the ocean to Portugal, where you’ll be rewarded with warm weather and lots to see and do on a budget. Shop in local cafés and restaurants, where meals can be had for less than $10 per person. Hotel rooms in the off-season are around $80 a night, and much less if you’re travelling solo and want to stay in a guesthouse or hostel.

Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon has many historical sites, but part of the fun is simply admiring the views from the nearby hills. You can head south to the Algarve region if you’re looking for some rest and relaxation or head north towards Porto and the wine region. Don’t forget to take some day trips to smaller towns such as Évora, Óbidos, Coimbra, and Braga, which all have their own unique character to fall in love with during your trip.

2. Morocco

coastline in Morocco
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

Morocco is no longer an undiscovered vacation destination, but this fascinating country offers amazing experiences and good value for your travel dollar. Start your trip in Marrakech, which is a good place to base yourself for day trips and tours of the nearby countryside. This region is home to the famous Atlas Mountains and there are a ton of natural wonders just a short trip away. You can also plan unforgettable adventures to places like the Ouzoud Waterfalls, the Ourika Valley, and the Agafay Desert. Luxury hotels in the city are reasonably priced, but for a better experience opt to stay in a Riad, which is a traditional Moroccan house.

Sitting on the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Rabat usually gets overlooked but should on your radar. Rabat has many resorts and historic sites. Plus, costs tend to be cheaper compared to nearby Casablanca. Regardless of which Moroccan city you are visiting, a visit to the local medina is a must. A trip to the Sahara for a desert tour should also make its way to your list. Morocco is also a top destination for foodies.

3. Thailand

long boat in southern Thailand
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

Even though the Canadian dollar has dropped a little against the Thai Baht over the last few years, Thailand is still one of the top affordable vacations for Canadians. When a boutique hotel can cost as low as $40 a night and a dish of Pad Thai will only set you back $2 isn’t pretty hard not to fall in love with Thailand.

Use one of the budget airlines to get you to the island of your choice, or take the long-distance bus or train, where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery for a low price tag. It’s worth mentioning that northern Thailand is cheaper than the south so you can really stretch your dollar if you spend time in cities like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Pai.

4. Spain

pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

Some regions in Spain will soon be opening its doors to tourists, and you’ll be surprised to discover that Spain has plenty of affordable vacation opportunities throughout the country. Fly from your city in Canada to Madrid or Barcelona and start your adventures there.

Whether you’re into history and food or the beautiful outdoors, Spain definitely delivers. Have a transformative travel experience by hiking the incomparable Camino de Santiago in Spain’s Galicia region, and get to know the best of the Basque County in the city of San Sebastian. Have cheap (and delicious) tapas in Leon while enjoying local Spanish wine with your travel buddies.

5. Nepal

Annapurna mountain range in Nepal with Tibetan prayer flags
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

Countries around the world suffered significant economic losses this year due to the pandemic and that was definitely the case for Nepal, with tourism being one of the major industries for the Himalayan nation. Once things open up again, Nepal will be eagerly awaiting your arrival.

It’s no surprise that Nepal is on this list of affordable vacations because once you arrive in the capital city of Kathmandu, you can get by on a shoestring budget of $50 a day. Welcoming hostels and guesthouses are available throughout the country for less than $20/night for a double. You will spend a little more of your travel budget if you want to do a trek in the Annapurna Mountains or any one of Nepal’s impressive hiking experiences. Remember that your money for this vacation will go to support porters, local restaurants, and guesthouse owners whose livelihoods depend on intrepid adventurers.

6. Czech Republic

old town of Prague
Affordable vacations to reignite your travel flame

Czechia (the Czech Republic) is becoming an increasingly popular place for budget travellers in Central Europe. Beyond the city of Prague, more affordable vacations can be had in historical cities Brno and the quieter (and seriously pretty) towns of Telč and Kutná Hora. Czechia has so much to offer travellers from cultural and historical sights, nature escapes in the region of Bohemian Switzerland, and so many UNESCO World Heritage Sites to check off your bucket list that you’ll be planning a second vacation before you know it.

During your trip, you can support small businesses by staying in boutique hotels or guesthouses, and spending your tourist dollars to any local pub or restaurant for some excellent food and drink on the cheap. Make sure to sample local delights like buchteln and nakládaný hermelín, try all the cheap local beer (you’re in its hometown, after all).

Ready for a fun and affordable vacation?

Don’t let the Canadian dollar keep you grounded! These six destinations are just a few of the super cheap places you can explore. Get more travel inspiration with these trip ideas below.