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Budget Trips for 2018

With the holidays fast approaching and the new year not far behind, it’s time to start thinking about your travel plans in 2018. Not only is it a good idea to get a head start, but you can also turn these plans into the gift of travel. It’s even better when you can find an exciting destination that won’t break the bank. Forbes recently shared budget-friendly destinations, and I selected my favorite recommendations from their list.

Montreal, Canada

20112463 - old architecture at dusk on street in old montreal in canada panorama
Old architecture in old Montreal.  Photo by Songquan Deng

Visiting our neighbors to the north almost feels like being transported to a European village. Montreal has a heavy French influence, especially when it comes to architecture, but it is also known as a melting pot of several other cultures. This blend has led to a dynamic selection of food, drink, and art. One way to take in all that Montreal cuisine has to offer is to attend the YulEat festival. You can taste test several dishes, watch live demonstrations and even meet a few local chefs. The US dollar also has a favorable exchange rate so you can squeeze a bit more into your budget.

Curacao

34273549 - view of downtown willemstad at twilight. curacao, netherlands antilles
Downtown Willemstad. Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.  Photo by Sorin Colac

This Dutch-Caribbean island was fortunate to remain safe from the path of the many destructive hurricanes that surged through the area in Fall 2017. Given its scenic location, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy – from diving, jet skiing and paddle boarding to some of the best snorkeling opportunities in the area. In addition to the beaches and water sports available there, there are vibrant cities on the island perfect for exploring. You can take in the Dutch-inspired architecture while trying out the local cuisine. Hotel rates in the area are down for 2018, so a trip to the Caribbean may be more affordable than you think.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

51991133 - zanzibar, tanzania - january 5, 2016: young massai man with colorful traditional clothes, headdress and self made shoes walking through the water on the nungwi beach.
 Zanzibar, Tanzania – Young Massai men in their colorful traditional clothes walk along Nungwi beach.  Photo by Tatiana Morozova

This archipelago is known for some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Its white sand beaches, coral reefs, and ever-present blue skies are picture perfect. Not only can you enjoy the scenery but you can also take in delicious cuisine and experiment with different spices used in the area. While airfare may still be expensive, you will find the destination itself to offer many budget-friendly opportunities.

Zagreb, Croatia

48748996 - zagreb, croatia, may 31th 2015: st mark's square in zagreb, croatia, surrounded by tourists. st mark's square is political center of croatia and popular tourist location.
Zagreb, Croatia –  St. Mark’s Square, the political center of Croatia and a popular tourist location. Photo by Ilijaa

Croatia’s coastal region has long been popular among Europeans, and it is now a favorite port for cruise lines. It is well known for its preserved Austro-Hungarian architecture and mountain wineries. You can set up base camp by the beach and take a day trip to a mountain winery for a tasting and tour. There are also plenty of inexpensive restaurants and wines available in the capital city of Zagreb.

Houston, Texas

59289419 - houston, texas, usa downtown city park and skyline.
Downtown city park Houston, Texas.  Photo by Sean Pavone

Known as one of the most diverse cities in the US, there is a wide variety of must-see attractions. Houston is home to the Space Center, Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts and the Downtown Aquarium. There are also three James Beard Award winners with their restaurants in the area. While Houston is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, many areas are still intact. It’s essential to support the cities we love to visit during the good times even when they are going through difficult times.

View the full list at www.Forbes.com

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