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Five Dreamy (and Affordable) Escapes

As the holidays unravel, many people pack their bags and prepare to travel around the world. Oftentimes, exotic locations are on the docket—from the Bahamas to Bali. However, travel isn’t quite as affordable as it used to be, which means vacations aren’t quite as easy to plan for.

First, plane tickets have become extremely pricey… and the flights themselves are more prone to delays and cancellations than ever before. Second, accommodation and car rentals have also boomed in terms of price. Third, not everyone is able to take off work long enough to travel into another time zone.

If you’re feeling a little bogged down and are dreaming of an affordable, nearby vacation spot, then get started with our hand-picked list. Each location below is known for being affordable, enjoyable, and a bit closer than the Bahamas and Bali. First up: Malta.


This tiny island nation nestled in the Mediterranean packs a lot into such a small amount of space. First and foremost, history buffs will have plenty to sink their teeth into. Not only do Neolithic temples dot the island, but there are also remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte’s short stay in exile. Second, the natural surroundings are beautiful, focused on the surrounding sea.

But the island is also home to dozens of unique events. For example, one main event celebrated here is the European Poker Tour Summer Festival Malta. The main tournament brings in players from around the world who gather at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Julian’s. For many European players, this is the biggest poker event of the year where they'll get to face off (literally) against other remote players. For non-players, it's also a unique chance to watch how poker events unfold - they're a lot more interesting than many might think. Plus, the Festivals are a great example of an unexpected find in Malta.


When people imagine Poland, they often think of a winter wonderland. Travellers will find plenty in the way of history in places like Warsaw and Krakow. But beyond the cities lies one of Poland’s best-kept secrets: its stunning forests.

There’s Tatra National Park, home to some of the continent’s most untouched stretches of wildlife; Bialowieza Forest, by contrast, is home to the last European Bison… along with wolves, wild boar, and elk. If you’re in the mood to get off the beaten track and back into nature, Poland offers plenty in terms of affordable exploration.


Morocco might not be the first destination that comes to mind because many associate the country with dry heat—and they’re right to do so. However, the weather isn’t nearly as unmanageable as people think, and they’re certainly not hotter than in Algarve in some months, for example.

For those who like a bit of sporty adventure, the destination is unparalleled. Because it’s so affordable, visitors can easily schedule their own (usually private) tours for things like camel rides, trips to waterfalls, hot air balloon rides, sandboarding, and much more. Plus, you can always stop over in historical centres like Fez, Marrakech, and Casablanca.


Romania is quickly becoming one of the hottest new destinations in Europe. Specifically, Bucharest is transforming into an urban centre perfect for younger travellers who want to socialise, dance, and experience a new type of nightlife.

This makes it an ideal location for those who enjoy urban stays. With a booming youth culture that’s both modern, traditional, and never-before-seen, there’s plenty to do in terms of food, shopping, and nightlife. And with the Black Sea nearby, it’s also possible to escape for a beachy trip for a few days.


Cyprus is sometimes associated with luxury resorts. While it’s true that these extravagant locales dot the island, they aren’t the only option for holidaymakers. In fact, Cyprus is gaining a reputation as an affordable destination for travellers with varied interests—including lazy beach stays, historical tours, and even hiking in the mountains.

In other words, there’s something for everyone, and there’s a great range in terms of pricing. Should you want to indulge for a few days, there are plenty of boutique hotels ready to pamper you. However, should you choose to keep things low-key, you won’t be missing out on the beauty of Cyprus.


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