All of my articles are inspired by personal experiences and this one sparked two weeks ago when I returned from a very inexpensive three month trip to Spain. Since then I’ve been repeatedly asked the million dollar question, “Where are the best places to visit on a budget?” So, I ran some numbers and researched the cheapest flights in 2017 then voila!

However finding a cheap flight is only half the battle. The most expensive parts of travel are always accommodation, transportation such as trains in Europe and food/drinks. If you score a $100 flight to Las it’s because you most likely going to blow loads of money on entertainment. If you find a $200 flight from NYC to London like I’ve done the past two years then that is great but don’t plan on staying city center for longer than a day or two unless you’re ready to kiss your hard earned dollars goodbye.

With the right travel hacks and some patience you can visit anywhere in the world like a true nomad. I do my best to stay updated on the top travel deals to help inspire others to plan their trip on a reasonable budget. With that being said, here are my top 3 recommended places that you should visit in 2017 with flights under $150!

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico travel blog

I believe this is one of the most underrated places for Americans to visit and I still have no idea why. This beautiful Caribbean island offers a completely unique cultural experience without even needing a passport or currency exchange! It is an unincorporated U.S territory boasting beautiful landscapes, mountains, waterfalls and the famous El Yunque Tropical Forest. Plus, there are two absolutely stunning islands that are a short ferry ride away offering a picture perfect Caribbean experience with clear water and white sandy beaches.

Choose between Vieques and Culebra for the best island experience in Puerto Rico or visit both if you have time. I only made it to Vieques which was absolutely amazing but I’ve talked with many travel bloggers and they rave about Culebra!

Vieques travel blog

The view from my Airbnb in Vieques. To this day, it is still the best Airbnb I’ve ever stayed in and it was only $100/night for an ocean front view!

I found a super cheap flight to San Juan from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for only $125. Upon arrival I was welcomed by tropical warm weather, blue skies and friendly faces. I stayed in a hostel for the first two nights then with a close friend right on the beach in Isla Verde. I found everything to be very affordable from my rental car, to hostel prices and even food/drinks. My first night staying in the Old San Juan neighborhood we danced and partied in the streets with a local celebrity who everyone referred to as the, “Jennifer Lopez” of Puerto Rico. The locals weren’t concerned with taking photos or smothering her, they simply wanted to dance and enjoy the special moment. I followed their lead.

Overall, I cannot recommend San Juan enough. Especially for budget travelers on the East coast of the United States. I just did a quick search and found one way flights from Miami for $77 and New York for under $150. In addition to the beautiful landscape you will find a rich cultural experience among the food, drinks, parties, music and dancing in Old San Juan. Practice your Spanish, dance with a latin lover, try their delicious quintessential dishes such as Mofongo and Asopao or drink their local rum cocktails until the sun comes up.

However you choose to spend your time in Puerto Rico, do it in 2017 while the prices are still low. The winter season is busy because of the snow birds so I recommend visiting in the Spring between March and June. Have fun!

Barcelona, Spain

barcelona travel blog

I’ve traveled to hundreds of cities in over 25 countries around the world and Barcelona, Spain remains my favorite among them all. It is one of those cities you can walk from end to end without ever getting bored; there is truly something for everyone. The gorgeous beaches that stretch along the Mediterranean are all within walking distance from the city center and this was the first thing that caught my eye when looking to live in Europe. The low cost of living, irresistible local cuisine, cheap yet delectable drinks, siestas, museums, mountains, hiking/biking trails and the remarkable fact that the city nor the people have sacrificed the authenticity of their local culture.

I’ve booked flights to and from Barcelona for under $200 and I’ve even seen flights under $150 during the winter months. Once you arrive in Barcelona you can find accommodation in a hostel for as low as $12/day, lunch for under 5 euro easily and many bars offer San Miguel beer for 1 euro. Although I recommend splurging for an Estrella Damn beer; it is my favorite beer in the world and less than 1.50 euro. There are so many free things to do in Barcelona so if you are traveling on a tight budget then you won’t have a problem. Find out how I Lived in Spain for 2 Months Totally Free & You Can Too.

live in Spain for free

Catching the sunrise on the coast of Spain.

Havana, Cuba

visiting havana cuba

Image courtesy of fellow travel blogger, Captain Liz at moxieandepoxy.com

I just booked my flight to Havana, Cuba last week so although I can’t give a personal recommendation about actually visiting I can tell you that now is the time to go check it out! I am flying to Cancun, Mexico ($164) from New York for a wedding then from Cancun I found a direct flight (1 hour) to Havana for only $116. I found this flight by using my method described in my article, One Secret I Use to Find the Cheapest Flights in the World. 

On July 20, 2015 the diplomatic relations between Cuba and United States were restored after 56 years of their borders being closed to USA tourists. So, now is the time to visit Cuba for many reasons. The first and most lucrative reason is the ability to capture the most authentic experience before too much is lost  trying to cater to tourism. It happened in Thailand and many other parts of Southeast Asia and it could very well happen in Havana.

You can easily find a flight under $150 if you choose a major hub in the US and once you arrive, you’ll be able to stretch your dollar far if you use the right travel guide. If you do plan to visit Cuba then be sure to check out this detailed article written by fellow travel blogger – Captain Liz at moxieandepoxy.com. CUBA: 12 Things to Know Before You Go.

know before going to cuba

These are my top 3 recommended places to visit in 2017 with flights under $150. It should be easy to find even cheaper flights to San Juan and Havana if you use my method described above and there are always deals from NYC to Barcelona for under $200 or even $150 if you catch the right deal. Once you arrive to your destination it is up to you to control your budget on accommodation, transportation, eating, drinking and extra activities.

I constantly make sacrifices to balance my travel budget. For example: If I know that I want to spend a lot of money on a scuba dive training or hot air balloon ride for sunrise then I’ll cut costs on things like eating a ten cent banana for breakfast and avoid alcohol for a few weeks to save money. Saving a little bit here and there really adds up especially after a week or two. If you want to learn how to travel on an extreme budget then check out my article, How to Travel the World on $20 a Day or Less. Happy travels in 2017!

Remember: If you’re walking through life on autopilot then it’s time to

Snap out of it and live free!

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