Keeping an eye on currency exchange rates is a good way to find cheap spots around the world. Sometimes a country can suddenly go from being expensive to cheap in a matter of a year simple because the local currency has been devalued. 2015 and so far in 2016 have been hectic on the financial markets and with the oil price collapsing a few oil economies have suddenly become cheap spots…
#1 Tokyo, Japan
Having said all that, my first recommendation is not an oil economy. Japan hasn’t been as cheap as it is now for a long time. The japanese yen is still very low compared to US dollar compared to a few years ago. As I’m writing this the US to JPY Exchange rate is 113 JPY/$1. Compare this to when it was pending between 75 and 90 a few years ago. The local prices haven’t gone up nearly as much to compensate for the devaluation so the taking a trip to see Tokyo is cheaper than ever at the moment.
Also besides the currency effects, there are a lot of cheap short term accomodation solutions these days compared to the old days. In fact it’s very possible to rent a short term apartment for less than 100k yen(about $900) a month in Tokyo. And that’s a place with your own kitchen, shower and toilet. If you don’t have a problem living in a guest house(hostel) then it’s possible to even get away with less than $500 per month.
#2 St Petersburg, Russia
It might come as a surprise to americans but Russia is actually quite a common tourist destination for west europeans these days(it’s no spain or france but the numbers have been going up). Russia is largely dependent on oil exports and because of the oil price crash the local currency has collapsed. However, even though Russia isn’t a “rich” western country Moscow and Petersburg are still expensive for visitors, especially Moscow who usually rank very high in most expensive cities to live in for expats.
#3 Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul hasn’t gotten a lot cheaper compared to 1 year ago but it was never so expensive to begin with. Istanbul is the capital of the secularized muslim nation called Turkey. Interesting country to visit for people wanting to explore historic and cultural sites. However, if you’re looking to party… it’s still a great city to visit! The inner city districts of Istanbul is surprinsgly westernized and cosmopolitan. Turkey is one of the countries in the middle east alongside with the wealthy gulf states that receive great amount of tourists from the western world.
#4 Athens, Greece
Greece because of the economic conditions is cheaper than it was before. Now you might Think it’s a bit depressing to visit country where the unemployment is through the roof and lots of small businesses have gone bankrupt but it’s still a popular tourist destination.
#5 Baku, Azerbaijan
You might go “What? never heard about this place”. Azerbaijan is a relatively unknown country to visit compared to its popular neighbour Turkey. I figured this list would be boring without atleast one unknown exotic place to visit. What makes Baku especially cheap compared to just one year ago is because the local currency, manat has collapsed. Lost around 50% of its value versus the dollar in one year. Azerbaijan isn’t as cheap as the Philippines but it’s not as expensive as Dubai(definitely not anymore). The local prices have not been double so it’s especially cheap now. Baku has experienced a pretty significant growth in tourism in the last decade but they are still far from their turkish neighbours.
Obviously practically all oil nations have become cheaper since their local currencies has struggled to maintain its value agains the dollar. The above is just a few pointers to some spots I personally find interesting that are cheaper than they were compared a few years ago however they are by no means the countries that are the cheapest. I try to find a good balance between fun and cheap.
Good luck with your budget traveling!