10 best value destinations for 2019

We love learning about new places and gathering the best tips we can to share in Kiva's 'Explore your world' series. 

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure for your 2019 vacation without breaking the bank, check out these best-value, more-affordable destinations. 

 

1. Iceland

Iceland: Svartifoss Cascade. Photo by Victor Montol

Iceland’s volcano eruption in 2010 brought the tiny island nation to the world’s attention and the country used it as a launching pad for a new campaign to increase tourism.  Extremely cheap flights into Iceland make up for higher prices in-country. In recent years, the number of tourists that visit Iceland has grown to more than 2 million each year - but click here to get off the beaten track to find hidden gems in Iceland’s gorgeous countryside. 

 

2. Egypt

Pyramids of Giza. Photo by Fynn Schmidt

At 17 Egyptian Pounds to the US dollar, prices are low in Egypt. There are tons of attractions and activities here - enter the Great Pyramids of Giza or explore Abu Simbel temple for a few dollars, relax on an affordable Nile cruise or stay in luxury hotels for below-market rates. In a country so rich in history, make sure you study up on your Ancient Egypt before you go.

 

3. Poland

Royal Castle Bobolice in Niegowa, Poland. Photo by Pawel Czerwinski

Poland is often overlooked in Europe itineraries, but the country’s rich culture infused with history makes it worth a visit. Storied castles, beautiful lakes, breathtaking landscapes, historical landmarks and meaningful memorials are a few of the attractions that bring tourists to Poland. Explore your options here.

 

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA

Great Smoky Mountains, USA. Photo by Chris Ried

Save on airfare and take a domestic vacation this year! Connect with loved ones or explore solo in the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, biking, driving or sightseeing, you’re sure to find an adventure here.

 

5. Maldives

 

The Maldives. Photo by Jaliam Rashad 

While tourists can splurge on world-class resorts in the Maldives, there are cheaper accommodations that can make the country a much more affordable adventure. Catch a water taxi to different islands, snorkel with whale sharks or explore the local Islamic culture (but make sure to cover up first!). Check out the top activities or prepare for your trip with little-known facts.

 

6. Argentina

Street market in Buenos Aires. Photo by Rafael Guimaraes
 

From cosmopolitan Buenos Aires to the breathtaking landscapes of the Patagonian Andes, Argentina is a unique adventure. Visitors can learn to tango, take a walk with a penguin, go rock climbing, gaze at the world-famous Iguazu waterfall or step into the boots of traditional cowboys called gauchos, among many other activities.

 

7. Bangladesh

Bangladeshi riverboat. Photo by Khursid Alam
 

Even though it's home to the royal Bengal tiger, lush fertile plains and waterways and mangrove forests, Bangladesh is not overrun by tourism. Hindu and Muslim cultures coexist here, united by the common language of Bengali. Don’t miss out on trying their fish curry. Explore more here

 

8. Albania

Unesco Gjirokaster City. Photo by Ervin Gjata

Another undiscovered destination, Albania is a Balkan nation with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines. Beautiful castles, hikes through the Alps, historical museums, hot springs, beautiful beaches, meat-filled pastries and crystal-clear springs make the country attractive to any type of traveler.

 

9. Ecuador

 

Llamas on the slopes of Cotopaxi. Photo by Zebulon72

Aptly named, Ecuador is located right on the equator in South America. Most commonly visited for its Galapagos Islands, Ecuador also has a diversity of attractions on its mainland. Stay the night in Amazonian ecolodges, take the train up Devil’s Nose mountain, visit Incan ruins, hike the Andes, learn to surf or explore the culture through food and dance. Learn more here.

 

10. Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia. Photo by Jaka Skrlep

Overshadowed by neighboring Italy, Slovenia has its own rich culture to be discovered. The capital Ljubljana is full of famous architecture, museums, sights, parks and restaurants. Explore caves, castles, farms and landscapes and then finish off your adventure drinking craft wine or beer on the shores of beautiful Lake Bled. Find more adventures and activities here.


About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.