- A rustic wilderness of Madhya Pradesh, India, the tropical beauty of Indonesia, and the revamped Rust Belt City of Buffalo, NY became the top tourist spot for budget travelers.
- Lonely Planet has introduced the ranking of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world for vacation on a budget in 2020.
- Americans spend billions of dollars on foreign trips each year, but most of them end up in debt.
An average American tourist might not have come across some of the far-reached yet exotic destinations like East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia and Madhya Pradesh, India. But the leading travel platform Lonely Planet has come forward with the list of top 10 “Best Value” tourist destinations for 2020 when it comes to proving the best value for holidaying experiences across the world. It has added this list as part of Best in Travel 2020 rankings.
Some of the best places accompanying Madhya Pradesh are Athens, Budapest, and quite surprisingly, Buffalo, New York. (Along with these destinations, one can also find the rankings of the top 10 cities, regions and countries in the world in its Best in Travel series).
Buffalo was once a declining Rust Belt City. Today, it is going through some renaissance and tourism authorities were quite surprised when making the list. The Visit Buffalo Niagara tourism board warned, “Don’t get confused with the term ‘value’. You can visit Buffalo on a budget but you will always get the best touring experience.”
Director, Content Operations, Lonely Planet, Evan Godt agreed to this statement. He said, “The experience you get has nothing to do with a price tag. You can definitely have a great vacation experience without breaking your bank.”
Especially when going abroad, how much and where an American spends is a big concern for destinations across the globe. According to the United Nations data released by getting Going Travel Insurance in a 2017 report, US travelers are the second-largest legions for international travel, first being the Chinese. They spent over 9% more than in 2016, which accounts for over $135 billion on international travel. The Dominican Republic, France, Mexico, Canada, and the UK are their favorite destinations.
Most Americans are not interested to go into debt for the sake of travel when it comes to expenses. According to the US Traveler Survey in 2019 from a research firm Ipsos and a travel portal Vrbo, only 37% of millennials, 27% of Gen-Xers and 15% of baby boomers showed their intent to visit their dream destinations by taking a debt.
Evan Godt opinioned that traveler’s money would be spent farther instead of similar destinations, no matter how expensive those destinations are to visit. The Best in Travel 2020 rankings by Lonely Planet, (which is the 15th annual list of top experiences and destinations across the world), focuses strongly on the best travel experiences so tourists will have a great experience, no matter where they go.
Godt added, “We strongly believe that travel has a great positive impact on people’s personalities and it brings change to their lives. So, it’s totally worth it.” According to him, low cost is not the only reason which the “best value” destinations of Lonely Planet based on. Some of these places may be costly but travelers can spend more over there as compared to other destinations. For example, East Nusa Tenggara, which stands first in this list, is usually overlooked by most international tourists for Bali.
Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Destinations
With that said, here is the list of top 10 Best Value Destinations 2020 by Lonely Planet –
- East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia – This southernmost province has over 500 islands offering a lot of attractions and idyllic beaches sprawled around the Indian Ocean.
- Budapest, Hungary – This sophisticated and elegant capital city of Hungary, the European Union member, is one of the most rewarding destinations. It stands out of all the leading historic gems of Central Europe. It serves up some of the memorable highlights that deserve high ranking on this list of big-hitters for globetrotters.
- Madhya Pradesh, India – At No.3 is none other than the Heart of India and the second-largest state of the country, Madhya Pradesh. It is well regarded for wildlife safari in several national parks. According to Lonely Planet, wildlife spotting is far cheaper than in Africa.
- Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh ranks top to have the highest population of Royal Bengal tigers in India. In this national park, one can get a glimpse of some of the amazing wildlife species and rich density of fauna.
- Kanha National Park aka Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. It consists of a huge expanse of the jungles and grasslands. The lush meadows are home to tigers, jackals, wild boar and other wildlife species.
- Pench National Park – Located in Chhindwara and Seoni districts of Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park is one of the best national parks in the state. It is well revered for its fauna species. A lot of wild species from very rare to endangered dwell in this national park.
- Panna National Park – Located in Chhatarpur and Panna districts of Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is stretched over 542 sq. km. It is a tourist-friendly wildlife attraction which is home to several waterfalls and tigers.
Along with these national parks, Madhya Pradesh is also famous for UNESCO world heritage attractions like Khajuraho, Bhedaghat in Jabalpur, Amarkantak, Sanchi and various religious and historical landmarks.
- Buffalo, New York – The second-largest city of the Empire State, Buffalo is located at a walking distance from Niagara Falls. Explore the budget air routes to plan a visit to this exotic place. It is well known for a great restaurant and hotel scene.
- Azerbaijan – Once the rich oil-and-gas leader on the prehistoric Silk Road for the Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan is a great destination with low cost in terms of food, accommodation, and experiences, according to Lonely Planet.
- Serbia – Once Yugoslavia’s Republic, Serbia is rich in Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian heritage. It is well known for the monolithic charm of the Yugoslav era, outdoor adventures, wineries, and spa, as well as ancient monasteries.
- Tunisia – The only completely democratic state in the Maghreb region, the Republic of Tunisia is well known among the European tourists. It is a great place to enter North Africa at a low cost. It offers great value to attract tourists again.
- Cape Winelands, South Africa – The hilly region located north of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands is home to the famous wine industry in South Africa. Centrally located between the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Cape Winelands is the wine region of the country. Its upland scenery is dotted with great restaurants and wineries.
- Athens, Greece – Athens is one of the oldest cities of the West, dating back to over 3400 years ago. It is also one of the hippest places in Europe. In Athens, the best things usually come for free. You can explore the exotic Acropolis Museum for a very modest fee. Also, feast at the Parthenon from several vantage points for free.
- Zanzibar, Tanzania – Located several miles off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is a semi-independent archipelago of the Indian Ocean which is well known for tourism and spices. You can explore the ancient alleys in Stone Town and witness the mystic sunsets before taking delightful dishes at the food market or its cafes. You will be surprised by the dirt-cheap prices of freshly grilled dishes.