Travel Destinations You Think You Can't Afford (But Really You Can)

Have you ever been browsing holiday destinations on the internet, only to find a place you’d love to go that you think you can’t afford? Let’s face it: it’s happened to the best of us. But it turns out that there are only very few places in the world that people on average incomes can’t go. With the right knowledge, you can do even the most luxurious of destinations on a budget if you put your mind to it. 
So which destinations do you think you can’t afford? And how do you go there on the cheap?
Meribel, France
They say that skiing is the sport of kings. And when you investigate the prices of hiring skis and staying in a location, like Meribel, you quickly discover what they mean. Skiing is frighteningly expensive, especially if you stay right in the heart of a famous resort. But even though a chalet in Meribel proper might cost more than €10,000 for a week, prices quickly fall if you go further down the mountain. 

Photo: Wikimedia

It’s important to note that the prices quoted for some chalets reflects the convenience of being a few meters from the main ski lifts. Other than that, you’re not getting an awful lot more for your money. Yes, it’s nice to be able to roll out of bed, pick up your skis, and walk 100 yards to the nearest gondola, but is it really worth paying thousands of euros for the privilege? For most of us, probably not. 
As soon as you move out of the heart of Meribel, prices drop dramatically. It’s often much cheaper to stay in hotels further down the mountain and then hire a car to drive up to the lifts. Or if that’s not practical, get a bus into town. Food is much cheaper too, especially if you go self-catered. Although prices are exceptionally high in the village itself, the cost of food goes down dramatically once you move out of the tourist areas. 
New York, US

Photo: Wikimedia
New York is home to the second largest population of people worth more than $30 million in the world. It’s a city brimming with ultra-wealthy people, second only to London. As you might imagine, prices in the centre of New York are high: Manhattan isn’t a cheap place to stay. 
But, like London, as soon as you move out of the centre, prices come down enormously. We recommend staying in accommodation off the island of Manhattan and then travelling in on the subway in the morning. That way, you can benefit from all the sights and sounds of the city without having to pay a premium for the privilege. 
To get costs down further, you could take advantage of the many Airbnb locations that the city has to offer and go further off the beaten track, avoiding the city itself and travelling upstate into the hinterland. Still struggling to afford the trip? Buddy loans, where you get a friend to guarantee repayment, could help you make ends meet. 
Munich, Germany

Photo: Wikimedia

Munich is the capital of Bavaria, and perhaps the most German city on the planet. There are more than 100,000 students who study in the city, meaning that although it is a cultural icon, Munich can be surprisingly cheap. There are beer gardens, opera halls, and art galleries, as well as plenty of places to chow down on sausage. 
Chicago, US
Chicago used to be one of America’s most celebrated cities. Home to deep dish pizza and the Sears Tower, the Windy City was once the place to be for anyone and everyone of importance. But with the economic decline of the “rust belt,” the city has suffered somewhat. That’s not to say that it’s no longer a desirable location: it is. It’s just that prices in the city have come down a lot from their high. 
Chicago is the US’s third largest city, behind Los Angeles and New York. The city plays host to some of the most impressive skyscrapers in the country, many of them constructed while the city boomed in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, Chicago retains much of its original character, but thanks to lower wages and fewer ultra-wealthy people living there, costs of basic things like food and rent is much lower. Go to Chicago if you want a bargain. 
The key to finding bargain travel destinations is to find places that have gone out of fashion among the rich and famous. Remember, the south of France was once a favourite haunt for people with a lot of money, but today it’s all but deserted. 

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