As we slide into 2019, are you beginning to wonder where is best to start your new year adventures?
Here at GoKo-travels we have your back will a list of top places to visit this year:
Oh, Nepal – the Himalayan Kingdom – You really are a beauty!
Home to the great Mount Everest and it fellow Himalayan brothers, Nepal hosts some the most challenging trekking in the world. Often described as “India’s cousin”, Nepal couldn’t be more different. Yes, on the service Nepal looks much the same, however, unlike India, Nepal is kind, forgiving and certainly less dramatic (apart from the traffic). Despite Nepal’s run of bad luck in the past, with both earthquakes and political struggle, Nepal is finally beginning to get itself back on its feet. Home to a diverse group of trekkers, hippies and western Buddhists seeking live behind the walls of a monastery, Nepal is spiritually captivating. Being the home of the Buddha, Nepal offers a fantastic chance to indulge yourself in the Buddhist culture and experience the incredibly hospitable smiles of the laid-back locals.
Hostel rooms begin around $5 per night and food can start around $3 per meal if you pick local cuisine.
Colombia gives a perfect taste of the South American continent, boasting the likes of the Amazon rainforest, the Andes, spectacular white beaches and mindblowing national parks. Not only is Colombia amazingly cheap, the Colombian culture is unparalleled and home to incredibly welcoming people. Forget about Narcos and druglords; today’s Colombia is a much more passive, safe place.
Exchange rates between the Colombian peso and USD or EUR remain favourable, making it one of the cheapest places on the continent.
Whats more, Colombia’s capital city, Bogota, is a nightlife hot-spot and was once named the UNESCO City of Music!
Remaining a backpacker’s haven today, you must see this country for yourself.
You can easily find a hostel room in the heart of any major city for under $10 a night; a hammock on the beach on an island will only cost you $3 a night, and around $10 for a round trip boat ride out.
There is not a single place on earth like India: FACT. With a population of over one billion people, India is wonderfully diverse, wild and unforgiving. However, this insane country is super cheap and becoming a more popular backpacking hotspot each year.
With a whirlwind of sounds, smells and noises, you MUST enter the country with an open mind, dress appropriately and respect all religions and cultures.
Although at times India will highly challenge and confront many western belief systems (with its evident class systems, the treatment of outcasts and obvious the rich to poor poverty divide), it offers some of the best food, local hospitality and mind-blowing architecture the world has ever seen.
Home to the first Wonder of the World, The Taj Mahal, and other impeccable heritage sights and forts, India will leave you utterly speechless.
Frustrating, chaotic and unpredictable, are all words that perfectly describe India. Therefore, it important to smile, stay calm, be patient and try your hardest to accept the cultural chaos and diversity it has to offer. If you achieve this, the mesmerising glory of India will open your mind and will have a place in your heart forever.
Popular? you can say that again. But there’s a reason that Thailand is so popular with backpackers.
Thailand, the land of a thousand smiles. Islands dotted with palm trees overhanging white beaches, long tail boat filling the hot tropical waters and spice infused cuisine; Thailand is one of the greatest, most memorable travel destinations you’re ever likely to experience.
Stunning scenery, captivating temples, ancient villages, soaring mountains, mouth-watering food and incredible hospitality, Thailand magically traps its visitors for month or years on end.
Despite Thailand reputation for loud, boozy tourists, ladyboys and seedy back allies, all are easily avoided and it won’t be hard to find that perfect destination for you. Whether it is boozing it up on the southern islands, finding a quiet beach to read your book or jumping in mountain lagoons and hot springs in the north, Thailand captures the hearts and dreams of everyone.
For the best way to enjoy Thailand on a budget, head to the northern regions and inland- basically anyplace away from a beach. Backpackers are flourished with breathtaking rice fields, hilltop tribes, tropical oasis, stunning mountain hot springs and breathtaking ancient sights while only spending a few dollars a day. If you’re willing to share a gloomy dorm room with fellow backpackers, you can expect to pay as little as $3 per night and the street food can begin at $0.80 per pop.
This Central American country boasts awesome surfing spots on two oceans, wild jungle and glorious volcano peaks. A true adventure backpacker’s paradise, Nicaragua offers alternative experiences and true bragging rights amongst your travelling comrades.
Luckily, Nicaragua is the perfect country for budget backpackers and has hardly been touched- offering plenty of Central American charm for backpackers without the hefty prices like its neighbours.
Even the most touristy towns only cost around $10 per night for a dorm room, and the food is even cheaper – making Nicaragua one of the best ways to explore Central America’s beauty while on a backpacker’s budget.
Nicaragua is arguably the most underrated Central American destination- one which you should 100% take this year!
Today, Vietnam is by far one the most fascinating and geographically spectacular countries in Asia, and luckily for tourists, its traditions and charms have yet to be eclipsed.
Known for its French colonial towns, impressive rainforests and cloud-masked landscapes, Vietnam is also notorious for its noisy, chaotic motorbike cities.
Nonetheless, Vietnam is incredibly backpacker friendly, and not just in prices. Live like a local and you can eat meals for as cheap as $2 and beer as wonderfully cheap as $0.20! That’s what I like to eat hear.
Vietnam admittedly has a way of feeling inauthentic at times—that is, if you only go for the world famous tours that soar you through the karst islands of Ha Long Bay. But if you take time to get off the beaten track you will be blown away!
Due to the famous Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam provides the opportunity for travellers to follow and explore the length of the country via motorbike. Without a doubt, this will be one of the best experiences of your life and we highly recommend you take that jump on your next adventure.
7. New Zealand
If you love the outdoors, stunning spiral snow-capped peaks and travelling in big groups, then New Zealand is your perfect destination for you. The best, and cheapest way to see the country is to buy and sell a camper-van (which is super popular) or to join one of our epic New Zealand Tours.
If you decided to buy a camper-van, you can find loads of free or inexpensive campground on both of the islands, gas is incredibly cheap and you can always stock up on roadside fruit and veg stands for a couple pennies a go.
Cheap and one hell of a country.
Boasting unparalleled volcanic peaks, world-class surfing breaks, and stunning white beaches… it’s not a surprise Indonesia is such a popular destination amongst the backpacking community. Being an extremely religious place, Indonesia is undoubtedly diverse and boasts some of the largest Buddhist temples in the world.
However, parts of Indonesia are somewhat volatile, violent and politically unstable, therefore we advise that you carefully plan your trip before embarking on any adventure (We highly recommend Bali, Lombok and Sumatra).
Having said that, Indonesia is a fantastic destination for travellers and boasts remarkable rice terraces, vast stretches of jungle, pristine white beaches and crystal clear lakes.
Despite the negative media that Indonesia seems to get, in our opinion here at Goko… Indonesia is home to some of the best island life and local hospitality in the world today.
9. South Africa
More and more backpackers have discovered the wonders of South Africa in 2017. Play with the penguins in sunny Cape Town, surf in the warm waters of Durban, or search for the big five on safari, South Africa will leave you speechless! With a variety of different landscapes, including pearl white beaches, diverse forests and desert terrain, you backpackers may have just found your new favourite place.
Now, I know Scotland doesn’t sound as exotic as some other places above, but back in 2015, Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the world. With its stunning landscapes and not so stunning weather, Scotland should NEVER be overlooked by anyone planning a UK visit. In fact, it knocks England out of the water.
The locals, the culture, the food, the history: MAGICAL! Italy is a fairy-tale, sun-drenched country, boasting hilltop towns, coastal sublimity and architectural brilliance.
Floating down the streets of Rome, Florence and Venice, you will be left speechless by arguably the best collection of art, museums and history the world has ever seen.
The intricacies of Italy are what makes this European country so special. With its cobbled streets, wall cities and intimate, tight-knit communities, you feel like you have been imported back in time. Take time to indulge yourself in the Umbrian hills, the Tuscan Vineyards, and the snowy Alps and Italy will have a place in your heart forever.
But don’t let this fool you! you can still travel Italy on a budget…just be willing to spend a little time looking for the special offers and it can be as cheap as some of the Asian countries.
South America isn’t as cheap as it once was, nor is it even close to being as cheap as Southeast Asia, but there are still a few hidden spots where backpackers can enjoy exploring for only a few dollars a day – Bolivia is one them.
Not only is it riddled with charm and exotic destinations, accommodation prices are super friendly. You can find places to stay for around $5 a night, and meals filled with rice and beans will only cost you a few dollars per bowl.
Traveling in Bolivia can be slow, uncomfortable and very unpredictable – but it is also South America’s cheapest country by far – a country impossible to get bored in that’s for sure. Besides celebrating its impressive indigenous cultures, it also has some of the continents’ most world-renowned sights, including the world’s highest lake Titicaca and the sensational and otherworldly salt flats of Salar de Uyuni.