Budget slow travel destinations

Last Updated on June 4, 2023 by Ellen

Slow travel destinations in early retirement don’t have to cost a lot of money. Below are cheap places where Earth Vagabonds have visited since 2015 — usually for a month at a time, and often for under $2,000 per month (except Europe). This page is updated as needed.

Often we are asked, ‘Where’s your favorite place?’

We never know how to answer that; we crave variety and still have many countries to visit. Every country has positives, and also negatives.

Some places on the list below we have been two multiple times. Such as Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Penang, Malaysia.

We aren’t “country counters.” We like to go slow, one country at a time.

A wise friend of ours says the faster you go, the less you see. So true!

We’ve been at this since 2015, and have no plans to stop.

Destinations are below, and don’t miss how to plan your slow travel itinerary.

theo and ellen in the himalayas, nepal

Slow travel destinations

Latin America


  • Mahahual (Chetumal, Xcalak)
  • Tulum (Playa del Carmen and Cancun)
  • Campeche 
  • Sabancuay (Ciudad del Carmen)
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Yelapa
  • Huatulco
  • Puerto Angel (Zipolite and Mazunte)
  • Puerto Escondido
  • Ajijic/Chapala
  • Mexico City
  • Guadalajara
  • Tijuana
  • Rosarito Beach
  • San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez
  • Oaxaca City
  • Zihuatenajo
  • Mazatlan
  • La Paz
  • Cabo San Lucas


  • Corozal
  • San Ignacio, Cayo District
  • Caye Caulker
  • Ambergris Caye


  • Peten
  • El Remate (Isla de Flores, Santa Elena)
  • Tikal
  • Guatemala City
  • San Pablo, Lake Atitlan (Tzuzuna, Panajachel, San Marcos, San Juan)
  • San Pedro, Lake Atitlan
  • Tecpan
  • Antigua
  • Acatenango Volcano

Europe & UK


  • Lisbon (Sintra)
  • Porto (Gaia across the river)


  • Rome
  • Lerici (La Spezia, Tellaro)
  • Cinque Terre (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore)
  • Florence (Siena, Gimignano, Pisa)
  • Venice (Burano, Murano, Torcello)
  • Ancona


  • Barcelona (Figueres, Girona, Tarragona, Montserrat)
  • Tarifa & Algeciras
  • Seville

United Kingdom

  • London
  • Greenwich


  • Zagreb
  • Split
  • Omis (Supetar and Splitska)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Sarajevo


  • Kotor (Dobrota, Perast, Orahovac, Jaz Beach, Budva)


  • Tirana
  • Saranda (Butrint)


  • Athens
  • Corinth
  • Rio & Patras
  • Lefkada Island (Nidri, Kathisma Beach)
  • Corfu Island (almost every place on the island – 10 villages minimum)
  • Kalavryta
Snow-capped Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Northern Africa


  • Marrakesh
  • M’hamid
  • Erg Chigaga (*Sahara desert*)
  • Ouarzazate
  • Casablanca
  • Fez
  • Chefchaouen
  • Tangier

Southeast Asia



  • Cameron Highlands
  • Penang: George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Melaka (Malacca City)


  • Hanoi
  • Lan Ha Bay
  • Cat Ba
  • Ninh Binh
  • Phong Nha
  • Dong Ha (Cam Lo and Khe Sanh)
  • Hue
  • Danang (Ba Na Hills)
  • Hoi An (An Bang)
  • Nha Trang
  • Dalat
  • Can Tho/Mekong Delta
  • Cu Chi
  • Ho Chi Minh City


  • Pai
  • Chiang Mai
  • Phuket
  • Krabi (Klong Muang, Ao Nang)
  • Hua Hin
  • Bangkok
  • Pattaya


  • Phnom Penh
  • Siem Reap


  • Katu, Semanyak, Legian
  • Lovina
  • Ubud
  • Labuan Bajo
  • Komodo National Park
  • Sanur
  • Nusa Penida


  • Cebu City, Cebu
  • Liloan, Cebu
  • Moalboal, Cebu
  • Garcia Hernandez, Bohol (and Jagna, Anda, Valenica)
  • Panglao (Bohol)
  • Camiguin (Northern Mindanao region)
  • Valencia, Negros
  • Iloilo, Panay
  • Gigantes islands
  • *Motag, mainland Malay, Aklan, Panay*
  • Caticlan, Panay
  • Boracay Island
  • Kalibo, Aklan, Panay
  • Roxas City, Panay
  • Antique, Panay

South Asia


  • Mumbai
  • Alibag
  • Pune
  • Udaipur
  • Jodhpur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jaipur
  • Pushkar
  • Kota
  • Bundi
  • Agra
  • Chennai (day trip to Puducherry)
  • Delhi
  • Dehradun (day trip to Mussoorie)
  • Rishikesh (twice, 10 weeks total)
  • Kolkata
  • Bodhgaya (and Buddhist Circuit in Bihar)


  • Pokhara
  • Hyangjakot
  • Kathmandu
ellen and theo at the taj mahala in india

Before these slow travel destinations…

Before these slow travel destinations in early retirement, we also visited Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama on vacations from work.

In fact, those vacations showed us this low-cost travel lifestyle was possible. Those trips were successful short “trial runs.”

We also kept track of our expenses during those glorious vacations to see exactly what it would cost to live like long-term travelers instead of short-term tourists.

All inclusive resorts and cruises never appealed to us. Where’s the adventure in that?!

We are shrouded in blue cloth in the Sahara Desert, one of our slow travel destinations in early retirement.
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