When planning a holiday it's important to consider your budget and everything you want to get out of the trip and for most Brits right now we want good value above all else. Luckily, travel guide Lonely Planet has released its list of the best value countries to visit in 2024.
In the top spot is a region that’s often overlooked by tourists who tend to head to NYC or Los Angeles instead – but the winner of the best value holiday spot is the Midwest of the United States. It’s not all just fields and farms apparently – there are big cities like Chicago and Detroit and it cradles the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are actually so massive that they look like inland seas! So heading to a cabin on the shores of one means beaches, dunes, lighthouses, resorts, swimming and water sports and plenty of tasty seafood restaurants. Plus, there’s a big beer brewing culture in the mid-west so you might find a tasty new favourite lager.
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The Midwest also boasts a number of national parks and pretty countryside – from the Indiana Dunes National Park to Sleeping Bear Dunes. There’s also Ohio and Indiana’s Amish Country for anyone curious about the religious group that still lives like it’s the 1800s.
Summer is the peak season for the Midwest and it’s when weather is hot and you can dive in the lakes without worrying about being cold. However, it’s also quite beautiful to see the region in Autumn due to the gorgeous colours when the trees turn – plus it’s cheaper to visit than in mid-summer.
While it might cost more to fly to the Midwest than some other spots there’s apparently a to of value to found from the cheap diners for tasty meals to bars that sell cheap local beer and even a hotel won’t break the bank. Some hostels offer rooms for as little as $40 (£32) while hotels start from around $160 for two (£130). Dinner for two can also cost as little as £32 according to Lonely Planet while a beer is priced from around $6 a pint (£4.93).
In second place came Poland – you can get flights to the European country for just £12.99 on Wizz Air. Plus according to PintPrice, you can find a beer from as little as 56p though in cities like Warsaw it may cost closer to £1.69.
You can visit ancient castles, Christmas markets and wartime museums while in Poland. Plus, the countryside is full of beautiful woods, lakes and hills to explore.
In third place was Nicaragua in Central America which is filled to the brim with natural beauty. The nation boasts Masaya National Park with its "gate to hell" craters, natural reserves and a long river that leads to the Caribbean with towering 'highlands' surrounding it. The cost of meals and drinks is likely to be far lower than the UK – with a pint costing from 40p, according to PintPrice.
Nitya Chambers, SVP Content and Executive Editor commented: " Our picks for this year seek to both inspire and follow the instincts of 2024’s traveller. Best in Travel is Lonely Planet’s heart and soul of travel inspiration, responding to the enthusiasm of travellers who want to explore the world in a way that is authentic, led by local guidance and has sustainable values at its core. With new takes on iconic destinations and 50 fresh ideas across five categories, we’re confident Best in Travel opens-up a year of incredible adventures."
Lonely Planet's 10 best value countries to visit in 2024:
- The Midwest, USA
- Danube Limes, Bulgaria & Romania
- Normandy, France
- Ikaria, Greece
- Southern Lakes & Central Otago, New Zealand
- Night trains of Europe
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