With inflation rising, so are the costs of hotel stays and vacation rentals. While many travelers are trying to bend their budgets to match high-cost destinations, there are a few places where the average nightly stay is pretty affordable.

In Panama, travelers can stay in a five-star hotel in a bustling city on the marina for around $100 per night. In Colombia, visitors can experience an overnight luxury stay for less than $50. And in Cambodia, travelers can experience rich culture and nature in designer accommodations for $25 per night.

If you want to vacation for under $100 per night or less, consider these popular budget-friendly destinations.


aerial view of building in Panama City, Panama
Photo credit: Iam Luisao

Long known as a business travel destination because of its large presence in trade due to the Panama Canal, Panama has become more of a leisure option in recent years. 

From visiting the world-famous Panama Canal, a man-made one that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, to some delicious, and affordably priced food, Panama has lots to offer. Accommodations reflect the various areas tourists love in the country, from Panama City, a thriving metropolitan city to the relaxing resort city of Bocas del Toro Islands.

In Panama City, travelers can expect a city atmosphere with many high-rise buildings and recognizable hotel brands. Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG each have multiple hotels in Panama City, primarily near the marina. Many of them are rated four and five stars, and prices are as low as $100 per night compared to what would be hundreds at the same brands in the United States.

The Bocas del Toro Islands is known for its surfing and beachy atmosphere. The island is colorful, with brightly painted homes and structures, and has views of the water all around. There are also several resorts and villas throughout the area for travelers to choose from. Hotels can be booked as low as $90 per night depending on the season and location. Vacation rentals between both areas can run as low as $50 per night.


alleyway with street art in Bogota, Colombia
Photo credit: Gustavo Solmott

Colombia is home to festivals, cuisine, beaches, street art, and more. Three of its most popular areas, Medellin, Bogota, and Cartagena, each have individual vibes and things to do. All of them, however, are known as affordable travel destinations for their hotels and vacation rentals.

Bogota is Colombia’s capital city with a storied metropolitan atmosphere, cobblestoned streets, and architecture from the colonial era. The city has several popular landmarks like the Gold Museum, where guests can see jewelry from centuries ago, Plaza de Bolivar, and the Botero Museum. The area is a popular walking tour destination, with many boutique and luxury hotels in and around the city. Even five-star hotels dip as low as $50 per night during the low season.

Medellin is called the City of Eternal Spring because of its all-year, near-perfect weather. Most of the year, the city has warm days and mild nights. It’s also home to an aquarium and hosts the annual Flower Festival. Medellin is also a short drive to a nearby resort town called Guatape that’s serene and close to the water. Another attraction is Medellin’s connection to a famous cartel leader, Pablo Escobar, and sites associated with him. Medellin is home to several boutique hotels and vacation rentals that typically hover around $100 per night throughout the year.

Another city, Cartagena, is a port city with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings from the colonial era, and a usually warm climate. The city also has a beach that makes it a popular tourist destination. Popular things to do in Cartegena include bike tours, street food tours, exploring the city’s Afro-Latin history and culture, as well as seeing the colorful design throughout the city. On the higher end, due to its high tourism, hotels in Cartegena cost around $150 per night based on the time of year. Major U.S. hotel brands are also present in the city.


Temple in Siem Reap
Photo credit: Julia Volk

Cambodia is attractive to travelers because of its history, various beaches, and rich culture. The country is home to more than 4,000 temples and ancient sites in areas like Siem Reap. Other areas of interest for tourists include Phnom Penh and Koh Rong.

Siem Reap is easily one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. The city offers Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most famous temples, bike tours, and a bustling street culture. Visitors can check out Pub Street, see performances, and shop in the Old Market. Siem Reap offers several vacation rentals and many boutique hotels with luscious aesthetics, reflecting the city’s architecture. There are also the famous floating villages throughout the city that visitors often enjoy experiencing. Costs vary between $20 and $200 nightly, but hotel stays can be found at four- and five-star accommodations for around $70 per night throughout the year.

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital city and sits near the water. The riverfront is walkable and is a major attraction for visitors. Other standouts include the city’s many parks, the national museum, and its Central Market, an art deco area with retail and food. The capital city has a wide range of stays, from boutique hotels to villas and other vacation homes, but prices are as low as $15 per night at many of them.

Koh Rong is a beach town in Cambodia that is well-known for its white-sand beaches and clear waters. Long Beach, a four-mile-long stretch, is one of the most popular beaches in the area. The area is also popular for its party atmosphere and water attractions, like snorkeling and boat tours. Koh Rong has several beachfront resorts, villas, and boutique stays that usually range from $30 and $75 per night.