25 Cheapest Places to Travel to From Canada


Michael Trigg

Last Updated:

Travel

From South America and the Caribbean to Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, the following are popular travel destinations that are cheaper and less busy in their shoulder seasons (just before and after the peak time) including the recommended daily budget for backpackers and mid-range travellers, the cheapest time of year to go, what it’s like there during that time and when you should book flights to minimize costs.

All prices are in CAD.

Cheapest destinations comparison

DestinationLow Cost SeasonBackpackerMid-rangeHigh TempLow Temp
Florida City, FloridaJanuary and September$80$25024°C (Jan), 32°C (Sept)12°C (Jan), 22°C (Sept)
San Francisco, CaliforniaFall$97$22818°C11°C 
Las Vegas, NevadaWinter$120$22022°C0°C 
Varadero, CubaSpring$120$22029°C19°C 
Puerto Vallarta, MexicoSpring / early summer$65$11528°C19°C 
Lisbon, PortugalSpring / fall $73$16620°C (Spring), 26°C (Fall)12°C (Spring), 17°C (Fall)
Split, CroatiaSpring / Fall$100$28020°C (Spring), 26°C (Fall)12°C (Spring), 17°C (Fall)
JamaicaWinter$100$28030°C20°C
BahamasEarly fall$105$26529°C25°C
Tulum, MexicoWinter$71$12622°C12°C
Mexico City, MexicoSummer / Fall$64$11322°C12°C
Marrakesh, MoroccoSpring / Fall$71$20022°C (Spring), 28°C (Fall)10°C (Spring), 10°C (Fall)
Hanoi, VietnamFall$31$6024°C19°C 
Nha Trang, VietnamLate summer$35$6732°C25°C. 
Washington, DCLate summer$80$25732°C25°C 
Moab, UtahLate summer$80$25726°C10°C 
Cancún, MexicoEarly winter / spring$65$11532°C (Early winter), 32°C (Spring)25°C (Early winter), 25°C (Spring)
San José del Cabo, MexicoEarly summer$65$11538°C22°C 
San Juan, Puerto RicoLate summer$160$33230°C26°C 
Dominican RepublicSpring$80$26628°C22°C 
Bocas del Toro, PanamaSpring / fall$93$20028°C (Spring), 32°C (Fall)2°C (Spring), 22°C (Fall)
Guadalajara, MexicoFall through to spring$48$15026°C7°C 
Barranquilla, ColumbiaSpring$51$12333°C25°C 
Lake Atitlan, GuatemalaEarly spring$72$18032°C24°C 
Rincon, Puerto RicoLate summer$160$33232°C23°C 

1. Florida City, Florida

There are lots of ways to enjoy the family-friendly city of Florida City on a budget. If you enjoy walking, take your walking shoes, pick up a map, and head out. Restaurants are plentiful and many are inexpensive and it’s within striking distance of Miami, the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park.

A good selection of Florida City hotels are reasonably priced and dollars can be stretched with some advance planning, making this destination a favorite among off-season travelers searching for a low cost vacation to remember.

The cheapest months to travel are in January and September, when flights can be up to 30% below standard prices.

  • Low cost season: January and September
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $80, Mid-range: $250
  • Hotels from: $45 a night
  • Temperature: January: 24°C high; 12°C low. September: 32°C high; 22°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 9 hours 30 minutes

 2. San Francisco, California

In the fall, the San Francisco tourist rush slows, the fog lifts, and hotel rates drop. The city’s temperate weather is also at its warmest. In spite of the sometimes inclement weather, “Frisco” is a popular tourist destination known for its fast moving fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture and landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge. There are some surprisingly cheap attractions in San Francisco. Take your walking shoes.

  • Low cost season: Fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $97, Mid-range: $228
  • Temperature: 18°C high; 11°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 5 hours 45 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 2 hours 25 minutes

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

The cheapest months to fly to Las Vegas are January, February, April, and September. Prices can be higher during March, July, and December. For the lowest fares, fly to Las Vegas either mid-week or on Saturday.

Reports are the most cost-efficient days to fly are, in order, Wednesday, Tuesday and Saturday. Tickets cost more on Friday and Sunday because more people fly to and from their destinations on these days. There are many, many freebies to be had in Vegas.

  • Low cost season: Winter
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $120, Mid-range: $220
  • Temperature: 22°C high; 0°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 2 hours 40 minutes

4. Varadero, Cuba

Varadero is home to stunning beaches and excellent all-inclusive package deals where a hotel room can cost as little as $27 a night. You can get flights to Varadero for around $400 or less if you book far enough ahead.

People who don’t like crowds usually go to Cuba in mid to late April. The weather then is usually settled though the sea can be a little on the cooler side. However, the air temperature is just right and there are no bugs. Also it is usually the cheapest time. All inclusives are the best value.

  • Low cost season: Spring
  • Local B&Bs (casa particular) from: $45 a night
  • Restaurants (paladares): Lunch: $7 to $10, Dinner: $13 to $30
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $120, Mid-range: $220
  • Temperature: 29°C high; 19°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 9 hours 45 minutes

5. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Whether you’re into Mexican culture, water sports or whale-watching, you can’t go wrong with Puerto Vallarta as a low-cost destination. Hotels range from boutique hotels for as little as $50 a night to more expensive all-inclusive places.  If you are not a big fan of all-inclusives and you enjoy the real Mexico, book a hotel in Old Vallarta.

The prices are very reasonable and hotels while small by North American standards are clean and user friendly. The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between April and June when the weather is pleasant and the room rates are affordable. During these months, rain is scarce and there are fewer tourists compared to the winter high season.

  • Low cost season: Spring / early summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $65, Mid-range: $115
  • Temperature: 28°C high; 19°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 9 hours 45 minutes

6. Lisbon, Portugal

The best time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October, because the weather is still warm, hotel rates are cheaper and there are fewer crowds than in summer. In those seasons, you might also be able to squeeze in a few beach days.

The summer sees hot temperatures and crowded shores. Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. If you book far enough ahead or can take advantage of last minute deals, there are lots of savings to be had for budget travellers.

  • Low cost season: Spring / fall 
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $73, Mid-range: $166
  • Temperature: Spring: 20°C high; 12°C low. Fall: 26°C high; 17°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 13 hours 30 minutes

7. Split, Croatia

The best time to visit Split is September and October when tourist crowds have dispersed and the Adriatic Sea is still warm enough for swimming. For those on a budget, there are many cheap and cheerful hotels and B&Bs that have a lot to offer, with most providing WiFi and convenient locations.

Split is the second-largest city of Croatia. The best time to visit in May to June and September and October. During these months, the days are mild and sunny. Being the shoulder season accommodation is easy to find and much cheaper compared to the peak season. 

  • Low cost season: Spring / Fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $100, Mid-range: $280
  • Temperature: Spring: 20°C high; 12°C low. Fall: 26°C high; 17°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 14 hours 30 minutes

8. Jamaica

The best value for dollar time to visit Jamaica is between mid November to January. Jamaica consists of white sandy beaches with pleasant weather conditions during this time.

Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites. Jamaica still remains less expensive than many other Caribbean islands. Plan well ahead or take advantage of many last minute deals if you are not on a fixed schedule.

  • Low cost season: Winter
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $100, Mid-range: $280
  • Temperature: 30°C high; 20°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 7 hours 30 minutes

9. Bahamas

Peak tourist season in the Bahamas begins in mid-December and continues until mid-April, ending just after spring break. Late spring and early summer are more economical for travelers, as the cost of travel drops in the off-season and for the outer islands in particular.

The cheapest month to fly to the Bahamas is September. There are many low cost B&Bs and some great deals to be had around this time.

  • Low cost season: Early fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $105, Mid-range: $265
  • Temperature: 29°C high; 25°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 7 hours 30 minutes

10. Tulum, Mexico

Tulum, an old Maya city, is located next to a sandy white beach and contrasting deep blue sea. To get here, fly to Cancun for less than $350 and then take a bus. Hotel rooms vary greatly in price but there are plenty of good hotels that charge as low as $50 a night if you book well ahead.

Blessed with pleasant weather much of the year, Tulum receives most visitors between late fall and early spring. However, there are many benefits to planning your trip during the region’s shoulder months, including cheaper rates and smaller crowds. The best time to visit Tulum is between November and December. You’ll get the benefit of post hurricane-season breezes, plus there are great hotel deals to be had.

  • Low cost season: Winter
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $71, Mid-range: $126
  • Temperature: 22°C high; 12°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 10 minutes (depending on stops)
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 5 hours 50 minutes

11. Mexico City, Mexico

Budget travelers should aim to visit during the low season that runs from the day after Easter to around December 20. Although finding a cheap plane ticket may be possible year-round, be aware that hotel prices rise dramatically during the weeks of Easter and Christmas.

Mexico City is a bustling metropolis filled with exciting sightseeing attractions and things to do, which make it an incredible travel destination for visitors of all ages.If you are on a tight budget, there are many older, low-cost hotels in the city. They may look run down but most of them are well maintained and clean. 

  • Low cost season: Summer / Fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $64, Mid-range: $113
  • Temperature: 22°C high; 12°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Travel time Vancouver: 5 hours 50 minutes

12. Marrakesh, Morocco

The best times to visit Marrakesh are from March to May and between September and November. These shoulder seasons provide average daytime temps in the low 20 degrees to low 30s and very affordable hotel rates.

You should plan to spend around $57 per day on your vacation in Marrakesh, local travel, food and lodgings. It is a great destination for budget travellers. With a reasonable cost of living combined with low admission fees for some attractions and many being free, a trip to this exotic local is great value for money. 

  • Low cost season: Spring / Fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $71, Mid-range: $200
  • Temperature: Spring: 22°C high; 10°C low. Fall: 28°C high; 10°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 10 hours 50 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 14 hours 15 minutes

13. Hanoi, Vietnam

The best value for money time to visit Vietnam is late September to late October, as most people are put off visiting during the rainy season. Hotels in Hanoi are cheap and relatively easy to find. Low cost deals are often available from November to February, when the weather is slightly better.

However, regardless of the time of year, don’t leave Hanoi without trying street foods. Cheap and delicious. Hanoi is ideal for those looking to experience a more traditional Vietnamese lifestyle while travelling with an eye on their budget. While Ho Chi Minh City’s urban landscape provides an interesting slice of Vietnamese life, it is better suited for luxury travellers.

If you do have the budget, you can explore the best of both worlds as domestic flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are available on a daily basis. 

  • Low cost season: Fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $31, Mid-range: $60
  • Temperature: 24°C high; 19°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 19 hours 50 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 17 hours 30 minutes

14. Nha Trang, Vietnam

The long dry season in Vietnam runs from January to August and the least humidity is between February and April. The cheapest month to fly to Vietnam is September or October. On average, it costs $26 per night to book a 3-star hotel in Nha Trang for a night. You’ll pay around $39 if you choose to stay in a 4-star hotel tonight.

Nha Trang is a bustling city, but it is also home to some of the world’s most pristine white beaches. Find a clean cheap hotel and enjoy the street food. You’ll have a low cost vacation to remember.

  • Low cost season: Late summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $35, Mid-range: $67
  • Temperature: 32°C high; 25°C low. 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 19 hours 50 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 17 hours 30 minutes

15. Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. has plenty of budget hotels, as low as $50 a night if you do your homework and don’t expect luxury for this price. Also, you can get flights for around $250 depending on where you are flying from.

This is a great city for a family vacation, since many of its most famous attractions are free. For the budget conscious however, fall is an excellent time to visit D.C. The temperatures usually remain mild until Thanksgiving.

If you can catch a warm weekend between Thanksgiving and New Years this will be the cheapest time to visit D.C. because business travel is down at this time of year. 

  • Low cost season: Late summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $80, Mid-range: $257
  • Temperature: 32°C high; 25°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 6 hours 15 minutes

16. Utah

The cheapest times to visit Utah on average and for great deals on Utah hotels, best dates run from the middle of January 15th through to early March. Busy times are the week of February 12th; April 16th to May 6th and August 6th to December 9th except the week of November 26th.

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in Utah is usually mid to late September. The reason for going? The canyons of Utah are unique. They should be on everyone’s bucket list. 

  • Low cost season: Late summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $80, Mid-range: $257
  • Temperature: 26°C high; 10°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Travel time Vancouver: 2 hours 30 minutes

17. Cancún, Mexico

In Cancun, prices peak from mid-December to mid-January. The cheapest time to visit is from May through to November and particularly September and October, the two rainiest months.

The best time to experience comfortable weather and less-expensive prices is the shoulder seasons; early December and April. There are many last minute deals for Cancun or book well ahead for the best prices.

  • Low cost season: Early winter / spring
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $65, Mid-range: $115
  • Temperature: Early winter: 32°C high; 25°C low. Spring: 32°C high; 25°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Travel time Vancouver: 5 hours 50 minutes

18. San José del Cabo, Mexico

San José del Cabo is a resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. It’s known for its sandy beaches and colonial buildings. You should plan to spend around $41 per day on your vacation in San Juan Del Cabos, which is the average daily price for hotel and meals.

Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price deal. High season is usually April, May and June. The cheapest month to fly to San José del Cabo is May.

  • Low cost season: Early summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $65, Mid-range: $115
  • Temperature: 38°C high; 22°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 4 hours 40 minutes

19. San Juan, Puerto Rico

The news from Puerto Rico is finally starting to sound more positive after Hurricane Maria’s devastation. Most of the island has electricity, running water, internet and other services again.

You can get flights for under $300 and hotel deals for less than $100 a night in the capital, San Juan, cheaper once you are out of the main tourist spots. The best deals are in paradores, family-owned inns. The cheapest month to fly to Puerto Rico is September. 

  • Low cost season: Late summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $160, Mid-range: $332
  • Temperature: 30°C high; 26°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 10 hours 15 minutes

20. Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. It’s known for its beaches, resorts and golfing.

The months of March, April and May attract fewer visitors. This is a good time to book cheap flights as the weather is still warm and sunny. The off season runs April through November is considered the low-cost time. November and early December is also a great time to book cheap flights.

  • Low cost season: Spring
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $80, Mid-range: $266
  • Temperature: 28°C high; 22°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 10 hours 15 minutes

21. Bocas del Toro, Panama

if you are looking for cheaper fare and deals, opt for either off-season periods or shoulder periods. Shoulder periods are from late November / early December and May. Hotels are cheaper, often between $50 and less than $100 a night. You can fly to Panama City for under $500 if you do some research on travel websites.

Traveling around the islands by bus and boat is inexpensive. If you can keep your accommodation costs down and avoid the really high-end restaurants, you’ll save a lot of money in this country as most  attractions, transport, and local food are all very inexpensive.

  • Low cost season: Spring / fall
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $93, Mid-range: $200
  • Temperature: Spring: 28°C high; 2°C low. Fall: 32°C high; 22°C low
  • Travel time from Toronto: 5 hours 50 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 12 hours 30 minutes

22. Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara is a beautiful city in western Mexico. It’s known for tequila and mariachi music, both created in Jalisco, the state of which Guadalajara is the capital. This is Mexico’s second largest city and is where you can experience all those things most people associate with the country: tequila, mariachi music, bullfights, Mexican food, colonial plazas and much more.

Flights to Guadalajara can be had for around $500 and you can stay in a decent hotel for less than $100 a night. If you are travelling to Guadalajara, try booking at least 10 weeks in advance for the best deal. The cheapest month to travel is in September. 

  • Low cost season: Fall through to spring
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $48, Mid-range: $150
  • Temperature: 26°C high; 7°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 7 hours 40 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 7 hours 30 minutes

23. Barranquilla, Columbia

Barranquilla is usually overshadowed by Cartagena and Medellin but this city at the mouth of the Magdalena River is a hidden gem. Its Carnival is one of the biggest in South America and the party continues throughout the rest of the year.

You can get a good hotel room for under $50 a night and flights for less than $500. High season is considered to be January, February and December. The cheapest month to fly to Barranquilla is April.

  • Low cost season: Spring
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $51, Mid-range: $123
  • Temperature: 33°C high; 25°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 7 hours 20 minutes (depending on stops)
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 13 hours 40 minutes (depending on stops)

24. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The city is known for its enormous Carnival, which brings together flamboyantly costumed performers, elaborate floats and cumbia music.If you’re living in North America, your cheapest option is to check out SpiritAir.com or Kiwi.com. They consistently offer cheap flights through Ft. Lauderdale to Central America.

High season is considered to be June, July and August. The cheapest month to fly to Guatemala is February. Book well in advance for best deals or if you can, take advantage of last minute deals.

  • Low cost season: Early spring
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $72, Mid-range: $180
  • Temperature: 32°C high; 24°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 6 hours 40 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 8 hours 50 minutes

25. Rincon, Puerto Rico

Rincon on Puerto Rico’s west coast is renowned for its beaches and snorkeling. Like the rest of Puerto Rico, Rincon has some great hotel deals for under $70 a night to draw tourists back to the island. You can get flights for around $300.

High season is considered to be April, May and June. The cheapest month to fly to Puerto Rico is September. For a tropical Caribbean island with world-class beaches and amenities, Puerto Rico might not seem like the ideal destination for budget travelers looking for an exotic getaway, But this island can be surprisingly affordable for the savvy tourist.

  • Low cost season: Late summer
  • Recommended daily budget: Backpacker: $160, Mid-range: $332
  • Temperature: 32°C high; 23°C low 
  • Travel time from Toronto: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Travel time from Vancouver: 12 hours 15 minutes

All prices were sourced from NomadicMatt and LonelyPlanet travel guides at a USD/CAD exchange rate of 1.33.

Travel safety tips for Canadians

Over to you

We’re interested to know:  What are your thoughts on these low-cost travel destinations for Canadians? Do you have tips or comments on the destinations we have suggested? Or, suggestions for other low-cost destinations?

Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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