The Three Best Places to Travel on a Budget and Feel Like Royalty
Kristin Bruce & Carla Boss
With its elaborate architecture and exquisite bathing culture, Budapest has quite the royal Feng shui. It’s often called "The Paris of the East" but unlike Paris, it’s much more affordable, thus making it one of the best places to travel on a budget!
Food & Restaurants- Budapest is known for traditional Hungarian and Jewish cuisine, but its food options are actually much more diverse. Try a myriad of affordable flavors at Karavan Street Food or Central Market Hall. Sip on traditional goulash at Kizpiac Bisztro or visit Café Gerbeaud if you care to splurge on upscale desserts. There’s also a Cat Café for cat lovers!
Art/Music- Budapest hosts a plethora of music festivals all year round. Its opera house (set to re-open in May 2019 after extensive renovation) is one of the most renowned in the world. And there is no shortage of theatres and art galleries from which to choose. Make a list of your top ten because you probably won't be able to visit each and every one of the venues during your stay.
Sights/Activities- The BATHS!!! Lounge in the Turkish-style Rudas or the outdoor Szechenyi Bathhouses. Watch the changing of the guards at the Hungarian Parliament Building. Enjoy a night cruise on the Danube River or try skydiving. Whatever suits your fancy!
Transportation- Between the Budapest Metro, trolley buses, and yellow streetcars, getting around Budapest is relatively easy and affordable.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Many say that New Orleans is the northernmost Caribbean city. Others have compared it to European towns. With its Native-American, French, Spanish, British, African, and Caribbean roots, New Orleans is uniquely Creole in outlook and culture. Here, the tantalizing cuisines, the celebrated jazz venues, the elaborate second-line parades, and the romantic Southern ethos will leave you feeling like royalty.
Where to Stay- Quaint Airbnb homes run $40-100 per night. For the most immersive New Orleans experience, we recommend staying in the Garden District or the Bywater District. If you’re feeling extra lavish, book a room at the Henry Howard or Hotel Mazarin, where rooms range $100-200 a night (as long as you book months in advance). Our designer fell in love with Le Pavillon years ago while in town for work, and to this day it remains her favorite Crescent City hotel.
Food & Restaurants- St. Roch Market and the French Market offer a variety of affordable regional dishes. Visit Galatoire’s for fine dining, Gumbo Pot for Creole classics, and Bourbon House for Po’boys. And treat yourself to beignets at the World-Famous 24-hour Café Du Monde on Decatur Street (right next to the French Market). Closed only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the café will serve you three of their French-style powdered donuts with a coffee for no more than $5-6! Indulge away and tip generously!
Art/Music- Art Lovers should head both to the sculpture garden at City Park and to the Royal Street art galleries. For those seeking toe-tapping entertainment, live music is nearly everywhere in New Orleans. Some of the best street musicians in the world are here and they are not hard to find. In the evening, check out jazz clubs on Frenchman and Oak Streets. Many venues are free before 11pm. Others charge a small entry fee. And if you want your music served with something a little more upscale involving wine, cheese, and Mediterranean-style nibbles, check out Bacchanal.
Transportation- You can’t leave New Orleans without a romantic ride on the city's streetcars. The St. Charles Streetcar Line is our designer's favorite. Fare is only $1.50, and you’ll get an impeccable view of the city. Pro tip: There are several ways to pay for streetcar rides: (1) pay with exact change when you board, (2) pay with an app on your smartphone, or (3) pay with a Jazzy Pass. If you want to go more traditional, Uber is much cheaper here than in New York and Los Angeles.
Marrakech has been Morocco’s most popular destination for some time. Amazingly, it is still remarkably affordable. Explore the Old-World vibe as you soak in a hammam or jump in the sand dunes of the nearby Sahara Desert. But ladies, please don't forget to pack trousers, long skirts, scarves, and tops that cover your shoulders. For cool evenings, be sure to bring along your CBoss Coat. Respecting Moroccan cultural norms doesn't mean leaving your elegance behind. To the contrary, it might mean you have an excuse to dress even more beautifully while on holiday!
Where to Stay- Though Marrakech has an array of affordable regal hotels and resorts, it is most known for its "riads" -- traditional Moroccan-style houses featuring open-view ceilings and interior gardens. These cozy accommodations allow tourists to live like royalty for a stellar price. On Airbnb, riad rooms range $45-75 per night!
Art/Music- Marrakech has a plethora of museums. The Dar Si Said, the Marrakech Museum, and the Maison de la Photographie might be the top three. There’s also live music and an extravaganza of festivity (think drummers, snake handlers, fruit vendors, carriage rides, actual monkey business, and more) just about every day in the city’s Medina, a spirited UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
Sights/Activities- Take in the city’s beautiful Spanish-Islamic architecture. View the Koutoubia Mosque or have your own photoshoot at the Bahia Palace. If you enjoy beautiful gardens, you won’t want to miss the magical Jardin Marjorelle. Care to venture off the beaten path? Don't skip the camel rides!
Transportation - Taxis are the easiest way to get around Marrakech. But watch for scams. To avoid being overcharged for a Marrakech taxi ride, first consult your hotel's concierge as to what the going rate is for a given journey from Point A to Point B. Then communicate that price to your driver. Otherwise, you will typically be charged the higher "unsuspecting tourist" rate.
That’s our list of the best places to travel on a budget in 2019! Which of these would you like to visit? Have you been to any or all of them in the past? Our designer has been lucky enough to see all of them, and she actually visited Morocco for the first time this past April! (That's her in our blog's title photo, wearing her signature CBoss Coat in the Atlas Mountains.)
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! We'd love to hear from you! (And if you want to hear more about our excursions abroad, we'll be happy to share. Just let us know!) Cheers!