The Best-Value Vacation Destination Is in Eastern Europe

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Intarapong)

2018 is right around the corner and the question on my mind is: Where will I go on vacation next year? I have my eye on Puglia (you have to see these photos) for an off-the-grid spot that’s still easy on my wallet. If I’m feeling more adventurous, I’m thinking Mexico City — and specifically this one neighborhood — but according to Lonely Planet, there’s another destination that should be on my radar.

Can you guess what it is?

Lonely Planet just released its list of the 10 best-value destinations to tempt frugal travelers in 2018, and the number-one destination is Tallinn, Estonia.

According to Lonely Planet, “Estonia’s capital is compact, fashionable, and terrific value,” thanks to budget accommodations, ease of transportation (foot!), and spectacular food trucks.

Actually, we hear the city is pretty magical around the holidays — so maybe don’t wait until 2018?

You can get there via budget carriers from most European cities, but the best way to get there may be to take a ferry from Stockholm or Helsinki (you can find cheap airfare on WOW or Norwegian).

Curious as to the other cities that made Lonely Planet’s list? Arizona — all of it! — and Jacksonville, Florida, made the cut, as did Baja California, Mexico, La Paz, Bolivia, and the Canary Islands.

We’re slightly bewildered by the United Kingdom as a good-value pick, although the pound is weaker than it’s been — it’s at around 1.3 dollars to the pound — and Lonely Planet suggests making those stronger dollars count with non-London destinations like Devon, Cornwall, and Bath. (Personally, I’m eyeing Grantchester; if you’ve watched the PBS show, you’ll get it.)

See the full list: Best in Travel 2018 — Best Value at Lonely Planet

Your turn: Are you planning a vacation, big or small, for 2018? What’s on your short list? Share with us in the comments!