Lonely Planet recently published its Best in Travel 2020 list. The list contains top 10 countries, regions, cities and best-value destinations that were carefully chosen for their topicality, unique experiences and “wow” factor. Today we bring you the story of three best-value destinations, so sit back and soak up another round of travel inspo.
This often-overlooked region of Indonesia rewards those who hit Bali and keep going – and going. These islands are home to pristine beaches that are quieter than those further west, and one of Indonesia’s best diving scenes can be found on the Alor Archipelago. In places, you’ll still feel like a pioneer, and you’ll certainly notice fewer crowds than on Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands. Crowds will also be thinner on Komodo Island following the launch of a membership program intentionally priced sky-high to limit tourist numbers and protect the eponymous dragon population, though non-members on a budget can head to other islands like Rinca for their big-lizard fix.
Komodo dragons © Sergey Uryadnikov
Of all the grand dames of Central Europe, Budapest is one of the most rewarding on your pocket, while serving up highlights memorable enough to rank high on continental explorers’ lists of big-hitters. Aim for a less-visited thermal bath, where for a few dollars you get to wallow in the warm waters the city is famous for. Throughout the city you’ll find buzzing wine bars, edgier ‘ruin bars’ in atmospheric old buildings and mod takes on the city’s renowned cafe culture. Strolling the city’s many art nouveau wonders, including Keleti station (still the best place to arrive in or depart Budapest), won’t cost anything and will fill up your phone for happy Instagramming long after your trip comes to an end.
There’s wildlife spotting with a difference in this state of India. The first difference is the price – wildlife-spotting excursions come with a far lower cost than in Africa. In Madhya Pradesh’s wildlife reserves, including Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Pench National Park, there are lots to see beyond tigers; you might spy wild boar, spotted deer and langur monkeys. It’s a slightly different experience to an African safari – tiger spotting is all about the mystery; the rare flashes of famous stripes through the forest, and it’s not unusual to see nothing at all of the biggest of big cats. But your chances are getting better as numbers slowly recover. Elsewhere in the state, you’ll find celebrated sights such as Khajuraho’s temples and the historic small towns of Orchha and Mandu that attract fewer visitors than big-name destinations in neighbouring Rajasthan.
Lakshmana Temple in Khajuraho
Source: Lonely Planet