Located in Southeast Asia, Laos is an underrated country with a ton to offer. The Mekong River runs through this mountainous terrain, there is an abundance of French colonial architecture, stunning Buddhist monasteries, tropical jungles, and the nicest locals. The best part is it’s not super touristy, so you won’t be subject to jacked up prices or overwhelming crowds. The result is total immersion in the authentic, Laotian, day-to-day life. For local meals and street eats, you can expect to pay $2 to $4, while a gastronomic meal with drinks will cost you $15 to $50. You can even get a boutique hotel or resort for as low as $50.
Portugal is certainly having a moment right now, with tourists flocking to the Southern European country that borders Spain. Here you’ll find major cities steeped in culture, stunning beaches, picturesque landscapes, sensational cuisine, and port wine. Consider going to the up-and-coming city of Porto, the karst cliff beaches of the Algarve, or the Atlantic archipelago of the Azores. You can get a basic hotel starting from about $35, or a boutique hotel starting from about $120. As far as food, you can get a lunch special at a family-run restaurant for $8 to $12, and dinner for two in a top restaurant from $92. No surprise, Portugal is also on the list of ten places you need to go in 2018.