How to spend $100 around the world

From a Champagne-filled sunset cruise in Cape Town to exploring Tuscany on a scooter, spotting whales off the coast of Mexico to taking a hot air balloon ride over Vang Vieng, we’ve tracked down the best ways to spend $100 around the world (and we'll even let you in on how to add them to your next holiday itinerary)
Tuscany scooter adventure. Photo: Shutterstock
Tuscany scooter adventure. Photo: Shutterstock

Take a scooter adventure around Tuscany for $100. Photo: Shutterstock

Trips can be taken on a budget or as an all-out splurge. What your money can buy you varies around the world. One thing's for sure, whatever you spend your hard-earned cash on, make sure it’s an experience to remember. Here are our favourite ways to spend $100…

When you're ready to take your trip to recreate the unmissable experiences below, don't forget you can save $100 on your holiday with Insight Guides by simply signing up to our website. You'll also be in with the chance of winning 50% cashback on any trip you take before 15 January. Intrigued? Find out more here

1. An epic Everest Mountain Flight, Kathmandu, Nepal

The easiest way to see Everest is from the comfort of an aeroplane seat, while soaring through the cloudless skies. OK, so we can’t guarantee the weather but we can promise good views when it is clear. Whichever side of the small aircraft you’re on you’ll see the iconic Everest, as well as jaw-dropping views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Gauri Shankar, to name a few. This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular flights in the world taking in the Himalayas, pretty terraced fields and scattered hill villages.

An Everest Mountain flight is offered as an optional experience on Insight Guides’ Exclusive Everest adventure. If you want to go it alone, the unforgettable flight will cost you just under $100 per person.

2. A ride in the skies, Vang Vieng, Laos

Raymond Walsh, of and an expert in the art of travelling, reveals: "If you're in Vang Vieng, make time for a hot air balloon ride above the city. It's only around $80 so you'll have an extra $20 to spare." (We recommend saving this for heaps of street food!)

"The ride itself is worth adding to your itinerary as the scenery is spectacular, the pilot and crews are safe and professional, and while it’s a bucket list item for many folks, price tends to sway people away from actually doing it. If you happen to be in Southeast Asia, it’s worth your while to make your way to Laos just to experience this alone."

Tempted? Add a stop in pretty Vang Vieng and a hot air balloon ride to one of Insight Guides' suggested Laos itineraries

3. A visit to Tabacon Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

After a hard day’s hiking, cycling or wildlife-watching, what better way to relax than with a dip in a natural hot spring? Tabacon has five luxurious pools, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to a toasty 50°C, as well as one refreshing river spring. Combined with the lush, green rainforest surroundings, these create a natural spa with endless comfort.

A stop at Tabacon Hot Springs is included in Insight Guides’ Tropical Costa Rica trip. For those going solo, a visit will set you back around $105 per person, for a full day pass with two meals included.

Hot springs waterfall. Photo: ShutterstockA hot air balloon floats over misty mountains in Vang Vieng, Laos. Photo: Shutterstock

4. A banquet in Bogotá, Colombia

"If you're travelling through Colombia don't miss Andrés Carne de Res: this restaurant is an experience like no other," explains Kristin Messina of YonderWork. "There are two by the same name and under the same ownership but make sure you go to the one outside of Bogotá (about a 40-minute drive)."

What to expect when you're there? "The restaurant boast some of the finest Colombian cuisine (make sure to try the chicharrones, fried pork belly) and is a favourite with both locals and visitors. Every nook and cranny is packed with eccentric, bold and colourful decor, and make sure you stick around for the salsa dancing" It's not just your tastebuds this place will awaken.

Beginning your adventure in Bogotá, you can add an evening here to Insight Guides' Discover Colombia itinerary. What are you waiting for?

5. A whale-watching tour for two, Baja California, Mexico

The waters in Baja California are among the best in the world for whale-watching, dolphin spotting and even swimming with whale sharks. Without wanting to sound dramatic, experiencing these animals up-close is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Worth parting with your hard-earned cash for? Absolutely.

Insight Guides’ local expert in Mexico, Veronica, has planned the perfect trip including whale-watching activities in Baja California: find out more here. On its own, a grey whale watching tour, lasting around six hours with three observation areas included, usually costs just under $100 per person.

6. A romantic sunset Champagne cruise, Cape Town, South Africa

Where to start with this one? Watch the sun dip below the horizon and glimmer across the ocean while sipping on champagne and admiring the views back to Table Mountain and beyond. This is a special experience to have in Cape Town. The 90-minute boat trip departs daily from the Victoria & Albert Waterfront and directs you to the best views to admire the end of the day.

A sunset champagne cruise can be included as an additional experience on Insight Guides South Africa: Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip. Alternatively, organising it on your own will set you back just $100 per person.

Table Mountain, Cape Town. Photo: ShutterstockTable Mountain, Cape Town. Photo: Shutterstock

7. An awesome Sacred Valley Tour (Chinchero, Maras & Moray), Cusco, Peru

Peru is packed with historic sites, cultural highlights and attractions. How do you know where to spend your money? A trip around the sacred valley will show you local architecture, impressive archaeological remains, salt flats and more. Chinchero is home to an attractive church built during the colony; visit on a Sunday for flea markets where locals still haggle hard for goods. Move on to Maras where you can explore impressive salt flats and a patchwork of 3,000 wells that have been used since the Incan Empire. Finally, the Moray agricultural terraces: a striking circular system possibly used for agricultural experimentation.

A sacred valley tour (covering Chinchero, Maras and Moray) is included on Insight Guides’ Peru Express trip and is an additional experience that can be included in others. As a stand-alone experience, it will put you back around $75 each, leaving a little left for souvenirs along the way.

8. An adventurous Vespa hire for four days, Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany’s rolling hills, poppy-packed fields and romantic hill towns offer endless opportunities to explore under your own steam. And what better way than from the back of a traditional Vespa? Choose from an adventure in the country, exploring the Chianti wine region and world-famous towns of Montepulciano and Pienza, or head for the cities with options to hire in Florence and Siena too. Talk to our local experts in Italy today, to create an itinerary taking in the best of Tuscany

An iconic, ruby-red Vespa Lx or S 125cc will set you back a little under $100 for a two-day trip. The less fancy the vehicle, the longer you can cruise for. Taking on a Sym Mio 100cc, for example, will extend your trip by another day.

9. A trip to the top of sky-high Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

And lastly, but definitely not least, is a trip to the top of the world's tallest structure, reaching up over 829m high. 

"It is difficult to imagine any first trip to Dubai without an immediate visit to Burj Khalifa," reveals David Koerner of travel-savvy "A trip to the 148th-floor lookout and the more visitor-friendly 125th- and 124th-floors is unmissable. Visiting the lookout, gallery and observation deck, via an ear-popping express elevator, is just 350 Dirhams after 7pm, or $95. Go ahead and get the audio guide for just a few Dirhams more, and then watch as twinkling lights glitter out across a modern, often-bewildering-but-breathtakingly-ambitious metropolis."

Experience it for yourself on Insight Guides' Dubai Luxury Stopover itinerary (and don't worry, it's included in Day 1, so not too long to wait!).

Now you can save $100 on an Insight Guides trip. Here's how...

Insight Guides wants to help you travel the world. Sign-up to the website today, and you'll be given a free $100 voucher to use on your next trip... And, if you book a holiday before 15 January, you'll be in with the chance of receiving 50% cashback on your holiday. Find out more and how to get involved here.  

The difficult decision you'll need to make is which experience to try out first...