Travel Destination – We all want to travel more. Vacation, career break, mid-year trip – our travel desires and destinations may differ, everyone wants to travel more.
But no matter what kind of trip you choose, you’ll face one unavoidable obstacle when traveling: money.
Saving money to travel is an uphill battle, and with so many places being expensive – not to mention additional costs like travel insurance, buying the right gear, finding flights, and more. – sometimes it can seem impossible.
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Even if you’re lucky enough to find a cheap flight, the daily cost of exploring a new country can often be prohibitive.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing places to visit that are still affordable. In fact, many of them are true
And while there are dozens of cheap countries to choose from, in this post I’m going to list my favorite cheap countries and regions that I think are the best in the world!
Outside of a few popular tourist islands, it’s easy to live on less than $35 a day. Budget dorms are $10 or less per night, you can eat for less than $10 a day if you stick to street food, drinks are just a few bucks, and tours and activities are $10 or less.
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And while the islands are more expensive than the mainland, they can certainly be visited for less than US$50 a day if you travel slowly (add the cost of the ferry) and avoid busy full moon party times.
Most people here party and drink too much alcohol, but if you stick to happy hours and buy your beer at convenience stores like 7-Eleven, you can have fun for a fraction of the cost.
I’ll be honest: I was late for the Mexico game. Although I had visited briefly before, it wasn’t until recently that I finally took the time to explore the country.
Mayan ruins, stunning beaches, lush forests, world-class cuisine, beautiful cenotes – Mexico has it all. Indulge in delicious tacos, tostadas, tamales, soap, seafood, and mole (not to mention the ever-popular mezcal).
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Hostels are as low as $10/night, street tacos are $1 or less, beer is around $1-$2, and high-ticket activities like the ruins of Tulum or Chichen Itza are only $5-$15.
Whether you’re exploring the Yucatan or relaxing in my favorite city, Oaxaca, Mexico, it has plenty to offer on the cheap.
Portugal is one of my favorite countries in Europe, but also one of the cheapest. Offering charming cities, stunning beaches and beautiful weather, the country has grown in popularity in recent years. There is a growing expat scene and a vibrant digital nomad community.
The country is still cheap. For around US$50 a day, you can get here without missing out on the amazing food, fun activities and delicious wines that call Portugal home.
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Hostels are only $15 USD, while snacks and fresh baked goods are only $2-5 USD. A beer costs just €3, so it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the nightlife.
Although prices are slightly higher in popular Lisbon, you can easily make up for it if you visit in the shoulder season. And if you’re in Europe in winter, the prices here are even lower. Although not too hot and sunny, Portugal is one of the warmest places on the continent between December and March, making it a fun and affordable place to visit in the winter.
Central America is one of the cheapest regions in the world to backpack. While there are some safety concerns and areas to avoid, most of Central America is cheap, so you can travel for $30-$50 a day or less.
You can find great deals in countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, where budget hotels are around $15, meals are $3-$4, bus rides are the same price, and beer is less than a dollar. .
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In the “expensive” countries of the region (Belize, Panama, Costa Rica) you have to spend close to 50 USD per day, although you want street food for less than 5 USD and hostel dormitories for nothing. $8-$12.
So even though it’s “expensive” for the area, it’s still very easy to get here on a budget without missing out on amazing food and fun activities.
Hungary is a wonderful, affordable country, the highlight of which is Budapest. I love Budapest. It is a beautiful, historic city. And it’s cheap.
Hostels in Budapest start at USD 10 per night. A meal at markets or kebab and sandwich shops is around 5-10 USD. Trains and buses are only a few dollars, and beer is less than $2.
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If you’re not paying for a big night of drinking or lots of sights and activities, $30-$40 gives you plenty of room to enjoy the sights and sounds of Budapest. Budapest is a great alternative to more popular destinations like Prague or Vienna and offers more entertainment for a fraction of the cost.
An epic wonder of the world, Machu Picchu Peru is one of the most popular countries in South America.
While hiking the Inca Trail will definitely stretch the budget, everyday life in Peru is quite affordable. Hostels can be found for 8-12 USD, while street finds for 1-2 USD.
Unless you like lots of activities (there are all kinds of epic hikes and tours, including the Colca Canyon and Chocquirao treks), it’s easy to enjoy Peru for under $50.
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And if you want to do guided tours but don’t have the money, try to book at the last minute. You can often find great deals – including deals on tours like the Inca Trail. Although you can spend up to USD 50 per day, the one-time experience is worth it.
Since the country is under the radar, you won’t find crowds and affordable prices. Hostels are only $10 a night, street food (like kebabs) only $4-5, and lots of ruins, beaches, and a great mix of Turkish and European culture. Most museums are only $5, and big-ticket activities like bungee jumping are only $30.
If you are traveling through Europe and need to leave Schengen, Bulgaria is a great place to spend some time! You can easily get here for around $30-$35 per day.
Although I didn’t love my time in Vietnam, many travelers find the country as fun and friendly as Thailand. It is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia.
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If you’re on a backpacking budget, you can spend a day in Vietnam for as little as US$15 (although this really cuts costs). For a more comfortable backpacking trip, $25-$30 is a good benchmark.
Many hostels are available for as little as $4-$5, including free breakfast and free beer (limited hours). You can get street food for under $1-$2 and buses are incredibly cheap throughout the country.
Activities here are also cheap. The Cu Chi Tunnels (tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War) can be visited for only $5, while a full day canyon is only $20.
No budget travel list is complete without India. While I’ve never been (yet!), I know plenty of travelers who have and rave about the budget-friendly food and accommodations.
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Hostels and guesthouses are less than $5, but delicious food can be had for $2 or less! If you’re a foodie on a budget, India should definitely be high on your list.
If you’re looking to get some value for your dollar, this is a great place to splurge. You can easily get away with $25-$30 a day here, which means if you’re spending $50 a day, you’ll be living big.
Taiwan is one of the most underrated countries in Asia. It’s very affordable, safe, clean and has a lot to see.
While mainland China gets most of the attention, Taiwan is often overlooked by budget travelers. You can easily visit Taiwan for $40-$50 per day as both food and accommodation are affordable. Hostels start around $10 USD, but street food costs only a few dollars (and is delicious). There are plenty of markets, plenty of hiking, convenient public transportation, and a fun nightlife. Whatever you’re interested in, you can find it in Taiwan. You get a lot of value here.
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There are many great destinations in the world that don’t have to cost a fortune. Although some of these places can be expensive to fly to, once you get there, it is