If you are traveling on a budget, the good news is many inexpensive destinations can give you a bang for your buck and an experience of a lifetime. We bring to you the cheapest places to travel around world where you can get by for just $20-$40 a day.
You may not get the royal treatment of a kind but decent food, lodging, and transportation. If you are an excellent bargainer, you can squeeze the best value out of money.
I have enlisted the 25 cheapest places to travel, all for under USD 40. Join me while I share with you some of the exotic and beautiful places that wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
1. Laos- $20 per day
The first on our list is Laos- a small landlocked country in Southeast Asia. The country is pretty famous among travelers for its budget-friendly accommodations and free tourist attractions.
The best time to visit Laos is between October and April, as this is when the weather is warm and dry.
The first affordable place in Laos that I want to suggest is Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. It is a small-town river resort area that has affordable accommodations with more new hostels opening up.
Another famous place for backpackers to visit is the Vang Vieng, located 4 hours north of Vientiane. Rivers, caves, and rice fields surround the city.
Vientiane has a stunning mountain town to make the trip worth it.
However, if you’re planning to visit only one city in Laos, it has to be Luang Prabang. It is just a little bit pricier than Vientiane, but very much worth it.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site tourist city in Northern Laos. The best part about it is that the local attractions are free of cost. Awesome! Isn’t it?
This small town has beautiful natural sites, royal palaces, and more than 30 temples. The key to getting more affordable rates is to visit smaller villages.
- Currency: Laotian Kip
- Accommodation: You can get hostel rooms for as cheap as $2.85 in Vientiane and $3.07 in Luang Prabang.
- Meal: Some hostels will provide you complimentary breakfasts. You can eat local food for as little as $2.91-$3.58 per meal as well. All in all, you can fill your belly for $6 a day.
- Transportation: The best way to travel around the small city is by renting a bicycle for $1.25 – $6.25 for 24 hrs. The price depends on your bargaining skills. You can also get a Songthaew or Jumbo (extra-large tuk-tuk buses) for a cheap fare of $1.25-$2.50. For intercity travel, get a minivan at $6.25 for a more economical, faster, and smoother ride.
- SIM Card: $6 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity
2. Nepal- $20 per day
Nepal is a beautiful landlocked country that manifests natural beauty with its mountains, hills, rivers, and lakes. It is a country of great diversity and warm hospitality.
Nepal is a country where you can decide to lay back and sight-see beautiful sceneries. It is also a country that meets every adrenaline junkies’ expectation within the budget.
Just remember to avoid trekking your way to the Everest camp or climbing Mount Everest because those are expensive activities. Also, prevent mountain flights.
The months between October and December are the best time to visit Nepal.
In Nepal, Kathmandu, Thamel, and Pokhara are cool cheap places that act as a backpacker’s paradise. These places also offer the best nightlife within the country.
Also, the temples and Durbar Squares with the complex architecture around the Patan and Bhaktapur area need to be witnessed. The entry charge is as low as $1 to $5.
The key to saving money is eating local food, staying in local accommodation, and using the local buses, which are cheap and safe.
If you plan to trek on lower elevations, you have to spend no more than $10 per day on food and accommodation. However, higher elevation treks like the Annapurna Circuit will cost you $20 per day. Still cheap, right?
You can expect to pay around $30 per day for a trekking guide. If you split between the group or explore with new trekkers, it will make the budget manageable. But for safety reasons, I suggest you stick with the trekking guide. Nepal is one of the cheapest places to travel but because of the people, it is relatively laid back and welcoming.
Apart from these, there are more activities to do in Nepal on a budget, like white water rafting, bungee jumping, and zip-lining. Most of the activities fall under $10, so it is worth the price.
- Currency: Nepalese Rupees (Indian Rupees are also accepted in some places, especially places close to the Indian border.)
- Accommodation: You can get good hostels for $4-$8 per person a night. You can find local guest houses for $5-$10 per night. You can also rent flats or apartments for as low as $350 a month.
- Meal: Food is super cheap in Nepal if you decide to eat in local shops. The local Nepali staple food: Dal Bhat Tarkari (Rice, Lentil, Soup) costs $2 for vegetarians and $5-$6 for non-vegetarian. Besides this, you can get a lot of local street food choices for less than $1.
- Transportation: You can rent a bike for a minimum of $2.25 for the whole day or hire a private car for $15 per person. The best way for you to save money is by taking a cab. It will cost you $2 to $10, depending on the distance. If you want to save more, you can ride the local bus or tuk-tuks for as little as 15-25 cents.
- SIM Card: $2.1 for 2 GB data with 30 day validity.
3. Armenia- $20 per day
Armenia is a landlocked country in the mountainous South Caucasus region. It is a country of exceptional history but a tragic one.
The best time to visit Armenia is between the spring and autumn seasons, like April-May and September-October. If you decide to travel to this country in any other month than these, then trust me, the hot weather will kill your fun.
Armenia is blissful with its beautiful mountains and pristine ancient monasteries. The views will leave you in awe.
The country’s dramatic landscape at the Geghama Mountain is a perfect location for trekking and off-road biking.
When you’re in Armenia, you ought to visit Yerevan. It is home to the beautiful tree-lined boulevards with cafés selling tasty dark coffee.
You should also visit Mount Ararat; It is believed to be Noah’s Ark’s resting spot. You can get the best view of the mountain from Khor Virap monastery, which is 50 kilometers from Yerevan.
Remember when I told you that the views of Armenia would leave you in awe? One of the best destinations for witnessing scenic beauty lies in the hiking trails of Dilijan National Park. You will get to see the vast green meadows and hills covered with thousands of plant varieties. It is refreshing to the eyes.
You can also wild-camp in Lake Sevan for free. A bang for the budget!
Now the best for the last. Visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum, which holds the story of the tragic Armenian history, which took place from 1915 to 1922. It has free entrance too.
- Currency: Armenian Dram
- Accommodation: You can get a hostel dorm for $6.23 -$10.39, which provides you with free breakfast too. If you have friends in Armenia, I’m sure they will let you stay for free.
- Meal: Street food is cheap and will cost you less than $2. I suggest you visit a local fast food court and eat Shwarma and Lahmajun. You can also get a beer for just $1.50. Cheap, isn’t it? All in all, you’ll be spending no more than $10 on food.
- Transportation: Try to take a free walking tour at Yerevan to save transportation money. Armenia is also the most accessible country for hitchhiking. Apart from that, a public bus will cost you around $0.50, and a trolley bus will cost you $0.10 per ride. You can also get an Uber, but it will be more expensive than using local transportation means. For intercity travel, there are daily trains that will take you to your destinations for $12-$35. A cheaper option is the bus, which charges you $1.50 per hour of travel.
- SIM Card: $2.08 for 1GB data with 30 day validity
4. India- $20 per day
Neighbor to Nepal, India is yet another south-eastern country on our cheapest places to travel list, which is a great travel bargain if you’re up for the price hunt. India is a vibrant country of spices, local street food that leaves your mouth watering for more.
The best time to visit India is between October and March, as the weather is unbearably hot.
Bollywood cities like Mumbai and Delhi can be pricey and overpopulated.
One of the dream destinations for backpackers in India has to be Goa. It is because of its best deals on accommodation and beachside serenity heavily influenced by hippie and electronic-music culture.
Places on the south side of India like Kodaikanal, Hampi, Pondicherry, and the caves at Karnataka, are equally beautiful and inexpensive. Other sites like Varanasi, Mahabaleshwar, Coorg, Havelock Island, and Kanyakumari are also a feast for the eyes.
However, remember to be wise while searching for hostels as the cheapest ones in India do not always have proper facilities.
The best way to save money is by booking everything yourself in person, as most online booking sites tend to charge double. Also, you should eat at a local restaurant and try authentic Indian dishes from a street vendor.
- Currency: Indian Rupee
- Accommodation: You can get a hostel for $4-$6 per day.
- Meal: You have to spend no more than $5 if you eat at a local restaurant.
- Transportation: A full day of bus rides and train rides inside a city will cost you no more than $3. In the case of intercity train rides, a ticket costs $8-$30, depending on your destination.
- SIM Card: $3 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity.
5. Georgia- $20 per day
Georgia is a small country located in the Caucasus region at the intersection of Europe and Asia. It is a country of diverse architecture that makes you feel closer to the European culture while being very easy on your wallet.
The best time to visit Georgia is from May to September. These are the months when you can avoid the humidity and the freezing winters of the country.
There are plenty of places to visit while on a budget tour to Georgia. I shall start with Tbilisi.
Tbilisi is the capital city of Georgia, which is a blessing for all backpackers. Everything is negotiable and comes cheap in this city from food and drinks, transportation to even accommodation.
You can roam around on foot around the old town of Tbilisi, which is full of churches and prestigious buildings. You can also wander around the parks and viewpoints, which have no entrance fee.
There is also an underground clothing spot with a vast selection of clothes sold at a low price. However, the designs may not be of your preference.
Another place I want to suggest to you is the Sameba Cathedral. It is a photograph-worthy place that will leave your heart flutter with its beauty.
I’m sure you are very familiar with the name ‘Black Sea.’ Yes, the Black sea is located and is one of the most visited destinations in Georgia.
Other than that, many national parks and reserves like Suanetia, Kolkhet, and Adjara are the perfect spots for trekking and camping.
You don’t have to worry; most of these attractions are free of cost, making them truly affordable.
- Currency: Georgian Lari
- Accommodation: You can rent a hostel dorm for $5.23 if you decide to stay further away from the city. But if you want to visit a tourist area, then it may cost you $8.50. Camping is a cheaper option if you’re in a rural mountain and have a tent with you.
- Meal: Georgia is an excellent country for eating on a budget. On average, you have to spend no more than $10 a day on food and drinks, as long as you eat from a local restaurant. Georgian cuisine is delicious and straightforward. And don’t worry, street snacks are also healthy, and you can get cheap bakery goods for as low as $0.98.
- Transportation: Use the local bus to keep your budget down. You can also get a metro card for $0.65, which can be used for multiple people. You can also catch Marshrutkas (Local Minivans) for $3.27. Uber Pools are also available. The best way to save money would be to walk on foot and wander the city.
- SIM Card: $3.27 for 3GB data with 30 day validity.
6. Vietnam- $25 per day
Vietnam is one of the least expensive countries to travel to in Asia. It is a country where you can get the most out of your precious dollars. You can live in Vietnam for $25 a day or even less.
The best time to visit Vietnam while not being the bearer of pricey deals is between February and April, then September to October. These are the months when you will get cheaper flights and accommodation. The tourist areas are less crowded too.
Vietnam is a country that gives you a complete cultural experience with places like the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) ‘s Mausoleum.
For budget travelers who have a thing for trying out different delicacies, you should go for a food tour around the food markets of Vietnam. Vietnamese cuisine is something to try.
You should also experience shopping in Vietnam. Make sure to haggle your way to get a good deal.
When in Vietnam, I suggest you visit beautiful places like Phu Quoc Island, The Golden Bridge, Da Nang, and Truong Son Mountain Range.
- Currency: Vietnamese Dong
- Accommodation: You can get a hostel room for $5-$10 per night, depending on where you are in the city. You can get a hostel room in Ho Chi Minh City for as minimum as $4.86 at Hangout Hostel HCM. Cities like Hoi An and Hanoi have rooms starting from $5.
- Meal: Some hostels will provide you complimentary breakfast. But the key to saving money on your travel is eating the local food, which is equally healthy. A basic bowl of Pho costs you $1.70, which is a belly full. Thus, $5-$10 will be enough to feed you for a day.
- Transportation: Hire a motorbike for $8-$15 per day. The price depends on the terms of your bargaining power. Or, you can install the GrabBike application on your Smartphone, which will help you get a 2-kilometer ride for just $0.50. If you think you can’t ride in a place with chaotic traffic, then moving around by bus is affordable and comfortable.
- SIM Card: $2 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity.
7. Indonesia- $25 per day
Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, which is also very budget-friendly. This country has a vibrant history, diverse culture, magnificent volcanic landscapes, and blissful beaches.
The best season to travel to Indonesia is between August to December. However, there is a rise in accommodation prices. In months like February, March, and October, you can negotiate the costs but have to be careful of the weather.
Indonesia is a country of bustling cities where prices vary from island to island. So, my biggest tip for you to save money is by exploring one or a few islands rather than visiting as many islands as you can.
Some of the famous islands are Bali, Sumatra, and Lombak. These islands have better deals on accommodation for tourists.
While in Indonesia, you have many options for activities on a budget, such as:
- Hike through the rainforest and volcanic mountains in Bali.
- Visit some of the thousands of Hindu temples around the country. Some temples have free entrance.
- See the famous Komodo Dragons.
- Scuba dive in Raja Ampat.
- Go on a walking tour and visit the local artisans.
- Watch the troops practice their dances; this way, you can watch a performance for free.
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
- Accommodation: You can get cheap accommodation for $5 in places like Sumatra and Buki Lawang. In more tourist areas like Bali, hostels can cost up to $10-$100 a night. You can also find budget houses that start from $2 per night.
- Meal: Food and drinks are cheap and delicious in Indonesia. If you indulge in local fare, you will only need $5 – $15 per day. Street vendors offer delicious and affordable meals. Night markets like Seminyak and Sanur provide a variety of traditional dishes at an affordable price too.
- Transportation: If you take a ferry for an inter-island ride, it will cost you about $2-$3. I suggest you use public transports like buses and trains as they are cheap, at around $0.25. However, it can be crowded. You can also get rides from online apps like Grab and GoJek. Other than that, you can rent a scooter for $6 a day for a smoother ride around the city.
- SIM Card: $5 for 2 GB data with 30-day validity.
8. Cambodia- $25 per day
Cambodia is yet another ideal destination for budget travelers who want to experience rich history and culture, visit the jungles, eat tasty food, and have a great nightlife.
One of Cambodia’s best features is that people will greet you with friendly faces, which feels very welcoming as tourists. This country has a line of inexpensive hostels, street food, and travel options. But, all this depends on your haggling skills.
The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and April since this is when the skies are blue, and there is no rain.
There are so many places to visit while in Cambodia:
- Phnom Penh: The capital city has many attractions for tourists to visit, which are relatively cheap. You can also find happy-hour beers at riverside restaurants in this city.
- Battambang: You cannot miss visiting Battambang while on your budget tour to Cambodia. This place has magnificent temples with stunning architecture. Do try to take a riverboat on your way back to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. A ticket costs you $20 only.
- Angkor Wat: If you want to splurge while on your budget vacation to Cambodia (which is completely okay), get yourself a three-day ticket to Angkor Wat for $72. You can get it for a lower price of a minimum of $62 as well, depending on where you buy your tickets. Angkor Wat is the largest monument in the world. It will get you to soak in the history of the temple ruins. Stay at Siem Reap before visiting Angkor Wat as this place has the world’s cheapest hostels.
- Sihanoukville: If you’re a booze person, then Sihanoukville will entertain you with their cheap alcohol and buzzing nightlife. This place is also a great diving spot and has delicious seafood.
- Currency: Cambodian riel
- Accommodation: You can get hostel dorms ranging from $4 per night. The guesthouses and private rooms in hostels can cost as low as $5-$10 per night. If you want to relax away from the crowd, even luxurious hotels will cost you no more than $25.
- Meal: The street food costs you $1-$2 per meal. Restaurants will cost you $3-$5. If you can eat from local vendors, you’ll spend no more than $7 on food.
- Transportation: Use local city transportation. Negotiate your price on tuk-tuk rides, which should cost you no more than $5, depending on the distance. Many hostels will arrange for you a tuk-tuk ride too. You can also get buses for under $20, literally taking you anywhere in the country!
- SIM Card: $2 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity.
9. Ukraine- $25 per day
Ukraine is an excellent yet often forgotten travel destination. Yes, the country was dangerous to travel to in 2014, but now, it is safe, and its lowering currency value is a blessing to all of the budget travelers.
The best time to visit Ukraine is between May to June or in September.
Ukraine is considered an exciting destination in Europe due to its fortresses and mountains. The country has go-to places in city areas as well as rural areas.
While in Ukraine, you must wander around the capital city, Kyiv.
Kyiv is a beautiful city that mesmerizes you with its cobblestone streets and world-class opera performances at the Kyiv Opera House.
If you want to visit the beaches, then you need to hit the road to Crimea.
Odesa—the coastal city at the Black Sea-must also be on every budgeted traveler’s list.
Another popular destination is the Carpathian Mountains, which have excellent hiking trails and lakes, ideal for swimming.
To make your travel in Ukraine more pleasant, the Ukrainians welcome tourists even though very few of them speak English.
- Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia
- Accommodation: Hostel dorms will cost around $5.99- $7.87 per person per night. What you should know is that they will not meet your expectation. You can get a budget hotel for $13. But, to find cheaper deals, you have to stay further away from Kyiv.
- Meal: Food in Ukraine comes cheap. You can get fast food for $1-$3. A simple lunch or dinner at a café will cost you $2-$6, depending on what you eat. I suggest you eat at Puzata Khata, which serves cheap and tasty varieties of food. Altogether, you spend $6.74 per day on food. And oh! Eat pastries for breakfast and lunch and also buy fruits from a traditional vendor. Your wallet will thank you!
- Transportation: There are many cheap and comfortable options for you to get around in Ukraine like bus, train, metro, or trolleybus for $0.35. However, you would want to learn to read the Cyrillic signage. A cross-country train ride in a second-class compartment will cost you $8.50. You can also get an Uber for $6.50-$13 to get you through a city, but I feel like this is a very costly option.
- SIM Card: $5.30 for 3GB data and 30 minutes call with four weeks validity.
10. Guatemala- $25 per day
Located in Central America, Guatemala is a cheaper alternative for travelers who cannot afford to travel to the mainstream destination- Costa Rica. Guatemala is a country that features volcanoes, rainforests, and hidden ancient Mayan sites, which adds a wow factor for every tourist.
The best time to visit Guatemala in terms of the weather is between December and January, as this is when the weather is relatively dry. However, popular tourist places can be crowded with tourists; therefore, accommodation can be costly.
So I suggest all of my fellow backpackers travel the country in April or early May.
It is very cheap to travel around Guatemala’s attractions. You can wander around the cobblestone streets of Antigua and relax at Atitlan Lake for free!
While in Guatemala, you may want to visit the Mayan Archaeological site at Tikal. It has an entrance fee, though. You will have to pay your share of $27, but trust me, it is worth it.
Other activities in Guatemala include hiking up to the Pacaya volcano mountain for $22 or soak in the hot tubs for $6.5.
Thus, this is a country where you can do so much on a budget.
- Currency: Guatemalan Quetzal
- Accommodation: You will have to spend around $8-$12 for a dorm bed. Budget accommodation will cost you $30 per night.
- Meal: Street food is very cheap – less than $1. Lunch and dinner in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you $7-$10. If you love beer, you can get it for as little as $2.2.
- Transportation: Use public transport like the chicken buses, which should cost you no more than $1. You can get a shuttle bus for intercity travel from Antigua to Lake Atitlan for less than $12.
- SIM Card: $13 for 2GB data with 30 day validity.
11. Bolivia- $25 per day
Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries in South America. This country is ethnically diverse and has an incredibly unique culture, thrilling adventures on a broke backpacker budget, and a series of beautiful sceneries.
Traveling in Bolivia can be uncomfortable, but the fantastic sites you will get to see once you reach the destination will make your jaw drop.
The best time to visit Bolivia is in the dry season of May to October. It is the time when there will be fewer disturbances in your travel.
While in Bolivia:
- Start your backpacking trip from Lake Titicaca—the largest lake in South America.
- Stay at the lakeside hostels of Copacabana.
- Ride a ferry and head towards the village of Isla del Sol.
- Tour the Salar de Uyuni—the world’s largest salt flat.
- Take a walking tour to La Paz. If you want to experience the adrenaline rush, you can abseil from one of the tallest office buildings. Yep, you heard it right. Book your abseiling ticket from Urban Rush Bolivia.
- Go on a downhill mountain bike ride at El Camino de la Muerte, also known as Death Road.
- Climb a mountain.
- Want to know your future? Visit a witch doctor and learn about your fortune.
So these are some of the activities you can do on your budget vacation to Bolivia.
- Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
- Accommodation: Stay at a local hostel/hotel, which will cost you between $4-$10. Prices will vary upon your negotiation power and how close you are to the tourist hubs.
- Meal: There are ample street food options that provide breakfast and dinner options. I suggest you eat traditional Bolivian food called Almuerzo. It is a set lunch that includes soup, a main course, and a dessert for a low price of $1.50. Eating from street vendors or small shops will get you through the day for $10. But if you decide to dine at a western restaurant, consider spending $10-$20 and more on a dish.
- Transportation: In terms of intercity travel, a night bus is a safe option since it is cheap and saves you a night’s accommodation. Long-distance rides cost $15, while short public bus rides cost $1.50-$4.
- SIM Card: $8 for 1GB data with 30-day validity.
12. Kyrgyzstan- $25 per day
Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country known for its natural beauty. The country is famous for its nomadic lifestyle, mountains, dense green valleys, and picture-perfect lakes.
This country is very budget-friendly, which gives backpackers the ultimate experience of nature.
The best time to travel to Kyrgyzstan would be in the summer season. But again, winter is also an excellent time to visit the mountains and go for a ski.
The first on the list of your natural ride should be Arslanbob. It is an Uzbek village situated upon the mountains, known for having the largest walnut forest in the world.
While you are in Arslanbob, you have to experience living in a community-based homestay or, as they called it, ‘Yurts.’ This way, you’ll feel closer to their culture as well.
For adventure, hike around the foothills of Peak Lenin. The views will take away all the tiredness and turn it into joy.
If you’re visiting Kyrgyzstan in winter then, you should go skiing and snowboarding at Karakol. Skiing costs $15 at Karakol. This place is usually a hiking spot in the summer season.
While you are at Karakol, go to the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral to admire the beauty of this wooden church, which has pleasant incense-smelling interiors.
Another destination is the pasturelands of the Song Kul. While you are here, soak in the natural beauty of the vast landscape and the cold lake. Song Kul is a rural place that has the best nomadic culture. You should also watch the nomadic horse game while you are here.
The last destination is the capital city—Bishkek. You should end your vacation by returning to this town for shopping at the Osh Bazaar. This market has various clothes, toys, electric appliances, household supplies, and whatnot. You will get to experience the culture and daily lifestyle of the locals in this place.
Also, visit the Panfilov Park and visit the Monuments of the Martyrs and the Monument of Manas. Victor Square is also an architecturally pleasant sit to see in Bishkek. All these sites do not have an entry fee. Hurray!
If you still can’t get enough of the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan when you’re back at Bishkek, go on a hike to the Konorchek Canyons, which isn’t that far from the city. Yes, this site is also free!
- Currency: Kyrgyzstan Som
- Accommodation: Dorm beds usually range from $6-$15 in the rural and mountain areas. Experience living in Yurts and homestays for $5-$15. A cheap hotel with double beds is also affordable and comes for $10-$30. If you live in a city area, prices range from $8 to $21 per dorm bed. On the much brighter side, camping is free. You can rent a one-person tent for $4 and less per day.
- Meal: Buy food from the local supermarket and cook it yourself to save money. Besides, eating at a local restaurant is inexpensive too. You can get a Lagman (Uzbek food) with bread and tea for $3. A meal that consists of meat served in dumplings with noodles or rice will only cost you $5. It will be a belly full and get you through half a day. Mid-range restaurants offer a filling lunch for $3-$7. Cheap right?
- Transportation: The best thing about Kyrgyzstan is that hitchhiking is considered normal. However, you should pay a small amount to the driver out of courtesy. Renting a car is also very affordable, and the price varies from city to city. Car rentals usually charge $21 per day. Buses are also cheap —25 cents per ride. A taxi will cost you $1.45-$5.85 to get you around the town.
- SIM Card: $3 for 3GB data with 30 day validity.
13. Thailand- $30 per day
Thailand is a travel hub in Southeast Asia. It is a country known for its tropical beaches, embellished Buddhist temples, and best street food.
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and early April, as the climate is typically warm.
Thailand has plenty of places to visit when you’re a budget traveler. Some of the famous places are Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Hua Hin.
If you travel north of Thailand, the accommodation prices start declining by double.
As I said earlier, Thailand has the best street food, and you should opt to eat classic Thai food instead of going to a restaurant for continental cuisine.
So what else can you do besides eating street food while you’re on a budget and want to enjoy every bit of Thailand without getting broke?
- Shop at a weekend market
- Buy alcohol at a departmental store rather than going to the bar. Trust me; you’ll save a lot.
- Relax at the beach
- Currency: Thai Baht
- Accommodation: The hostels usually charge $4 to $10 per night. Even in the expensive parts of Thailand like Phuket, you can find cheaper hostels a few blocks away from the beachside at around $7 per night. You can also find cheap hostels around the Patung Beach area. You can get inexpensive guest houses for $9 per night in cities and $6 in the countryside-side. Big cities like Bangkok charge about $12. It is cheaper to book your accommodations online via websites like Booking.com and Agoda.
- Meal: You can fill your belly for $6-$10 per day. Eat Thai street food because western food tends to be very costly. You should take advantage of happy hour and get a beer from 7-Eleven for $1.05.
- Transportation: You can hire a motorbike for $6-$10 for a day, depending on your haggling skills. If you want to save more, you can take a local bus for $1.29.
- SIM Card: $7 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity.
Thus, if you stay at a cheap guesthouse and eat street food, you can spend as little as $10 per day too.
14. Argentina- $30 per day
Argentina is another South American country on our list of cheapest travel destinations. Despite having a rollercoaster ride-like economy, Argentina is a beautiful country with a rich history, heaven to travelers, and most foodies.
The best time to travel to Argentina is between November to February.
Buenos Aires—traveling to Argentina and missing out on this beautiful city known as ‘Paris of South America’ is a big no-no. This vibrant city is full of culture, food, shopping, and lively nightlife. Buenos Aires is a city of fun.
If nature is what you crave, I suggest you visit Iguazu Falls. You can just hop on the local bus and head towards the Iguazu Falls National Park. The entrance fee is $15.
Also, spend a week at Mendoza by hiking the mountains, visiting the canyons, and eating delicious steaks.
And oh! Learn the Tango. Yes, Argentina is famous for Tango. You can see people practicing this dance even in the streets. There are many dance studios which will give you Tango lessons.
- Currency: Argentine Peso
- Accommodation: A backpacker hostel dorm bed will cost you anywhere between $5-$10 throughout the country. An essential private dorm will charge you about $20-$25. You can also camp around the campgrounds all over the country for just $2-$10. You have to bring your own tent though.
- Meal: All though Argentina is widely known for its food, meals are a bit costly. The local vendor cafés and Chorip’an (sausage on bread stands) are cheaper and will cost you $1 or less for a snack. Pizza and burgers from local vendors will cost you around $2. You may have to spend $10 -$20 per day on food in Argentina.
- Transportation: You can rent a bike for $10 a day in most of the major cities. It is a very convenient way to get around and out of town. You can also afford a taxi around Argentina. It will cost you $2.50 for a 3-kilometer ride. Worth it, isn’t it? Intercity travel on buses will cost you $38-$235, depending on the distance. I don’t suggest traveling by train as it only goes to three places and is quite expensive.
- SIM Card: $15 for 3GB data and 30 minutes of international calls, valid for 30 days.
15. Turkey- $30 per day
Turkey lies in between two continents: 97% in Asia and 3% in Europe. It is an Islamic country with a unique culture and architecture.
It was known to be a dangerous destination to travel to before due to many terror attacks. The situation is a lot calmer now.
The best season to travel to Turkey is between November and March. It marks an offseason, and the traveling expenses will be relatively less. You can try skiing in Turkey during those seasons.
However, if you want to experience more of Turkey, I suggest you travel between April to May or September to October.
While in Turkey, visit the arid valleys of Cappadocia. It is a fantastic place with distinctive cone-shaped rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys.’ It is an open-air museum that gets you exploring for days.
It is also a great place to fly in a hot air balloon. It costs around $200-$300, but it should be on your bucket list if you can afford to spend the amount.
Pamukkale is another natural destination to visit in western Turkey. It is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site for its picture-perfect water gleaming down the hillsides. You are even allowed to swim here.
Another location I have listed for you is Ephesus, an ancient Greek city built in the 10th century. Wander around the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, and the Temple of Hadrian.
Lastly, head to Istanbul, the capital city of Turkey. Istanbul is a culturally rich city with majestic domed monuments that used to be a church, a mosque, and a museum.
You should not miss the tour to Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. It will cost you $51.46 for the trip.
Wander the Basilica Cistern in the evening and end the day by shopping for Turkish delicacies at the chaotic yet vibrant Grand Bazaar.
- Currency: Turkish Lira
- Accommodation: You can get a hostel dorm bed for $5-$15 per night, depending on where you will stay. Try to find accommodation away from the central city like Istanbul. You can get a dorm bed at Cappadocia for $9.
- Meal: Turkish coffee and dessert are two must-tries in Turkey. Buying food and coffee at a supermarket will be cheaper than eating at a restaurant. Even though some hostels provide complimentary breakfasts, expect to pay $10-$15 per day on food.
- Transportation: A cheap way to explore the cities is by using Google Maps and walking on foot. You can also get a taxi using the BiTaksi app to get a cab at $1-$3 per ride. The best way for long-distance travel is by bus, which will cost you $30-$60. These buses are fancy and provide you with snacks and drinks.
- SIM Card: $8 for 2GB data with 30 days validity.
16. Malaysia- $35 per day
Everyone thinks Malaysia is expensive, especially if you are on a budget. It is one of the most economically developed countries in Southeast Asia. It still is one of the cheapest places to travel that is a mix of the modern and old way of living.
The best time to visit Malaysia is between December and February. However, if you travel during the off-season, it is cheaper.
Malaysia has a lot to offer— beautiful beaches, jungles, and delicious food. It is effortless to get around in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur, because English is widely spoken.
Kuala Lumpur, the leading travel spot, is a combination of old, new, and exotic cultures.
While in Malaysia, you have to spend a day in the Cameron Highlands and explore the tea plantation sites. Beside that:
- Drive in the Perhentian Islands
- Visit Georgetown
- Go on a hike
- Visit places like Tanah Rata, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak
- Currency: Ringgit
- Accommodation: A hostel dorm costs $6-$12 per night in city areas like Kuala Lumpur. Private Guesthouse costs $10.60.
- Meals: Eat out at a local restaurant for $2.45. Street foods like stuffed pancakes, skewers, and noodle soups will cost you between $1 to $4. Fast foods like McDonald’s will cost around $3.40 for a combo meal. Avoid western meals as they are costly (over $12!!), and don’t drink. Alcohol is costly, the reason being Malaysia is a Muslim country and opposes alcohol consumption.
- Transportation: You will spend $3 – $5 a day if you ride on a local bus or a train. If you want to travel between cities, the bus rides will cost you $8-$15.
- SIM Card: $8 for 2 GB data with 30-day validity.
Thus, you’ll be spending about $35 per day for a bed in a hostel dorm, eating street food, and using public transport.
17. The Philippines- $35 per day
Situated on the western Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is another cool affordable travel destination. It is an incredible country with tropical weather and consists of white-sand beaches, mesmerizing sunsets, and friendly locals who speak and understand English.
The best time to visit the Philippines is from December to February.
From volcanic mountains, beautiful coral reefs to enchanting waterfalls and caves, this country has it all. The Philippines has some of the world’s gorgeous islands and pristine dive sites.
Yes, the Philippines is famous for its diving sites. You can learn to dive for as little as $25. Snorkeling is even cheaper than diving lessons.
There are so many places like Boracay Island, Manila, and El Nido. As tempting as it may sound, try to avoid these tourist spots but travel to Sagada, Port Barton, and Siargao to experience the Filipino culture and their way of life.
- Currency: Philippine Peso
- Accommodation: You can find dorm beds in hostels outside Manila for $5 a night. Local guesthouses and shacks on the beach are cheaper– $2 a night. Some places can be expensive and may charge you $7- $13.
- Meal: Eat street food in the Philippines. That’s the motive for traveling to a different country anyway. If you decide to eat at a tourist-hub restaurant, you will be splurging $5-$20 off your wallet for a meal, whereas that amount could get you throughout the day if you eat at a local restaurant.
- Transportation: Get around the city in an Uber. Otherwise, the public ferry is also available and will cost you $4-$6 per ride. You can hire a bike for $5-$15 per day, depending on the bike’s condition. You can also find long-distance buses for intercity travel. But, if you want to save your transportation money, HITCH HIKE!
- SIM Card: $6 for 2GB data with 30 day validity.
18. Colombia- $35 per day
When you first read the word ‘Colombia,’ most fellow readers who are also a Netflix binger will recall the ‘Narcos’ series, where they showed drug cartels and crime scenes around Colombia. Don’t worry; the Narcos era was long ago. Now, it is safe and travelable.
The Republic of Colombia is a South American country that houses 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Colombia has beautiful surfing beaches, historical cities, serene sceneries, and delicious food.
The best times to visit Colombia are the months of November, February, and March. These are the months when the weather is dry, and there are fewer crowds, which leads to better deals on accommodation prices.
Colombia has a beautiful culture, and the people are very inviting towards the tourists.
When in Colombia, you have to visit the capital city, Bogota. The narrow streets of Bogota are lined with bright colonial buildings, museums, restaurants, and historic churches.
La Candelaria is the heart of Bogota, which has the colonial-era Cathedral, a must-see for every tourist. Bogota also has entertainment areas on its Northern side.
I suggest you visit the Tierradentro National Park. It is one of the most important sites in South America due to its 100 underground tombs, which have been preserved from the 10th century. The entrance fee is just $6 per person.
Another place I want to suggest is the sparkling city of Medellin. The best way to experience this place is by going on a walking tour of museums. You should also go on a food tour and take pictures for your Instagram in front of street arts.
Medellin also has incredible nightlife.
If you are a coffee enthusiast, you have to take a coffee plantation tour in Salento and see how the coffee beans are made. You can also buy coffee at a much lower price here. The tour price starts at $6.
If you are a fitness freak with a slight interest in history, trek to the Lost City, built around 800 CE. The trek lasts about 4-6 days and costs around $300-$350. Yes, it is expensive but worth your money.
Besides that, you have to visit Cali. It is a city of ravishing nightlife. It is also known as the ‘Salsa Capital of the World.’
For terrific sports on budget, go to San Gil. There are many adventure sports you can choose from, like white-water rafting, paragliding, caving, trekking, and rappelling. It will cost you around $19-$40, depending on the activity you choose.
- Currency: Colombian Peso
- Accommodation: Hostel dorms cost $4-$6 per night. Yes, that is cheap. In central cities, you may have to pay $9, though. Airbnb with shared accommodation starts from $11 per night. Avoid staying at tourist hubs in major cities.
- Meal: Colombian street food is super cheap. You can get Empanadas for $0.94 and Ceviche for $1.34. You can also get a beer for as little as $0.67. In the countrysides, you can get a meal for $1.50-$3, while significant cities will charge you $3-5 per meal. If you avoid café food, then you can get a full day of the feast for $12 per day or less.
- Transportation: The local transport is very cheap. The metro costs only $0.76 as a one-way fare. Local buses charge $0.30-$0.80. Taxis are also available, but you will have to haggle as they will try to charge you more than $6. You can use apps like Tappsi and Easy Taxi to get you a taxi service. Uber is also a super cheap means to get around Bogota, Cali, and Medellin. However, it is illegal. Go on a free walking tour with Free Walking Tour Cartagena, Free Walking Tour Bogota, and Real City Tours Medellin to save more. For intercity travel around Colombia, buses will charge you around $6-$12, depending on a 9-hour ride.
- SIM Card: $13 for 2GB data with 30 day validity.
19. The Baltic States- $35 per day
The Baltic States are the three sovereign states in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Baltic States is known for its castles, beaches, architecture, rich history, national parks, and more.
The best time to visit the Baltic States is anytime between May and September. These are the months when the weather will be relatively favorable and will have fewer tourists’ crowds. Avoid the months from October to April as it will be cold, and the prices tend to cost more than normal.
To explore the Baltic States, you will need at least four days per country.
The Baltic States are very affordable among all of the destinations in Europe. Let’s go through each of these three capitals of the Baltic States in-depth:
Lithuania is an ex-soviet country which is full of nature and booming nightlife.
Stay at the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. Vilnius has a vibrant nightlife. Alcohol and beer snacks are the bombs, and the best part is they come cheap. I mean, if that is not a win-win situation, then I don’t know what is.
For a more natural experience, visit the Curonian Spit. The best way to enjoy your time here is by going on bike rides, hiking in the dense forest, and relaxing in the beach forest. You can also rent a campsite for cheap here.
Another destination to look out for in Lithuania is the famous Hill of Witches, which has the wooden status of dragons, goddesses, and devils. I mean, it is creepy but a sight worth seeing, right?
Besides these, you can also check out the old towns of Kaunas and Klaipeda.
- Currency: Euro
- Accommodation: Hostels are rare and usually packed, so try to book them in advance. You will get a hostel dorm for $8-$12 per day. Some hostels will provide you with a complimentary breakfast too.
- Meal: Food and alcohol are cheap. You should expect to spend around $10-$12 on food per day.
- Transportation: Local buses are abundant and can take you everywhere in the city for $3-$6 for a full day ride. In terms of intercity travel, opt for buses instead of trains as they are cheaper and reliable. It will cost you about $15-$20 for a bus ride.
- SIM Card: $7 for 3GB data with 30-day validity.
Estonia is a country that makes you feel like you are in a fairy tale world. When we talk about Estonia, most tourists prefer to explore Tallinn—the old city of Estonia.
Tallinn is an inexpensive and charming place that has picturesque spots all over the city.
While in Tallinn, visit the St. Catherine passage, also known as the most romantic spot in Tallinn. It is a 700-year-old alleyway that has a lot of restaurants and artisan shops.
Visit the Jamaa market– a warehouse barn where you can get everything. Vintage clothes, food markets, cosmetics shops, you name it!
From there on, admire the beauty of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, situated at Toompea Hill. It has the most intricate architecture, which was designed by a famous Russian architect named Mikhail Preobrazhenski.
- Currency: Euro
- Accommodation: You can get a hostel dorm for $10-$20 per night.
- Meal: The food is quite cheap. You have to try the roasted almonds sold by the street vendors for a reasonable price. You can get through the day at $12.
- Transportation: I suggest you walk to explore this medieval city. Train rides in the town will cost you $3-$6. Intercity train rides will cost you $10-$15, depending on the location.
- SIM Card: $7 for 3GB data with 30-day validity.
Latvia is unknown as a holiday destination, but trust me, it is yet another super affordable European country.
It is also a country full of scenic views like Lithuania and Estonia. It has thousands of lakes and rivers, and half of the country is covered in forests. Talk about greenery!
When in Latvia, you ought to visit the capital of Latvia, Riga.
When you’re in Riga, make sure to tour the Art Nouveau district. Wander your way through the old towns of Riga. It is a very photogenic place, and oh, try Balsam liquor.
The Riga Central Market is a UNESCO site as well. You can see the House of Blackheads, St. Peter’s church, and the National Opera House.
Riga also has a lot of museums, and you can see greenery and natural parks everywhere.
- Currency: Euro
- Accommodation: You can get a dorm bed for $8-$12 per night in a hostel.
- Meal: Stick to eating at a local restaurant, and you’ll spend no more than $15 a day.
- Transportation: The best way to get around the city is by foot, but you can get a full day of train ride for $20-$5. Intercity train rides will cost you $10-$15, just like Estonia.
- SIM Card: $7 for 3GB data with 30-day validity.
20. Sri Lanka- $35 per day
Sri Lanka is another island country in South Asia, a popular destination for a budgeted backpacking trip. The country has beautiful terraced tea plantations, empty beaches, and bustling cities.
Sri Lanka is known for its delicious food (which I will fan-girl about below) and the warm hospitality from people with diverse cultures.
The cheapest time to visit Sri Lanka is in early April or September. Weather-wise, it is best to visit this country between December to April.
Some people have a saying that ‘Sri Lanka is expensive.’ Let me clarify to you that Sri Lanka is very budget-friendly if you are mindful of your spending. Activities like safaris and surfing are expensive.
Other than these, food, transportation and the internet are relatively cheap.
While in Sri Lanka, you have to go on a safari at Yala National Park. You will witness all of the wildlife as well as the vast grasslands and lagoons in this park. A half-day tour will cost you $34.29-$37.15.
After hitting the safari ride, make your way to Hiriketiya beach. This beach is a surfer’s paradise and has a perfect dreamy vibe.
Hiriketiya is cheap and offers a lot of to-do fun activities. If you want to surf then, renting a surfboard will cost you only $2.86 per hour. This place has many yoga studios, too, so you can practice yoga if that is your thing.
From here, visit Dikwella Beach and go to Mahi Mahi Restaurant. Why go to a restaurant? Because these restaurants have built swings on palm trees on the beach, which is perfect for Instagram moments.
Enjoy your time sipping some cold beer and end the day by watching the sunset.
- Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
- Accommodation: It is easy to find a backpacker budget room in Sri Lanka for an average of $5 per night. Sometimes you may even get an attached bathroom. However, you will only get a fan with that budget. A/C rooms cost double than fan rooms. So if you are willing to stand the heat, you would be saving another day of accommodation cost.
- Meal: Sri Lanka is the cheapest and most comfortable place to eat. You will get rice and curry in a local restaurant for $1.42. Trust me; the curry is not a regular curry you would expect. There will be a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to choose from. Western food will cost you $5.67. It is cheap but still, avoid it if you plan to spend most of your budget on travel. You are in Sri Lanka to get some new experience, right? Fruit juice is also affordable and costs you only $0.54-$1.07.
- Transportation: The best thing about Sri Lanka is the minimum cost of vehicle rides, especially the train systems. Sri Lanka has the most scenic train ride in the world. Get a ticket to witness the countryside beauty from Badulla to Haputale for $0.50 per person. Bus rides are also dirt cheap—less than $0.35. Hiring a tuk-tuk is a bit expensive, so you will have to haggle a bit. On the whole, you will need $2.75 per day for transportation. Cheap, right?
- SIM Card: $2 for 1.5 GB data with 30 day validity.
21. Taiwan- $35 per day
I’m sure most of you are thinking about why an electric appliances manufacturing country is on the list of ‘Travel Destinations.’
My friends, Taiwan, is a country that has spectacular scenery, cheap street food, beautiful beaches, and welcoming natives who make you feel like a home away from home.
The best time to visit Taiwan is in the spring season, which is March to June. It is the period when outdoor enthusiasts can make the most out of their travel. September and October is also an excellent time to travel the country as the weather is cold and dry.
To save more bucks on your budget travel to Taiwan, I have listed some of the free activities you can enjoy in Taiwan.
- The first thing to do is hike the Taroko Gorge National Park. You will witness a bespoke view while you walk your way to the top. You will see the mountain peaks and blue coasts. I suggest you don’t hire a scooter to visit this place. Opt to ride a bus for $7.92. You won’t get to experience the total view, but at least you will not come back to your hotel room with cuts and bruises.
- Visit the Kaohsiung temples and look over the Lotus pond for a unique experience of visiting a temple. I termed Kaohsiung as ‘unique’ because it has a different design than any Buddhist temples I’ve seen and has a unique ritual. Visit to find out more!
- After that, go to sight-see at the Sun Moon Lake, which is unarguably the prettiest area of Taiwan. The shape of the eastern side of the lake resembles the sun, and the west looks like a crescent moon, and hence it’s named Sun Moon Lake.
- There are also many museums with free entry.
- If you want to spend some cash, you can join a Taipei street food tour for $18. You will get to try out many Taiwanese cuisines.
- Currency: New Taiwan Dollar
- Accommodation: You can get a dorm room in a hostel for $15-$20.65 in a city area like Taipei. Yes, it is a bit costly. I suggest you stay a bit further from Taipei. Trust me, you won’t miss out on anything, and it will be a bit friendly on your budget. Hostels in Taiwan provide complimentary breakfast or offer breakfast at a reasonable price, so you’ll be saving on the next day’s meal.
- Meal: As I said before, Taiwan is known for its excellent street food. You can get food for cheap from convenience stores too. The cost of street food ranges from as little as $0.68- $3.39 per meal. On the whole, you can get through a day at $9 for food.
- Transportation: Taiwanese public transport is clean, efficient, and CHEAP! Traveling by metro will cost you $0.65 only. You can also hire a scooter for $17 per day. Intercity travel from Taiwan to Kaohsiung on a high-speed train will cost you $26.13.
- SIM Card: $33 for unlimited data with 28-day validity.
22 China- $35 per day
China- well, shocking, right? Well turns out; China is also a country of ethical value; it depends on where you go and when you go.
The best time to visit China is from November to early March. The weather will be relatively cold, but you can save bucks on hotels, flights, and entry tickets. There will be a lesser crowd too.
The rural west side of the country is relatively cheaper than the city area like Shanghai. But again, big cities are also affordable if you do not enter the high-end bars, restaurants, and shopping malls.
When in China, your first stop will be Beijing. You can go to many places with free admissions to quench your thirst for historical knowledge, like Tiananmen Square, Chairman Memory Hall, and Qianmen Street.
You must visit the Shichahai Lake Area to see the traditional side of Beijing.
You would obviously want to visit the Great Wall of China while on your trip to China. The entrance tickets are quite cheap– $5.65-$8.48 per person. Still, to save money, take a public bus or a train to the destination.
Another destination is Shanghai city—the fastest growing city in China. This city is a center of arts and culture.
While you are in Shanghai, visit the Urban Planning Museum and wander around the Yuyuan Garden.
For a more spiritual trip, befall the temples like the Jade Buddha Temple, Jing’an Temple, and Chenghuang and Longhua Temple.
- Currency: Chinese Yuan
- Accommodation: You can get local guesthouses in Beijing and Shanghai for $5-$10 per night.
- Meal: A meal at an expensive restaurant will cost you $4. There are lots of local Chinese restaurants that provide meals for less as well. Thus, $4-$10 will be enough for a full-day meal.
- Transportation: China is a vast country, and going around from one place to the other takes more than 50 hours! As a result, budget airlines and domestic flights cost as little as $40-$50. The super-high-speed trains in China will also cost you $30-$50. Buses are cheaper alternatives. An intercity bus ride will cost you $20, whereas; within the city will cost you only $1-$3 for a full day of rides. In the case of a taxi, fares start around $1. To and fro from the airport will cost you approximately $10. Metros are an inexpensive and efficient means of travel. Avoid the timing between 8 AM to 10 AM, then 4 PM to 6 PM as these are the peak rush hours. Tickets cost less than $0.6.
- SIM Card: $15 for 2GB data with 30 day validity. Also, have a VPN subscription as China has banned social media usages like Facebook and Google.
23. Romania- $35 per day
Want a European experience on a budget? Go to Romania. Romania is a south-eastern European country known for its countrysides, medieval architecture, delicious food, and Dracula! Just joking, there is no living Dracula in this country. The country is one of the cheapest places to travel in Europe.
The best time to visit Romania in terms of weather is mid-May to mid-September. You can also enjoy the best possible weather during the late spring and early fall.
You can explore so much without breaking your piggy bank in this country.
The first stop for you in Romania is Bucharest. Bucharest is known for having many historical sites, museums, and architectural sites.
The second place on the list is Brasov. It is a city located in Transylvania and is much known for having Dracula’s castle (Bran castle). Visiting this castle would make a lovely day trip for you and give you a bragging right.
Brasov is also famous for its variety of Romanian food and international cuisine.
Go on a hike to the Fagaras Mountains to explore nature.
Fagaras Mountains have one of the longest high-mountain routes in Europe. You will get to trek over Romania’s three highest peaks: Moldoveanu, Negoiu, and Vista Mare.
I suggest you also wander around the Alexandru Borza Botanic gardens, which cover over 35 acres of land and house 10,000 plant species. The entry fee is $2.32 per person.
Visit the Danube Delta, which is the second-largest delta (after the Volga delta). The Danube is famous for its wildlife and bird-watching spree. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And guess what? Hiking at the Danube Delta is absolutely free!
- Currency: Romanian Leu
- Accommodation: You can get a dorm bed in a hostel for $11.58-$14. Most hostels have free wifi and kitchen facilities where you can cook your meal. You can get a shared room at an Airbnb for $11.58 per night. Private rooms will cost you $23.17-$34.75.
- Meal: Romanian food is quite filling. Meals are mostly low-priced and cost around $5.79. Soup with complimentary bread costs $2.32. Thus, you’d need $10-$14 for a full-day meal.
- Transportation: To save money, use the ride-sharing service called BlaBlaCar and catch rides with locals. Trains are the cheapest way to get around; however, they are quite slow. Buses and trains only charge you $0.46 per ride. You need a RATB (Regia Autonoma de Transporta Bucuresti) card and fill it with money to pay for the trips. A metro ride will cost you $1.85 for a day pass. For an intercity ride, buses are a very economical means to travel and will cost you $11.58- $20.85.
- SIM Card: $6 for 3GB data with 28 day validity.
24. Cuba- $38 per day
Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean, where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Cuba is an island country famous for its beaches, cocktails, and music.
Cuba has a tropical climate; even though the wet seasons are the cheapest time to visit Cuba, the best time to visit is from December to May. It is definitely one of the cheapest places to travel in South America.
Cuba is a country of friendly people and fantastic beaches. Not to forget that this country also has low prices for cocktails.
I have listed Cuba as the second-last of the cheapest destinations to travel to, and you may think it is a hell of an expensive country. Trust me, it isn’t. It all depends on how much thrifty you can be. You can easily get through the day in Cuba at $38.
One important thing to note is that Cuba has two currencies: COC (used by the tourists) and CUP (peso, used by everyone else). You do not want to overpay in CUC for something which is labeled in CUP.
When in Cuba, the first thing to do is hit the beaches. So your initial point of Cuba-travelling will be to the beautiful island of Havana. I’m sure you have heard the name of it in songs and movies.
Havana sure is an expensive place. I mean, it is too popular. But it can be an affordable place to visit on a backpacker’s budget also.
Visit the Cathedral of Havana, which has a Spanish architectural vibe. Most of the cathedrals and buildings have been influenced by the Spanish, French, and American cultures. Well, that is some mix of culture you are going to see in one place.
You should go to the Rum Museum to fully understand the whats, hows, and whens of the Rum manufacturing process.
Let me give you a quick insight. The four main mocktails: Mojito, Daiquiri, Cuba Libre, and The Canchanchara originated in Cuba. So, it is acceptable if you spend some bucks on authentic cocktails. You can get a Mojito for $2; CHEAP! Isn’t it?
Then, wander around the city center of Cienfuegos and look at the colonial-era buildings. Take a picture in front of vintage American cars. These cars are used as taxis, and to be honest, these cars are an iconic staple of Cuban culture now.
Visit the valley of Vinales. The scenic beauty of this place is something you will cherish in your memory forever.
Also, check out the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. It houses an abundant number of native flora and fauna. The entry fee is $28.04.
These are just some of the places to go on your budget trip. There is so much more to see and experience in Cuba like Trinidad, Desembarco Del Granma National Park, San Pedro De La Roca Castle, and so on.
- Currency: Cuban Peso, Cuban Convertible Peso
- Accommodation: Most tourists opt to stay at Casas Particulares (private homestays) for $20-$40 per night. The reason behind staying in individual homestays even when it is quite costly is that you will get closer to the real Cuban culture and have a healthy home-cooked meal with the rest of the family. If you are tight on budget, then there are hostel dorm beds available for $5-$15 per night, which is affordable by all means.
- Meal: Cuba has inexpensive bills when it comes to food. If you stay in Casas Particulares, they serve breakfast for $3-$5 and dinner for $7-$10. Save money by eating from street stalls where you can get sandwiches, pizza, and pastries for $1 to $3. Most importantly, drink only bottled water which costs $1-$2.
- Transportation: You can get a taxi to roam around the city for $1 per kilometer traveled. If you bargain more, then you can get better deals on taxis. You will also get a Coco-Taxi, which carries only two people for $5. The collective cab is much cheaper and will cost you only $0.50. Buses are the most reasonable and can get you around the city for just $0.20. For intercity travel, air-conditioned coaches are a comfortable and reliable option. It costs $10-$50 for a one-way trip, depending on the distance of your destination.
- SIM Card: $25 for 1GB data, 20 minutes call and $20 SMS for national and international destination with 30 day validity.
25. Uruguay- $38 per day
I had first heard about Uruguay while watching the World Cup as a kid. Now I know that this is South America’s smallest country, a neighbor to another football-fanatic country, Argentina. Uruguay is known for its beaches and excellent wines.
Uruguay is also described as an expensive destination to travel to, but little did I know that if we are careful about our expenses, traveling this coastal country is possible under $40.
The best time to visit Uruguay and not break your bank is during its shoulder season: around March and April. You will get good deals on accommodation, and the weather will be great too.
Most tourists visit the country between late December and February due to the weather and the festival season, which I will go through in-depth.
The first place to travel in Uruguay is Punta del Diablo. It is a seaside village and is one of the must-visit areas of the country. While you’re here, visit the artisan shops and get some fresh seafood from Playa de Los Pescadores.
Santa Teresa fortress also has tremendous medieval architecture to see in Punta Del Diablo.
Besides sightseeing, you have several activities waiting for you at Punta Del Diablo. Visit the Santa Teresa National Park and do some horse riding for $40 or go sand-boarding.
You can also take a kite-boarding lesson at Punta Del Diablo for $15 per two-hour lesson.
After this, go to Colonia del Sacramento, one of Uruguay’s oldest towns known for their rich history. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most people visit this place while on their way from Buenos Aires. Wander around the peaceful cobbled streets and learn about the history of Sacramento.
Cabo Polonio is another destination that is considered unique. This village has no running water, electricity, and internet connection in only a few houses.
Cabo Polonio is a favorite destination for Boho locals to chill and have fun at the beach. It is a perfect place for vacation as this place has breathtaking landscapes and can be traveled on foot. The best thing about this place is that the food is cheap.
If you visit this country around January to February-end, you should attend the annual Uruguayan festival in the country’s capital— Montevideo. The festival is also known as ‘Carnaval de Montevideo.’ The dance parade, the blaring drums, the people in costumes, and dancing the month away are experiences to enjoy while attending this festival.
- Currency: Uruguayan Peso
- Accommodation: The housing price rises double to triple from December to February due to the high demand. However, breakfast is always included. You can get a hostel dorm bed for $10-$20 in the lower season, whereas it can cost $20-$30 in the high season. A budget hostel room costs $40 and more.
- Meal: Food in Uruguay is costly. If you eat a small pizza in Montevideo, it will cost you around $10. A simple steak sandwich costs $9.
- Transportation: Transportation facilities are quite cheap in Uruguay. City buses charge only $0.50 a day to get you through the city. Intercity bus fares range from $10 to $30, depending on the distance. Avoid taxis as they are quite pricy. Example: Taxi ride from Montevideo to Pocitos will cost you $9. If you’re traveling to Uruguay from Buenos Aires, Argentina, you should definitely experience a ferry ride. The cost per trip is $55.
- SIM Card: $3.92 for 1 GB data with 30 days validity.
So this is it, these are the 25 cheapest places to travel that will undoubtedly give you countless experiences, appealing natural beauty all accessible and affordable that won’t upset your budget and give all the fun you are looking for.
The budget that I have enlisted is my suggestion as a backpacker on a budget and is curated to cover a person’s basic amenities per day. It may vary on your specific choices but stick to these lists if you don’t want to go broke while on tour.
These lists do not include extra expenses like flight or travel insurance.
So, where are you planning to explore this year?
If you have anything else you’d like me to add, please feel free to comment below.