Have you had your heart set on traveling for ages but whenever you even begin to consider planning a trip you take one look at your bank account and away goes the dream? Traveling can certainly be quite pricey, but can also very possibly be inexpensive-if you do it right!
Traveling on a budget starts with choosing the right destination! There are plenty of destinations around the globe that will allow you to travel on any budget if you know where to look. Below is a list of some of the cheapest countries in the world to travel, compiled by a group of travel bloggers.
“Vietnam is one of the best budget destinations I have ever visited! From staying in hostels for under $5 a night to the bia hoi (street corner beer) costing about 20 cents a glass, it’s almost far too easy to keep the drinks flowing until suddenly you’ve been there for a month, while your wallet barely feels any lighter. Throw in the fact that Vietnam is home to some of the world’s friendliest people, most stunning scenery and fascinating cultural history, and you’ve got a real winner on all bases.
Here are just a couple of top things to do in Vietnam on a budget:
Visit a museum
Museums are plentiful in Vietnam, and their history is both interesting and harrowing, which makes it important to visit at least one. I recommend, at the very least, the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City; a stark reminder of what happened 50 years ago. It’s a tough visit, but it costs less than $2 to learn about it.
Hire a bike in Hoi An
Hoi An is one of the best cities in Vietnam, with a charming historical centre surrounded by a gorgeous countryside and some of the country’s best beaches. It’s also the best place to get tailor-made clothing for ridiculously cheap, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with its laid back vibe and lantern-lined streets. The best way to get out of the centre and explore the area is by bicycle, and most accommodation offers this for a mere $1 a day.
Drink bia hoi
I don’t even like beer – but I drank it for 20 cents a time! Some of our best nights in Asia were spent on the street corners of Hanoi, meeting other travellers and befriending the lovely ladies who run the stalls. It might not be the best beer in the world, but it’s an experience you’ll only really get in Vietnam!
Vietnam has plenty of other things to offer, and it’s without a doubt one of the best budget-friendly destinations in the world.”
Thailand is well known as a budget destination. Located in southeast Asia, Thailand is home to many gorgeous tropical beaches, ancient ruins, temples and palaces. Thailand accommodations (although they can be quite expensive) can be very budget friendly if you choose carefully, eat at local restaurants, and choose your daily activities wisely you can get by on about 35-45 USD a day.
Some Budget Friendly Things to Do in Thailand:
Try Some Street Food
Thailand is full of delicious street food vendor options, all at a very cheap price. If you steer away from the main streets and visit the vendors on the less crowded streets you may find a full plate of food for $1.00 or less.
Visit One of Thailand’s Temples
Many of Thailand’s temples are free to enter and will get you in touch with Thailand’s spiritual culture. For some ideas you could visit Wat Mangkorn Kamalawat, Wat Pathum Wanaram or Wat Intharawihan in Thailand’s capitol city of Bangkok.
“Nepal is a country where you can enjoy a large variety of culture, food, and natural beauty all in one place. Sandwiched between India and China, they share some of the same religions and flavors, but blend each in their own way.
These were a few of our favorite budget activities:
Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple) in Kathmandu
This hilltop temple is one of the world’s cheapest UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the small entry fee buys you a lot. On a clear day you get a view of the city, you can explore the beautiful grounds, and you are almost guaranteed to see monkeys. Watch out, while these monkeys are not usually overly aggressive it is still a good idea to keep your distance and not carry food. This temple is popular with tourists, but also an important place of worship for the locals.
Trekking in the Himalayas
Nepal has many world-class trekking locations that you can explore with a tour or on your own. A porter and guide can be hired for a fraction of what it would cost in most other countries. Many trails take you from town to town so you get a taste of culture while surrounded by the mountains. On these treks you can explore areas of the Himalayas accessible only by foot, while sleeping in a bed and getting a hot meal every night. The views are truly breathtaking.
Take a Cultural Tour
It is always good to get some local knowledge to help appreciate and understand everything you are seeing. In Kathmandu you can join a walking tour for under 20 USD or take a “Free” tip based tour. Ours took us away from the tourist sites and into courtyards, local markets, holy sites, and areas still recovering from the earthquake. It is a great way to get beyond the tourist areas.”
Looking for more information on Nepal? Find it here by Savvy Exploring..
Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia, a country well known for its many, many islands, volcanoes, wildlife, mountains, and natural landscapes. Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands and is the largest island country in the world. If you are traveling on a budget, Indonesia is a great option-the food is inexpensive, accommodations are very reasonably priced, and you are sure to find many great attractions at a low cost.
Budget Friendly Attractions in Indonesia:
Explore Hindi Prambanan
At 350,000 IDR ( $24 USD) you can fill up the day visiting 244 temples. Visit the central compound for the most in the smallest area, with 8 major temples and 8 minor temples.
Visit the Bunaken National Marine Park
Located in the Bay of Mando, this marine park offers clear waters with great visibility of the various forms of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, turtles, and sea snakes. Admission is 50,000 IDR ($4 USD).
Relax at the Bogor Botanical Gardens
Take a break for the busyness of the day and spend some time relaxing at the Bogor Botanical Gardens. With over 15,000 species of plants/trees the gardens will keep you taking in their beauty while you take a leisurely stroll. Admission is just 14,000 IDR ($1 USD).
Take in the Views at Kelimutu National Park
Kelimutu National Park is home to the famous tri-color crate lakes. The water in the lakes has changed over the years, ranging from green to black to brown to red to blue (depending on the mineral make up of the water). The park and lakes are very popular among the locals, who believe that the lakes are the final resting place of departed souls. Admission to the park is 150,000 IDR ($11 USD).
“Poland is an underrated destination in Central Europe that has a lot to offer including culture, history, beautiful beaches, mountains and stunning architecture. And what’s more, it’s one of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe. Krakow has even been consistently voted the best place for a European city break for the past 3 years.
Not only will you find less crowds than nearby popular places like Prague and Vienna, Polish cities are truly just as beautiful, and at a much lower cost. You’ll get a lot for your money whilst travelling through Poland. The local currency is Zloty. 1 Zloty is worth approximately 20p or 26 US cents, so the conversion rate is pretty damn good!
You can dine out for just a few pounds and Ubers are an insanely good value. Treat yourself to as much Pierogi as you like and overdo it on the souvenirs without a guilty conscience! I recommend bringing back some amber jewelry from the Baltic coast (I got 4 pieces for the cost of one in the UK) flavoured vodka or some folk-patterned ware.
My recommended budget friendly activities in Poland:
Go mural hunting
Poland has a great street art scene, so this can be done in any city. I recommend starting in grey communist-style high rise neighbourhood turned colourful outdoor art gallery, Zaspa in Gdańsk. Make your way through 60 sky scraping works of art and get some awesome pictures. And the best part? It’s completely free! Gdynia is also a great place to hunt for street art.
Eat some traditional, home-style Polish food for under £5 at a milk bar.
Milk bars were traditionally cafeteria-style places for Polish workers to eat for low cost during the communist era. They’re now a great place to get a real taste of Poland.
Explore the old town!
No matter which city you’re in, you’re guaranteed to find some world-class architecture and plenty of pretty, colourful old houses. I have visited the old towns of Gdańsk, Wroclaw, and Poznan and each has their own charm and is worth spending some time there and getting some good photos.”
Still need more convincing on why you should visit Poland? Check out these recommendations by Imani Escapes.
An underrated Asian country, Malaysia is known for its diverse culture, jungles, pristine beaches, and mouthwatering food. You can find natural beauty as well as modern day cities. Malaysia has a variety of different experiences to offer.
Visit Taman Negara National Park
Taman Negara National Park is a rainforest located in Malaysia and one of the oldest in the world. Inside the park you can visit Orang Asli villages (of the indigenous people), go on a safari, or go hiking/trekking. Admission to the park is 1MYR ($0.25 USD).
Visit Batu Caves
Batu Caves is both a natural wonder and religious icon. The Hindu temple is located within a beautiful limestone outcrop. The area is popular with visitors as well as locals for worship. Admission is free.
Explore Malaysia’s city of Kuala Lumpur
Although some things in the city will naturally be expensive, there are certainly ways to make the trip budget friendly. Some main free (or low cost) attractions include the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Sri Mahamariammam Temple, Masjid Jamek (mosque), enjoy a free heritage trail tour, or visit the Perdana Botanical Gardens.
Croatia is a country in Europe that often is underrated. It is full of great architecture, gorgeous islands, national parks, and breathtaking beaches. Although not as well known as some of the other European cities, Croatia is beautiful and has much to offer, often at much lower prices.
Some Things to Do in Croatia
Walk the streets of one of Croatia’s many historic towns
Croatia is full of historic towns with amazing architecture. No matter what part of Croatia you are in you should be able to find an “old town” to explore. Take in the architecture, do some people watching, and if you desire some shopping or grab a bite to eat.
Go For a Hike in One Of Croatia’s National Parks
Croatia has plenty of options for national parks with stunning views. Choose one (or more!) and spend the day hiking and getting back to the basics with nature. Croatia’s national parks include Plitvice Lakes National Park, Kornati National Park, Krka National Park, and Mljet National Park (to name a few).
Soak Up the Sun On A Beach
Croatia is full of islands and some of the best beaches in the world. Get away from the cities and enjoy some time sitting in the sun or dipping your toes in the Adriatic Sea. Some of Croatia’s most notable beaches include Stiniva Beach, Beach Mali Bok, Zlatni Rat, and Punta Rata.
Columbia is located in Northern South America. It is home to lush jungles, stunning beaches, amazing food, salsa dancing, and ancient ruins. Whether you are looking for nature and relaxation away from it all or a trip to a populated city, Columbia has something to offer you.
Budget Friendly Attractions in Columbia
Visit Isla Gorgona
Isla Gorgona, once a prison island, is now a national park full of wildlife, hiking, nad the remains of the old prison. Today you can visit the island for 10 USD.
Visit San Agustín
San Agustín is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A small mountain town, San Agustín is full of pre-Columbian statues, religious monuments, and burial mounds. You can visit the site for 6 USD.
Guatapé is a pueblo town in Columbia and said to be one of the most colorful towns in the world. It’s buildings are painted with murals depicting animals, shapes, and people. In Guatapé you can enjoy walking the colorful streets, grabbing a bite to eat, or climbing to the top of Rock of Guatapé (La Piedra) or some amazing views of the country.
Travelling to Egypt comes with unique experiences, interesting landscapes, great food, friendly locals, and a good mix of cultures and languages. Dating back to the time of the pharaohs, it is filled with monuments, temples, and things to do. The best part is that all of this is easy on the pocket. The country is not only one of the cheapest in the Middle East, but throughout the world. Getting here will be the largest expense and even this is reasonable based on the number of flights options including budget airlines. Inside the country affordable accommodation is plentiful, attractions are well-priced, and food is dirt cheap. It is also pretty easy and cheap to get around using public transportation. As long as you avoid certain situations and activities such as riding a camel at the tourist attractions, spending unnecessary money on a tour, and staying at overpriced luxury resorts, the budget is going to be well spent.
Now that you have some great destination choices for budget travel, check out these 30 tips to save money while traveling.