An ancient Buddha statue with a sash at a historic site in sunny Thailand

There are many low-cost travel destinations available. And nowadays, finding them doesn't take much work. There are endless destinations you can go to on a budget, no matter what continent you're on or your interests.

As long as you do some research, get inventive, and exercise some flexibility, no place is ever truly "too expensive"; you just might not be living it up when you go there.

Fortunately, there are a few places to visit that make travelling on a tight budget simple, enjoyable, and secure.


I've had the pleasure of seeing dozens of nations that are welcoming to travellers on a tight budget during my more than ten years as a frugal nomad.

These locations include inexpensive lodging, inexpensive meals, and a wide range of activities and excursions that may be experienced without breaking the bank.

This list contains something for everyone, whether you're a history buff, gourmand, beach bum, or party animal.

In order to assist you in organising your upcoming low-cost journey, below is a list of my current favourite cheap travel destinations:

1. Thailand

Longtail boats parked on a beautiful beach on an island in Thailand
Thailand has a particular place in my heart because it is where it all started for me. I made the decision to leave my work and tour the world there. I called it home. I adored it there. Thailand is amazing.

It is also quite reasonably priced.

With a long history of tourism, Thailand is the hub of backpacking in Southeast Asia. Thanks to inexpensive guesthouses, street food (which can be purchased for as little as $1 USD! ), local buses, and the many free and inexpensive attractions, you can get by on between $25 and $35 USD per day. Expect to spend closer to $60 USD a day if you spend all of your time on the islands and cheap lodging. Thailand is still one of the most budget-friendly travel locations in the world, so don't pass it up even at the price!

2. Central America

Palm trees on the lush coast of Panama, taken by Nomadic Matt
Want to see historic sites, go on jungle treks, go surfing, and eat wonderful food while there aren't many other people around? Consider El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala as smaller Central American nations to visit. The majority of the low-cost lodgings here cost between $15 and $30 USD a night, along with most bus trips, meals, and beers, all of which are under $5 USD.

By regional standards, Belize, Panama, and Costa Rica are pricey (though still fairly reasonable) travel destinations. If you travel to these Central American nations, you can live comfortably on $40–50 USD per day as a backpacker or splurge on $100 per day to live opulently. In this region of the world, your money goes a very long way. Additionally, there aren't many options for accommodations, making it simple to go around and see a lot without going broke.

3. Cambodia

Ancient Buddhist relics at a historic site in beautiful Cambodia
Although you could include any nation in Southeast Asia on this list, Cambodia is one of my personal favourites because it is both gorgeous and reasonably priced, and the people there are wonderfully friendly. Street food costs between $2 and $5 USD, a private hotel with air conditioning costs $25 USD, and round-trip transportation costs between $20 and $25 USD. You are living lavishly if your daily expenses are close to $50 USD.

Although less expensive than Thailand, which is more well-known, Cambodia is just as gorgeous and home to some of the world's friendliest people. Additionally, it is the location of the magnificent Angkor Wat, a visit to which is both pricey and worthwhile.

4. The Balkans

Clear, stunning water near the lush mountains of Albania
The Balkans, which are in Southeast Europe, are the least expensive area of the continent. It's an undiscovered region that's really cheap and provides excellent value. It's made up of a small number of countries, the most of which see very few tourists. The majority of the area is ideal for adventurous travel, despite the fact that some locations, like Dubrovnik, have experienced an increase in tourists as a result of the cruise ships that stop there. Cheap wine, amazing hikes and scenery, beautiful coasts, hearty meals, and a wild nightlife are all available. It's the best-kept secret in Europe.

In comparison to Western Europe, you can survive on as low as $30 USD each day. Food for a week can be purchased for as little as $25 USD, while a bottle of beer costs about $2 USD.

And although the area historically had a bad reputation for being unsafe, conditions have significantly improved in the last ten years. The area's backpacking trail is expanding, and tourism is expanding. Visit before the crowds and prices soar because it is now Europe's least-explored location.

5. China

The famous Great Wall of China rolling over the landscape
Since Marco Polo travelled the Silk Road in 1275, China has captivated travellers. China is still one of the most affordable travel destinations in Asia, despite the fact that its once dirt-cheap reputation has faded. You should leave the large cities. Yes, the cities remain affordable. Hostels cost less than $20 USD, meals cost between $2 and $5 USD, and local transportation in cities is under $1 USD.

But if you venture into the interior and off the main path, the country becomes even more affordable. The best travel offers and discounts may be found here! China is still one of the most affordable travel destinations in the world, yet there is a plenty to see and do there thanks to its enormous size (it is the third-largest country by landmass).

6. India

A busy road in India with the sun setting and smog and dust in the air
India has always been a cheap place to live, yet its currency once traded at a high of 39 to the US dollar. You can now go with roughly 50% more money according to the current exchange rate of 78 rupees to the dollar. You'll have a difficult time spending $50 USD per day here unless you stay in five-star resorts and just eat Western food. By travelling on second-class trains, staying in inexpensive guesthouses, and avoiding Western cuisine, you can get by on less than $30 USD. You may live a luxurious lifestyle for as little as $60 USD each day if you want to splurge out. Even well-known attractions like the Taj Mahal, a Wonder of the World, are quite reasonably priced (entry costs only $14 USD).

India is a budget backpacking country with a fascinating cultural heritage, delectable cuisine, helpful and inquisitive inhabitants, astounding geographical diversity, excellent tea, and enough to do. It's a sizable area that is best explored in a single lengthy journey or several shorter ones. In any case, don't skip India.

7. Georgia

The bustling capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, on a bright and sunny day
Georgia has everything I'm looking for in a vacation spot: it's affordable, has delectable cuisine and wine, has amazing hikes and beautiful mountain views, and doesn't have a tonne of people. I fell in love with it right away and wish I had gone sooner (I actually stayed longer when I went since I loved it so much!).

Georgia, a country tucked away in the Caucasus, has long been a crossroads of cultures, but it isn't nearly as well-known as it ought to be. While the rest of the country offers adventurous travellers a rustic, off-the-beaten-path feel, Tbilisi is a bustling city.

Here, too, you can get by on almost nothing; frugal travellers only spend $25 USD per day. Most museums and historical places cost just $2–3 USD, beer is about $2 USD, and groceries for a week run about $25–30 USD.

Georgia is one of the upcoming major backpacking hotspots, despite the fact that it may seem remote. In a heartbeat, I would return!

8. Portugal

the cityscape of lisbon, portugal
Portugal is one of the cheaper nations in the area and one of my favourite Euro nations because not all of them are created equal. The first time I went there, I instantly fell in love with it. How could I not, with gorgeous beaches, a picturesque wine region, jaw-dropping coastline cliffs, delectable cuisine, friendly locals, and historic cities all at affordable pricing.

Lisbon has become particularly pricey as people move there and drive up prices. Portugal has recently gotten much more popular and busy (it has a developing expat and digital nomad scene). After all, it's a wonderful place! Outside of Lisbon, costs are still reasonably low when compared to the rest of Western Europe, and there are also a lot less tourists. If you're a traveller on a tight budget, plan to survive on $45–$60 USD each day.

Portugal is one of your best options if you're searching for an inexpensive spot to spend the winter in Europe, even though it's beautiful there in the summer.

9. Mexico

An iguana relaxing on the warm stones of Tulum, Mexico
I had gone to Mexico before, but I hadn't actually spent a lot of time there until recently. And I was astounded. In addition to Oaxaca's abundance of charm and its seemingly endless supply of mezcal, Mexico City is a foodie's dream. The Yucatan is ideal for road trips and cenote exploration. Additionally, because it is so close to the US, it is very inexpensive to travel to (alcohol costs around $1-2 USD, groceries cost about $25 USD per week, and you can survive here on less than $50 USD per day) – a win-win situation!

The majority of the nation is yours to enjoy, albeit some areas aren't all that safe to go through. Regardless of your preferences — beaches,.

10. Morocco

A stunning view overlooking a historic town in Morocco
Travellers of all shades frequently include Morocco on their bucket lists because of its chaos and vibrancy. Morocco is a photographer's paradise with its sweeping dunes of golden sand, twisting markets and medinas, and soaring mountains. The magnificent calm of the desert and its picture-perfect views make the journey worthwhile, despite the fact that the busy towns can occasionally be a bit overwhelming.

Not just because it is so inexpensive (though that certainly help! ), I fell in love with Morocco when I went. Budget travellers can travel here for around $30–40 USD per day, and midrange tourists can enjoy a comfortable journey for less than half that. This is a great value for you.


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