11 Budget-Friendly Travel Destinations Around the World

Most people believe that traveling around the world is going to cost them a fortune and this misconception often discourages them from traveling – no destination is really ever too expensive.

In fact, the world is full of affordable and beautiful destinations, also countries we think of as expensive are indeed budget-friendly if you know certain tips and tricks. If you think about it, the biggest expense is going to be the flights; eating inexpensively and budget accommodation can let you spare significantly a lot of money therefore allowing you to travel long-term wherever and have the experience of your life on a relatively tight budget.

Therefore in this blog post, I am going to share some of the best places to travel to if you are on a low budget; these countries and regions are my favorites for getting the most value for your money, eating well, having fun, meeting friendly locals and travelers!

Strap yourselves in because Giorgy aka G-Extreme is about to show off the best and low-budget places to travel internationally!

NOTICE: The information here is updated as best we can in light of COVID-19. Please check before you go anywhere what modifications have taken place to avoid any inconvenience!

#1. NICARAGUA ~ ONE OF THE HIDDEN GEMS TO BE SEEN IN CENTRAL AMERICA 

Why go?
In the heart of Central America and far less popular than Costa Rica, Nicaragua 
is a beautiful and biodiverse country.

What to expect?
It has been named “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” for a reason. It is full of diverse and wonderful natural beauty and it’s also known for its friendly warm atmosphere and people! One of the reasons that make Nicaragua the ideal destination is that it has three regions that differ in weather and geography as well as two coastlines, which means that it has something for everyone.

Its cities, such as Leon and Granada, are popular for their colorful architecture and churches. Granda is also home to Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake and the only freshwater lake to have marine life, such as sharks. If you love surfing, San Juan del Sur is perfect for you as it’s known for its amazing surf beaches. Another must-see is the Masaya Volcano, an active volcano you can hike or visit with a vehicle. If you visit after dark you will even see the glowing, bubbling hot lava! Nicaragua is also teeming with natural reserves that are filled with wildlife.

Daily Budget
In Nicaragua, you are going to find the most budget hostels for around $10 per night, meals for $3, mainly transportation by bus for the same price, and beers for less than a dollar.

Hey Goofball! Even though Costa Rica has a reputation for being an expensive destination by regional standards, here I put together a list of free things to do if you are still considering traveling there and stick to your budget plan.

#2. CUBA ~ DANCE LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW

Why go?
Because of its pure and unique beauty, Cuba has been on the radar as a budget travel destination and it shouldn’t be missed at all – especially if you love Latin dancing!

What to expect?
It’s a charming country that has remained unspoiled by big corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks and it offers travelers an authentic experience. Cuba’s captivating and colorful architecture is a sight for sore eyes.
Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will make you feel like you have traveled back in time with its cobbled streets and its baroque historic buildings, including Plaza de la Catedral and Catedral de San Cristobal.

Cuba is also known for its lovely weather and numerous pristine beaches such as Varadero. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parque Nacional Viñales is a lush and beautiful valley that is great for hiking and outdoor activities. 

Daily Budget
In Cuba, you are going to find the Casas particulares which are homes of local Cubans who rent rooms to visitors $15 per night, meals a the street vendors for $3, mainly transportation by bus for the same price or take a private taxi for $30, and beers for less than a dollar.

You CANNOT leave Cuba without enjoying Cuban music and salsa, so head to the clubs or joing locals on street dancing by enjoying the lively atmosphere!

#3. COLOMBIA ~ WHERE IT ALL BEGAN FOR G-EXTREME

Why go?
Colombia is another destination that should be on every list ever about budget travel for a good reason! It’s considered a “megadiverse” country because of its various landscapes such as mountains, a rainforest that is home to many endangered animals, and unique plants, deserts, and beaches. And is where my very first backpacking began for me, therefore it holds a special place in my heart; when I decided to quit my job, put on hold my life back home, and travel the world.

What to expect?
I love Colombia, it’s incredible! Due to its biodiverse landscape, Colombia offers travelers a myriad of activities they can do during their stay. These include whitewater rafting, rock climbing, bungee jumping, surfing, whale-watching in the Pacific, kitesurfing in the Caribbean, waterskiing, horse riding through the mountains, hiking through the valleys; in short, the more you put it!

Daily Budget
Expect to get by on between $25-30 a day depending on all you activities you are about to do! Even tho you are going to spend a bit more, no matter what be sure to not skip Colombia!!!!

Hey Goofball! For more information, check out this detailed planning guide on Colombia.

#4. BOLIVIA ~ THE CHEAPEST DESTINATION IN SOUTH AMERICA 

Why go?
Bolivia is another stunning country that is known for its diversity and amazing sights! It is located in western-central South America and while it might not be super popular among tourists, it’s a country that has a unique culture and that offers its visitors spectacular experiences – all on a super tight budget (spending around $10 per day).

What to expect?
The scenery in Bolivia is not only vastly diverse, but it is also breathtaking. From beautiful mountain ranges, scorching deserts, the world’s largest salt flat to Amazonian jungles, sometimes it can be hard to believe you’re in the same country!
When it comes to culture, Bolivia is home to 39 indigenous cultures that still practice their customs and traditions to this day!

It’s an awe-inspiring experience to come across such authenticity and beauty all in one place.

Daily Budget
Expect to get by on between $10-15 a day, you’ll be surprised once you get there and see it for yourself!

Hey Goofball! If you visit more countries in South America, take into account Ecuador, Peru, Amazon Rainforest, and Brazil – they won’t disappoint you!

#5. PORTUGAL ~ BARGAIN COUNTRIES IN THE CORNER OF EUROPE

Why go?
Although Portugal is tucked in the corner of Europe and is most often overshadowed by countries like England and France, it’s home to one of the world’s most charming and vibrant cities in the world: Porto.

What to expect?
This country is full of charming and beautifully mesmerizing architecture and culture; relaxing beaches, wine country, delicious food, jovial locals, and amazing cliffs all at bargain prices.

Daily Budget
In Portugal, you are going to hostels for $15 per night, meals for $10, mainly transportation by bus for the same price, and beers for a few dollars.

Hey Goofball! After all, it’s a dream country, make sure to check out this detailed guide on Portugal. If you are in the mood for backpacking around Europe here is the Ultimate Travel Guide for you!

#6. EASTERN EUROPE ~ SOMETHING OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Why go?
Eastern Europe (Romania, Poland, Croatia) comes to surprise many travelers when they figure out are the cheapest part of the continent.

What to expect?
Other than being surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Danube Delta (Romania), the Auschwitz memorial (Poland), and Dubrovnik (Croatia); this part of Europe with its diverse landscape, rich history, and calm atmosphere that still remains unspoiled by mass tourism. 

Spending a really little amount of money, you could feel like a queen/kind while visiting this part of the world and eating tasteful food like there is no tomorrow!

Hey Goofball! For more information, check out the following planning guide on Europe.

#7. TURKEY ~ EUROPE OR ASIA, THEREIN LIES THE RUB

Why go?
Turkey is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a lot of reasons. It’s a country that has an extremely rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and astonishing nature, all while still maintaining a sense of modernity.
Turkish cuisine is known for being one of the tastiest cuisines in the world; the country is famous for its delightful tea and coffee, kebab, Meze, and seafood.

What to expect?
Some of the highlights include Aya Sofya, Instanbul, which is celebrated for being one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The rock valleys of Cappadocia are also a wonder to behold, famous for their fascinating views and remarkable rock formations. It’s also the perfect place to take a hot air balloon ride!
Turkey also has a really long Mediterranean coastline so it has some of the most stunning beaches, such as Patara and Fethiye. 

Daily Budget
Although Turkey is not quite an inexpensive destination anymore, you can still keep a budget if you plan in advance. You can stay around $20-30 a day in Instanbul: budget accommodation, meals, and activities.

#8. INDIA ~ WHETHER A LONG OR SHORT TRIP, DON’T MISS THIS CHEAP TRAVEL DESTINATION

Why go?
India is a vast country that is blessed with a rich heritage, a variety of sacred sites, wildlife sanctuaries, verdant national parks, mountains, and culinary pleasures.

What to expect?
The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of India is probably the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to immortalize his love for his wife and it incorporates many items from Islamic design such as the dome and the black calligraphy around its entrance.

Other highlights include the holy city of Varanasi which is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus. One of India’s most popular tourist attractions is also Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Madurai. It’s home to many species of both mammals and birds as well as spectacular views of the mountains.

Daily Budget
Unless you book a five-star resort and eat only Western meals, you hardly going to spend more than $30 a day!

#9. THAILAND ~ THE HEART OF SOUTHEAST ASIA BACKPACKERS

Why go?
Thailand is the heart of backpacking in Southeast Asia with a lot to offer: pleasant weather, stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, island-hopping, high safety, and delicious food: all in a really inexpensive way to visit!
Like the Philippines, Thailand covers thousands of miles of coastline, so enjoying the wondrous beaches and islands during your stay is a no-brainer. You can discover these gorgeous islands by renting a long-tail boat.

What to expect?
You can’t go to Thailand without going to at least one floating market, such as Damnoen Saduak, with its colorful local fruits and veggies. You should also visit some of Thailand’s national parks like Doi Inthanon National Park which is home to Thailand’s highest peak!

Northern Thailand, which is still untouched by tourists, is a piece of paradise and it’s cheaper in every way! It’s full of mountains, waterfalls, jungles, and lush scenery. Some of the must-visit places in Northern Thailand include Chiang Mai, Mae Salong, Lampang, and Pai. You can also find Thailand’s largest and arguably most beautiful waterfall, Nam Tok Thilawsu, in Um Phang Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Daily Budget
You can easily stick to a super tight budget and manage to see all of Thailand by spending between $25-30 a day! It’s for sure still one of the most bargain destinations in the world and should not be skipped!

#10. THE PHILIPPINES ~ IS ONE OF THE BEST BUDGET DESTINATIONS IN THE REGION AND NOT TO BE MISSED

Why go?
Speaking of Philippines is an archipelago made up of more than 7000 islands and it’s located in Southeast Asia.
With such a massive coastline, it’s not surprising that the country has some of the world’s best islands and beaches like Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao.

What to expect?
It is
also home to some of the world’s astounding wonders like an underground river, the Mayon Volcano, and The Banaue Rice Terraces. Diving in the Philippines is a once-in-a-lifetime experience due to its biodiversity, so dive in Tubbataha Reef and enjoy the glorious coral reefs and amazing marine life!

Another highlight is the chocolate hills, a fascinating site that has about 1,260 hills that are covered in grass. As the dry season approaches, the grass turns from green to brown and the hills start to look like chocolate!

Daily Budget
Not just because we pictured in our mind the Philippines as a destination filled with high-priced resorts, food, and services that are truly so. Indeed a backpacker community has emerged; cheap guesthouses, transportation, and activities around the islands. You can easily manage to enjoy pristine beaches, tasty food especially seafood, friendly locals, amazing diving without mortgage your home.

#11. NAMIBIA ~ MAL D’AFRIQUE

Why go?
Namibia is a rare beauty, with its limitless landscapes and otherworldly wilderness, it’s a dream destination and one of the cheapest ones in Africa!

What to expect?
Namibia has the oldest desert in the world which has existed for at least 55 million years. Etosha National Park is Namibia’s biggest wildlife sanctuary and it’s home to pretty much all African animals.

Swakopmund is perhaps Namibia’s most vibrant and biggest coastal town. It’s known as the activity center in Namibia because of its shops, restaurants, promenade, and aquarium. You should also definitely visit Walvis Bay Waterfront which is home to a colony of wild flamingoes. The sight of a thousand pink flamingoes will probably feel like it’s out of a movie! Other highlights include Kolmaanskop ghost town and Fish River Canyon.

Daily Budget
In Namibia, as for the rest of Africa, the cheapest you could stay on the African average while traveling is around a budget of $50 a day.

#BONUS ~ TWO UNDISCOVERED TRAVEL BUDGET DESTINATIONS

If you are into some cultural shock budget destination, China and South Korea would serve you well! They are not talked about enough, but both are one of the greatest “undiscovered” travel destinations in the world! Everything is cheap; speaking of food also super delicious! Both remain the best value places in the world to visit when talking about budget trips to Asia!

Traveling doesn’t have to be super expensive to be enjoyable and I am a firm believer that every corner of the globe could be explored on a budget 

With this list of budget-friendly countries around the world, you can enjoy your travel experience, encounter various cultures, and see superb landscapes, all while staying on budget!

So, what’s destinations are going to be your next budget travel trip? Share it in the comment below and leave suggestions as well!

 

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