Unveiling the Best Budget Travel Destinations: From Hungary to South Africa, Exploring Affordable Adventures Across Continents

2023-07-30 00:04:54 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Traveling on a budget doesn't have to mean sacrificing your wanderlust. In fact, some of the most incredible destinations in the world can be explored without breaking the bank. From the charming streets of Hungary to the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, this article is a guide to the best budget travel destinations. So, grab your passport and prepare to embark on a journey filled with adventure, culture, and unforgettable experiences.

 

Hungary

 

1 US Dollar = 379.64 Hungarian Forint

Hungary boasts a thriving economy, making it an ideal destination for those planning a trip to Budapest. The city is renowned for its growing collection of Michelin-starred restaurants and state-of-the-art spas that attract visitors from all over the world. Budapest offers a plethora of luxurious five-star hotels at affordable three-star prices. For a truly indulgent experience, consider booking a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest, an opulent property adorned with chandeliers, stained glass, and elegant white stucco. Known as the capital of hedonism in Europe, Budapest invites you to fully embrace its vibrant atmosphere.

 

South Korea

 

1 US Dollar = 1,295.74 South Korean Won

While many tourists flock to popular destinations like Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island, we have set our sights on Mokpo, a lesser-known South Korean city located in the Jeolla region at the southern tip of the peninsula. Mokpo is renowned for its captivating dining scene, offering unique dishes such as hongeo, a pungent skate-fish delicacy that draws food enthusiasts from around the globe.

 

Mexico

 

1 US Dollar = 19.74 Mexican Peso

Mexico has consistently been a top choice for budget travelers. Mexico City, in particular, stands out with its vibrant street food culture and progressive restaurant scene that will delight your taste buds. While food takes center stage, don't forget to budget some money to explore the city's cultural wonders, starting with the iconic Museo Jumex. If you're up for a more adventurous experience, venture to Jalisco to witness the authentic production of tequila, or escape to the tranquil Isla Holbox for a secluded beach getaway.

El Chaltn Argentina

DieterMeyrl/Getty

 

Argentina

 

1 US Dollar = 172.06 Argentine Peso

Contrary to common belief, the Argentine peso currently offers excellent value against the US dollar. American travelers to the country enjoy several added benefits. In 2016, the Argentine government abolished the $160 "reciprocity fee" for US citizens. Additionally, foreigners are eligible for a refund of the 21% value-added tax on hotel stays, which is automatically deducted from the bill. Take advantage of this favorable exchange rate and treat yourself to delicious steak and exquisite Malbec wine.

 

Vietnam

 

1 US Dollar = 23,545.00 Vietnamese Dong

Vietnam stands out as an exceptional destination for dollar carriers, thanks to the continuously improving exchange rate. However, it's the country's breathtaking beauty that truly captivates travelers. While Hanoi is often considered the most enchanting city in the region, don't hesitate to explore lesser-known gems like Ninh Van Bay and Phú Quốc Island. These hidden havens offer pristine beaches and intimate resorts away from the crowded tourist areas.

 

Brazil

 

1 US Dollar = 5.32 Brazilian Real

Brazil, much like other South American countries, remains an affordable and appealing travel destination. With a favorable exchange rate of 5.32 Brazilian reals to the US dollar, you can make your money go even further. Rio de Janeiro, in particular, offers a wealth of experiences with its stunning hotels, such as the award-winning Emiliano Hotel, situated just steps away from some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Don't forget to explore São Paulo as well, where a vibrant younger generation has injected new life into long-neglected neighborhoods through hip galleries, museums, and bars.

 

South Africa

 

1 US Dollar = 17.19 South African Rand

The South African rand offers great value for US travelers, especially considering its fluctuation over the years. Stretch your budget by indulging in the 21-course tasting menu at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town. For the ultimate wilderness adventure, head to Singita Castleton Lodge in the Sabi Sand game reserve. South Africa's wealth of natural beauty and wildlife make it an unforgettable destination.

Sri Lanka

Traditional stilt fishermen in Sri Lanka

Daria Dyachenko/Unsplash

 

Sri Lanka

 

1 US Dollar = 365.65 Sri Lankan Rupee

The Sri Lankan rupee has experienced a significant surge in value, making it an incredibly exciting time to explore this stunning island nation. From lush tea plantations and enchanting Buddhist temples to golden beaches and captivating elephant sanctuaries, Sri Lanka offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences.

 

Costa Rica

 

1 US Dollar = 593.31 Costa Rican Colón

Despite a slight depreciation in recent months, the Costa Rican colón remains favorable for US travelers. What sets Costa Rica apart is its natural beauty, which can be enjoyed free of charge. Immerse yourself in tropical cloud forests in the mountains of Alajuela or catch some waves while surfing off the coast of Peninsula Papagayo. Costa Rica truly is a haven for outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

 

Colombia

 

1 US Dollar = 4,778.33 Colombian Peso

Colombia encapsulates the best features of South America, with its stunning Andean peaks, Amazonian jungles, and sandy beaches. The country's major cities are experiencing a renaissance in food, art, and technology. Despite its recent rise in popularity, Colombia remains one of the most affordable destinations for American travelers.

 

Egypt

 

1 US Dollar = 24.72 Egyptian Pound

Exploring the wonders of Egypt, such as the Pyramids, cruising the Nile, and discovering the vibrant city of Cairo, has never been more affordable. The Egyptian pound has experienced significant growth in value, making it an ideal time to visit. Take advantage of new hotel openings, like the St. Regis Cairo and the beach villas at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria. Additionally, the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum is set to take place in 2023.

Book your stay at St. Regis CairoBook your stay at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria

 

Serbia

 

1 US Dollar = 110.46 Serbian Dinar

Belgrade continues to establish itself as one of Europe's most vibrant cultural hubs, thanks to its affordable prices compared to cities like Paris or Berlin. With hotels available for under $100, you'll have more budget to spend exploring the city's wealth of museums, contemporary art installations, and energetic nightlife scene.

Ohrid North Macedonia

Spastonov/Getty

 

The Gambia

 

1 US Dollar = 62.05 Gambian Dalasi

Although it is the smallest country in continental Africa, the Gambia offers an abundance of attractions that should not be overlooked. Known for its affordable prices, the Gambia has long been a favorite destination for wildlife enthusiasts. In recent years, it has also begun to gain recognition as a food destination and luxury cruise port of call.

 

Uzbekistan

 

1 US Dollar = 11,260.00 Uzbekistani Som

Uzbekistan is quickly emerging as an exciting and affordable destination in Central Asia. The country's major cities are teeming with intricate mosques and captivating brutalist monuments, all of which can be explored free of charge. Dining at local restaurants won't break the bank either, with most meals costing less than $5. While there may not be many internationally recognized hotel chains, even accommodations like the Hyatt Regency Tashkent offer nightly rates below $170.

Book now with ExpediaBook now with Hyatt

 

Asia

 

laos cheapest places to travel to

 

Back in my budget backpacking days around Southeast Asia

 

In Southeast Asia, Laos was one of the destinations where I was able to keep my budget at $30/day, despite slightly more expensive accommodation compared to other places in the region at that time. Laos offers a range of cheap and amazing activities. I paid $2.50 to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, for a full-day tubing experience along the Vang Vieng river, and for an awesome tiger balm massage. Renting a motorbike to explore the smaller towns is also affordable. With the increasing number of backpacker hostels, it's possible to extend your stay for even less. However, if you want to splurge a bit, you can find gorgeous rooms for around $35 that would cost $100 in the US.

  • Meals: $3 – per day. Some hostels provide a basic breakfast
  • Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: – $15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills), or up to $25 for an intercity bus ticket
  • SIM card with data: for 1.5GB with 30-day validity

 

Cambodia, $30/day

 

I can confirm that it's possible to spend a month in Cambodia with just $1000 if you choose to rough it. Dorms are very basic but extremely affordable, as are food and alcohol. I became skilled at bargaining with Tuk Tuk drivers to avoid being overcharged. While there are additional expenses such as the 3-day pass to Angkor Wat, which is currently set at , and diving trips, there are also days where you can ride bicycles in small villages and enjoy cheap and delicious meat skewers for just a dollar or two.

For more comfort, there are boutique hotels on booking.com that, while not as cheap as hostels, are worth the price. It's worth splurging on a couple of nights and enjoying some relaxation time by the pool.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $5-$15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: -$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket
  • SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

 

Northern Thailand, $32/day

 

The north of Thailand is a budget-friendly destination. As you move south, accommodation costs start to increase significantly. If you're short on time and budget, it's recommended to stay in the north for your Thailand trip. Even in popular places like Chiang Mai and Pai, basic dorms can be found for less than . Opting for street food not only saves money but also provides a more authentic and delicious experience. Most activities, such as visiting the White Temple or going on day trips, are also affordable.

 

The Philippines, $37/day

 

lagaan falls siquijor

Traveling through the Philippines can be both time-consuming and expensive, with limited options for hostels compared to other Southeast Asian countries. However, there are strategies to keep your travel costs low. Traveling during shoulder seasons, booking flights and planning your journey in advance, and focusing on exploring 1-2 regions can help keep expenses down. Despite the challenges, the Philippines offers stunning islands, dive sites, and hidden gems that would cost much more in other parts of the world. In that sense, the Philippines is worth every peso you spend.

  • Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: -$20 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $10-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or $15 – $20 for a boat ride from one island to another
  • SIM card with data: for 2GB with 30-day validity

 

Malaysia, $40/day

 

tioman island beach

While Malaysia is often perceived as expensive among economically developed Southeast Asian countries, it offers affordable options for travelers. It's possible to have meaningful interactions with locals and explore destinations such as Cameron Highlands, the jungles of Borneo, and the gorgeous islands at a reasonable cost. An overnight bus from Kuala Lumpur to the Perhentian Islands can cost as little as $15. Malaysia's cuisine is diverse and inexpensive, making it one of the cheapest places in the world to get a PADI scuba diving certificate.

The main expense to watch out for is alcohol, which is highly taxed. However, if you're not planning on drinking every night, it won't be a significant issue.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
  • Accommodation: – $15 per night in a hostel
  • Transportation: $5 – for a full day of train and bus rides, or $15 – $20 for an overnight intercity bus ride
  • SIM card with data: for 2GB with 30-day validity

 

Nepal, $30/day ($15/day if trekking)

 

thurong la pass nepal

Nepal is a very affordable country to travel through, with local options for food, accommodation, and transport being quite inexpensive. While street food in Nepal doesn't have the best reputation, you can find cheap and delicious home-cooked meals in local-run small cafes. When booking accommodation online, it's important to be mindful as big hotel chains have taken over some local guesthouses. It's recommended to book the first couple of nights online and then look for real local guesthouses on arrival.

If you choose to trek, as long as you do so independently and avoid expensive routes like Mt. Everest, you can travel for as low as $10 per day on food and accommodation at lower elevations and around $20 per day at higher elevations on popular routes like the Annapurna Circuit.

  • Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast.
  • Accommodation: -$12 per night in a local guesthouse
  • Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver split between 4 people, or a local bus ride between cities
  • SIM card with data: $3 for 1.25GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

A complete guide to Nepall

 

Taiwan, $45/day

 

taiwan cheapest place to travel to

When it comes to street food, Taiwan is the place to be. For less than $2, you can savor a plate of fragrant rice topped with pork or chicken, indulge in a large deep-fried chicken chop, or enjoy a bowl of delicious vermicelli with oysters. The cuisine in Taiwan is both delectable and incredibly affordable, making it a haven for budget-conscious foodies. In cities like Taipei and Tainan, you can take advantage of their city bike program, which costs less than $0.50 per hour per ride and even offers the first 30 minutes for free. With this convenient and cost-effective transportation option, you can explore the city all day without worrying about spending extra money on getting around.

However, it's important to note that high-end food and clothing prices in Taiwan can sometimes reach US-level prices. Traveling between cities can be expensive if you choose the High-Speed Rail (HSR), or time-consuming if you opt for slightly cheaper alternatives. Additionally, it's worth mentioning that internet access in Taiwan is not as affordable as in other countries.

  • Meals: You can expect to spend $5 - $10 per day on meals. Some hostels even provide complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: For hostel stays in Taiwan, you can find options ranging from $10 to $35 per night. I highly recommend checking out this hostel in Taipei. It's a great choice! Please be aware that as of October 13, 2022, Taiwan's current COVID restrictions do not allow travelers to stay in shared accommodations, such as hostel dorms, for the first 7 nights of their visit.
  • Transportation: If you're utilizing the city bike program, you can enjoy a full day of bike, bus, and train rides for $0 - $3. Alternatively, if you're taking the High-Speed Rail (HSR), expect to spend $20 - $40 for intercity travel.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with unlimited data for 28 days at a cost of $33.

 

India, $25/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

India is widely regarded as one of the most budget-friendly countries to explore, but it does require some haggling and deal-hunting. For around $3 - per day, you can enjoy a wide variety of meals that tantalize your taste buds. Keep in mind that inexpensive accommodations in the $3 range will be basic, and it's common to shower with buckets of heated water. The northern regions may not offer as many budget-friendly options, but the southern part of India, with its stunning beaches, tends to be more fruitful when it comes to affordable places to stay.

Opting to book things yourself is the best way to experience India on a budget. Avoid travel agents and online booking sites (unless it's for intercity travel, in which case you can check out 12Go Asia). Instead, visit local guesthouses, restaurants, and tour companies to secure the same services in person for half the price you'd find online.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $3 - per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Local guesthouses offer affordable stays ranging from $5 to $10 per night.
  • Transportation: A full day of bus and train rides will cost you $1 - $3. If you're considering intercity train travel, expect to spend - $30. In some cases, domestic flights can be as low as $30 if you want to treat yourself without breaking the bank!
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 1.5GB of data for 30 days at a cost of $3. Yes, it's incredibly cheap!

 

Kyrgyzstan, $25/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Kyrgyzstan is a fantastic choice for travelers interested in exploring Central Asia, regardless of their budget. The country offers a unique culinary experience that won't break the bank, along with affordable transportation options such as minibusses. In fact, public transportation prices in Kyrgyzstan are fixed and among the most affordable aspects of traveling within the country. Plus, you can find hostels in major destinations and local homestays in more rural areas for less than $10 per night. If you're embarking on a multi-day hike, such as the Tian Shan Mountains trek, the tour price typically covers most expenses.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $4 - per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Hostels and local guesthouses offer affordable stays ranging from to $12 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a local minibus ride for as little as $0.20, or opt for an intercity bus ride for $4. That's right, transportation is budget-friendly in Kyrgyzstan!
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 3GB of data for 30 days at a cost of $3. Please note that the coverage may not be reliable in mountainous areas.

– Read More –

A quick guide to Kyrgyzstan

 

Europe

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

If you're seeking an affordable and off-the-beaten-path European adventure, look no further than Romania. While the country is often associated with Dracula, there are numerous charming towns and free activities that remain undiscovered by most tourists. Take leisurely strolls through medieval villages or people-watch in beautiful parks to truly experience Romania on a budget. Free walking tours are a great way to explore the country's historical sites. Accommodations in hostels range from $10 to $15 per night, and the cuisine is hearty, delicious, and perfect for budget-conscious travelers. To cut down on meal expenses, consider having breakfast at the hostel, enjoying a substantial lunch, and preparing your own dinner using fresh produce from local markets. Public transportation in Romania is reliable and affordable.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $12 to $20 per night. Don't miss out on exploring Romania's variety of local guesthouses as well!
  • Transportation: A full day of bus and train rides within the country will cost you $5 - $10.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 3GB of data for 28 days at a cost of .

 

Georgia, $30/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Georgia is another European destination that often flies under the radar, yet it's both stunning and affordable. One of the best parts? Most visitors can enter Georgia without a visa and stay for up to one year. Quality hostels can be found at reasonable prices, allowing you to enjoy local restaurant meals for as low as $3. Local minibus rides cost less than $1, and entrance fees to museums and historical sites are mainly under $2. The locals are welcoming, and hitchhiking is a viable option for both short and long-distance travel. With an abundance of day trips, hikes, and monasteries, Georgia offers endless exploration opportunities for those with more time than money.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $10 to $15 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of bus and train rides for $3 - $5, or splurge a bit more and take an intercity ride for $5 - $10. Alternatively, you can hitchhike and travel for free!
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 1GB of data for 1 month at a cost of $3.

 

Greece, $45/day

 

sailing greek islands poros

To make the most of a budget trip to Greece, timing is key. While prices for flights, accommodations, and tours have significantly decreased since the country's debt crisis in 2010, summer months are still more expensive than others. If you're looking to save money and escape the crowds, consider visiting a few weeks before or after summer. By doing so, you can enjoy Greece's beauty without breaking the bank. To cut down on food costs, buy fresh produce from local markets and prepare your own meals. Certain areas of Greece can be pricey for dining out, but having a picnic by the beach can be just as delightful as a seafood feast at a restaurant. Free walking tours are a great way to explore the country, and when island hopping, sticking to a group of islands minimizes transportation costs. In some cases, a domestic flight may even be cheaper than a bus ride for long-distance travel.

 

Czech Republic, $40/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

As more tourists flock to the Czech Republic, particularly Prague, prices have risen in recent years. However, this country remains one of the most affordable options for traveling in Central Europe, especially if you venture beyond Prague. Places like Cesky Krumlov and Telc offer an authentic Czech cultural experience at a lower cost. Local transportation is both reliable and affordable, and a 3-day pass can be purchased for $16 if you plan on doing a lot of traveling. Czech cuisine may not be the healthiest, as it often consists of potatoes and meat, but it's hearty, filling, and budget-friendly. When sightseeing, be selective about which historical sites and museums you enter to manage your expenses effectively.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $12 to $20 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of tram rides for $5, or opt for an intercity bus ride for $15 - $20.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 2GB of data for 1 month at a cost of $13.

 

Poland, $44/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Despite being frequently overlooked by tourists, Poland offers a wealth of heritage sites, with a total of 14 to explore. This culturally and historically rich country is often quite affordable to visit. Entrance fees to museums and historical sites typically average around $5, which is reasonable compared to other European destinations. Polish cuisine is delicious and boasts more variety than the neighboring countries, though it tends to be calorie-dense. The trains may be a bit outdated, but they are also very inexpensive. Take your time exploring the enchanting forests that house hidden castles, or immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the country's small towns like Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane. Poland offers countless opportunities to experience its beauty and culture on a budget.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from to $20 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of train rides within the country for $1 - $3. For intercity travel, expect to spend $10 - $15 on a train ride.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 2GB of data for 1 month at a cost of $3.

 

Croatia, $47/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

If you're a fan of turquoise waters, sunshine, and lively parties, Croatia should be your next budget-friendly destination. The country is surrounded by thousands of islands, boasts excellent weather from May to October, and offers beach and yacht parties year-round. Essential expenses such as accommodations, transportation, and food come with a reasonable price tag. Croatia also features stunning architecture, fascinating sights like the Museum of Broken Relationships, and picturesque small towns waiting to be explored. To make the most of your budget trip to Croatia, travel during the shoulder season to avoid the busiest months of July and August. Limit your island hopping to a group of islands to minimize transfers. As Croatia's popularity continues to rise, prices may increase as well, so consider visiting sooner rather than later to snag a great deal.

 

Turkey, $45/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Turkey can be both affordable and expensive, depending on your travel preferences and the extent to which you explore the country. While a hot air balloon ride can cost around $400 - $500 and intercity travel can be lengthy and costly, there are plenty of affordable options to make Turkey a budget-friendly destination. For example, you can visit iconic sites like the Blue Mosque in Istanbul or the stunning white travertines in Pamukkale for a reasonable entrance fee. Exploring local bazaars is another budget-friendly activity. While long-distance buses can be costly, overnight buses can save you money on accommodations. It's worth noting that Turkish cuisine is not only delicious but also affordable, alleviating some financial concerns.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals. Some hostels even offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $12 to $20 per night.
  • Transportation: For a taxi ride, expect to spend $1 - $3, or consider an intercity overnight bus ride for $30 - . Keep in mind that hitchhiking can be an option for budget-conscious travelers as well!
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with 2GB of data for 30 days at a cost of .

 

Lithuania, $44/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Lithuania may be a small country that often gets overlooked, but it's both underrated and affordable to explore. If you enjoy vibrant nightlife, Vilnius is the place to be with its lively scene and affordable alcohol. Visiting the Old Town in Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Curonian Spit offers a quieter experience with plenty of charm. Keep in mind that hostels can be scarce outside of the capital city, so it's advisable to book in advance or consider Couchsurfing. Lithuania offers affordable meals for $10 - $15 per day, and public transportation is reliable and relatively inexpensive.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals. Some hostels even offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $10 to $20 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of bus rides within the city for $3 - , or take an intercity bus ride for $15 - $20. Buses tend to be more reliable than trains in Lithuania!
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a Baltic SIM card, offering 3GB of data for 30 days at a cost of .

 

Estonia, $44/day

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Estonia is a paradise for nature lovers, with over 50% of the country covered in forests. This means ample opportunities for hiking and exploring national parks, often with no additional cost. Walking and cycling are perfect modes of transportation in small towns, minimizing transportation expenses. While affordable hostels may be limited in smaller towns, basing yourself in Tallinn, the capital city, and taking day trips is an excellent budget-friendly strategy.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $10 - $15 per day on meals. Some hostels even offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $10 to $20 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of train rides within the city for $3 - , or take an intercity train ride for $10 - $15.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a Baltic SIM card, offering 3GB of data for 30 days at a cost of .

 

Latvia, $47/day

 

Like Estonia, Latvia offers enchanting forests and a wealth of lakes and rivers for canoeing enthusiasts. The best time to visit is during fall or winter, when you can admire the changing colors of the leaves while canoeing down rivers or immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of local Christmas markets. Wander through the awe-inspiring forests that house castles, and enjoy budget-friendly activities like hiking and people-watching. These affordable or free experiences make Latvia an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers.

  • Meals: Expect to spend $12 - $15 per day on meals. Some hostels even offer complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostel stays range from $14 to $25 per night.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of train rides within the city for $2 - $5, or take an intercity train ride for $10 - $15.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a Baltic SIM card, offering 3GB of data for 30 days at a cost of .

 

Nicaragua: Affordable and Adventurous

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

Nicaragua is a Central American destination that offers budget-friendly travel options. While its affordability may not last forever, it is currently an exciting and economical choice. Often referred to as the next Costa Rica, Nicaragua presents opportunities for fun and interesting experiences. From surfing and volcano hiking to diving, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy. The country also boasts beautiful colonial cities that are perfect for leisurely strolls. Additionally, Nicaragua offers stunning beaches where visitors can relax all day long. Delicious and affordable food options are available in abundance, though they can become repetitive. Hostels are conveniently located throughout the country, ensuring affordable accommodation options are within reach. It is important to note that safety concerns exist in Nicaragua, so it is advisable to consult the official advisory site before making travel plans.

  • Meals: Expect to spend around - $10 per day, with some hostels offering complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostels offer nightly rates ranging from $5 - $15.
  • Transportation: For a full day of chicken bus rides, budget $3 - $5, or consider an intercity bus ride for - $15.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected for $12 with a 1GB data plan that is valid for 30 days.

 

Guatemala: Adventure Awaits

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

For an incredible Central American adventure on a budget, Guatemala is a destination worth considering. The country is characterized by lush jungles, volcanoes, and ancient ruins. In addition to outdoor sports, Guatemala offers captivating colonial cities like Antigua, where visitors can appreciate stunning architecture and wander through enchanting cobblestone streets. While Antigua's prices are slightly higher, the rest of the country remains relatively affordable. Local transportation, mainly through chicken buses, can be inexpensive but confusing at times. These converted North American school buses do not have designated stops or fare boards. Instead, passengers flag them down and pay the collector. Observing what locals pay and following suit is the best approach.

  • Meals: Plan to spend $10 - $15 per day, with some hostels providing complimentary breakfast.
  • Accommodation: Hostels offer nightly rates ranging from $10 - $15.
  • Transportation: Enjoy a full day of chicken bus rides for $1 - $3, or opt for an intercity bus ride priced between $5 - $10.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a 2GB data plan for $13, which is valid for 30 days.

 

Arizona & Utah Road Trip: A Balanced Budget

 

The Cheapest Travel Destinations In the World in 2023

While the United States is usually not considered a budget destination, embarking on a road trip through Arizona and Utah allows for cost-saving strategies. By navigating expenses wisely, travelers can balance their overall budget. During a solo American Southwest road trip, the average daily expenses came to approximately $110. This budget accounted for a camper van rental, food, gas, camping fees, as well as occasional indulgences. Traveling with companions can significantly reduce costs. With one additional person, expenses can be split evenly. The more people, the greater the savings (until space becomes limited and elbows start bumping).

Some money-saving tips include:

  • Invest in a national park pass for , granting a carload of individuals access to any national park in the US for a full year.
  • Consider renting a camper van to combine transportation and accommodation, taking advantage of free camping on BLM land.
  • Prepare your own meals by using the camper van's kitchen facilities, resulting in significant savings.
  • Meals: Plan to spend $12 - $15 per day on food.
  • Accommodation: Enjoy free accommodation when traveling in a camper van.
  • Transportation: Budget per day for a camper van, divided among four people.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a $35 plan offering 1GB of data for 30 days.

 

Africa: Adventure and Value

 

south africa road trip

Travelers using US dollars or Euros will benefit from favorable exchange rates when exploring Africa. At the time of writing, 1 South African Rand is equivalent to 7 cents US. In South Africa, all types of tourist accommodations, including hostels and guesthouses, are referred to as "backpackers." These establishments are not only affordable but also set in beautiful surroundings, each possessing a unique character. The cost of food in South Africa can be a significant budget factor, and savings can be achieved by preparing meals independently. Grocery stores are abundant and offer reasonable prices. By cooking your own breakfast and occasionally having dinner in, you can save a substantial amount of money. Limited public transportation options exist outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town. While there are some private companies and trains available, renting a car and splitting the cost with three other people is often the most affordable and convenient method of travel.

  • Meals: Allocate $12 - $15 per day for food.
  • Accommodation: "Backpackers" in South Africa range from $14 - $18 per night.
  • Transportation: Expect to spend per day when sharing a rented camper van among four individuals.
  • SIM card with data: Purchase a $35 plan offering 1GB of data for 30 days.

 

Namibia: Spectacular Landscapes at a Reasonable Price

 

sossusvlei namibia

Namibia boasts breathtaking scenery, including must-see attractions such as the enchanting Sossusvlei, the hauntingly beautiful Deadvlei, and the impressive Fish River Canyon. While Namibia may not appear inherently budget-friendly due to accommodations often catering to luxury travelers, adopting a different approach can lead to significant savings. Opting to camp instead of staying in lodges presents an opportunity to experience the country's natural beauty without breaking the bank. Luxury lodges typically cost between $50 and $200 per night, while camping fees at campsites run from to $10. Government campsites charge slightly higher rates, ranging from $15 to $18 per night. Renting a 4x4 and sharing the cost with others is an ideal transportation strategy. If your accommodation provides a communal kitchen, take advantage of it to prepare your own meals and achieve substantial savings. Entrance fees to attractions are generally affordable.

  • Meals: Allocate $12 - $15 per day for food.
  • Accommodation: Camping rates range from - $18 per night.
  • Transportation: Budget $15 - $18 per day for a 4x4 rental, split among four individuals.
  • SIM card with data: Stay connected with a $16 plan offering 1.5GB of data for 60 days.

In conclusion, traveling on a budget doesn't mean sacrificing adventure or missing out on incredible destinations. From the bustling streets of Vietnam to the vibrant landscapes of South Africa, and the rich history of Egypt to the exotic beauty of Sri Lanka, these budget-friendly destinations offer an abundance of experiences without breaking the bank. Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking a new adventure, there is something for everyone on this list. So, pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to explore the world without putting a dent in your wallet. Happy travels!

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