Top 10 Cheap Destinations
While most individuals shy away from taking off to some exotic country fearing it will liquidate their bank account, this assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some countries, in fact, are even cheaper to travel in than living your day to day life in the comfort of your hometown – the only expensive element is the flight over. The world is filled with so many fabulous and cheap destinations from Central and South American to Eastern Europe but nowhere is there a better place to stretch out your dollar than South East Asia. Whether it is exploring lush rain-forests, ducking into historical buildings or swimming through waterfalls – there is always a cheap destination that can suit any travel needs.
1. Siem Reap, Cambodia
For some of the best deals in Asia, head to Cambodia, a country famous for its sacred wonder of the world – Angkor Wat. Decent rooms range from $2-5 and for a few dollars extra you can even get some a.c. and a satellite t.v. For those looking to splurge, boutique hotel rooms can be enjoyed for $50 and up. Beers start at $2, local eats start at $1 and you can indulge in fine dining for under $50. Entrance fees to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap start at $20 for one day and $40 for 3 days. Thrifty travellers can get by on as little as $10 a day. Cambodia allows travellers to spend as much or a little as they choose depending on their travel needs and Siem Reap is no exception.
2. Jaisalmer, India
For those looking to reduce travel costs, India is a fantastic place to travel on the cheap. In fact, if you sleep in inexpensive guesthouses, travel on 2nd class trains and have a steady diet of thali (dhal and rice) you can easily get by for as little as $10 a day. The most expensive part of a trip to India is getting there. A beer will cost about $1.25, a budget guesthouse is $5 or less, a meal $1 and a cup of tea is usually free. In fact, the cheapest room I ever slept in was in Jaisalmer India for $0.50. While we didn’t have running water we had a rock hard bed with satellite t.v. Not only is the travel incredibly cheap but India has some of the most spectacular scenery, history and culture. Jaisalmer is no exception as the camel safari is a must do Indian experience.
3. La Paz, Bolivia
While South America is notoriously cheap, Bolivia is definitely the place for those looking to give their bank account a break. Besides the fact that Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries in South America, it is also one of the most interesting from its geographically diverse terrain to its multiethnic population, Bolivia is an adventure lovers must see. Thrifty travellers can get by on $15 a day while those wiling to splurge a bit on transportation and accommodation can spend $25 and up. Meals are so cheap that its not even worth self-catering as it is even more expensive than dining out. La Paz, the world’s highest capital city is located 3660 meters above sea level and is the cultural centre of Bolivia. La Paz’s beauty entices almost every traveler that passes through, as it is easy to get lost walking around the city’s cobblestoned streets.
4. Cairo, Egypt
While Egypt is bursting at the seams with historic wonders, it is also one of the cheapest countries in Africa and the Middle East. Serious budget travellers can get by on as little as $15 a day which means limited sightseeing as Egypt’s attractions and transportation costs can be relatively expensive. If you are interested in a historical tour and sitting down for dinner instead of chowing down on a street side falafel, be prepared to spend anywhere from $30 and up. ISIC card holders provide students with some serious discounts and tipping is almost always expected. Cairo, Egypt’s capital is booming with must see activities, such as the Giza pyramids, the famed Egyptian museum and Khan-al Khalili market.
5. Kathmandu, Nepal
While undoubtedly more expensive than neighboring India, Nepal is still extraordinarily cheap. Expect to pay about $2 for a beer and a decent guesthouse shouldn’t run you more than $5. Local food, such as dhal bhat (Nepal’s version of Thali) could cost you as little at $1 while international food can set you back $10. For those looking to try out one of Nepal’s famed treks, solo treks can be planned for as little as $7 a day, porters can be hired for $5 a day (plus their food and accommodation) and organized treks can be arranged for as little as $30 a day.
6. Luang Probang, Laos
While South East Asia is notoriously cheap, laid-back Laos is definitely a vacation spot for penny pinchers. For the bottom of the barrel travel, visitors can get by for as little as $20 a day while hot water and a.c. will set travellers back $30 a day. A beer costs less than $1, rooms with shared bathroom and no a.c. start from $5, local food ranges for $3-6 while transportation can get pricey. Luang Probang tops any visitor’s list to Laos due to its beautiful countryside, lush greenery and jaw dropping waterfalls.
7. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the cheapest countries in Central America. Rooms start at $4, meals can be as cheap as $1 and transport is relatively cheap. Vigilant travellers, can spend $15 a day. However, if you are looking for a room with a.c. 3 sit down meals and admission fees, budget approximately $45 a day. Thrifty travellers can save some money by ordering the set meal options and taking local buses over the cushy tourist mini busses. Lake Atitlan is a favourite spot among backpackers looking to relax while taking in the beautiful volcanic lake ringed with small towns. Not only is Lake Atitlan a great spot to chill out on the gringo trail but it’s a good option for those looking to settle down for a weak or two due to its ideal climate, friendly people and low cost of living.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
A traveller to Thailand can spend anywhere from $15 – 30 a day depending on activities, bus rides and accommodation choices. A no frills, shared bathroom guestroom can set you back $3-4 while beers from 711 don’t cost more than a $1 and delicious local food costs anywhere from $1-2. Prices go up astronomically during high season and on the islands. Compared to the islands, Bangkok is a thrifty travelers respite – not only are the shakes cheaper but so is the beer, bus services and food. While many travelers try and avoid Bangkok at all costs, it is an interesting city to explore with tons of history and fantastic shopping.
9. Budapest, Hungary
While Hungary is nowhere as cheap as Asia or even Central America it is still almost a third the price of Western Europe travel. For a dorm room, 3 decent meals and admission prices, travellers in Budapest can get by on €40 and in outlying cities for as little as €30. However, to indulge in Budapest’s nightlife, stay in hotels with a bit of charm and have some wine with dinner, these luxuries will cost travellers more like €70 a day. Further, tipping is not merely a gesture, it is a tipping economy so be prepared to tip anyone from a bartender to a spa attendant. There are tons of good value hotels and hostels available in Budapest and even more budget friendly places to grab a glass of wine or a beer. Despite being a relatively cheap city, that’s not the only reason to visit Budapest, as it is jam-packed with history, a lively nightlife and famous baths, perfect for cooling down on a blistering hot day.
10. Ios, Greece
While the introduction of the Euro has made this supposedly inexpensive country pricier for all levels of travelers, it is still one of the cheapest spots in Western Europe. Frugal travellers can get by on €45 a day. Dorm rooms start at €13 euros while camping sites start at €5 per person, gyros start at €3, and a full out meal with drink and main course will cost about €12. Ferry prices, will raise your budget considerably, but the cheapest tickets are “deck class”, which start at €15. Keep in mind, prices during high season can double (July and August) so be prepared to pay a few euros extra during this period. Ios, a short ride from Santorini is not only one of Greece’s foremost party islands but its beaches are world famous. Ios is a must see for both young and old travellers as is considerably cheaper than neighboring Santorini and Mykonos.
These top 10 cheap destinations are just a taste of some of the fabulous low cost vacations available.