All too often people put off their travel plans because they don’t think they have the money. It is true that travel can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can go just about anywhere and have the experience of a lifetime.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler looking for another unique destination to add to your travel blog, or you’re someone who just needs to get away for a spell, it is possible to see the world on a budget.
The 24 countries on this list span 6 continents and can support a variety of travel interests. From a few thousand miles away to the other side of the globe, these budget-friendly travel destinations will more than satisfy your wallet and your wanderlust.
India is known as one of the cheapest places to travel which is a bonus because it is also one of the most curious and diverse countries on the planet. Full of glorious colors, flavors, cultures, and histories, whatever type of adventure you are seeking you can find it here. You can tour bustling markets and take in iconic architecture like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, cycle along the tea fields, or take a more spiritual path along the Ganges.
2) Sri Lanka
If stunning views and untouched nature is your thing, Sri Lanka needs to be on your list. The landscape here is so diverse that you can see rainforests, grass-covered highlands, and sandy beaches in a matter of hours. Visit historic sites like the Dambulla Cave Temple or take a train ride through the countryside. Sri Lanka offers an escape from the typical holiday.
For a mix of urban adventure, seaside relaxation, and cultural excursions, head to Vietnam. You can visit temples, lounge on the beach or explore the grottos of Phong Nha Cave. Between the delicious food and friendly people, you’ll not have a dull moment.
This Himalayan country has much to offer at a very low cost to tourists. With stunning religious structures, the natural wonders of Chitwan National Park, the colorful markets of Kathmandu, and the unbelievable mountain views, Nepal is a traveler’s dream come true.
Poland is one of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe. For wild nightlife, shopping, and culture, Warsaw is the place to be. If you want to explore the medieval past of Poland, take in the castles and squares in Krakow. Cities like Lublin, Toruń, and Tarnów contain extreme amounts of historic charm without the crowds of people. And don’t forget to take a break from the cities to check out the mountain views and pristine lakes.
When you think about traveling to Europe, Albania is not likely the first place you consider. But if you are looking to travel on a budget, it’s time to change that mindset. Albania has some of the most magnificent beaches in all of Europe, borders Lake Ohrid, one of the continent’s oldest and deepest lakes, and it is not lacking in the history department. The site of Rozafa Castle is not only steeped in mystery, it has been occupied since the time of antiquity making it one of the oldest places in Albania.
In the know, travelers know the value that can be found in Spain. Ibiza is the perfect place to party, and Leon and Barcelona host incredible architecture and the glorious Mediterranean eats. Places like Lanzarote in the Canary Islands can provide a welcome break from the continent with beautiful hiking trails, beaches, and wineries. The ability to find affordable lodgings and the general ease of moving through western Europe makes Spain a cost-effective destination.
Croatia is a perfect travel destination for anyone looking for a truly unique experience. Cities like Zagreb in the country’s interior, are full of incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture and their proximity to the mountains only adds to the beauty of the region. Cities on the coast, like Dubrovnik, are the perfect place to take in all that the Adriatic coast has to offer. With limestone streets, Renaissance churches and medieval fortresses, can you afford not to visit?
Bolivia offers adventure. For those who need the comfort of being near a major city, La Paz is your perfect mountain high destination. It is possible to survive on less than $30 a day while you take in the sights. If you travel to La Paz in the winter (May-October) you can take advantage of some of the highest ski slopes anywhere on Earth. For those who want to escape further, you can explore the rainforest, or the out of this world Uyuni Salt Flats. And don’t forget to hit Lake Titicaca!
Wherever you go in Colombia, you will find a bright and vibrant culture. While not top of most South American travel lists, Colombia is perfect for people who want to step outside of the box. You can explore coffee country or dance the night away in Medellin. Visit the museums, take in the architecture or try your hand at paragliding. Walk the tall palms at Cocora Valley or get wet in Tayrona National Park. One thing is for certain, Colombia is fun.
Peru is a popular destination and yet it remains within reach in the cost department. For the super ambitious, you can hike the Inca Trail all the way to Machu Picchu or explore the rainforest. You can visit the Inca ruins at Moray or absorb the vibrant city life in Lima or Cuscu.
Chile is a nature lover’s delight. Spend your days exploring Pategonia, El Tatio hot springs or Torres Del Paine National Park. No matter where you turn, you will be struck by the breathtaking splendor that surrounds you.
Everything you have heard about Fiji is true. It really is a nation of crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. But this dream destination is still affordable. Food and drinks are all incredibly priced which will only enhance your experience of paradise. This is the perfect relaxation destination.
Samoa is an island of magic and mystery. Outdoor adventures are plentiful here with a multitude of natural wonders. Secluded beaches and hidden grottos provide a perfect getaway. For a truly unique experience, you must go snorkeling in the bright blue waters of Upolo.
15) New Zealand
Visit the land of Hobbits and celebrate the splendor of Mother Nature with a trip to New Zealand. With so much to do and see, NZ is an ideal country for backpacking, camping and traveling on a budget. Surfing, kayaking, hiking, or just lounging on the beach, New Zealand is a must visit location.
If you want to explore a world below the waves, head to Tonga. This Polynesian paradise is so beautiful you will hardly believe your eyes. Swim with humpback whales or snorkel through the coral reefs, or stay on land exploring the lush forests that blanket the island.
Egypt is one of the most budget-friendly places to visit. And it is not short on incredible things to do and see. The food is amazing and the markets and nightlife in Cairo need to be seen to be believed. But for history buffs, Egypt is a must. From the pyramids at Giza to the temples and tombs in Luxor, the splendor of Ancient Egypt is on full display.
Morocco is a spicy and colorful locale totally unlike anywhere else in the world. Traditional tagines and other Moroccan dishes make this a perfect trip for any foodie. There is so much to see and do in this North African country from hiking Toubkal Mountain to visiting the Ouzoud waterfalls or the blue city of Chefcaouan.
Tanzania is home to the Serengeti National Park which provides the chance to see animals like elephants, hippos, lions and giraffes in their natural habitat. For the experienced hiker, Mount Kilimanjaro awaits. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater as well many animals like zebra, wildebeests, rhinos, leopards, buffalo, as well as more lions and elephants. For an animal lover, Tanzania provides some of the greatest opportunities to see them in the wild.
Located on the west African coast, Senegal is the perfect mix of history, natural beauty and thriving modern culture. Perfect for backpacking and easy to navigate, cities like Dakar have a hopping nightlife but there is plenty to do in the daytime too. Go surfing or visit the pink Lake Retba or get powerful history lesson at the House of Slaves Museum.
21) Costa Rica
Whether you want the city experience or you want to escape into nature, Costa Rica has it. Absorb the culture of San Jose before exploring the rainforest and swimming at the bottom of hidden waterfalls. Relax on white sandy beaches or find adventure at the still active Arenal Volcano. If you want to get up close and personal with wildlife, head to Manuel Antonio National Park where you can hike and explore from the coast up into the mountains.
Jamaica is a must visit for people looking to have a relaxing good time. Sip a rum on one of the beautiful beaches or visit Blue Mountains National Park. And of course, no trip to Jamaica would be complete without a visit to the legendary Doctor’s Beach in Montego Bay. The blue crystal water needs to be seen to be believed.
23) Newfoundland, Canada
This island province on the east coast of Canada is a true hidden gem. Navigate icebergs on a whale watching adventure or try to spot the narwhals. If you’d rather stay on land, you can explore the ancient viking settlement. With only a tiny population, Newfoundland offers lots of untouched wilderness. Gros Morne National Park provides lots of opportunities for hiking while Marble Mountain provides a chance for some skiing in the winter months.
So much of the conversation about Haiti is dominated by the devastating impact of the 2010 earthquake but the Caribbean nation offers so much more than these gut wrenching stories. Places like Port Salut, exhibit all the old beauty that made Haiti the “Pearl of the Caribbean.” Miles and miles of beaches surrounded by palm trees make Haiti a great place to find a little peace. And because it is not known as a typical travel destination, lodging and food remain incredibly cheap.