Travel doesn’t have to be expensive, actually, if you live in a big city on a big country, it may be cheaper to travel around the world than staying at home.
How is that can be possible, there are plenty of destinations where you can enjoy the most and spend less! And these countries offer not just great value but also incredible experiences and moments. The trick is choosing your destination wisely, and spend your money intelligently.
From Morocco to Nepal, here are 10 places you can visit without spend a fortune.
Morocco is the most stable country in North Africa and just a stone’s throw from Europe. It’s quite cheap as well, though only if you manage to steer clear of the pushy salesmen trying to sell you overpriced rugs and trinkets!
If you’re a backpacker, you’ll be happy to know Morocco has a small but growing network of backpacker hostels. If you have a bit more budget, consider staying in some of the iconic riads—traditional hotels with garden courtyards offering a pleasant relief from the buzzing city streets.
They say the Sahara has more grains of sand than there are stars in the universe, which is a wonderful idea to contemplate while you’re camping under a clear Milky Way sky in the middle of the Moroccan desert.
Meals: $1 – $5 per day
Accommodation: $10 – $30 per night
Transportation: $20 – $40
I’ve always had a dream to stand in front of the pyramids of Giza one day. Seeing with my own eyes what an ancient civilization could achieve over 5,000 years ago was something I really wanted to experience. And I have to say: it was one of the most incredible things I’ve done in my life.
Despite the recent civil unrest, if you stay safe and travel in tourist destinations, you won’t be in danger in Egypt. People are friendly and want you to experience what their incredible country has to offer.
While Cairo is quite polluted and chaotic, you absolutely have to visit the Egyptian museum. It’s one of my favorite museums in the world, and I’ve seen plenty. Luxor is also extraordinary. I was in constant awe of every sight: The Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple are hard to forget. You can end your day on a felucca cruise along the river Nile during sunset: so romantic!
Meals: $8 – $10 good local meal per day
Accommodation: $20 – $30 for a mid-range hotel room per night
- South Africa
If you are traveling on USD or Euro, the exchange rate alone will do you a big favor. At this time of writing, 1 South African Rand is equal to 7 cents US. Any hostels/guesthouse/tourist accommodation in South Africa is called a “backpacker”, and they are typically in beautiful settings and each has a unique personality, not to mention affordable too. Food is where the big budget eater or saver can be, as it can get expensive in South Africa. To save money, cook your own food. Grocery stores are plentiful and have reasonable prices. By at least cooking your own breakfast and the occasional dinner, you can save a lot of money.
Unfortunately, public transportation outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town can be pretty limited. While there are a few private companies and trains that all provide transportation around the country, the best (and possibly) cheapest way to get around the country is to rent a car and share with 3 other people.
Meals: $12 – $15 per day
Accommodation: $12 – $15 per night in a “backpacker”
Transportation: $9 per day for a camper van split between 4 people
In a region known for being budget-friendly, Vietnam is one of the top value-for-money destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s possible for a backpacker to get by on as little as $25 per day and still experience the best of what the country has to offer.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to travel to Vietnam beyond the low costs. The country is incredibly diverse, offering everything from trekking in the magnificent hills of Ha Giang, to boat rides in the Mekong Delta backwaters. An excellent way to experience the country is to travel between Hanoi and Saigon on the Reunification Express train, stopping at beaches, historic towns, and national parks along the way.
Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast that consist of a baguette, fruit, and coffee
Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel (here’s a full guide to the best hostels in Vietnam)
Transportation: $8-$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
Malaysia is a great country to visit for those backpackers who are traveling on a budget. I recently spent a few weeks exploring Malaysia and found it to be relatively cheap, especially in comparison with neighboring Thailand. As a couple I spent approximately $50 USD a day, which is just $25 a day per person. This included accommodation, food, and activities for the day.
One of the highlights of Malaysia was actually visiting Kuala Lumpur. I had heard mixed reviews from other travelers but I thought it was a brilliant city to spend a few days in with lots of awesome things to do. Malaysia is definitely a great country to visit on a budget and if you are a foodie you will absolutely love it.
The one thing that could make Malaysia expensive to travel in is alcohol, which is highly taxed. However, if you don’t plan on drinking every night, that will not be an issue.
Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
Accommodation: $5 – $15 per night in a hostel
Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of train and bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an overnight intercity bus ride
SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity
From the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, peaceful Buddhist temples and lush green nature parks, Nepal really has something for everyone. What’s even better, is that this trekker’s paradise is friendly on a shoestring budget.
Guided trekking in Nepal can be expensive, especially if you need equipment. But, there is the option to do treks self-guided and make use of the tea houses which provide cheap shelter for hikers along the way.
If you end up trekking, as long as you do so independently and avoid Mt. Everest itself, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, you can travel for as cheap as $10 per day on food and accommodation at the lower elevations, and closer to $20 USD at higher elevations on popular routes like the Annapurna Circuit.
Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a local guesthouse