Budget Travel Destination India scaled

19 Cheapest Countries to Visit Around the World

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the 19 cheapest countries to visit around the world! If you’re a budget-conscious wanderer, you’ve landed on the right page. In this exciting journey, we’ll showcase nineteen pockets of paradise that offer exceptional value for every dollar you spend. These destinations will allow you to immerse yourself in diverse cultures, indulge in delightful cuisines, and experience breathtaking landscapes, all without breaking the bank.

We’ve crafted this guide to provide an approximate daily budget for each country, enabling you to plan your adventure without any surprise expenses. However, do remember that market dynamics and economic factors mean that prices can fluctuate, so it’s always good to have a little buffer in your budget.

Our journey begins in the enchanting continent of Asia, home to a wealth of budget-friendly destinations, before taking us around the globe. From bustling markets to serene beaches, ancient ruins to vibrant nightlife, you’ll soon discover that travelling on a budget doesn’t mean missing out on the world’s most exciting experiences. So buckle up and let’s embark on this epic voyage, demonstrating that the richness of travel isn’t determined by the depth of your pockets, but by the breadth of your curiosity and spirit of adventure. Let’s get started!

Cheapest countries to visit in Asia

Budget Travel Destination Vietnam scaled

In recent decades, Vietnam has become one of the most sought-after destinations for budget travelers in the world. If you’re careful, you can spend as little as $25 per day exploring the cities and countryside of one of Asia’s friendliest nations.

Hearty street food costs no more than a couple of dollars per plate, and you can enjoy a glass of local beer for less than 50 cents. In the cities, you will find a dorm bed for less than $10, and you won’t pay more than $50 for a train ticket that covers the length of the country.

Because there are so many other backpackers and budget travelers in the country, you can link up and split the cost of excursions out into the country and along the stunning beaches, making everything about Vietnam affordable and good value.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35

Budget Travel Destination Cambodia scaled

Cambodia is truly a budget travelers paradise. Few countries boast such a rich and fascinating history, combined with stunning vistas and beaches. You can travel between your destinations on air-conditioned buses for around $10 and take boat trips along the Mekong river for a similar price.

Food is a similar price to neighboring Vietnam, where you can enjoy delicious curries and rice dishes for a few dollars. You can find backpacker-friendly accommodation throughout the country for less than $10 per night, and if you want to splash out, you can even find 4- & 5-star accommodation for between $50-$100.

Perhaps the highest cost you will incur in Cambodia is the 3-day pass to Angkor Wat, which is currently $62. But overall, Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries in the world for budget travelers.

Approximate daily budget: (without Angkor Watt) $20-$30 (with Angkor Watt) $30-$40 

Budget Travel Destination India scaled

It’s a little misleading to call India a country; it’s more of a sub-continent in truth. And because it’s so vast with such a variety of opportunities, budgets will vary from person to person. However, with some careful planning, you can stay in India for a long time while spending very little money.

You can eat freshly prepared meals for $1-$2 almost everywhere in India; just be mindful of the infamous Delhi belly! That being said, if you venture into a 5 star resort, you could pay more than $50 for the same food you can buy on the street outside for less than $5. India is a country of contrasts, so you need to be smart to stick to your budget.

There are hostels all over India with beds for under $10 per night, but small guest houses often represent the best value for money, with great quality and service for less than $20 per night. You can travel extensively by train, at approximately $10 per 200km, and it’s an excellent way to meet local people, too.

Approximate daily budget: $20-$30 

Budget Travel Destination Nepal scaled

The roof of the world, Nepal, is the number one travel destination to view the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Even if you’re not motivated to climb Everest, the countless tracks through the Himalayan foothills provide unrivaled opportunities for hikes and climbs for everyone. If you’re happy to hike without a guide, you can save yourself a lot of money, but you need to plan your route in advance and be mindful of the fast-changing weather.

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The capital city of Kathmandu is an intriguing hub of activity, and it’s the place where you can find everything you need for a trip into the mountains. Eating in Nepal is extremely cheap, and for less than $5, you can eat delicious local food, including Thukpa and Momos. To warm you up after a day’s trek, you can enjoy a cup of Chai for only 20 cents!

As for accommodation, you can find many cheap beds in dorms throughout Kathmandu, and you can find cheap accommodation throughout the countryside, too. You can expect to pay anywhere between $5 and $15 per night for a bed in a shared room.

Approximate daily budget (without guided treks): $20-$30  

Budget Travel Destination Indonesia scaled

What’s not to love about this incredible nation with more than 17,000 islands for you to explore? Indonesia is a stunning destination, and you can relax on stunning beaches, visit ancient Buddhist temples, and explore underwater paradises all on the same day.

While many backpackers flock to Bali (and with good reason), if you cast your net a little further, you can explore the vast extremes between Java, Sumatra, and Lombok. While it’s perfectly possible to enjoy Indonesia on a budget, you have to be aware that there’s also a thriving high-end tourism market, too, so be careful not to fall into any tourist traps.

On most popular islands, you can find a bed in a shared room for between $10 and $20 per night, and if you’re willing to eat the delicious food served from local warungs (food stalls), you can expect to pay less than $2 for a hearty meal.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35  

Budget travel destination Thailand scaled

The Mecca of independent travel, Thailand, is ideally set up for budget travel and has a vast network of backpacker hostels, public transport, and exciting points of interest that make it the perfect destination to explore.

Thailand is one of those countries that can work on a variety of budgets. For instance, if you’re super frugal and want to stay in dorm rooms, eat street food, and only visit free attractions, you could spend around $20 per day. But given the huge amount of attractions within the country, most people spend a fair amount of money on entrance fees and internal transport to move up and down the country.

Localized public transport is incredibly cheap and is likely to set you back a few dollars, but internal flights are also good value, usually less than $100 for return flights. However you decide to explore Thailand, it’s more than possible to do it on a budget.

Approximate daily budget: $20-$40 

Cheapest countries to visit in North America

Budget Travel Destination Cuba scaled

Cuba is relatively affordable, but prices do vary, depending on where you stay. Using Havana as a guide, you can find single accommodation for around $20-$30. Food in private restaurants will set you back $5-$10 per meal, but if you eat in a government restaurant, food can be as little as $1.

If you’re traveling on public transport, buses in Cuba are cheap and in relatively good condition, costing you no more than $3 per hour of travel. If you want to save money, you can always use provincial buses, but they’re not the most comfortable!

Approximate daily budget: $30-$40

Budget Travel Destination Mexico scaled

One of the great things about Mexico is that you can experience the country on a shoe-string budget. Even many of the tourist hotspots like Playa Del Carman can be enjoyed cheaply, with delicious tacos and refreshing mojitos setting you back no more than $5 if bought from the right place.

There’s such a range of accommodation throughout Mexico that you can find a cheap bed in a dorm for less than $10 or choose to enjoy a private room in a local hotel for around $25 per night.

Buses tend to travel from city to city with fares between $10 and $20 and are generally comfortable. For longer distances, you can pick up cheap tickets for internal flights, which saves you lots of time on the road.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35 

Cheapest countries to visit in Central America

Budget Travel Destination El Salvador scaled

El Salvador offers travelers access to stunning lakes, volcanoes, beaches, and Mayan ruins, making it one of the most interesting countries to explore in Central America. What’s more, the great news is that it’s incredibly cheap.

Buses connect all the considerable points of interest, and you can get almost anywhere for less than $10. The national dish of the country is ‘Pupusas,’ which is a delightful tortilla filled with cheese and refried beans. You can enjoy it alongside a glass of local beer for less than $1.50, which is a common meal choice for budget travelers.

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You will find that accommodation is great value, too, and you can book into a private room at a local hotel for around $10.

Approximate daily budget: $20-$30 

Budget Travel Destination Nicaragua scaled

Your money goes a long way in Nicaragua. You can stay in quaint accommodation on glorious, sun-soaked beaches or in boutique hotels nestled in quiet streets in colonial cities. A bed in a dorm will cost you around $5, while you can get a private room in local hotels for around $15.

Food is very cheap and delicious, with a full meal costing less than $5, and lunch on the go is available for $2. Buses move freely around the countryside and can cost as little as $0.50 for short journeys and up to $10 for longer connections.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35

Budget Travel Destination Ecuador scaled

Arguably the cheapest country for travelers in South America, Ecuador is the ideal place to visit stunning tropical islands, snow-capped mountains, and the Amazon rainforest. In Quito, you can find a dorm bed in a hostel for less than $15 and can expect to pay less than $10 per day on food.

You can move around cities for a few dollars, and buses travel long distances for reasonable rates ($10-$30, depending on where you’re heading).

Costs in the countryside are cheaper, but consider the fact that any nature-based excursions are likely to cost you a fair bit, particularly if you’re on your own. If you want to tour the Galapagos islands, you should budget a minimum of $120 per day, more if you’re alone.

Approximate daily budget: $30-$40 

Budget Travel Destination Colombia scaled

You can spend time wandering the streets of fabulous colonial towns before heading out to enjoy some of the continent’s most pristine beaches that Colombia is world-famous for.

Food is extremely reasonable in all cities, and you can eat well for around $5 per meal. As for accommodation, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to budget-friendly options, with a bed in a dorm room costing no more than $15 per night.

Intercity travel on buses is cheap, too, and you can travel from place to place for anywhere between $10 and $40. As Colombia is all about nature, you will find lots of free activities to do, so you won’t have to spend a great deal on excursions.

Approximate daily budget: $30-$40 

Cheapest countries to visit in Europe

Budget Travel Destination Croatia scaled

Although not the cheapest destination in Europe, Croatia must provide the best value for money, with so many wonderful sights to explore, including the fascinating city of Dubrovnik. While touristy cities like Hvar and Split can be expensive during the height of summer, traveling out of season will be significantly cheaper.

You will find a dorm bed in most places for less than $15, and you will be pushed to spend more than $10 on food. You can enjoy some of the cheapest (and most delicious) espresso in all of Europe, too. Bus travel between cities can be less than $5, and you can even rent a car for around $20 per day if you feel so inclined.

Approximate daily budget: $35-$45 

Budget Travel Destination Georgia scaled

Georgia is an absolute gem of a country, often known only as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. Yet should you visit Georgia, you will enjoy a country that is exotic, incredibly friendly, and largely undiscovered.

You can travel from the capital Tbilisi onto other interesting towns by packing into a marshrutka (local minivan) that leaves when it’s full. Travel costs around $5 per hour and is an experience in itself! You can find really cheap accommodation across Georgia, from as little as $20 per night for a private room in a decent hotel.

You should visit Georgia sometime soon before it becomes too commercialized like some of its neighbours. Right now, it’s one of Europe’s hidden gems and offers great value for money.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35 

Budget Travel Destination Lithuania scaled

Lithuania sits at the tip of Europe and is the gateway to the Baltic region. The country is home to stunning beaches and extremely friendly locals, and there is so much to discover off the beaten track.

You will find a bed in a dorm in a hostel for between $10 and $15 in the capital of Vilnius, and you can travel up-country on buses for between $10 and $30, depending on where you go.

Food is also cheap in Lithuania, and you can enjoy a meal and a beer for around $6. With so much to see and do, Lithuania is a great ‘off-the-beaten-track location,’ one that is ideal for budget travelers.

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Approximate daily budget: $30-$40 

Budget Travel Destination Romania scaled

Perhaps because of its problems under ruthless dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in recent history, Romania is a country that is often overlooked by travelers. Bucharest is described as ‘The Paris of the East’ and is a beautiful city to explore, with many lively bars, restaurants, and excellent value for money accommodation options.

Away from the city, you can explore the quaint Transylvanian villages that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula and be amazed at the stunning natural beauty of this eastern European gem. On top of all of this, Romania is incredibly cheap, perhaps one of the cheapest countries to visit in the whole of Europe.

Beer and coffee cost about $1, and you can get one-way bus tickets to various destinations from Bucharest for less than $5. As for accommodation, you can spend less than $5 on a dorm room in Bucharest or book a private room elsewhere for less than $30. Romania is a true gem and one that you should definitely explore if you’re on a tight budget.

Approximate daily budget: $20-$30

Budget Travel Destination Turkey scaled

There’s something for everyone in Turkey. Culture lovers flock to the ancient city of Istanbul and marvel at the historic mosques, intricate souks, and the mouth-watering cuisine that the city’s famous for. Outside of Istanbul, there are stunning beach resorts, mammoth mountain ranges, and quaint countryside villages for you to explore.

Because the Turkish Lira has depreciated in value in recent times, Turkey is currently one of the cheapest places in Europe to visit. One-way bus tickets cost only a few dollars, and you can rent a car for less than $20 per day. Wherever you are in the country, you can enjoy delicious Turkish food like doner and falafel, which can be enjoyed for less than $3.

As for accommodation, there are so many options to choose from, and you can find a bed in a shared room in Istanbul for less than $15 per night. Turkey is an incredibly interesting destination to explore and is perfect for budget travelers.

Approximate daily budget: $25-$35 

Cheapest countries to visit in Africa

Budget Travel Destination Morocco scaled

It surprises people that Africa isn’t the cheapest continent to discover. However, Morocco serves as a gateway to the continent and can definitely be explored on a budget!

You can stay in beautiful homestays in Marrakech for around $20 per night while enjoying street food or meals at local restaurants for between $5-$10. Bus travel to the Atlas mountains and other places of interest can cost between $30-$40 one way, so it’s not the cheapest you will encounter.

Morocco is a land of many contrasts and a welcoming introduction to Africa, so it’s a great place to begin your budget travel in the continent.

Approximate daily budget: $40-$50

Budget Travel Destination South Africa scaled

You might be surprised to see South Africa on this list, but it represents incredible value for money. You can enjoy juicy steaks and delightful red wine for less than $20 per person, and if you enjoy local street food, expect to eat on less than $5 per day.

Guesthouse accommodation is super cheap across the country and can be as little as $20 per night. Dorms in hostels go for $10 and are an excellent place to meet other travelers.

As for intercity travel, internal flights in South Africa go for as little as $30 and can save you huge amounts of time. However, you can also book a ticket on the sleeper train which takes you from Joburg to Cape Town for just $50. Whatever you get up to in South Africa, it’s a great place to explore on a budget.

Approximate daily budget: $35-$45 

In Conclusion: As you have hopefully learned from this comprehensive guide, you don’t have to empty your savings to travel around the world.

Providing you research your flights well and are willing to get creative when it comes to accommodation and food while on the road, you will be able to manage your costs and find excellent value for money.

What’s more, if you head to one of the fourteen countries that we’ve introduced, you will find your dollars go a lot further than they do at home, which is great news if you’re hoping to see the world as cheaply as you can.

We hope this guide helps you to plan your trip around the world and gives you the inspiration to see that affordable, budget travel is possible when you put your mind to it.

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