Travel doesn’t have to be expensive and there are many cheap places to travel around the world that offer superb value for those who are willing to get just a little adventurous.
You can backpack through many countries, using public transport and staying in budget hotels or dormitories in many cases for less than the cost of staying in your home city.
From exploring Mexican cities and beaches to trekking through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, here are the most exciting cheap places to travel in the world.
Cheap Places to Travel in North America
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The USA can be a surprisingly cheap destination to travel to, as long as you are visiting the right places. Popular cities such as New York or Los Angeles will set even the most frugal of travelers back a few hundred dollars a day if they actually want to see the sights and enjoy the attractions.
That said, there are a number of other destinations that can be visited as some of the best cheap places to travel in the world.
You can save money by road tripping, and average daily road trip prices can be as low as 100 USD per day for fuel, food and car rental. Eating at food trucks or fast food outlets will cost between 5 and 10 USD a meal, while many museums offer free entrance on certain days during the week.
Our Top Recommended USA Tours:
- National Parks of the American West with National Geographic Journeys
- USA Road Trip: Coast to Coast Highlights with G Adventures
- Highlights of the Eastern USA-Northbound with G Adventures
- Discover American Canyonlands with National Geographic Journeys
Mexico can easily be one of the best cheap places to travel in the world because costs can be incredibly low across the country. Of course, if you are planning on having a holiday along the Riviera Maya and booking tours and staying in resorts, it won’t be cheap, but independent travel will be.
Budget travelers can get away with spending around 30 USD per day in Mexico, including entrance fees to attractions such as Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan, and staying in either dorms or budget hotels.
Food in Mexico is both delicious and cheap, and a plate of Tacos, freshly cooked in front of you, can cost just 2 USD. A deluxe bus ride can cost less than 20 USD for an 8-hour ride while using the local Collectivo minibusses for transport is far less than this.
Our Top Recommended Mexico Tours:
- Cultural Wonders of Mexico with National Geographic Journeys
- Mexico: Cities, Cuisine & Ruins with G Adventures
- Mayan Discovery with G Adventures
- Yucatan Discovery: Cenotes & Seasides with G Adventures
Cheap Places to Travel in South America
Colombia is one of the best cheap places to travel in the world because costs are low in the South American nation. You can budget for an average of 30-50 USD per day, depending on if you prefer to stay in dorms or have private rooms in hotels.
Food is cheap, and by eating at local restaurants, you can score a good Colombian meal for around 3 USD, but expect to be eating lots of rice and beans. Intercity buses can be as cheap as 10 USD, while public transport in cities is incredibly low.
For a major city, Bogota can be incredibly affordable. Even if you want to get out and tour around the city and surrounding area.
Our Top Recommended Colombia Tours:
- Columbia Journey with National Geographic Journeys
- Cartagena to Bogota: Colonial Cities & Trekking with G Adventures
- Caribbean Columbia Express with G Adventures
- Wellness Columbia with G Adventures
While the cost of living in Peru is low, it’s the cost of activities and tours that will push prices up for tourists, with a trip to Machu Picchu costing upwards of 600 USD for a multi-day trekking tour.
To really budget, you’ll have to travel independently, or really scrimp for the rest of your trip.
Still, it’s great value in Peru, and without the added expense of a once in a lifetime trek or tour, you can expect to average around 40 USD per day when you are staying in dorms or budget hotels and taking local transport everywhere.
To plan the perfect trip for your budget, have a look at these top things to do in Peru. We’d also highly recommend a trip into the Peruvian Amazon, which is easily accessed on budget airlines from Cusco, in Puerto Maldonado.
Our Top Recommended Peru Tours:
- Explore Machu Picchu & the Amazon River with National Geographic Journeys
- Trekking the Inca Trail with G Adventures
- Explore Northern Peru & Machu Picchu with National Geographic Journeys
- Explore Northern Peru with National Geographic Journeys
Chile is another South American nation that makes for one of the best cheap places to travel in the world and traveling independently, you can expect to average around 40 USD per day for travel costs.
Chile is a long country, so you can expect to spend lots of time on buses, as traveling independently using local transport is the best way to keep costs down in Chile.
Our Top Recommended Chile Tours:
- Torres del Paine-The W Trek with G Adventures
- Discover Patagonia with National Geographic Journeys
- Explore Chile & Argentina with National Geographic Journeys
- Highlights of Chile & Argentina with G Adventures
Cheap Places to Travel in Europe
Spain is one of the cheapest destinations to visit in Western Europe, but you can still expect to pay more here than in countries on the eastern side of the continent.
Use buses or advance tickets on trains to get around, eat from supermarkets or cheap restaurants and taverns, and stay in dorms, and you can expect to spend 50 USD per day.
Our Top Recommended Spain Tours:
- Best of Northern Spain with G Adventures
- Walk the Camino de Santiago with G Adventures
- Discover Moorish Spain with National Geographic Journeys
- Best of Southern Spain with G Adventures
Greece can be one of the cheapest Mediterranean destinations in Europe, but if you want to keep your costs even cheaper, then travel in the shoulder season, after the summer high and before the winter low. The weather will still be great, you’ll just pay less for accommodation and transport.
In Greece, if you are island hopping and using local ferries and public transport to get around, you can expect to budget around 50 USD per day.
You’ll be limited on the number of excursions you can take at this budget though, as most day trips on islands such as Mykonos will cost upwards of 50 USD on their own. That said, you can still go island hopping in Greece on a budget.
Learn to love gyros and eat in the local tavernas, and Greece can be one of the best cheap places to travel in Europe.
Our Top Recommended Greece Tours:
- Greece: Ancient Ruins & Iconic Islands with National Geographic Journeys
- Best of Greece with G Adventures
- Sailing Greece: Athens to Mykonos with G Adventures
- Sailing Greece: Santorini to Mykonos with G Adventures
Hungary has fast become one of the most popular European destinations, but it’s still incredibly cheap to visit. Budapest is more expensive than other cities, but if you stay outside the city center and eat like a local you can easily get away with enjoying yourself on a budget of 50 USD per day.
This means lots of goulash and paprika but you’ll get by on a much higher standard than other European cities. For 30 USD a day, you can also see much of Hungary, but expect to stay in cheaper hostels and to eat more fast food.
Our Top Recommended Hungary Tours:
- The Best of Eastern Europe with G Adventures
- Budapest to Istanbul with G Adventures
- Explore Central Europe with National Geographic Journeys
Cheap Places to Visit in Africa
Landlocked Rwanda has left its troubles behind and is quickly becoming a popular African tourist destination, and luckily, it’s still a cheap place to visit.
While local costs might be minor, most of your budget will end up going to safaris and hotels, and for this reason, you can expect to need at least 100 USD per day for a trip here.
While that is more expensive than places in South America or Europe, it is affordable by safari standards and offers a really unique experience. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a major bucket list attraction and worth the splurge.
Our Top Recommended Rwanda Tours:
- East Africa Gorilla & Safari Experience with National Geographic Journeys
- Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery with National Geographic Journeys
- Culture & Wildlife of Uganda and Rwanda with G Adventures
Like Rwanda, the main draw of a trip to Kenya is to go on safari, but outside of this, it’s a wonderfully cheap destination. Food and drink are cheap, but with safaris added into the mix, you’re looking at spending around 100 USD a day.
This can be brought down by joining fewer safaris, and a frugal traveler could even aim for 50 USD per day. If you’re planning on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro though, you will need to raise your budget even higher.
Our Top Recommended Kenya Tours:
- Kenya Camping Safari with G Adventures
- Kenya Overland: Rhinos & National Reserves with G Adventures
- Kenya Safari Experience with National Geographic Journeys
Ethiopia remains a cheap destination to travel to and for an African country, it’s one of the cheapest and most exciting places to explore.
Traveling mostly independently, but joining tours and activities that take you out into the deserts or mountains, and you can expect to pay 50 USD per day, but you’ll be getting your money’s worth in comparison to more traditional African safari destinations to the south.
A great way to save on budget is to set off into the Simien Mountains and do some trekking. This will allow you to save some money on accommodation so you can splurge in other parts of the country.
Our Top Recommended Ethiopia Tour: Discover Ethiopia with G Adventures
Cheap Places to Travel in Asia
Kyrgyzstan is an exceptionally cheap Central Asian country to visit, but how much you pay per day will depend on how many activities you are doing.
While you can easily visit Bishkek and explore Osh or Issyk Kul Lake on a meager 20 USD a day, staying in guesthouses and eating cheap food. It’s when you start hiring guides or horses for trekking that costs go up.
You can expect to budget more in the region of 50 USD per day over the course of your trip. No matter your budget, be sure to take in a game of Kok Boru and leave some funds to go trekking in the mountains.
Our Top Recommended Kyrgyzstan Tours:
- Highlights of Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan with G Adventures
- The Five Stans of the Silk Road with G Adventures
- Best of Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan with G Adventures
Sri Lanka is exceptionally cheap to travel too, and it’s one of the few destinations left in the world where you can spend as little as 20 USD per day and still enjoy yourself.
A higher budget, up to 50 USD per day, and you can join safaris and whale watching trips and stay in boutique hotels by the beach. With the affordability, you can plan the ultimate Sri Lanka itinerary that hits all the highlights for considerably less than a lot of other places.
Our Top Recommended Tours:
- Sri Lanka: Spice Gardens and Seasides with G Adventures
- Discover Sri Lanka with National Geographic Journeys
- Sri Lanka Land & Sea with G Adventures
- Sri Lanka Encompassed with G Adventures
Like Sri Lanka, India is also an exceptionally cheap destination to travel to. A budget of 20 USD per day will see you enjoying good meals, guesthouses and plenty of sights. Raise this and you can live like an Indian Prince across the subcontinent.
Your dollar can really stretch far in India and with that, you can explore a wide breadth of the country. We recommend sticking to Rajasthan on your first visit, especially if you only have a week or two.
Our Top Recommended India Tours:
- Mysteries of India with National Geographic Journeys
- Essential India with G Adventures
- Discover India with National Geographic Journeys
- North to South India: Colors & Curry with G Adventures
Cheap Places to Travel in South-East Asia
While Bali might be going up and up in price, the country is still very much cheap to travel around, especially if you travel independently. Domestic flights and buses are great value while eating at local restaurants you can enjoy a huge plate of food for just a few dollars.
Factor in a few tours, such as trips to Komodo Island or snorkeling excursions, and you can enjoy yourself on a budget of 30 USD per day. The best part is that you can travel between a multitude of islands on this budget.
Need more inspiration? Check out 11 UNREAL Places to Visit in Indonesia.
Our Top Recommended Indonesia Tours:
- Classic Bali & Lombok with G Adventures
- Best of Java with G Adventures
- Indonesia Encompassed with G Adventures
- Classic Bali with G Adventures
The Philippines is equally as cheap, and even with island hopping trips and the cost of domestic flights between cities-it’s a big country! – then you can really enjoy a trip here on a budget of 30 USD a day.
This means staying in guesthouses and eating local food, but when beers only cost 1 USD a bottle, you can never spend too much anyway. There are numerous places to visit in the Philippines that will blow your mind.
Our personal favorite is Coron and the surrounding islands.
Our Top Recommended Philippines Tours:
- Northern Philippines Adventure with G Adventures
- Philippines Palawan Adventure with G Adventures
- Northern Philippines & Palawan Adventure with G Adventures
Vietnam has always been one of the cheapest places to travel in South-East Asia, and it very much remains that way.
For a budget of 20-30 USD, depending on the number of tours and activities you want to enjoy, you can travel from north to south and see all the best sights, including the likes of Halong Bay.
There are loads of epic things to do in Vietnam on a budget.
Our Top Recommended Vietnam Tours:
- Classic Vietnam: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City with G Adventures
- Vietnam Family Adventure with G Adventures
- Vietnam Hike, Bike & Kayak with G Adventures
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