Are you planning a trip to go see more of the world, try out cuisine you’ve never tasted, meet interesting new people and explore new cultures? Do you want to rediscover yourself or get a fresh perspective on life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might please you to know that you do not have to break the bank to have an amazing and worthwhile experience. Travelling and having fun in 2022 does not have to be an expensive affair anymore like it used to be in the past. Explore your options with this detailed list of the cheapest countries to visit.
When we think of travelling, we often imagine that it will cost an arm and a leg to explore the world’s most beautiful destinations. That notion can’t be farther from the truth. There are a lot of countries you can visit on a light budget and still have an incredible time, soaking up diverse cultures, eating rich and sumptuous food and enjoying breathtaking natural or manmade attractions. The list below runs through Asia, South America and Europe to bring you the very best destinations the world has to offer and on a very modest budget.
In no particular order, here is a detailed list of countries to consider; four from Asia and three each from South America and Europe respectively.
Starting off this list is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Asia. You can visit Vietnam on a shoestring budget and have the time of your life. You can have healthy and sumptuous local foods without breaking the bank (and Vietnam is known to have some of the best street food in the world). Vietnam is a very foreigner-friendly country with beautiful beaches, towering mountains, rich jungles and resorts. Whether you want to lounge on a beach and drink cocktails or explore tombs and ruins or you’re a nightlife-loving urban explorer or a mountain climber seeking out secluded peaks. You can find a place in Vietnam. Hotel rooms are very pocket friendly and you can find cheap, clean and comfortable rooms to rest your head after the day’s adventure.
Thailand located in Southeast Asia, is one country travellers from around the world have been in love with for years. Commonly known as ‘The Land of Smiles’, it is one of the cheapest countries you can visit. The North of Thailand particularly is easy on a small budget. Crystal clear waters, safe streets and incredibly delicious foods are among the attractions that constantly draw people to Thailand. You can live perfectly well on a 500-dollar budget. Transportation costs are very low especially if you take a public bus. You can as well get rich and delicious street food here without having to part with so much. For accommodation, you can easily find basic dorms for less than a dollar. For activities, you can visit ancient Buddhist temples, go hiking or visit their clear beaches.
Indonesia has such beautiful and breathtaking Islands that it is irresistible for any adventurous traveller. The resort island of Bali is the most well-known destination but there are other beautiful neighbouring Islands to explore such as the Komodo Islands, Java and the rural Flores which are cheaper to live in and also offer exciting adventures. Food and drinks are cheap and delicious throughout the country. Inexpensive and comfortable hostels are also widely available. To save more and have a richer experience you can stick to spending more time in one place as intercity transportation can be costly and time-consuming. You can ride a scooter along the beautiful mountain ranges, go hiking, enjoy a beautiful waterfall or just relax on a hammock by the beach. Indonesia is one of the cheapest countries in Asia and a tourist’s dream destination.
Laos is one of the destinations where you can enjoy loads of amazing activities on a very small budget. This country appeals to history and nature lovers alike, with its sparkling Buddhist monasteries, verdant woods, museums, palaces and temples. Modest entry fees will grant you admission to any of these scenic spots. It also takes small fees to see any of the picture-perfect waterfalls scattered around the landscape. To move around, you can rent a motorbike for cheap and visit small towns where things like food and drink are even cheaper. There are also a variety of options for low-cost accommodation as many new hostels have been built to cater to the large number of guests that troop in from around the world.
While it is no secret that Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, most people do not know that it is also one of the cheapest countries to visit. Colombia embodies everything that is desirable among South American countries. Colombia has something for everyone with its stunning beaches, abundant marine life, and historic inland communities. It has affordable hostels that cost only a few USD per night, cheap public transportation and cheap, delicious South American cuisine. Coffee plantations, volcanoes, national parks, and going snorkelling close to the northern beaches are some of the fun ways to make your time in Colombia worthwhile. Colombian people are also known to be warm and welcoming and their vibrant culture will undoubtedly leave an impression on you.
Bolivia is another one of the cheapest South American countries to visit. It comes as no surprise that it is a favourite among budget travellers. South America is blessed with many picturesque sights and Bolivia has quite an enviable number of them. The largest salt flat in the world, Salar De Uyuni, and the clear waters of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world, are among Bolivia’s highlights. You can get affordable 3-course meals at the local restaurants, and cheap transportation if you choose to ride the local buses or take the train. You can also get low-cost accommodation of less than 15 USD per night. All of Bolivia’s exciting adventures are pocket friendly and memorable.
Check out Guatemala for a fantastic Central American vacation on a tight budget. It has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Americas. Within its borders, Guatemala is home to seaside towns, hills, mountains, and tropical rainforests. Like most other South American countries, Guatemalan people are very welcoming and nice. Local food is affordable and delicious, you’ll spend less than 15 USD for a full day’s meal. Some hostels also offer free breakfast where you’ll spend about 15 USD per night to lay your head. Local transportation is also very cheap. The most common means being converted school buses known as ‘chicken buses’. Paddleboarding on the lakes, hiking nearby volcanoes, swimming at natural lakes and waterfalls, and touring Mayan ruins are all things you may do to enjoy your visit.
Poland, home to a lot of museums and beautiful historical sites is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. It has a beautiful and colourful architecture which bears evidence of its rich culture. Access to some of the country’s most popular attractions is very cheap. Hostels often cost around 10 USD per night, and large portions of satisfying local cuisine typically cost less than 10 USD. There are also a variety of affordable local delicacies to choose from. Transportation is typically by train and it costs very little compared to neighbouring European cities. You can visit other smaller towns for an even cheaper but just as remarkable experience.
Turkey is another breathtaking country in Europe that you can visit on a budget. It has stunning mosques and other photogenic architecture relics of the great Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Caves, ancient ruins, bazaars and beaches are some of the objects of attraction that make it a magnet for tourism. These sites are very affordable to enter and feed your eyes or take pictures. You can get around the cities on cheap taxi rides or intercity buses. Overnight buses are a great option if you want to spend even less. Keep your visit to a city or two to save even less and soak up the culture. Turkish cuisine is fantastic and reasonably priced, costing around 10 USD per day. Hostel accommodation is between 5 to 15 USD per night.
Romania is unquestionably worth a trip because of its intriguing history, breathtaking scenery, attractive medieval towns and castles, and beautiful architecture. But a more compelling reason to visit Romania is that it is constantly rated as one of the cheapest countries in Europe. It is ideal for travellers on a tight budget and those who want to maximize their time and money while on a rewarding vacation. Romania has something for everyone, including snow-capped mountains, hills covered in forests and vineyards, Black Sea beaches, and the best-preserved delta in Europe. Some of the fun activities in Romania include wildlife watching, hiking and visiting historical sites. Romanian cuisine offers hearty and mouthwatering dishes for a relatively small price. The cost of living is known to be very affordable compared to other European countries, especially if you earn in USD or Euros. This has made Romania a hotspot for digital nomads and tourists.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, I have carefully selected these countries because they stand out for their rich culture, history, scenery and other attractions. These countries are well agreed upon by backpackers and digital nomads as being among the top cheapest countries in the world to visit in Asia, South America and Europe. You will not only have memorable experiences but you would essentially be ‘balling on a budget. Travelling cheap also depends on how well you plan your itinerary and expenses during the trip beforehand. Be sure to use this list as a guide on your next trip.