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Airtract Jean-Claude Reuille Exploring the world

Top 10 destinations for budget travelers 17 October, 2020   

Did you know that your Dollars, Pounds, or Euros can be worth a fortune in a host of other countries?

A misconception that people have been thinking about international travel is that it will cost a fortune. Apart from the accommodation and food, the cost of the destination also plays a big role in your budget. 

The world is filled with budget-friendly locations and no matter what continent you are visiting; you will always get places that you can visit on a limited budget. In fact, there are countries, that are quite affordable if you follow certain tips. 

The following are the list of 10 top destinations around the world that offer the essentials like accommodation, transportation, and food for less:



An iconic Southeast Asia destination, which is a must-visit for the backpackers. It is quite affordable and incredible with the warm hospitality of locals. Here you can get a private and air-conditioned room at a cost of $20, street food for $2, and transportation across the country for $20. If you spend around $50, then you can have a lavish stay. 


It is famous for the amazing temple complex of Angkor Wat and the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake. It offers multiple experiences like the riverfronts of Phnom Penh, stunning beaches of Sihanoukville, and endless rice fields of Mondulkiri. You can also cycle around the villages of Cambodia to explore local life. 



India is perhaps one of the cheapest countries to travel and here you can show your haggling skills. The best way to travel is to book everything yourself, without involving any agents or online travel portals. Accommodation in a local guesthouse can cost you around $4-$8 per night, meals around $3-$6 per day, and transportation around $1-$3 for a full day of bus and train rides, and $8-$30 for an intercity train ride.


India offers a rich cultural heritage, top-class food, and street shopping. The incredible locals believe in hospitality and give a warm welcome to its visitors. In North India, you can find more hills and mountains and in South India is known for beautiful backwaters and rejuvenating spa. There are a lot of historical monuments to interest architecture lovers.


The ideal time to visit Greece is a few weeks before and after summers so that you can enjoy the place on a lower budget with smaller crowds. Eating out is expensive in certain parts of Greece, so you can cut down on the food part by cooking your meals by buying fresh produce from the market. Picnic by the gorgeous beaches can also be enjoyable and it is often better than a lavish meal. The cost of Greece will be around $40 a day.


In terms of activities, you can go for free walking tours. In case of some island hopping, plan in advance and explore a group of islands to minimize the cost of transfers. For traveling long distances, a domestic flight can be cheaper than bus rides. The meals will cost around $10-$15 per day, accommodation $10-$15 per night in a hostel, transportation around $10-$15 per person for a rental car split between four people, or ferry tickets around the islands for $10-$20. 



In Southeast Asia, Thailand is the heart of backpacking and is still one of the most bargain destinations in the world that should not be skipped. A day will cost $25-$30 including guesthouses, food, local buses, and attractions.  


The north of Thailand can be covered on a tight budget but the south is more expensive where costs for accommodation start to double and at some places can go triple. There are loads of activities to do and historical attractions to visit like you can go for island hopping around the Phi Phi Ley Islands or plan a trip to Bangkok. For mountain trekking, you can visit Chiang Rai and Koh Samui, and Krabi for pristine beaches.  



Indonesia is like a tourist magnet. Indonesia can really be cheap or quite expensive that entirely depends on transportation. Traveling intercity can be very costly along with traveling from one island to another with a private boat. In order to save costs, you need to stick to a region or two. Prefer taking local transportation. Accommodation may cost around $5-$10 per night in a hostel, meals around $5-$15 per day, and transportation around $8-$15 for a motorbike ride for the day. You can stay in a hostel to save the accommodation cost.


Food and drinks are cheap throughout the country. You can enjoy the scooter rides through the beautiful mountains, relax at a hammock by the beach or enjoy the waterfalls. You can dive at beaches like Merah Beach, Batu Bolong, and Tatawa islands to make your dream of underwater come true without going to some expensive place for diving. The monkey forest, Ubud is a must-visit for wildlife lovers. 


China has always fascinated travelers with its intricate buildings and rich history. It has an ancient civilization. The must-visit places are The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Wangfujing Place, and the Temple of Heaven. You can enjoy strolls in the busy streets and also have fun while shopping. If you are a nature lover, then you can roam near the lakes of China and well-manicured gardens.


Provinces like Sichuan, Dali, and Guangxi offers cheap accommodation with delicious food. Here you can have unique experiences like savoring BBQ with the locals for less price, riding a bicycle for free, etc. The meals will cost around $4-$8 per day, accommodation $5-$10 per night in a hostel/local guesthouse, and transportation for $1-$3 for a full day of bus and train rides in the city. Interstate bus/train ride will cost around $10-$30.  


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with its quaint places, historical monuments, stunning and exotic beaches, and mouth-watering seafood. If you want to see the city life, then head to Colombo and Negombo. If tea plantations, waterfalls, and cold weather enchant you, then Nuwara Eliya and Kandy are a must-visit for you. It has a mix of best shorelines and seafood.


What expensive you can find here are safaris and admission into UNESCO Heritage Sites. Sri Lanka can cost you around $30 a day. Food, transport accommodation, and Internet are quite cheap. The cheapest transportation is the train, which is also the best way to travel through Sri Lanka. Meals will cost $5-$10 per day, accommodation $8-$15 per night in a hostel and transportation $10-$15 per person for a private car, $3-$5 for a second class cabin train ride between the cities.     



Located in Southeast Asia, you can find a lot of things to do in this budget-friendly destination. It has the largest caves in Asia, Halong Bay islands, forests, religious places, and much more. The must-see places are the paddy farms and the Marble mountains. If you are a foodie, definitely try street food like rice noodle soup, rice crepes, and beef noodles. For a bargain-shopper, floating markets will be an enjoyable experience. A common mode of transport is Kayaking.


If you rent a motorbike, then you are all set for the day. However, if you do not want this option, then GrabBike(just like Uber but on Bike) is available almost in all major cities, and the cost of the same is as low as $0.50 for a 2km ride.  Trains and long-distance buses are also affordable. Accommodation will cost $5-$10 per night in a hostel and meals around $5-$10 per day. 


Home to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Turkey is a fascinating destination. It is also called “The Land Beneath the Half-Moon”. It is popular for its Roman ruins, cave cities, bazaars, and countless Mediterranean beaches. It is bordered by eight countries and surrounded by three seas. If you are a history lover, then Istanbul will delight you. 


It has scintillating mosques, intriguing cultures, and lip-smacking food, a mix of which can leave you mesmerized. Cappadocia has been formed after a volcanic eruption and is popular because of horse rides and air balloon rides. A hot air balloon ride will cost around $200-$300. 


If you take overnight buses, then you can save on accommodation. Stick with a city or two, when you have a low budget. Turkish food is cheap. Meals cost around $10-$15 per day with some hostels offering complimentary breakfast. Accommodation costs around $1-$15 per night in a hostel.



Mexico is filled with natural beauty, rich culture, and scrumptious food. The street food is delicious and the must-try dishes will be tacos, quesadillas, and tortillas. The white sand beaches are essentially free and the hospitality is priceless. 


Traveling within the city is cheaper than intercity traveling because of the size of the country. For backpackers, try to stay in the same place for a longer duration to avoid transportation costs. Meals will cost $8-$15 per day. Accommodation will be around $8-$15 per night in a hostel. Transportation will be around $3-$5 for a full day of bus and train ride and $30-$50 for an intercity bus ride.  

We have just told you about the top 10 destinations but there are other destinations also that might catch your attention, so you can give it a try on your next adventures like Jordan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Russia, Egypt, Myanmar, UAE, Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, Romania, Armenia, Ukraine, Morocco, Guatemala, Cuba, and Kenya to name a few. 


Making an international trip will no longer be a dream. So you can explore these places on your next adventure without making your wallet fall off a cliff!

budget holidays Jean Claude Reuille Top - 10 destinations

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Sarah Shiraz - I am a frequent traveler and Love Sri Lanka has made it incredibly easy for me to plan out my adventures and help me cho... Read More

Sarah Shiraz - I am a frequent traveler and Love Sri Lanka has made it incredibly easy for me to plan out my adventures and help me choose the best places to visit and experience. Several key operators in Sri Lanka's private tourism sector came together to form the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance and start the “Love Sri Lanka” campaign. Read Less


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