15 Cheapest Countries To Visit in 2019

Did you know it’s possible to travel on as little as $10 a day in some parts of the world? Well, if you get creative with your travel destinations, it most certainly is.

Most people know that India and Eastern Europe are cheap places to visit but most of the world’s best budget backpacking destinations are a little off the beaten track, and you won’t find most of these countries on other ‘budget travel destinations’ lists… This is some real adventure gold right here, folks.

I’ve been traveling the world broke for nearly nine years now, I normally travel on a budget of around $10 – $15 a day, but this becomes a lot more fun when you pick a cheap place to travel as suddenly you can afford beer!

Cheap places to travel

When you are seeking out the best cheap countries to visit, keep in mind that the whole spectrum is on offer. Do you like trekking in the mountains? Is the beach your thing? Do you want a life-changing cultural experience? Do you just want to find the country with the cheapest beer?

Whatever it is you want to experience, there is a budget-friendly country for you.

For adventurous backpackers and those who want to explore the world without breaking the bank, this is the ultimate list of cheap places to visit…


The Ultimate List of Cheap Countries to Visit in 2019…


1. Iran

Cheap places to travel

Nasir Ol-Mosk Mosque in Shiraz

One of the most overlooked cheap places to travel is Iran. Backpacking Iran is a truly incredible experience, and Iran is probably the easiest country worldwide to hitch a ride; you will often be invited into homes so you rarely even have to pay for a place to sleep.

Iran is an often misunderstood country and frequently slated in the media, something which continues to anger me. I’ve spent nearly six months in Iran, visiting four times across 2016, 2017 and 2018. My wife is Iranian, I speak some Farsi, and I feel strongly connected to this amazing country. Iran is one of the cheapest countries to visit in the world and is a broke backpacker haven…

With gorgeous Islamic architecture, legendary hospitality, beautiful women, and the stunning island of Hormuz, this is a country which will take your breath away at every turn.

Backpacking across Iran is a truly amazing experience and it’s one of my favorite budget travel destinations in the world. If you’re happy to hitch and to Couchsurf, you can travel here for under $10 a day.

I’ve camped out all over Iran, Couchsurfed with dozens of hosts, hitchhiked thousands of kilometers – the legendary Iranian hospitality means it’s totally possible to travel on a tight budget and Iran is actually a very safe country to visit. If you’re into hitchhiking, this country is a mecca…

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Iran, check out these articles:


2. Venezuela

Cheap places to travel

$100 changed into local currency on the black market

I first visited Venezuela in 2015 and I fell in love with this vibrant intoxicating country pretty damn fast. Burning cars, riot police, and protestors were my first view of the country, but I was quickly made welcome by my Couchsurfing host and I managed to ninja my way around the country without being robbed – an impressive feat.

With sixty beers for a dollar (nope, that’s not a typo!), Venezuela is officially the cheapest place to travel in the world. You need to conceal your money and carry your dollars in cash to take advantage of the black market exchange rates but assuming you do…

Venezuela is such a cheap country for travelers that you can stay in five-star hotels for just $2 a night, take taxis for 25 cents, go on multi-day all-inclusive mountain treks for under $100 and party hard for under $5 a night.

Venezuela has a deservedly bad reputation as the rough part of South America, but I couchsurfed my way across this amazing country with ease and had a truly incredible time.

If you’re in search of real adventure and keen to travel on the cheap; You can have an absolute blast in Venezuela for under $50 a week. Though truth be told, you should only travel to Venezuela if you’re an experienced backpacker.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Venezuela, check out these articles:


3. Nicaragua

Cheap places to travel

Volcano boarding in Nicaragua

An easy introduction for backpackers… Nicaragua is the cheapest place to travel in Central America and makes an excellent quick vacation spot for those on a budget. Nicaragua is a wonderland of volcanic peaks, crazy parties, jungle treks, and Mayan sites.

I spent nearly three months exploring Nicaragua and it’s hands down my favorite budget travel destination in Central America. It’s safe, easy to get around, and has something for everyone.

You can score a room for under $10 a night and expect to eat street food for under a dollar. Alcohol is cheap and the beaches are free! If you’re a first-time budget backpacker, Nicaragua is a solid choice.

Compared with other countries in Central America, like Costa Rica (right next door), Panama, or Belize, Nicaragua is certainly one of the cheapest countries to travel to in all of Central America. A hostel bed in Costa Rica may well cost you double what it does in Nicaragua!

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Nicaragua, check out these articles:


4. Cambodia

Cheap places to travel

The legendary ruins of Angor Wat

A popular stop on the backpacker trail, Cambodia is not as cheap a place to travel as it used to be, but you can still score beers for 25 cents and budget dorm rooms in hostels for just a couple of dollars.

Many backpackers in South East Asia save Cambodia for the last part of their trip as this is the place you can make your money stretch the furthest in this part of the world. Cambodia used to be the cheapest country to visit in the SEA but today, that is probably Laos. 

At a fraction of the price of neighboring Thailand and with plenty of gorgeous beaches, steamy jungles, and a fascinating history, Cambodia is another solid choice for a first-time budget traveler as it’s safe, easy, and fun.

If you only have a couple of weeks holiday and you want to live it up, Cambodia is a good place to travel for a cheap vacation extravaganza.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Cambodia, check out these articles:


5. Pakistan

Cheap places to travel

Truck-art, just one of Pakistan’s thousands of unique attractions…

Pakistan might not be the first budget travel destination to spring to mind when planning out your ’round the world trip, but think again; backpacking across Pakistan is a simply awesome experience!

The mountains in Pakistan are hands down the best in the world and the hospitality you will experience here is truly very special. I Couchsurfed my way across Pakistan with no problems and have spent over three months in this amazing part of the world.

Whilst transportation costs can add up, it’s possible to hitchhike and once you have made some local friends you will rarely have to pay for much; you can expect numerous offers of a place to crash. Food will rarely set you back more than a couple of dollars and you can camp for free in The Himalayan mountains.

Pakistan is a wonderland of stunning treks, friendly people, underground parties, and ancient traditions. Best of all, Pakistan is the cheapest place to travel if you want to explore one of the ‘stans.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Pakistan, check out these articles:


6. Eastern Europe

Cheap places to travel

Buzludzha, a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria

As you head East through Europe, you enter a whole other world of backpacking protocol. In recent years, Eastern Europe has become the go-to destination for travelers wanting to escape the standard Europe backpacking route found in the Western part of the continent.

You’ll notice as soon as you leave the Euro currency countries behind, things are suddenly much more affordable.

Backpacking Eastern Europe is one hell of a good time for any aspiring adventurer. Beer is often the same price (or less) as bottled water. You can score a dorm bed and breakfast for $10, and a long distance bus ride for less than that.

Most countries of Eastern Europe were part of the former Soviet Union, and the relics of those times are still visible across the region. There are many awesome backpacking delights to be had in this part of Europe.

If you are looking to get off the beaten path, spend less money, and experience a totally different part of the continent, backpacking Eastern Europe is where it’s at.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Albania, and Georgia are all prime backpacking destinations and good places to start with. I strongly encourage all travelers to experience the magic of Eastern Europe

With epic Soviet ruins, friendly locals, frozen cities and colorful traditions, Eastern Europe is a great place to explore if you are on a tight budget. It’s extremely easy to hitchhike across Eastern Europe and beer is almost always cheap.

Albania is probably the cheapest place to travel in Europe, followed closely by Bulgaria and Romania. For kick-ass parties and beautiful people, head on up to Ukraine or Russia. Check out this post for a full list of the cheapest places to go backpacking in Europe.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Eastern Europe, check out these articles:


7. India

Cheap places to travel

Driving a Tuk-Tuk across Rajasthan, India

An oldie but a goodie, broke backpackers have been traveling to India for decades now. When I was nineteen, I spent a year backpacking around India and spent under $3000. It’s possible to survive here comfortably on $10 a day and you can even do it for less.

India is one of the most popular budget travel destinations but that’s largely because so many people know about it… For a taste of real adventure, and to avoid the hippie-wannabe hordes, cross the Wagah border and explore Pakistan instead.

India is definitely one of the cheapest countries to visit in South Asia, and is cheaper than neighboring Nepal and Pakistan, but the hassle here can get on one’s nerves after a while.

The trick to super cheap backpacking in India is to travel slow. The faster you travel, the more it will cost. In general, it’s likely you will spend between $15 – $35 a day depending on how comfortable you want to be.

The average room cost: $2 – $5  Average meal cost:  $1 – $3 (less if you eat street food). A twelve-hour train journey in 3AC sleeper class: $16.50. The entrance fee to a historical site cost: $3.50 for foreigners.

In total, I’ve spent nearly two years backpacking across India now and have probably seen only about half of what this amazing country has to offer.

Like many India veterans, I both love and hate the country. The fact remains: India is absolutely one of the cheapest countries to visit… and there is truly endless adventure/off the beaten track potential here.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in India, check out these articles:


8. Bolivia

Cheap places to travel

Is anybody else seeing double?

The cheap South American country that people DO know about is Bolivia, a good budget choice if you want to check out South America and don’t feel quite ready for Venezuela.

With the famous salt flats, stunning architecture, dirt cheap parties, and world-renowned trekking, Bolivia is an epic cheap budget travel destination.

Bolivia is a very ethnically diverse country. It’s actually the most indigenous country in the Americas, with a majority of the population having Native American ancestry.

Unlike its neighbors, Peru, Chile, and Brazil, Bolivia remains an off the beaten path destination. Intrepid travelers who make it here are rewarded with an abundance of adventure activities and some of the most beautiful landscapes on the continent.

If you stick mostly to local markets and restaurants, it’s easy to fill up your belly without emptying your wallet while backpacking Bolivia. You can easily get a good meal for $2-3 that will keep you going for a while.

It’s easy to keep yourself entertained in Bolivia without spending a lot of money. Free walking tours (tip based), hiking, and exploring local parks and markets cost little to nothing.

Of course, your budget will go up significantly depending on how many big tours you add to your itinerary. You might have to fork over a few hundred dollars for a 3-day Salt Flats tour, but it’s well worth it.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Bolivia and South America, check out these articles:


9. Turkey

Cheap places to travel

Cappadocia, Turkey

In 2016, I hitchhiked across Europe and then from Istanbul up to Georgia; hitchhiking in Turkey is very easy indeed which makes this a good budget travel destination.

It’s worth traveling with a tent in Turkey and there are also lots of caves, especially around the Cappadocia region, where you can survive with just a sleeping bag. I returned to Cappadocia, one of my favorite places to visit for a digital detox and some time beneath the stars, in 2017.

Turkey is an often overlooked destination but if you are off in search of a cheap place to go on an adventure, Turkey offers fantastic bang for your buck and is an epic way to travel overland from Europe to Asia.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Turkey, check out these articles:


10. The Philippines

Cheap places to travel

Stunning jungle-clad islands in The Philippines…

One of my favorite countries in South East Asia and one of the cheapest island countries to visit in Asia, The Philippines is a place of gorgeous beaches, swaying palm trees, pounding parties, friendly locals and living legends.

For an adventure with a difference, trek into the jungles in search of Whang Od; the last Kalinga tattoo master. Manila is a damn expensive city and should be avoided by travelers on a budget, get yourself straight out to Sagada or Palawan and travel slow to keep costs down.

Cheap places to travel

Getting tattoed by Whang Od…

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in the Philippines, check out these articles:


11. Nepal

cheap countries to visit

Nepal is without a doubt one of the best cheap countries to visit for outdoor adventures!

Few other places in the world have captivated my heart like the way Nepal has. Nepal is one of my favorite countries for a variety of reasons. First off, it is by far one of the cheapest countries to visit to not only in South Asia but anywhere on earth.

Once you leave the touristy areas of the Thamel in Kathmandu, the price of just about everything drops significantly.

Transportation is dirt cheap, and sometimes you can find buses across the country for as little as $3-5.

When it comes to trekking, I can’t think of a cheaper destination to tackle a multi-day trek. The Anna Purna trek, for example, costs on average about $20/day. That includes a private room in a tea house and three delicious meals a day (with maybe a beer too). Usually, when you stay in a tea house, you can negotiate to have your room for free if you agree to eat at the tea house!

Roadside lunch stalls will sell you spicy potatoes and chickpeas for about ¢70. Of all the cheap countries to visit in the world, it won’t be long before Nepal is at the top of your list.

In Nepal, there are often two prices: the price for locals and the price for backpackers. I hated that! My biggest tip for budget travel in Nepal is to pay attention to what locals pay for things.

If a local pays 200 rupees for a bus (and you are damn sure about that), hand the guy collecting bus fare 200 rupees and nothing more. He may ask you for more money but in the end, he will relent because he knows that 200 is the price!!

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Nepal, check out these articles:


12. Croatia

best cheap countries to visit

Croatia is one of the cheapest countries to visit in semi-western Europe…

Croatia is fast becoming one of the most popular budget destinations for backpackers exploring Europe. Why? Because it is much more affordable than many other places in the vicinity. The country is packed with picturesque coastal towns, stunning national parks, a brilliant food culture, and some of the best preserved Roman-era ruins outside of Italy. Be sure to check out the Coliseum in Pula!

Then you have the islands. Croatia is blessed with over 2000 km of coast, as has over 1,200 islands!

There are certainly the “touristy” islands that attract the rich and famous. These can easily be avoided by visiting some of the lesser known hidden gem islands (of which there are plenty). As far as European islands go, you can certainly find some great deals on accommodation (think a large seafront apartment for around $50).

No Croatia backpacking trip would be complete without visiting a few of the national parks. Plitvice is the most famous, but most of the others are far less visited and offer up endless adventure potential.

I wouldn’t say that Croatia is dirt cheap. Few places in Europe are. That said, you can certainly travel comfortably to most places in Croatia for around $35-50/day, especially in the off-season.

When backpacking Croatia in the summer you will find higher prices just about everywhere you go.

For the best deals, come to Croatia in the winter or late fall/early spring. By doing that, you can find a cheaper accommodation, car rentals, and food prices. Entrance fees to national parks can be half the price in the winter!

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Croatia, check out these articles:


13. Portugal

cheapest countries to travel

As far as western Europe proper, Portugal is my top pick for the cheapest countries to visit.

Alas, another European country has made my list of cheap countries to visit!

Compared to other European nations, backpacking in Portugal is very inexpensive. The cost of living in Portugal can be half of what you’d expect in Germany or France. You could definitely get by in Portugal on far less than these more extravagant nations.

That’s not to say Portugal is one the cheapest places on the planet. Southeast Asia and Central America will always have some of the cheapest countries, so expectations need to be set.

You can go backpacking around Portugal comfortably for around $30-40 per day. This will get you a good dorm bed, groceries, some beer, and a ticket or two to the local attractions.

Like Croatia, Portugal is very subject to seasonal rates. The price of a bed could double in the summer, especially in popular locations like the Algarve. Stick to the shoulder seasons (spring/autumn) and offseason (winter) for the best prices. Portugal has a long summer as well, so the shoulder seasons could be a perfect mix of good weather and affordability.

Seeking out the free attractions, not going to the bar every night, sharing the costs of a rental car, and exploring Portugal in the off-season will all help you reduce costs whilst backpacking here.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Portugal, check out these articles:


14. Malaysia

cheapest countries to visit

Malaysia is staggering the cheap and equally as beautiful.

When I was first planning to visit Malaysia, I didn’t really give it much thought. Upon arrival, the country completely blew me away. In addition to the stunning landscapes, delicious food, and friendly locals, I couldn’t believe how cheap it was!!

When compared to Thailand, I found Malaysia to be far cheaper for many things. Malaysia simply doesn’t have the same volume of backpackers visiting it as Thailand and other parts of SEA do. I believe that this factor has greatly helped to keep Malaysia down to earth (and the prices low).

After only days of being in the country, I found myself scuba diving off of Tioman Island for around $20/dive. For people who know scuba diving prices, $20/dive is excellent value. You can dive for a week (or more), live the good life on an island, stay in a shack on the beach, for about $40/day!

Malaysia is also one of the cheapest countries to visit for a PADI open water diver certification. I found the average to between $50-100 less than in Thailand!

Getting around Malaysia was also surprisingly easy and affordable. The roads in Malaysia are in great condition, and the buses are comfortable. A 5-hour+ bus ride in an air-conditioned bus costs around $10 (maybe less in some cases).

You can easily backpack Malaysia for as little as $15 a day (if you’re not diving or visiting the islands). Sometimes more if you want a fancy cocktail rather than a beer for a change. Stick to cheap guesthouses, good street food, and buses rather than flights and trains and you shouldn’t spend more than forty dollars a day.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Malaysia, check out these articles:


15. Mexico

cheap countries to visit

I fucking love Mexico.

Mexico is a country that’s hard to sum up in a few sentences. This massive North American nation covers nearly two million square kilometers and is home to just about every landscape imaginable. Here you’ll find stunning beaches, rugged mountains, barren deserts, sprawling metropolises, and tropical rainforests.

Backpacking Mexico is an incredible experience with endless options. In just one trip, you can wander around ancient Mayan cities, stroll through colorful colonial towns, explore one of the biggest cities in the world, and wind it all down on a pristine beach.

Travelers flock to Mexico in droves every year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2016, it was the eighth most-visited country on Earth with over 35 million international visitors.

That said, unfortunately, many tourists never see Mexico outside of their resort walls. That’s not you, though. You’re here for an adventure, and an adventure is exactly what you’ll get.

While most visitors stick to one of the country’s coasts, there’s so much more to Mexico than its beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Get out of that tourist bubble and dive into what makes this one of the most unique countries on the globe. Instead of resort towns, head to the state of Oaxaca or Huasteca Potosina!

Mexico can be an incredibly cheap place to travel. It can also be incredibly expensive. It largely depends on where you stay, what you eat, and how you get around. If you do everything the local way, your money will go very far here.

Those who prefer all-inclusive resorts and taxis will obviously spend a lot more. Lame. It’s definitely possible to get by on $40-50 a day and live quite comfortably.

For more inspiration about budget backpacking in Mexico, check out these articles:


Hitting the road for the first time?

Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on $10 a day! 

If you’re a first-time backpacker about to embark on an around the world adventure, you’re in for a rollercoaster of a ride… Check out the ditch your desk section of the site to learn how to quit your job and earn money whilst traveling around the world.

It may seem daunting, but there are so many different ways to become a nomad these days. If you really want to go traveling and to experience everything the world has to offer, all you have to do is make the commitment to travel – no matter how little money you have.

Be sure to check out my backpacking packing list to get some decent gear sorted for your new life of vagabonding…   In particular; you are going to want a backpacking tent or a camping hammock, it’ll save you a bunch on accommodation!

It’s also well worth packing a camping stove so you can cook your own food and save money on meals.


Make Money Online Whilst Backpacking Around the World

Traveling long-term? Keen to make some cash when you are not exploring? Even when checking out the world’s cheapest countries, making a little money is never a bad thing. 

Teaching English online is a great way to earn a consistent income—from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Depending on your qualifications (or your motivation to obtain qualifications like a TEFL certificate) you can teach English remotely from your laptop, save some cash for your next adventure, and make a positive impact on the world by improving another person’s language skills! It’s a win-win! Check out this detailed article for everything you need to know to start teaching English online.

Learn what it’s like to be a VIPKID teacher, a top company in the field of online English learning.

In addition to giving you the qualifications to teach English online, TEFL courses open up a huge range of opportunities and you can find teaching work all over the world. To find out more about TEFL courses and how you can teach English around the world, read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.

Broke Backpacker readers get a 35% discount on TEFL courses with MyTEFL (simply enter the code BACKPKR), to find out more, please read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad.

Whether you are keen to teach English online or looking to take your teaching game a step further by finding a job teaching English in a foreign country, getting your TEFL certificate is absolutely a step in the right direction.


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Looking for cheap places to travel? Here's our honest feedback on the best backpacker destinations for 2019 - travel broke & long-term...


  • This might be my favorite budget travel list, thanks for all the great advice Will! I’m gonna be traveling in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and India in the next coming months so I’m really happy to read this 😀

  • Great resource for budget travelers everywhere – thanks Will! WOW to that stack of cash from Venezuela! While it’s fantastic to travel so cheaply through countries such as this I always enjoy spending a little extra … it’s nice to know that I’m able to help local businesses without too much of a financial burden to myself 🙂

  • Will I love this post. I didn’t realize Venzuela and Bolivia were that cheap. I know it may be weird to say this but I have been recommending beginning backpackers that want to travel cheap to walk the Camino de Santiago.
    It was a bit more than $10 a day but to break people in, its a good way to experience a month long travel if you do the entire Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain and you tend to only spend about 25Euros/day (10 for Albergues + 10 for Dinner + 5 for lunch/Breakfast)
    I figure lets ease some of these people in to it

    • Will Hatton says:

      I’ve heard a lot about the Camino De Santiago and it’s been on my radar for a while… I would love to check it out.

      • I’m sure you would have a great time Will because no I don’t know you you seem to have that personality but no worries but for your experiences and skill level I often wonder if going a little bit mainstream is a let down? Don’t get me wrong, the Camino de Santiago for about 85% of the human population is pretty crazy and out there.

  • Flora Baker says:

    Cheers for the Bolivia mention, Will! You’ve been instrumental in fuelling my desire to get to both Iran and Pakistan in the near future so I’ll keep your cheap advice in mind :p

  • I love hitting the road in countries such as India and Cambodia. I’m yet to travel to Iran but it’s on my radar and Nicaragua also makes my wish list. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  • Great article. We were surprised how cheap Eastern Europe was. I love your Iran photo. That mosque looks incredible. Iran has been very high on our list for a very long time. I think it is time we get there. Cheers for sharing.

  • Amazing photos.I am planning for my first time road trip.And this post helps me a lot. I think these places are so good,can’t wait to try in Turkey. Thanks a lot.

  • Such a good list, Will! I’ve been to many, but the Philippines has been my fav so far and I’m about to check out some of Eastern Europe soon! Wooo! Thanks for sharing <3

  • Loved the post – nice photographs and useful information for budget travellers everywhere. Cambodia has been on my list for some time now, hopefully will be there sometime soon.

  • Tine says:

    Some of these places sounds really cool! Hopefully I will be able to visit Nicaragua and the rest of Central America next year 🙂

  • This is a great list. Just found your site and it is exactly what I’m looking for as I’m planning a nomadic year in 2018.

  • Daria says:

    Iran and Cambodia are on my wish list, can’t wait to go there, especially after seeing these pictures.
    And it’s true, Eastern Europe is really cheap!

  • Terry Conner says:

    What an amazing compilation of destinations. Instead of spending a large amount on a single trip this would be amazing. I will let you know once I travel some of these places.

  • Anja Skrba says:

    Cambodia <3

  • Mary says:

    Hi Will. This is a beautiful and very correct post. My favourite place in the world is the Philippines. Sooooo cheap, and the people are the absolute sweetest. Nicaragua is stunning so I had to go twice…lol. Pakistan is on my radar and so is Iran. I must get the ten dollar a day book. Sahadeo and I are budget people, and he is really really good at it. And he is not pretentious. He took me to a beautiful little resort in Tobago, that was not all inclusive. A romantic gesture on his part. We were about to order dinner, and he decided we should order one entre to share. I thought that was a great idea, and it turned out to be plenty. I was so glad he thought of it, because it is that kind of thinking that keeps money in your pocket for the next day’s beers on the beach. Keep up the good work, Will. Very well done.

  • Evan says:

    Awesome list! This makes me want to just grab my bag and head out the door

  • What an article! Thanks so much for the tips! I heard about the tattoo master in the Philippines, Whang Od, the last Kalinga tattoo master. Her style is so traditional and I love it! I also love to visit the ruins of Angor Wat in Cambodia! So beautiful… So majestic.

  • Monica says:

    Thanks for the fun list! I’d already considered some places but not all of them. I must say that I’m surprised about Venezuela… I have some Venezuelan friends who are terrified of the place and I have heard a lot of horror stories about fun times and parties ending in someone being murdered. I think it’s off my list for now, but it may get added again when I’m wandering round South America!

  • Micah bowen says:

    We are actually in the Philippines at the moment, and it is definitely not cheap at all.. most of the stuff here on Palowan costs more then it does back home in the states! And the locals are not friendly at all! They stare, and don’t smile at you and it seams all that they want is your $$$! I’m sorry but the Philippines as of 2018 is not a budget friendly country if it ever was once, it’s not anymore!
    We are leaving as soon as our 3 weeks is up, and won’t be back..

  • Emily Brown says:

    Great list! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Have you been to Central Asia as well? Just curious whether you could include any countries from that region on your list…
    Another question came to my mind: besides price, how do you pick your next destination? Do you also consider the best time to visit destinations (like here https://rove.me/ or here https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2017/04/19/map-find-best-time-to-visit/)? Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Emily! So I usually just pick where I want to go based on where I am and where is nearby that looks interesting. I haven’t been to Central Asia but it ain’t cheap from what I’ve heard…

  • Eoghan says:

    Interesting list, thanks for putting it together. I wouldn’t be able to comment on the South American or European countries as I’ve spent the last 4 years travelling in Asia, but I’ve confirmed for myself through detailed recording of my expenses over the past 4 years of travel that the following countries can all be comfortably travelled on $5-7 per day without couchsurfing and hitchhiking seldomly(paying for all expenses):

    1. India
    2. Nepal
    3. Thailand
    4. Indonesia
    5. Malaysia
    6. Laos
    7. Cambodia
    8. Vietnam
    9. Sri Lanka

    I found Myanmar more difficult to do on this budget as the minimum cost for accommodation per person was normally $4-5. There I averaged $8-9 per day.

    So my conclusion from this 4 year experiment is that all of these 9 countries can be considered more or less on a par with each other in terms of cheapness to travel – they can all be done comfortably on a budget of $5-7 per day.

    Anyway, hope that the data I’ve gathered is useful to some people.

    • Will Hatton says:

      Those sound like some epic adventures through super awesome, super cheap countries! Nice one dude 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eoghan. If this is accurate than you just made my day. I am retiring soon and I want to do it just on my pension and not have to touch my savings. And I just happen to love Asia. WOW! Anything under ten bucks a day is fantastic. The food is outstanding in Asia. I was there a few years ago for a six week trip through the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. Best food ever. All local and very cheap. I stayed in a variety of places and comfort levels from five dollars a night to the Crown Plaza on Manila Bay. What kinds of places did you stay? I need to do it on a budget because of what will be my fixed income.

  • Eoghan says:

    Hi Mary, it’s accurate but it wasn’t always easy to travel on this budget and it took a lot of careful planning, plenty of hard work surveying destinations for the best value rooms, a lot of hard bargaining and sometimes required slipping into overpriced attractions unnoticed. Another factor that made this possible was travelling with my partner, which enabled us to split many expenses literally in half. It’s very difficult to maintain this budget as a solo traveller. It’s still possible, but requires even more innovation. I’m writing up a detailed 8,000 + word post at the moment that summarizes exactly how I played the travel game to maintain this budget across all these countries. I hope it’ll be useful to many people and will elucidate exactly what’s involved when travelling on this kind of ultra-low budget. I really love Asia too, and I’ve only scratched the surface of it in 4 years of uninterrupted travel, even India alone is just massive and offers endless new places to explore. The food is wonderful in Asia for sure, my favourite would probably be Indian food. I stayed in mostly double rooms with my partner with fan, Wi-Fi and usually attached bathroom, sometimes with a balcony. The odd time I stayed in a hostel dormitory, but mainly during phases where I was travelling alone.

  • Eoghan says:

    Thanks Will, I would recommend you visit Sumatra and northeast India if you get a chance, these were two places I really loved. They both have spectacular nature, jungle, waterfalls and amazing tribes.

  • Great list! I did backpacking in Eastern Europe and I can confirm that there are numerous hidden gems there at really affordable prices.

  • Lydia says:

    These are some exceptional travel destinations which everyone can visit without breaking the bank. I am currently exploring Turkey and I couldn’t agree more with you. It is an excellent budget travel destination.

  • Quentin says:

    $5-7 per day? Sounds impossible to me… Even a bed in dorm room costs at least US$5 a night, not to mention more expensive countries like Malaysia…

    • Will Hatton says:

      You can get a bed for less than that in countries like Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Nicaragua… but crucially if you wanna travel real cheap you won’t be paying for a bed anyway; you’ll be camping or Couchsurfing.

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