There are plenty of places to travel on a budget, but it can all be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure where the best place to pick is. Here is a list of the the best places to travel on a budget. If you enjoy budget travel then please check out my Barcelona on a budget article. Barcelona is one of Europes most beautiful cities and how to see it all on a budget. In this article i cover three areas of travel that usually cost the most. Accommodation, meals and transport costs. These have been used to create a list of cheaper travel destinations.
Tools for travelling on a budget
- Booking.com – Booking.com is a fantastic way to find cheap hotels and other accommodation. This is the most vital tools to find places to travel on a budget and get good value, well priced accommodation. You can save money by using this site as it offers competitive rates. It also allows you to see what other people think of where you are planning on staying by looking at their handy rating and review system
- Hostelworld – Hostelworld is much like booking.com but for hostels. If you are a traveller backpacking through Asia or wherever it is you’re planning on going then this is a good step to include along the way. Its an easy way to get opinions on the things that matter when staying at a hostel. Another great thing is you can book direct with the site and it is easy and straightfoward to use.
Apps are your friend
- Apps – It can be useful to use apps to help you along your travels. As a general rule I look for several apps before any stay in a new area. I will tend to look for a taxi app. This way I then i know I won’t become a victim of taxi scams targetted at foreign travellers. This is just one example of how an app can help but i strongly suggest you download a couple before your travels. They can really come in handy.
- Numbeo – Numbeo is a site which allows you to see the basic costs of things wherever it is you are travelling. It covers a whole host of different situations from inexpensive meals to transport costs. they even cover supermarket prices as well as other amenity costs. They offer a price range so you can use this in a new area to get an idea of the costs. This can be used to help you understand the local currency and help you know whether or not you are getting a good deal. This website has become my best friend over the years and I strongly suggest you check it out!
Laos is located north of Thailand and is home to over 6.85 million residents. This land-locked country has natural beauty from the mountains shrouded in mist to the valleys and rivers. Over two thirds of the population practice Buddhism. This may be why the country tends to have a more laid back slower pace of life.
Accommodation and food
Accommodation in Vientiane (Laos capital city) can set you back from as little as $15 a night for a hotel and private room with shared hostels coming in even lower at as little as $5 a night. The food comes relatively cheap also. Restaurants that offer sit down meals tend to start at about $6-8 with a drink. Street food is cheaper as with many places with meals starting at around $2. Depending on what you drink alcohol can set you back a measly dollar, with some drinks going for as little as 50 cents.
Transport around Laos depends on both the method of transport and where you are going. A short trip in a tuk tuk can cost as little as 50 cents. Typically a single fare to will cost between $1-2.
Accommodation: $5 – 15 per night
Meals: $2 – $8 per meal
Transport: $1-2 per trip
Cambodia is a country in Asia nussled between Thailand and Vietnam. It’s rise in popularity over the years has seen prices go up slightly but nothing too shocking.
Accommodation can still be found really cheap and food here costs next to nothing, especially street food where you can eat like a king (or a queen) for next to nothing.
Travelling on a budget is easy within cambodia. Travellers can usually get by on as little as $15 a day if they really pull the budget in tight. This total is made up of a $5 hostel, $5 on food from street vendors and the other $5 on transport.This of course doesn’t include any luxuries so although you can get by on a $15/day budget it isn’t advised. This is because you won’t really get to do anything. I’d set a budget of around $30-40 a day, go cheap on accommodation and food and spend the rest of site seeing. That is the way we do it and that works well for us.
Accommodation costs are very similar to Laos, which makes sense as they are neighbouring countries. Hostels can start from around $4-5 a night with cheap hotels starting at a vary reasonable $10, if you wanted to spend out and get a nice hotel you can get rooftop bars with infinity pools and a whole host of facilities included for as little as $35 a night
Food is very cheap here with full meals available from street vendors for as low as $1 a meal. Sit down restaurants costs slightly more but still extremely good value for money coming in at around $6 for a local cuisine meal with a drink. Western style dishes will cost more so keep this in mind.
Transport in this area is also very cheap in many towns and villages in Cambodia. A lot of the time there is a motorcycle taxi available to take you on journeys for a small fee. Most journeys will set you back about $1. Tuk tuks are vary similar in cost with short journeys costing about $1 also. Buses are good for longer travel and will generally cost around $1 per hour of travel, for example a five hour bus journey will typically cost anywhere between $4-6.
Accommodation: $4 – $15 a night
Meals: $1 – $7 per meal
Transport: $1 per short journey or per hour on bus
Honduras is a country in Central America just west of Guatemala and has a population of just under 10 million. This country can be cheap to travel through and you can get by on about $40 a day or even less if you cut out a few luxuries and go on a shoestring budget. This may be slightly more expensive than the other entries on this list but it occured to me that all other entries are from Asia so i decided to mix it up a bit.
Accommodation is relatively cheap with hostels starting out at around $9 with mid range hotels starting from about $35 upwards. The price of food will set you back at between $6-8 a meal for sit down meals but quick bites and street food can be found for about $3. Drinks will cost between $0.5 -1.5 depending on what your drink of choice is.
Transport is well priced at single tickets on public transport starting out at about $0.5 one way. taxi’s will cost considerably more with fares starting at $3 minimum with typical fares costing between $5 – $10 for shorter journeys but potentially more depending on how far you are wanting to travel. Be sure to always agree the costs of the journey beforehand and use a reputable company wherever possible.
Accommodation: $9 – $35 a night
Meals: $2-3 for street food and quick bites, $6-9 for sit down meal, $0.5-1.5 for drinks
Transport: $0.5 public transport (one way), $5 – 10 taxi’s (short-mid range journeys)
Vietnam is another Asian country to show up on our list of top places to travel on a budget. It sits between the countries of Cambodia and Laos as well as the south China sea. Travellers are attracted to this country due to it’s spectacular sites and cheap way of life. This is what makes Vietnam one of the best places to travel on a budget.
Accommodation in Vietnam is cheap, hostels can be found for as low as $3 a night! With the potential for discount for longer stays a traveller could have a bed for the week for as little as $19! It won’t be luxury but you won’t find better value for money. If hostels aren’t your cup of tea then budget hotels can be found for as low as $12 a night in Hai Phong.
Food in vietnam is equally as cheap and has a very strong street food scene depending on what part of vietnam you decide on visiting. Street food as always, is the cheapest option, and boy is it cheap! A small dish from a street vendor can be as cheap as 40 cents. Local cuisine and restaurants serving local style dishes is also very inexpensive as a sit down meal costing as little as $2-3 in a mid-ranged restaurant.
If you are a fan of western food then expect to pay more due to higher food costs and taxes. Typically western dishes will cost anywhere between $5-8 a meal with more expensive dishes such as steak costing around $10+. This is still good value in my opinion but depending on your budget you may want to stick to street vendors and the local cuisine.
Transport again is super cheap here, the main methods of transport include trains and buses. Bus tickets as a general rule of thumb cost between 40,000 and 60,000 dong ($1.75-2.50) per hour of travel so is super affordable.
Train fares obviously depend on the distance you are intending on travelling but are generally more cost effective for long journeys. It’s difficult to give an exact cost of train journeys. To give you an example a ticket from Danang Airport to Hanoi (466 miles!) will cost around about $40. To translate, thats a cost of about $10 per every 115 miles travelled. Pretty good value for money indeed!
Accommodation: $3 per night at a hostel, $12 per night at budget hotel
Meals: $1 per meal at street vendors, $3 for local cuisine at mid ranged restaurant, $6 for western style dish at mid ranged restaurant
Transport: $2 per hour of travel on bus, $10 per every 80-120 miles travelled on train (longer distances costs less per 100 miles overall)
Thailand is another Asian country to find a place on this list, and rightfully so. If you are looking for top places to travel on a budget then I strongly suggest you travel through Asia. You will find that you can get by on a shoestring budget, saving money on food and accommodation allows you to stretch the budget and travel for longer so why not do it if you can.
Thailand is located North-West of cambodia and is home to over 69 million residents and attracts over 32 million tourists a year. Thailand is known for is amazing street food scene and beautiful architecture so it’s no wonder it attracts so many travellers yearly.
Following the trend of cheap accommodation on this list is thailand. Hostels in Bangkok can be found unbelievably cheap. Staying in an 8 person mixed dorm can be as cheap as $3 a night, again on longer stays a small discount can be earned saving a further 10% to 15%. hotels run a bit more expensive as you would imagine but not much more with budget hotels starting at around $13 for a single room with private bathroom, around the same price for a double room with shared bathroom facilities.
Food is also cheap in thailand with a meal in a restaurant costing around $3-5 with a small drink . Street vendors will always be cheaper at around $1 per meal. Western dishes are nearly always more expensive due to having to import certain foods and ingredients. There is also tourist trap areas in more well known areas such as the capital so be aware of this. It is not uncommon for the costs of things to go up simply because you are a tourist. Always be sure to agree on the price before hand.
There is a wide range of transport options in Thailand. Taxi’s, tuk tuks, trains and buses are but a few of the ways to travel around. Tuk tuk style taxi’s are normally the cheapest with the starting rate being around 75 cents to a dollar as standard then around 15-25 cents for each additional kilometer. With this in mind then, a short journey in a tuk tuk will only set you back around $1.50. Other methods of public transport cost around about the same at about $1 a journey. Day passes for subways and monorails depending on where you are will set you back about $2-3 and are a good way to get around if you are planning on all day travel.
Accommodation: From $3 per night at a hostel, $12 for budget hotel
Meals: $0.5 – $1.50 for street food, $4 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant
Transport: Around $1 for single journeys, $3 for day tickets to subways
Top places to travel on a budget - Overview
There is a general theme with a lot of entries on this list. A lot of the cheaper areas to travel to on a budget are found in Asia. The cost of living in Asia tends to be a lot cheaper which reflects the costs of everyday amenities. With most places you can make your budget stretch a lot further with the choices that you make. If you are travelling out of your backpack and don’t mind staying in hostels, eating mainly street food and using the cheapest methods of transport then you can keep your basic amenities to under $20 a day. In most cases which then leaves more money to either use to extend your travels or on things such as site seeing, attractions and other souvenirs.
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Stay Safe and keep travelling!