23 Amazingly Cheap Places to Travel in 2023 (Costs + Why)

If you’re looking for some affordable destinations to include on your 2023 travel list, I have some perfect suggestions for you.

Unlike other lists of this type, I’ll stick with Destinations you have personally visited. The reason is simply because I’ve noticed that many “cheapest countries” lists don’t get the facts right!

For example, I saw Costa Rica mentioned by a major outlet as the cheapest destination in the Americas, clearly showing that it was not. (It’s actually among the most expensive.)

The cheap travel destinations I’ll list here are all places I’ve spent my own money. I’ve found that they are not only cheap countries to travel to but have become some of my favorite destinations in over 10 years of full-time travel blogging.

While inflation and increased airfares have affected travel costs, there are still plenty of great travel deals to be found. If you are from a Western country, the exchange rates with many emerging economies are very favorable at the moment. For example, South America is now much less expensive than it was before the pandemic.

Realizing how far your dollars, euros, or pounds can go in cheaper countries can be amazing. In many countries, it is quite possible to spend around $30 to $50 on all travel expenses per person per day.

For the price of one restaurant meal in London or New York, for example, you can cover a full day of travel in cheap countries like Indonesia, Argentina, Vietnam, Mexico, or Turkey – to name a few.

Quick Answers — Cheap countries to travel to

Cheap countries in and near Europe:
Baltic countries, Romania, Georgia, Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, Armenia

Cheap countries in Asia:
Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Filipino

Cheap countries in the Americas:
Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia

Cheap countries in Africa:
Morocco, green head

Cheap and easy beach holidays:
Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey

Some classic backpacker deals:
Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam

Underrated cultural/adventure destinations:
Colombia, Romania, Laos, Bolivia, Georgia, Albania, Armenia
Miss these at your own risk!

1. Thailand

Thailand is back! Now is the perfect time to visit, with tourism fully back but the popular sights still pleasantly uncrowded.

Resort tourism on the islands and beaches is more expensive than traveling around the inland provinces, although it can be a wonderfully cheap place to travel in any direction – and you can find great value on any budget.

For the best prices, make your way north of Chiang Mai The area will be a budget travel paradise. Amid the rice paddies, Buddhist temples, and hill tribes, you can find some of the best value accommodation anywhere – whether you’re looking for a bed in a caravan (starting at $6 per night) or a high-quality hotel with a pool (from $35).

New regulations have made the world-famous Maya Bay an ideal place once again, with all boat traffic banned and the number of visitors limited.

Backpacker budget: $30 per day (internal)
Medium-term budget: $50-60 per day
Highlights: Gorgeous beaches, ancient temples and amazing street food
when are you going: Peak season November-February – shoulder season April-June, October

2. turkey

The Turkish economy has been struggling lately, but it’s one of the best deals on the planet right now for anyone exchanging dollars or euros for lira. Istanbul is the perfect starting point for a trip in Turkey but it is equally ideal for a city trip, being a stunning, modern city but with prices you might expect from somewhere far away or much less developed.

Nestled between east and west and once home to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, you’ll find Roman ruins, cave cities, busy bazaars, and of course, plenty of Mediterranean beaches.

advice: Istanbul is a great stopover. Turkish Airlines will do that We provide you with a free hotel If you visit on a layover.

Backpacker budget: $35 per day
Medium-term budget: $55 per day
when are you going: Peak season from May to September — shoulder season from April to October

3. Colombia

Colombia is surprising A country you’re traveling to (and no, fortunately, these days there’s no such thing as Netflix at all) Narcosa show was set over 50 years ago!).

Within Colombia, you can find a little bit of everything, with the Pacific and Atlantic coastline, the Amazon rainforest, and the beginning of the Andes mountain range. Add to that the bustling cities of Medellin and Bogotá, the warmth of Colombians and their vibrant culture, and you have one of the best budget-friendly travel destinations in the Americas.

I recently returned from a second trip to Colombia and wrote a guide for A week-long beach and nature vacation in Colombia And Tracks for several weeks. It’s one of my favorite countries, and against the US dollar or even the euro, it’s amazing value right now. At local Colombian restaurants, you can get lunch (soup, main, fruit juice + dessert) for only $2.50.

Backpacker budget: $30 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day
Highlights: Caribbean Beaches, Tayrona National Park, Medellin
when are you going: Peak season from December to March — shoulder season from July to September

4. Albania

Some say this under-appreciated country could be “the next Croatia.” For now, it remains largely under the radar.

Albania’s pristine coastline, quaint capital, well-preserved Ottoman-era cities, and magnificent Alpine mountains provide many reasons to go. You can learn about the fascinating history of this once-isolated country, which during the Cold War was known as the “North Korea” of Europe. Today, it is a developing democracy, and improved infrastructure has made travel easier.

Oh, and did I mention it might be the cheapest destination in Europe? Albanian cuisine is amazing and a good lunch or dinner can cost you around $2 to $4.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day
Highlights: Hiking in the cursed mountainsCheap accommodation on the beach, historic city of Gjirokaster
When are you going: Peak season July-August – shoulder season April-June, September-October

5. Mexico

Mexico is one of the cheapest places to travel in 2021 thanks to currency exchange fluctuations

Mexico is usually known for its beach resorts such as Cancun, Cabo or Tulum. It’s great, although these tourist-priced locations are only “inexpensive” if you compare them to, say, Miami or Hawaii. Many might consider this a really good deal, but if you… truly Want cheap, you should explore other places in Mexico.

A classic (and safe) cultural travel route departs from there. Bustling Mexico City To Oaxaca and ends On the Yucatan Peninsula. If you’re on a tight budget, check out the state of Chiapas: it’s full of jungles, waterfalls, and fascinating Mayan ruins – and travel costs are among the lowest in all of Mexico.

Backpacker budget: $40 per day
Medium-term budget: $65 per day
Highlights: Getting around Yucatán, Mexico CityOaxaca for food lovers
when are you going: Peak season June-September, January – Shoulder season October-November, April-May

6. Argentina

Poor Argentina. Its economy has had more ups and downs than a yo-yo. But for foreign travelers carrying Western currency, that still means Argentina is very cheap. A large part of its appeal lies in its European-like development (Buenos Aires was once known as “Buenos Aires”.Paris South‘) But pays prices much lower than you expect.

Just one thing: you will get the best rates by paying locally with Argentine pesos that you have exchanged for the so-called “blue rate”. If you book hotels on international platforms the prices will be higher.

Oh, and Argentina It’s a fun country to travel to, of course. In the north, there are the Andean and Quechua regions as well as the magnificent Iguazu Falls. Cities like Cordoba and Buenos Aires have a lot of culture to offer. Don’t miss a visit to the mountainous region of Patagonia in the far south, famous for its snowy peaks, glaciers, and the opportunity to see penguins and whales.

advice: Can’t find a cheap flight to Buenos Aires? Try Santiago, Chile, where you can also start your trip to northern Argentina

Backpacker budget: $30 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day
Highlights: Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires
when are you going: Peak season November-February, shoulder season September-October, March-May

7. Nepal

Oh, Nepal… you had me at Namaste. I was immediately charmed by the kind nature of the Nepalese and the wonderful hustle and bustle of Kathmandu when I visited a few years ago. Nepal is also one of the cheapest places in the world for mountain trekking, whether guided or independently.

There are roads all over the Himalayas that are well-supported and have many tea houses where you can eat and sleep. When you do the Saga 7 days trek to Annapurna Base Camp I spent just under $20 a day.

Backpacker budget: $20 per day
Medium-term budget: $40 per day
Highlights: Chaotic Kathmandu, trekking in the Himalayas
when are you going: Peak season October-November — shoulder season September, December, March-April

8. green head

Can an entire country be classified as a “hidden gem”? If so, Cape Verde is one of these countries. This small archipelago off the coast of Africa is not widely known but is a great winter getaway.

Sal is famous for its inexpensive tourist resorts, although it is also considered for its culture and nature All about the wonderful island of Santo Antao. I’ve done some of the best hikes and treks there in years. The landscape is incredible.

Cape Verde offers good value for money, is safe, and fairly developed. I spent about $45 a day as a budget traveler, staying in B&Bs and eating local food. do not miss 7 reasons why you should travel to Cape Verde.

Backpacker budget: $45 per day
Medium-term budget: $70 per day
Highlights: Hiking in Santo Antaobeach resorts on Sal
when: Peak season is December to January, June to September – shoulder season is February to April and September to November

9. Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the cheapest Asian countries – and one of the most exciting!

There is more to Vietnam than typical itineraries. Take the northern province of Ha JiangAnd it’s as pure and authentic as it gets. The limestone landscape in There is a cook Not to be missed either. Phong Nha is a great place for adventure tourism and a caving hotspot; Camping inside the third largest cave in the world It is a trip I will never forget.

Costs in Vietnam? Simply put: too low. Eat local and you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than a few dollars per meal, while locally brewed beer costs at least $0.20 a glass. Hotel rooms offer amazing value; Less than $10 will get you a clean and comfortable place to stay. Whether you’re a backpacker or just looking for a vacation on a budget, Vietnam has you covered.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $45 per day
Highlights: Ha Long Bay, nice HelloChaos Hanoi
when are you going: Peak season November-March, shoulder season April-June, September-October

10. Romania

Seriously: Don’t reject Romania.

People seem to have preconceived ideas about this Eastern European country. Only when they visit does the amount decrease to such an extent that it is simply unbelievable.

Just like Dracula, it inspired, The amazing region of Transylvania It has a lot to enjoy. Think of its pleasant medieval towns, ancient fortified churches, and the mighty Carpathian mountain range. It’s perfect for a spring or summer trip, but equally charming in winter, with low-cost ski resorts and snow-capped castles.

You can easily get a backpacker budget of around $30 to $40 per day in Romania. If you’re more of a vacationer, you can find great B&Bs starting at $30 per night. Don’t miss this European travel secret.

Backpacker budget: $40 per day
Medium-term budget: $60 per day
Highlights: Cities in Transylvania, European safari in the Carpathians
when are you going: Peak season June-August – shoulder season April-May, September-October

11. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Most people still associate Bosnia with the war that took place there. Checks the calendar – Twenty-seven full years ago.

But this Balkan country neighboring Croatia is back on its feet and has a lot to show you if you give it the chance.

The medieval city of Mostar is a highlight, with its famous bridge connecting trade routes to Venice and Constantinople. And I also Admire the capital, SarajevoWhich has real warmth, interesting architecture and a wonderful historic neighborhood. It’s delightfully budget-friendly and one of Europe’s truly underrated capitals.

Backpacker budget: $30 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day
Highlights: Sarajevo and Mostar
when are you going: Peak season July-August, shoulder season May-June, and September

12. Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the cheapest country in Southeast Asia

You’ve probably heard of Angkor Wat, a massive temple complex that was once the heart of the ancient Khmer Empire. This sprawling site is very worth a visit, especially if you take the time to go beyond just the central temples.

But there is so much more to Cambodia, from the cute city of Kratie along the Mekong River, to the pristine jungles From the Cardamom mountains And the tranquil island of Koh Rong Sanloem. Fortunately, it is also one of the cheapest destinations in Asia.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $45 per day
Highlights: Angkor Wat, Battambang, islands off the coast
when are you going: Peak season is December to February, shoulder season is April to May and November

13. Laos

4000 Islands, Mekong River

It is a sparsely populated, mountainous area, almost 70% forested, making it a paradise for outdoor activities such as trekking, climbing, kayaking, zip-lining, and hot-air ballooning – all at affordable prices.

Thanks to improved infrastructure, Laos has become more accessible in recent years while maintaining its simple, rural character. This makes now the perfect time to go. If you want to escape the crowds and want some authenticity, skip the Thai beaches and go to Laos. you will not regret it.

Don’t miss the opportunity to sleep in tree huts and zipline through the jungle canopy The infamous Gibbon experimentor The most epic waterfalls in Laos On the Bolaven Plateau.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $45 per day
Highlights: Luang Prabang, Mekong River Cruises, and Gibbon experiment
when are you going: Peak season November-February, shoulder season October, March-April

14. India

“A country of contrasts” is a cliche in travel writing, but that certainly describes India. Although India may be a place of poverty, India’s economy is also thriving – and what is even more surprising is the sheer scale of development and prosperity. the prices You can try.

A modern, mid-range hotel in central Mumbai may cost you at least $60 per night, while a room in the desert city of Jaisalmer may cost you just $5. This is India just for you. But if you have a limited budget, you can travel to India on a budget.

Given the chaos and patience required, India may not be the first country abroad to grapple with this problem, but several regions have a reputation for particularly easy travel, including the northern desert region of Rajasthan and the tranquil tropical state of Kerala in the south.

Backpacker budget: $15-20 per day
Medium-term budget: $40 per day
when are you going: Peak season November-February, shoulder season October-March

15. Indonesia

Komodo Islands, one of the best destinations in Indonesia

The most popular destination in Indonesia is of course the resort island of Bali. But in this huge archipelago – wider than the United States – there is much to discover.

Consider the neighboring islands of Bali Lombok And Java amazing Komodo and Flores rural islands go further to Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, or Sulawesi. While Bali is considered cheap by many, Indonesia’s other islands are even more so.

From white-sand beaches to forests and savannahs, from blue-flame volcanoes to remote rainforests where you can meet orangutans in the wild – Indonesia is a budget traveler’s dream.

Backpacker budget: $30 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day
Highlights: Bromo volcano, Borobudur temples, Bali, islands outside Bali
when are you going: Peak season June-September, shoulder season March-May and October-November

16. Bolivia

Maybe anyone looking for 5-star luxury should give Bolivia a pass. Life is simple in these parts and travel can be slow and uncomfortable at times. But… It’s also the perfect budget destination in South America, where you can easily live for around $20 a day.

Not only that, but Bolivia has some of the continent’s most stunning sights, such as the world’s highest Lake Titicaca, and the stunning salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni. With its remote character and sense of adventure, it is one of the favorite destinations for backpackers in South America.

Not many airlines fly directly to Bolivia, but the country combines well with neighboring Peru, with the capital, Lima, having good international connections.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $45 per day

17. Filipino

Best beaches in Southeast Asia? If you ask me, with over 7,000 tropical islands, so does the Philippines the A place to go.

Besides having plenty of pristine coastlines, it’s also a fascinating place culturally, with a mix of Asian and Spanish/American colonial influences. You’ll also find the magnificent rice terraces of the north and stunning nature with jungle and volcano treks.

look in Palawan Islandthe The diverse islands of Central Visayas or Batanes Province among many other destinations.

Backpacker budget: $35 per day
Medium-term budget: $60 per day
Highlights: Islands in Palawan, surfing in Siargao, and Batad rice terraces
when are you going: High season from December to February — November, April, and May

18. Cuba

“See it before it changes” is a familiar phrase when it comes to Cuba. It’s still very much like stepping through a time machine.

Before my visit, I had always heard of Cuba as being an expensive country, but this seemed to be based on its state-run luxury hotels focused on high-spending tourists. Traveling to Cuba can be very easy on your wallet, especially when using its huge network of family-run Casas Particulares that offer charming and affordable local accommodations.

With none of the typical signs of globalization, vintage cars still roaming the streets, not to mention rum, sun, and salsa – spending some time in Cuba is sure to be a unique experience.

Backpacker budget: $40 per day
Medium-term budget: $65 per day

19. Baltic countries

Often overlooked and nestled between the Nordic countries and Russia, you’ll find the three small Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Why do you go? Just think “Scandinavia on a budget”.

Close your eyes and you might be reminded of the Baltic region of Finland, with its many forests, marshes, lakes, and dark red-painted log cabins. One major difference is that costs are only a third of what you would find in the Nordic countries.

I enjoyed traveling in Estonia, which has a lot of history and charm throughout and is also an emerging force in technology. While I was sipping on some local IPAs in Tallinn, a few of Esti’s friends were regaling me with stories of IPOs.

The small tourist center of Tallinn can be a little more expensive, but the country as a whole is very inexpensive. Dinner is often less than €7, and hotel rooms range from €30 to €40 per night.

Backpacker budget: $35 per day
Medium-term budget: $70 per day

20. Guatemala

In Central America, Costa Rica tends to get the most attention as a tourist destination thanks to its abundant wildlife and highly developed eco-tourism. But if you ask me, Guatemala deserves strong attention, too. It may not be quite as developed, although its landscapes have a wow factor that few countries can match.

Hidden in its northern jungles Mayan temples at Tikal Stunning view especially at sunrise. Equally breathtaking are the heights of Lake Atitlan In the south, it is surrounded by volcanoes and quaint villages where the pace of life is delightfully slow.

And the best part? Many travelers end up spending less than $25 per day in Guatemala.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $50 per day

21. Morocco

Morocco is located a stone’s throw from Europe, and travel there is very cheap. That is if you can stay away from pushy sellers trying to sell you expensive rugs and ornaments! If you only go on organized tours, you may find that Morocco prices are very average, but expenses decrease significantly when traveling independently.

For a great-value stay with a little bit of luxury, consider staying at some of Riyadh’s famous hotels, traditional hotels with garden courtyards that provide a pleasant respite from the bustling city streets.

They say the desert contains more grains of sand than there are stars in the universe, which is a great thought to think about while camping under the clear Milky.

Backpacker budget: $40 per day
Medium-term budget: $60 per day

22. Republic of Georgia

Georgia (the country) is a wonderful destination located right on the edge of Asia and Europe. that it excellent Cheap, sometimes rivaling the low costs of South or Southeast Asian countries. It is currently dealing with an influx of Russian immigrants fleeing conscription, which has brought tourism to a boil, but it remains a great destination to visit.

In its quaint capital, the crumbling facades of traditional wooden Georgian houses stand alongside Soviet-era architecture and bold contemporary designs. I loved my stay in Tbilisi I was surprised by her wonderful spirit and personality. From Tbilisi, you can explore The amazing Caucasus mountain range swim in the Black Sea, or visit ancient hilltop monasteries (a few of which were built inside caves).

With one-year visas for remote workers, it’s an ideal digital nomad hub just a stone’s throw from Europe.

Backpacker budget: $20 per day
Medium-term budget: $40 per day

23. Armenia

Geghard monestary in Armenia

Something incredible happened in Armenia In 2018: The people peacefully protested against the dictator, who eventually issued a polite admission of guilt and promptly resigned. Since then, there has been a feeling of positivity in Armenia, and interest in tourism there has increased.

It is still a poor country. Its landscape is full of Soviet-era relics and Lada cars still roam the streets. Neighboring Georgia It may have more appeal now, but you’ll love Armenia if you’re in places off the beaten path. I was fortunate enough to visit Vardvar, an annual event in which the entire city of Yerevan fights with water pistols, balloons, and buckets. Even the police and firefighters are joining in!

Learn more: do not miss My top reasons to visit Armenia.

Backpacker budget: $25 per day
Medium-term budget: $40 per day

Note I have written an Inspiring book That’s all about how to travel more and travel cheaply. If you want to reach out into the world but aren’t sure where to start or how to do it on a limited budget, my book will give you the answers!

but Keep in mind that the budgets mentioned here are just suggestions and always depend on how you travel. The suggested budgets are per person per day and do not include one-time expenses such as flights or travel insurance.

Backpacker budget: This assumes you’ll be staying in hostels or sharing rooms in cheap guesthouses. You’ll eat mostly local food in cafes/restaurants, use local transportation, and avoid expensive private tours.

Medium-term budget: This assumes that you will be staying in better B&Bs, local guesthouses, or budget hotels, that you will regularly go on day tours and other organized activities, and that you will have meals in a nice restaurant at least once a day.

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