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Cheapest Places to Travel

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about travel is that it needs to be expensive. This false assumption is the root of the most common question people ask me. “How can you afford to travel so often — are you rich?”

Obviously taking organized tours of Europe, sailing the Galapagos or hanging out in cities like New York, Sydney and Dubai is is going to cost you a pretty penny. But did you know that there are certain cheap places to travel where you can travel on $50 per day, or even less?

Whether you’ve got money saved, plan to work abroad, or even want to become location-independent, your money will go farther in many regions of the world than it will at home. So why not find cheap places to travel?

Wanna travel cheap? Read our budget travel guide.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is the world’s pre-eminent paradise when it comes to cheap places to travel – in fact, Southeast Asia might be the cheapest place to travel. Whether you explore the chaotic Thai capital of Bangkok, cruise up the coast of Vietnam, tube rivers in Laos, get lost in the temples of Cambodia or devour your way through Singapore, there is basically nowhere else in the world where you can travel as cheaply as you can in Southeast Asia.

Of course, Southeast Asia isn’t just great because it’s a cheap place to travel. Generally speaking, infrastructure here is favorable to tourists, especially in countries like Thailand and Vietnam, which have modern rail networks. Food in Southeast Asia is also amazing, and the region is exotic enough that you don’t have to embark on excursions and attractions every day to get a sense that you are “somewhere else.”

Traveling to Southeast Asia? Read our travel guide.

India

India is also an extremely cheap place to travel, arguably even cheaper than Southeast Asia. Like many Southeast Asian nations, India has an extensive rail network, albiet one that is much more chaotic and difficult to navigate than those you find in Thailand or Vietnam.

As one of the largest countries in the world by both size and population, India is not only a cheap place to travel, but a fascinating one as well. Travel in the pink city of Jaipur, in the heart of Muslim north India, hit the beach in the Portuguese-influenced coastal state of Goa, or explore the bustling Indian capital of Delhi – you’ll get a sense that India isn’t known as a “subcontinent” without reason.

Whether you’re already sold on travel to India or still need more convincing, read my India travel guide to get started on your trip to India, one of the cheapest places in the world to travel.

Traveling to India? Read our India travel guide.

Southern/Eastern Europe

Europe doesn’t have a reputation as a cheap place to travel — I will get to this in a minute — but this comes from mainstream, Western European tourist destinations like France, Holland, Switzerland and especially the U.K.

In fact, certain parts of Europe are actually relatively cheap places to travel. Although you aren’t going to be able to travel for $20 or $30 per day like you would in India or Southeast Asia, Portugal and Spain are extremely affordable for backpackers. Likewise, eastern European and Mediterranean countries like Turkey and Greece are cheap places to travel.

Traveling to Europe? Read our Europe travel guide.

South America

When I visited South America for the first time, I assumed that it would be in the same price league as Southeast Asia. I would advise you against expecting this.

Indeed, while much of South America is cheap — you can travel in countries like Colombia, Perú and Bolivia for around $50 per day — some parts of South America are downright costly. Chile and Argentina are comparable in price to the United States, while Brazil is one of the most expensive places I have ever traveled.

One way to make South America travel cheaper is to travel the continent by bus like I did. Thanks to airline monopolies, flights within South America are uniformly expensive

Learn more about travel in South America, in both cheap and expensive countries, by reading my South America travel guide.

Traveling to South America? Read our travel guide.

Expensive Places to Travel

Now that I’ve gone over some of the cheapest places in the world to travel, let’s talk about the most expensive places in the world to travel.

Generally speaking, the more developed a country or region is, the more you’ll need to pay to travel there. Travel in super-modern Australia, for example, is expensive. Likewise Switzerland, Scandinavia and much of Western Europe are inhospitable to budget travelers. The United States can be extremely cheap, or extremely expensive.

Some expensive places to travel are more surprising. I already mentioned Brazil, but did you know that parts of the Middle East are actually quite expensive? Israel is an expensive place to travel, and so are the so-called Gulf States, like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

About The Author

is the author of 486 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

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  • http://www.solofemaletraveler.com Sabina

    Like your other posts, this is really useful. Southeast Asia is the only cheap region you mention which I’ve been to and I agree – it is a great place to head to if you have limited money. And of course if you’re interested in amazing sights and exotic cultures. Egypt is also extremely cheap. You can get a bed in a hostel dorm for less than 10 USD per night and a private room in a hostel for less than 15 USD. A large bottle of water is only about 40 cents US and you can get a great meal for about 1.5 or 2 USD, with meals at Western style restaurants at about 8 or 10 USD. A one-way bus ticket from Cairo to Dahab, about an eight-hour trip, is less than 15 USD. Egypt is a wonderful country in so many respects, and its price is one of them :)

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    It sounds like you’ve traveled in Egypt pretty extensively! I traveled in Egypt too, but the reason I didn’t list it is that I feel the Middle East on the whole is quite expensive. As a result, unless you travel specifically to Egypt, I feel your holiday won’t be very cheap. But great suggestions! Are you still living in Israel?

  • http://jerusalemhotel.co.il Jerusalem Hotel

    I would love to visit Africa in the future.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    I hope you can! Personally, I hope to return to Israel soon!

  • http://waegook-tom.com Waegook Tom

    I’ve heard reports that Bangladesh makes even India look ever so slightly pricey…

    Poland was VERY cheap to travel in, more so than Turkey – even the off-the-beaten path destinations there were a little bit more expensive than Poland. Lithuania was very affordable, too. You’re right about Malaysia as well – I came back with over half the money I’d taken with me, after splashing out on a clothes shopping spree and lunch in a swanky Lebanese restaurant!

    In terms of expensive places, everyone warned me about Sydney – but as a Brit, the prices really weren’t that shocking to me, but they were giving my American friends a heart attack.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    See, I think Australia is the second-most expensive place I’ve been, after Norway. Interesting!

  • http://www.krisromaniuk.com Kris Romaniuk

    Colombia is definitely on my list of next places to travel, but not just because of the price point. I hear it’s one of the places in South America still not tainted by tourism and American dollars.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Kris:

    Your had better hurry then! Colombia is not crawling with tourists like, say, Cusco or Rio de Janeiro, but hostels and hotels are uniformly full, especially along the Caribbean coast. And Colombia, in fact, has been largely “affected” by American dollars even if it wasn’t tainted: U.S. support over the past decade has helped push much of the drug violence out of Colombia (although, unfortunately, into Venezuela and Ecuador).

    Thanks for your comment, and please do keep reading!

  • Melissa

    My friends and i (5 of u) want to go on a grad trip. Since we are paying ourselves we dont want to spend a lot of money. We live in Vancouver BC, and would like to go somewhere else. Does anyone have any ideas?

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    I think Southeast Asia is a great option! The flight there is expensive, but daily life is extremely cheap!

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  • mack

    Love your blog. I just spent 4 days in Singapore and found it to be really expensive relative to Thailand and Vietnam. My girlfriend and I spent 75$ a night on a 3 star hotel and 50$ in the red light district booking through agoda. (She did the booking w/o me). Food wasnt to expensive there, but was still more moreso than Thailand and Vietnam. Just my 2 cents. thanks for your posting on the subject!

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Singapore is definitely expensive relative to the region it’s in — thanks for your input! What was your favorite thing in Singapore?

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  • http://www.theworldorbust.com/ Jeremy

    I’m in the Philippines right now and it’s pretty dirt cheap! Easy to have a good time without breaking the bank.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    I can’t believe I failed to mention the mother of all cheap Southeast Asia travel destinations!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ulli-Maier/1013911261 Ulli Maier

    go to bangladesh and find out what is really cheap. such a nice country with such a great infrastructure, avoid the “Eids” and you will love it.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    I want to go to Bangladesh so badly!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/VeroGarciaBenard Verónica García Benard

    Nicaragua is really cheap too…

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  • Rishi Jauhari

    thanks. you are a great help. keep posting. India.

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  • Sunilgoel

    The information by you is really informative, handy and interesting. I am a trekker and loves visiting places on budget travel. I would like to travel out of Delhi to Europe on budget travel. Can anybody suggest right itinerary?

  • Rach

    I love the name of your page, found it humorous.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Thanks very much! But I definitely hope you continue reading, and learn about some of the seriously awesome travel techniques I share!

  • Stijn

    I’ve got a question. I’m planning a trip to south-america mainly peru, bolivia, argentina and a small part of chile, but i was wondering whether it is safe for a 18 year old man to travel there solo?
    I’m planning to go there for half a year and i’ll make sure that by the time i get in south-america i speak spanish.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Hi Stijn:

    It’s as safe for an 18 year-old man as it is for anyone else. I’d be much more concerned if you were a girl! Obviously, you need to exercise caution when traveling: i.e. don’t walk around late at night with valuables on your person; and do your best not to look like a “tourist.” One key benefit is that you speak Spanish, which will serve your well in your journey.

  • helen b

    Hi just come back from Disneyland Florida loved it there but very costly any tips for cheap travel and accommodation pls and cheapest time to go with sunshine thank you

  • http://www.treavioli.com/ Treavor Wagoner

    Central America/Costa Rica

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  • Malek

    Tunisia is the best low cost travel destination in the mediterranean sea.

  • zoya

    Great posting! I think its good to know about the cheap and expensive tourism to plan for the budget and select destinations as per

  • Tony

    Does anyone know how much Tibet would be?

  • Bryan

    This guy is a joke. I’ve been all over the world and to say Brazil is expensive is a croc. Alcohol very cheap and food. I spent an average of $20 a day there. Asia is dirt cheap exect Singapore and some parts of China. All of Europe is expensive exept for Greece and Croatia. Africa dirt cheap as well. BUT!!! Middle East is cheap if you know where you are going and doing. If you are Christian or American sometimes you will get charged a lot more than the locals because they know you have money . Keep low profile and dont be a fanny pack wearing tourist

  • Hand Cleaner

    Africa is defintely the cheapest place… Once you’re in thare!

  • http://leaveyourdailyhell.com Robert Schrader

    True

  • SUNY

    Where to stay Bangladesh
    And how much cost stay everyday

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