In a world that teems with diversity, there’s no end to the number of remarkable destinations that await the intrepid traveler. But let’s be honest—budget constraints often play a deciding role in our choice of destinations. Thankfully, affordability doesn’t have to equate to a lack of excitement or culture. Welcome to the guide of cheapest countries to travel to, where we’ll navigate the globe together, pinpointing places where your dollar stretches further, yet the experience remains rich and rewarding.
From countries steeped in history to lands boasting stunning landscapes and great walking cities, we’ll explore destinations that not only cater to your wanderlust but also your wallet. Whether you’re a budget backpacker or just someone looking to maximize your travel experience without breaking the bank, this guide will reveal some of the world’s most affordable and enriching corners.
So strap on your seatbelts, as we set off on an adventure to discover the most cost-effective countries that should be on every thrifty traveler’s list.
- General Tips for Budget Travel
- Cheapest Countries to Travel To From North America
- Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Latin America
- Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Europe
- Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Oceania
- Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Asia
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest Countries to Travel To
- Parting Words
Cheapest Countries to Travel To From North America
If you’re based in North America and are seeking budget-friendly getaways, you’re in luck. There’s an array of destinations within and outside the continent that are perfect for an affordable adventure.
Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the cheapest countries to travel to from North America, based on factors like cost of flights, accommodations, meals, and attractions.
Just south of the U.S. border, Mexico offers an incredibly rich culture, delicious cuisine, beautiful beaches, and historic sites. The cost of living is lower than in the U.S., making it a budget-friendly destination. With numerous budget airlines offering cheap flights, Mexico is a great option for a budget vacation.
This Central American gem boasts impressive Mayan ruins, stunning lakes, and vibrant local markets. Guatemala is one of the least expensive countries in Latin America, making it a top choice for budget travelers.
Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it can feel like a world away with its tropical climate, historic Old San Juan, beautiful beaches, and El Yunque rainforest. The cost of living and travel is generally lower than in many U.S. states.
If you’re willing to travel a bit further, Bulgaria in Eastern Europe offers fantastic value for money. From the beautiful Black Sea beaches to the historic cities and vibrant nightlife, Bulgaria is one of the least expensive countries in Europe.
An intercontinental flight may be a bit more expensive, but the low cost of living in Vietnam balances it out. The country offers bustling cities, serene countryside, mouth-watering food, and rich history, all for an extremely affordable price.
Peru is one of the most affordable countries in South America, and it offers a mix of cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and culinary delights. Visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, explore the bustling city of Lima, or hike through the Amazon rainforest without breaking the bank.
Related: A Guide to Rainbow Mountain in Peru
Just across the Atlantic, Morocco is an intriguing mix of Arabian, European, and African cultures. With its flavorful cuisine, bustling markets, historic cities, and scenic landscapes, it’s a cheap destination that offers a truly unique experience.
While the flight to the Philippines might be pricey, once you’re there, everything is incredibly cheap. Explore beautiful islands, stunning beaches, bustling cities, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.
Thailand is a well-established budget destination. It offers everything from vibrant cities and night markets to serene beaches and Buddhist temples. The cost of travel within Thailand is very low, making it a great budget destination.
Despite being in Europe, Greece is surprisingly affordable. You can explore ancient ruins, visit beautiful islands, and indulge in delicious Greek cuisine without spending much.
With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities, Turkey offers a great travel experience for a fraction of the cost of other European destinations. From Istanbul’s historical sites to the beautiful beaches of Antalya, there’s plenty to explore on a budget.
Known for its stunning beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and lively culture, the Dominican Republic can be an affordable Caribbean getaway if you plan carefully. Local food and transport are quite cheap, and there’s a wide range of accommodation options to fit different budgets.
Panama is one of Central America’s slightly overlooked gems. It boasts beautiful landscapes, a modern capital city, Panama Canal, and beautiful offshore islands. The cost of travel in Panama is lower compared to its neighboring Costa Rica, making it an excellent option for those seeking a budget-friendly adventure.
Related: How to Open a Bank Account in Panama
Colombia has been growing in popularity amongst travelers. It offers colorful towns, lush landscapes, vibrant cities, and beautiful beaches. The cost of traveling in Colombia is relatively low, with cheap public transportation, affordable meals, and reasonably priced accommodations.
Renowned for its biodiversity, stunning beaches, and adventure sports, Costa Rica is a must-visit destination. Although it’s one of the pricier Central American countries, it’s still possible to travel here on a budget, especially if you’re willing to stay in hostels and eat at local sodas (small family-run restaurants).
Ecuador offers everything from the Amazon jungle and Andean highlands to colonial towns and the breathtaking Galápagos Islands. The cost of living is low, making it an excellent destination for budget travelers. You can enjoy local meals, explore local markets, and use public transportation to keep your costs down.
Brazil is known for its festive spirit, beautiful beaches, and iconic landmarks. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo can be more expensive, but places like Salvador offer a more affordable taste of Brazil’s culture and beautiful coastline. Be sure to enjoy the local street food for delicious, budget-friendly meals.
Remember, the key to budget travel is flexibility, research, and keeping an open mind. Happy adventuring!
Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Latin America
For those of you hailing from the vibrant continent of Latin America, affordable travel options abound thanks to your geographical location and well-connected transport routes. Whether you’re looking to explore your own backyard or venture a bit further, here are some budget-friendly destinations to consider:
Less touristy than its neighbors, Nicaragua offers an authentic Central American experience at a fraction of the cost. Its stunning landscapes, including lakes, volcanoes, and beaches, are largely unspoiled and accommodations and food are extremely cheap, making it a fantastic option for budget travelers.
As one of the cheapest countries in South America, Bolivia is a budget traveler’s dream. The cost of living is incredibly low, allowing travelers to explore diverse landscapes, experience rich culture, and indulge in local cuisine without breaking the bank.
Although Machu Picchu might be a pricey destination, much of the rest of Peru remains affordable for travelers. With fascinating archaeological sites, vibrant cities, and varied landscapes, there is plenty to explore. Street food is delicious and cheap, and there are many budget accommodation options available.
Known for its Mayan sites, colorful colonial cities, and beautiful landscapes, Guatemala is another cost-effective choice. The cost of travel in Guatemala is relatively low, with budget accommodations, cheap local food, and affordable public transportation.
Often overlooked by travelers, Paraguay is one of South America’s least visited and most affordable countries. The cost of food, accommodation, and travel within Paraguay is very low, and you’ll have the chance to explore a country rich in indigenous culture and history.
Again, Ecuador is an incredibly budget-friendly destination, with low-cost food, accommodations, and transportation. It’s a country with a great variety of landscapes and attractions, from colonial towns and the Amazon jungle to the iconic Galápagos Islands.
With its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals, Colombia offers a great value destination for travelers. Accommodations, local meals, and transportation are all quite cheap.
Remember, travel requires careful planning and flexibility. Keep an open mind, embrace the unexpected, and you’ll have experiences that no amount of money can buy.
Related: Best Cafes in Medellin, Colombia
Known for its stunning biodiversity, Costa Rica offers affordable travel with its cheap local food, budget-friendly hostels, and free natural attractions like beaches and national parks.
Despite its size, internal travel in Brazil can be quite affordable, especially with budget airlines. Street food and local markets make eating a cheap proposition, and there’s no shortage of free cultural experiences.
Even though Spain is in Europe, affordable flights can often be found from various Latin American countries due to historical connections. Once there, costs can be kept low by enjoying free museums, cheap tapas, and reasonably priced public transportation.
Portugal is known as one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe. Delicious and inexpensive food, budget-friendly accommodations, and free or low-cost cultural experiences make it an excellent choice for travelers from Latin America.
Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Europe
France, known for its beautiful landscapes, charming villages, and mouth-watering cuisine, is more affordable than you might think. The country is home to a wide range of accommodations that cater to various budgets. Traveling off the beaten path or during off-peak seasons can yield significant savings.
Spain is an enticing destination due to its rich cultural experiences, lower cost of living, and affordable accommodations. From its bustling cities to its sunny coastlines, Spain offers a wealth of attractions. Many museums and sites have free entrance on certain days, and the country’s delicious cuisine can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.
Portugal offers a great balance of beautiful beaches, historic sites, and delicious, inexpensive food. Its cost of living is among the lowest in Western Europe, making it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers. Accommodation options are diverse, ranging from hostels and budget hotels to self-catering apartments.
Just a short distance from Europe, Morocco is a gateway to a different world. The cost of living here is low, and it’s a country rich with cultural experiences. Affordable accommodation, delicious food, and unique shopping opportunities abound in the vibrant souks.
While some parts of Italy can be pricey, there are many regions in this beautiful country that are perfect for budget travel. Southern Italy, in particular, offers lower living costs while still providing the authentic Italian experience, from the delicious cuisine to the historic sites.
Croatia, with its stunning Adriatic coastline and historic cities, has become an increasingly popular destination. Despite this popularity, it remains a good choice for budget travelers, especially when exploring the less touristic areas.
Slovakia is an underrated gem. The cost of living is low, and it offers stunning nature, from mountains to caves, along with quaint historical towns. The capital, Bratislava, is a compact city rich with history and affordable attractions.
Bulgaria offers some of the best value in Europe. Its cost of living is among the continent’s lowest, and the country is known for its hospitality, beautiful landscapes, and historic sites. Food and drink are excellent and affordable.
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is often cited as one of the best value destinations in Europe. Outside of the capital, the country’s cost of living is even lower. Hungary also boasts beautiful landscapes, excellent wines, and thermal spas.
Romania is a fantastic budget destination. Its cost of living is low, and it offers travelers a mix of beautiful landscapes, from the Carpathian Mountains to the Black Sea Coast, along with unique attractions such as the castles of Transylvania.
Albania offers great value for money. It’s one of Europe’s least expensive countries, and yet it boasts beautiful beaches, mountains, and historic sites. Albania’s cost of living is low, and the country is welcoming to tourists.
Poland is a country of rich history, delicious food, and low living costs. From the bustling city of Warsaw to the charming old town of Krakow, Poland offers a wide range of experiences for budget travelers.
Serbia is another under-the-radar budget-friendly destination. Its cost of living is low, and it offers a mix of vibrant cities, rural charm, and beautiful nature, including national parks and ski resorts.
Tunisia, a country with a rich history and beautiful Mediterranean beaches, offers very low living costs. From exploring ancient Carthage and the Sahara desert to relaxing in seaside resorts, Tunisia provides great value for money.
North Macedonia is one of Europe’s least-known destinations and one of the most affordable. Its cost of living is low, and it offers beautiful landscapes, historic sites, and warm hospitality.
Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Oceania
Just a hop across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand offers stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Despite its reputation for higher costs, budget travel is possible with affordable accommodation options, such as hostels and camping grounds, and a wealth of natural attractions to explore at little to no cost.
Vietnam is a fantastic budget-friendly destination, offering a rich cultural experience, delectable cuisine, and scenic landscapes. The cost of living is low, and accommodation options are abundant and cheap. From bustling city markets to serene countryside, Vietnam offers a truly affordable adventure.
While Singapore is known for its high standard of living, it can be surprisingly affordable for travelers. The city-state offers a range of budget accommodations and food options, with hawker centers offering delicious meals at low prices. Plus, many of the city’s attractions, like the stunning Gardens by the Bay, are free to enjoy.
Fiji may sound like a luxury destination, but it’s possible to enjoy this South Pacific paradise on a budget. Accommodation options include budget resorts and guesthouses, and many of the country’s natural attractions can be enjoyed for free. The friendly Fijian culture and beautiful landscapes are well worth the trip.
Malaysia is a budget-friendly destination that boasts a mix of modern cities, charming towns, beautiful islands, and national parks. Street food is delicious and cheap, and accommodation options range from budget to luxury, providing options for various travel budgets.
Thailand is known for its affordability. From street food and budget accommodations to inexpensive public transportation, your money goes far here. The country offers a rich cultural experience, stunning landscapes, and beautiful beaches, making it a favorite among budget-conscious travelers.
Indonesia, especially Bali, has long been a favorite among budget travelers. The country offers affordable accommodation, cheap but delicious food, and a wealth of natural and cultural attractions. From exploring ancient temples to surfing on stunning beaches, Indonesia is a great budget-friendly choice.
Japan can be an affordable destination when planned carefully. Food can be surprisingly cheap and delicious from convenience stores and budget restaurants. Affordable accommodation can be found in guesthouses and budget hotels, and the country’s efficient public transportation system allows for easy and cheap travel around cities and regions.
India offers an extremely affordable travel experience. Accommodation is varied and can fit any budget, and Indian cuisine, famous for its flavors, is very cheap. The country’s rich history and culture, bustling cities, and diverse landscapes make it a budget-friendly destination not to be missed.
The Philippines, with its friendly people, beautiful beaches, and low cost of living, is a great destination for budget travel. Accommodation, food, and transportation are all cheap, and the country’s natural beauty and cultural experiences offer great value.
China’s cost of living is quite low, and the country offers a wide variety of experiences that cater to different budgets. From the bustling cities with their historical sites to the stunning natural landscapes of rural areas, China is a destination that offers great value for budget travelers.
Taiwan offers an affordable and diverse travel experience. Food is cheap and delicious, with night markets offering a variety of dishes. Public transportation is efficient and affordable, and there are numerous free and low-cost attractions throughout the country, including natural beauty, hot springs, and historic sites.
Sri Lanka is a budget-friendly destination offering beautiful beaches, national parks, and historical sites. The cost of living is low, and there’s a range of budget accommodations available. Plus, local cuisine, known for its flavors, is very cheap.
South Korea offers a blend of modern cities, ancient history, and beautiful landscapes. Street food and local restaurants provide cheap meals, and there are plenty of budget accommodations. Outside the bustling city of Seoul, prices drop even further, making it a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.
Cambodia is another extremely affordable destination. Accommodation is cheap, and local food is very inexpensive. The country is rich in history and natural beauty, with attractions like the temples of Angkor Wat and the stunning islands off the southern coast providing excellent value for money.
Cheapest Countries to Travel To From Asia
South Korea is an affordable travel destination with a blend of modern cities, ancient history, and stunning landscapes. Street food and local restaurants offer inexpensive meals, and there’s a good choice of budget accommodations. Furthermore, the country is compact and has an excellent public transportation system, making travel easy and economical.
Japan can be a surprisingly affordable destination when approached with budget-conscious planning. Food is inexpensive and delectable, particularly from convenience stores and budget restaurants. Budget accommodation can be found in guesthouses, capsule hotels, and low-cost chain hotels. The country’s efficient public transportation allows for economical travel.
Despite its size, traveling in China can be quite cost-effective. The cost of living is relatively low, and the country offers a wide range of experiences to fit different budgets. From bustling metropolises with historical sites to the breath-taking natural landscapes of rural areas, China offers excellent value for travelers.
The Philippines is a great destination for budget travel, with its friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and affordable cost of living. Accommodation, food, and transport are all cheap, and the country’s natural beauty and rich cultural experiences offer incredible value.
Vietnam offers a rich cultural experience, mouth-watering cuisine, and picturesque landscapes at a low cost. The cost of living is low and accommodation options are plentiful and cheap, making Vietnam a truly affordable adventure for all types of travelers.
Although Singapore is known for its high cost of living, it can be surprisingly affordable for travelers. The city-state offers a range of budget accommodation and food options, and many attractions are free or low cost. With careful planning, a trip to this modern metropolis doesn’t have to break the bank.
Taiwan is an affordable destination offering a rich mix of culture, nature, and history. Night markets and local eateries provide cheap, tasty meals, while public transportation is efficient and budget-friendly. The country is packed with free or low-cost attractions, making it an excellent value for budget travelers.
Thailand is famous for its affordability. From street food and budget accommodations to inexpensive public transportation, Thailand offers great value. The country provides a rich cultural experience, beautiful landscapes, and stunning beaches, making it a favorite among budget-conscious travelers.
Malaysia is a budget-friendly destination with modern cities, charming towns, and beautiful national parks. Street food is delectable and cheap, and accommodation options range from budget to luxury. Public transportation is also affordable, making it easy to explore.
Bangladesh is off the beaten path for most travelers, but those who venture here will find it to be extremely affordable. The cost of living is low, and there is a variety of local food to enjoy. Accommodation options are plentiful and can fit any budget. The country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage offer great value.
Indonesia offers affordable accommodation, inexpensive yet delicious food, and a wealth of natural and cultural attractions. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, surfing on stunning beaches, or trekking in lush landscapes, Indonesia is a top choice for budget-conscious travelers.
Cambodia is an extremely affordable destination, with low costs for accommodation, food, and transportation. The country is rich in history and natural beauty, with attractions like Angkor Wat and the beautiful islands in the south providing excellent value for money.
Uzbekistan, located on the historic Silk Road, is a budget-friendly destination that offers a rich history, stunning architecture, and a unique cultural experience. Accommodation and food are affordable, and the country’s remarkable cities and landscapes offer great value for travelers.
India is an incredibly affordable travel destination. Accommodation fits any budget, and the flavorful local cuisine is very cheap. The country’s rich history, bustling cities, and diverse landscapes make it a top choice for budget-friendly travel.
United Arab Emirates
While the UAE, particularly Dubai, is known for luxury, budget options are available. Cheap food can be found at local eateries, and affordable accommodation in guesthouses or budget hotels. Many of the city’s attractions are also free or inexpensive, making it a viable budget destination with careful planning.
General Tips for Budget Travel
Navigating the world on a shoestring budget requires a bit of know-how and some savvy planning. With the right mindset and strategies, you can cut costs without cutting corners on your travel experience. Here’s how:
Flight Booking Secrets
Scour the internet for flight deals using comparison sites like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Google Flights. Make sure to clear your browser cookies or use incognito mode to avoid price hikes based on your search history. Being flexible with your travel dates and times, as well as considering off-peak seasons, can also lead to significant savings.
Consider alternate accommodation options. Hostels are a great way to save money, and they offer opportunities to meet fellow travelers. House swapping, Couchsurfing, or booking a room in a shared Airbnb can also slash your accommodation costs.
Eating out at fancy restaurants can be a treat, but it can also be a drain on your budget. Immerse yourself in the local culture and save money by trying street food or visiting local markets and cooking for yourself.
Free and Cheap Attractions
Many cities offer free walking tours, and certain museums have free entry days. Research ahead and plan accordingly. Nature, too, is an attraction that is often free. Hiking, beaches, and parks can provide memorable experiences without the price tag.
Public Transport and Walking
Taxis can be expensive. Wherever possible, use public transport or even better—walk. Not only is this cost-effective, but it also allows you to see more of your surroundings.
This might seem like an unnecessary expense, especially for a budget traveler, but having digital nomad travel insurance can save you a considerable amount of money in case of an emergency.
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your travel experiences. With these general tips, you’re well on your way to affordable adventuring, regardless of your destination.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest Countries to Travel To
Which country is the cheapest to visit?
Countries such as Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, and India are generally considered some of the most affordable to visit. These destinations typically offer cost-effective options for accommodation, meals, and transportation. Nonetheless, the affordability of a country can vary based on an individual’s lifestyle, current exchange rates, and fluctuating local economies.
Which country is the safest and cheapest to live?
Countries like Portugal and Thailand strike a good balance between affordability and safety. Portugal is noted for its low cost of living compared to other Western European countries, along with a high standard of safety. Thailand, on the other hand, offers a low cost of living and is generally safe, especially in areas populated by expats or digital nomads. Always consider your personal needs and lifestyle when choosing a place to live.
What country has the least crime?
Iceland consistently ranks as one of the countries with the lowest crime rates. Its strong sense of community, high standard of living, and effective law enforcement contribute to its reputation for safety. However, it’s important to remember that crime rates can vary within a country, and what’s considered “low crime” may be relative to individual perspectives and experiences.
Which country is the least affordable?
Countries such as Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland are often cited as some of the least affordable due to their high cost of living. These countries have high prices for goods and services, housing, and other expenses. However, these countries also often offer high standards of living and strong social services, which can offset some of these costs.
And so, fellow travelers, we reach the end of this grand journey through some of the most affordable travel destinations, hailing from every corner of the world. From the vibrant corners of Southeast Asia to the rich landscapes of Latin America, the world is teeming with places where adventure and affordability come hand in hand.
Travel isn’t about the thickness of your wallet, but the richness of your experiences. Each of these destinations offers something unique, wrapped up with the promise of a lighter hit on your bank account. Whether you’re hailing from North America, Latin America, Europe, or anywhere else on this beautiful planet, there’s a budget-friendly adventure waiting for you.
Now, it’s over to you.
Have you visited any of these affordable destinations? Do you have your own tips or experiences to share on budget travel? Are there any questions or topics you’d like to see covered in future posts?
Your thoughts, stories, and insights are the lifeblood of this community and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Here’s to the next journey.