Put your hands up if you’re broke and need cheap travel destinations STAT!
Just simply enjoy getting more bang for your buck.
I’m all about living a fabulous life on the cheap and travel is no different.
This is probably why my go-to travel destinations tend to be somewhere in Southeast Asia.
Let’s face it. It’s easier to just evacuate your home country for a little adventure when you know it won’t cost you a fortune.
These cheap travel destinations will take any unnecessary stress out of your trip too. Once you reach these destinations, you know you can pretty much live comfortably.
All you have to do is focus on snagging up a cheap flight to get there…
This is sometimes not as easy as it sounds. However I do have a few tricks that ensure I always find a cheaper flight than the first one that appears in the search results.
P.S. Not sponsored, I just really, really like Skyscanner.
Compare Search Engines:
I always open whatever flight websites I can think of and compare prices for that route. This eliminates all pricier sites. (Pssst, Skyscanner is usually a winner for me)
If you’re flexible on dates, then you can play around with finding the cheapest time to fly. Just type in your desired destination and click “cheapest” month on Skyscanner and it will pump out the cheapest month to fly.
If you’ve got no commitments, other than adventuring, then consider departing from a less popular airport. You can also use Skyscanner’s ‘multi-city’ feature, which allows you to pop in another destination, before reaching your final one. This can often cut your flight price in half and you get a chance to adventure another country for X amount of days.
Clear Your Cache:
If you’re constantly checking flights on a certain site, your cache will no longer refresh. This basically means that you’ll be seeing the same results from your last search. Delete your browser history or clear your computer cache in the settings to completely forget the site to ensure it scrapes the most current prices.
So, what makes a destination “cheap”?
Whenever I visit a new destination, I’m constantly evaluating whether it would be a liveable spot for me.
Considering, I am the Queen of stinginess, I’ll let you know how I evaluate this
If I can eat lots of good food for cheap, then it’s an automatic winner. Bonus points if it’s vegan goodies.
Private accommodation for a good price. Bonus points if it’s close to a beach or has it’s own pool.
How do I get around? Are the surroundings activities within themselves? Do I need to pay constant entrance fees?
15 RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
*Prices are on average for destination
Thailand is cheap and it’s the home of pad thai. So, there we go. Destination decided.
But seriously, Thailand has been coined ‘the land of smiles’ and for good reason. The locals are lovely.
You can explore one of it’s many islands, live the city life in Bangkok or channel your inner yogi in Chiang Mai.
Food: $2.30 beer, $2 pad thai
Accommodation: Hostels from $3.50, private accommodation from $11
Activities: Free beach hopping, Island day tours from $20, $3.90 entrance to Wat Pho in Bangok
Travel: Taxi from $1.20/5km, moped hire for 24 hours $7, local bus from $0.30
Apart from being the home of pho and rice paper rolls, Vietnam is extremely rich in culture and history.
You’d probably need around the 2+ week mark to really immerse yourself in everything this country has to offer.
Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hoi An, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang are my top picks for a beginner but Vietnam also has a lot to offer once you’ve deviated from the beaten track.
Food: $1.10 beer, $2.20 pho
Accommodation: Hostels from $4, private accommodation from $15
Activities: Cu Chi Tunnels entrance fee $5, full Ha Long Bay day tour from $50
Travel: Taxi from $4/5km, moped hire for 24 hours from $7, local bus from $0.50
Cambodia is home to the ruins of Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh’s Central Market and the Gulf of Thailand’s stunning coastline.
In fact, Koh Rong Island has been on my bucket list for years. Anywhere that I can pretend I’m an island gal, quickly tops my bucket list.
Food: $1.10 beer, $2.50 most Cambodian fares
Accommodation: Hostel from $2, private accommodation from $7
Activities: Full day entrance to Angkor Wat $47, full snorkelling day tour of Phu Quoc $17
Travel: Tuk Tuk $1.27/3km, moped hire for 24 hours from $6, local bus from $0.47
I consider Laos one of the underdog locations of Southeast Asia. However, I have heard from numerous people that their quick stop over accidentally turns into six + month stints.
This is where you come to cleanse your adrenaline junkie soul.
You’ll find cycling, cave jumping, kayaking, zip-lining and tubing opportunities.
And for the more relaxed traveller?
Buddhist monasteries, stunning rivers, morning markets and great food.
Food: $1 beer, $0.75 for local fare
Accommodation: Hostels from $2.50, private accommodation from $7
Activities: Vat Phuo Hindu Temple is free, lots of free outdoor waterfalls/hikes
Travel: Jumbo rides from $1.25, moped hire for 24 hours $7, local bus from $1.25
I would repeatedly visit Prague just to stare at the astronomical clock for hours on end.
For those who don’t know, Prague is located in the Czech Republic and is seriously cheap. It’s also a stones throw away from other dream European destinations.
Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and Prague Castle are must see spots.
Food: $1.37 beer, $4.70 for local fare/kebab
Accommodation: Hostel form $7, private accommodation from $20
Attractions: Mainly free outdoor attractions/sights
Travel: Metro ticket from $1.47, taxi ride from $1.47
Budapest is located in Hungary and is just a quick jump over from Prague.
You’ll find Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, the famous Szèchenyi Thermal Bath and great nightlife.
Food: $2.20 beer, $2.30 gyros
Accommodation: Hostel from $7, private accommodation from $19
Activities: Full day entrance to Szèchenyi Thermal bath for $26, free to climb Gellèrt Hill and views are amazing
Travel: Local metro from $1.70
Malaysia is bursting at its seams with culture and is so much more than just Kuala Lumpar.
In fact, the East Coast of Malaysia has quite a few beaches that rank amongst the best beaches of Southeast Asia.
Food: $3 beer, $5.70 basic meal plus drink
Accommodation: Hostel from $4, private accommodation from $19
Activities: Entrance to KL Petronas Twin Towers $25, snorkel hire on Redang Island $4
Travel: My Rapid Card from $1.57 a far, $10 ferry ride to an island
Nepal is a travel destination that you’ll get a lot out of. It serves as an easy spot to get to Mount Everest Base Camp or even explore the beautiful Pokhara.
Not only is it a trekker’s paradise but you can also visit the local hill villages or devour some of the world’s best cuisine.
Food: $3 beer, $2.50 local meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $5, private room from $18
Activities: Many free outdoor activities
Travel: Taxi from $2.80, local transport from $0.30
India is a lively and culturally rich travel destination. Travellers should expect chaos and bustling cities.
However, there’s no better way to experience a culture than to immerse yourself in it.
The Taj Mahal, Ganges and Amber Fort are all huge standouts. However, India also has a lot of untouched beauty to offer.
Food: $2.20 beer, $3 local meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $5, private accommodation from $9
Activities: Taj Mahal entrance $20, Entrance to Amber Fort $4
Travel: Rickshaw from $0.16/km
10.0 SRI LANKA
Okay so…Sri Lanka is stunning and is slowly opening it’s doors to tourism after ending it’s war in 2009.
You’ve got hikes, temples, museums, oceanside towns and breathtaking beaches.
Pretty much everything you want in a cheap travel destination.
Food: $7 local beer (not known for cheap alcohol), $5 local meal
Accommodation: Hostel from$7, private accommodation from $15
Activities: Temple of the Tooth entrance fee $14, Adam’s Peak hike is free
Travel: Taxi from $1.20/km, local bus from $0.20
Indonesia, in particular Bali, has become a quick budget getaway for many Australians. This has to do with insanely cheap flights, great food and famous villa accommodation.
However Indonesia has a lot more to offer, such as the untouched island of Raja Ampat.
Food: Beer from $1.50, $3 for local meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $3, private accommodation from $4
Activities: Island exploring, beach bar hopping, spa treatments from $4
Travel: Moped hire for 24 hours $6, taxi from $3.50
You don’t hear of Albania very often, but you should.
You’ll find Albania just over from Greece or Macedonia. Albania has coastlines that feature the Adriatic Sea, which is enough of an encouragement to visit.
However, it also has a lot of castles and archaeological sites, making a spot to appeal to every traveller.
Food: $1.30 beer, $6 local meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $13, private accommodation from $16
Activities: Many free outdoor activities/adventures
Travel: Local bus from $0.30 (Note that public transport system isn’t very reliable)
13.0 SOUTH AFRICA
Okay for starters, there’s a lot of South Africa.
The Western Cape offers lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, beaches, stunning cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, as well as lagoons and forests along the Garden Route. Also, don’t forget the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
However, a real popular activity is to visit Kruger National Park and go on Safari.
Food: $1.20 beer, $5-7 for basic meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $13, private accommodation from $19
Activities: Many free museums and hikes
Travel: Taxi $1/km, local bus from $1.50
Portugal has a lot to offer, all the way from Lisbon to Lagos.
My personal favourite is spending my day jumping from beach to beach in Lagos, which are separated by huge cliffs that line the coast.
Overall, Portugal offers great nightlife and a cheap lifestyle.
Food: $0.80 beer, $4 pizza/kebab
Accommodation: Hostel form $8, private accommodation from $12
Activities: Lot’s of free outdoor activities
Travel: Local bus and train from $1.50
You can find a lot of cheap travel destinations in South America, but Ecuador (Quito), is the cheapest.
Ecuador is extremely diverse in it’s landscape, encompassing the Amazon jungle, Galápagos Islands and Andean Highlands.
Food: $1.40 beer, $3.80 basic meal
Accommodation: Hostel from $2, private accommodation from $7
Activities: Ciudad Mitad del Mundo entrance fee $3
Travel: Local bus from $0.25