Let’s just say what everyones already thinking… Traveling is expensive! Yet, over the years we’ve found that it really doesn’t have to be. Some countries, even in Europe, can be the cheapest places in the world to travel for vacation. It’s not only about the cost with these destinations, but how far your money can get you. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite cheap travel countries, and tips that will help you along the way. Ready for your dream vacation?!
How Did We Pick Our Cheapest Countries List?
For this article we took everything from accommodations to food and transportation, as well as some other common travel expenses into consideration. We also only included cheap countries we’ve personally traveled in to give you a more authentic breakdown of each place.
Our hope is there’s some destinations on this list that you weren’t expecting, and you will take away some new travel ideas and inspiration. Remember cheap travel is not just for budget backpackers! You can visit some amazing places around the world while not spending a fortune.
10 Cheapest Countries in the World to Travel To
Albania? Yes, that’s right! This is an up-and-coming travel destination in the Balkans, and there are plenty of reasons why it’s one of the best cheap countries to travel to. Albania is full of amazing food, hiking, and something else you might not know.
Beaches! Albania shares the same clear blue waters as Greece in Italy, which makes the Albanian Riviera one of the most underrated destinations for beach lovers.
In fact, it’s so close to Greece that you can even take a boat from Southern Albania to the Island of Corfu. And the best part? Albania is about 1/3rd of the price of its European neighbors.
Cambodia may not get the shine of its Southeast Asian counterparts like Vietnam and Thailand, but it definitely deserves more attention! Not only does Cambodia have ancient treasures of Angkor Wat to explore, but it’s also one of the cheapest countries in the world to visit.
In addition to its historical value, Cambodia has an incredible street food scene that only adds to its allure. While not known for its beaches, the beautiful islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem are a place to let loose and relax. For this reason, Cambodia can be the perfect country for history lovers, backpackers, and party people alike.
Viva la Mexico! This massive country in Central America has long been a destination for vacationers looking for fun in the sun. And with cheap margaritas, stunning beaches, and $1 tacos… What’s not to love??
What we appreciate about Mexico most is the accessibility. When we lived in San Diego, Mexico was just a quick drive or flight away! Often we would just cruise across the border for lunch or a weekend getaway.
If you’re planning a trip to South America don’t skip out on Ecuador! We visited here on one of our very first backpacking trips back in 2016 and absolutely loved it. What makes Ecuador so special is its abundance of outdoor activities.
From hiking and bike riding to waterfalls to ziplining and white water rafting, Ecuador has it all. The best part is that these activities are half the price they are in other places. This makes Ecuador one of the cheapest countries to travel to for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies.
Looking for an exotic destination that won’t break the bank? Thailand is for you! Start off exploring the capital city of Bangkok, and get a serious street food fix. Then head off to Chang Mai to experience some culture, and see the one-of-a-kind temples. While that is fun, you’ll want to save plenty of time for the best part… The Thai Islands!
You could literally spend weeks island hopping around different parts of this country, and for a lot less money than you’d think. Simply pick an island grouping, and to get between them it will only cost you $10-20 USD by boat. Some of our personal favorites are Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan, and Phuket.
For most travelers, Spain doesn’t come to mind when they think of the cheapest countries in the world. And really, until we lived there we didn’t know how truly affordable it was! Spain is all about living life to the fullest, and that can be seen in their willingness to go out and be social at all times.
The food and wine are wonderful in Spain, and the plato del dia and famous tapas style of eating allow you to dine out inexpensively. Picture a world where whenever you order a drink a free snack comes with it. How cool is that?
One of the best cheap travel tips we can give you is not to rule out Europe! We’ve even been to Southern Spain in the wintertime as it stays relatively warm year round.
7. Sri Lanka
Located just off the southeastern tip of India, the most expensive part about Sri Lanka will likely just be getting there! Sri Lanka has jumped onto the travel radar recently for its world-class surfing and beaches.
With a mix of great Indian food and jungle vibes, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in this unique destination. For how beautiful this country is we were surprised by the incredibly affordable prices of accommodations.
We stayed everywhere from hostels and homestays to 4-star luxury resorts for not a ton of money. It’s easy to see why Sri Lanka is quickly becoming one of the best, and cheapest countries for vacation!
We’ve been all over South America, and Argentina was far and away our favorite country! During our month in Argentina, we were able to hike mountain peaks in Patagonia, see the largest waterfall system in the world in Iguaza Falls, drink Malbec in Mendoza, and eat some of the best steak in the world on the streets of Buenos Aires.
So how did we get to all these places in just a few weeks? We flew! Argentina may not be known as one of the cheapest countries in the world, but none of our flights cost more than $30 USD.
With companies like Norwegian Airlines offering new routes, it’s easier than ever to get around Argentina. And unlike some other countries in South America, the hotels and hostels are more comparable to Europe as far as comfort and cleanliness.
Germany is somewhere in Europe we always enjoy exploring and visiting family. The only problem is it’s the complete opposite of cheap countries for vacation!
So when we went next door to Poland a couple of years ago we were shocked by the prices in comparison. Everything from the perogies and schnitzels to the transportation and places to stay were almost half price or better.
On top of that, some of our favorite hikes ever were in Poland’s Southern Tatra Mountains on the Slovakian border. So wander the colorful streets of Gdansk, take in the history and Krakow, and don’t be afraid to stumble into your local milk bar for a hearty meal. Poland is amazing!
Don’t worry, we saved the best for last! If you’ve been following us for a while now then you know how much love we have for Vietnam. Our first visit was in 2010, and 6+ trips later we still haven’t got enough.
Vietnam is not just one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Southeast Asia, but the entire world! Not only will the food cost you $1-2 per dish, but it’s some of the most delicious cuisines you’ll ever taste.
Also, for just $10-15 USD you can expect clean rooms with lightning-fast wifi and the service of a resort. Transportation is just as affordable, and one of the most exciting things to do is rent a moped to see the countryside. So what are you waiting for? As far as cheap countries for a vacation go, Vietnam is leading the way!
Have any questions on our cheap travel tips or want to share your own favorite cheapest countries for vacation? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Budget Travel Planning
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip-the-line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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