Best Countries for Budget Travelers

By Jessica Russo


We get it - traveling isn't cheap. How are you supposed to pay for your cell phone, buy healthy groceries, pay for transportation, and go on vacation? Trust us, with careful planning and a little budgeting, it can easily be done.

These culture-packed countries are as stunningly beautiful as they are wallet-friendly. Sure, flights may still be pricey, but what you'll save on food, souvenirs, and transportation will make it all worth it. Take a look at the following bucket-list destinations, where exchange rates and local prices are all in your favor!


Indonesia

Bali beaches and rolling rice fields

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
In Bali, a three-course meal at a nice restaurant for two people averages at about Rp.290,000. What!? That sounds like the price of a house! Relaaax. That price is about 22 USD - $11 per person. If that's a nice, three-course meal for two, imagine how much a quick lunch for one is! Let's just say this is a whole different kind of "dollar menu." Experience dreamlike beaches, lush greenery, traditional temples, and much more.


Vietnam

From Ha Long Bay to Hoi An

Currency: Vietnamese dong
In Vietnam, a three-course meal at a nice restaurant for two people averages at about 400,000.00 ₫ (approx. 17 USD). Countries in Southeast Asia, however, are all about the street food, so you'll wind up eating at small, local eateries more times than not. Now, what does that kind of meal cost? Probably about $1. So, let's do the math - that means you can spend about $7-15 on lunch for your w-h-o-l-e trip. From Hanoi to Hue, to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Hoi An, take in stunning natural beauty while you soak up the spirit of Vietnam.


Czech Republic

Live pretty in Prague

Currency: Czech koruna
Your nice, three-course meal for two in the Czech Republic averages at about 500 Kč, or $24. An inexpensive meal will cost you about 120 Kč, or $5. While this may not seem that cheap, it's drastically less-expensive than most other European countries. Enjoy some authentic goulash, drink some local beer, and explore the medieval streets of Prague!


Thailand

Beaches, temples, and appe-thai-zing street food

Currency: Thai Baht
You won't even need $20 for a nice, three-course meal for two in Thailand. Bangkok is famous for its scrumptious street food, so most locals and travelers rely on that for meal time. Slurp up some spicy Tom Yum Goong, eat a fresh Som Tum (green papaya salad), and savor flavors of pad thai and fried rice - all for about $1 per meal. Discover the secrets of golden temples in Bangkok, then relax on the beaches of Krabi and Phuket. Why not visit amazing national parks and wildlife reserves near Chiang Mai? When you spend less money on extras, you have more money to experience.


India

Coloful culture and picturesque palaces

Currency: Indian Rupee
India's exchange rate will wow you. You might even say, "are you sure?" when you hear what something costs. Ya' know that lovely 3-course meal for 2 we keep talking about? Forget $20, forget $15 - try $10. That means, $5 per person for a nice, sit-down meal. We all know in India, you must drink bottled water. Sounds expensive, right? At $0.25 per bottle, it's not that bad. Explore ornate temples, colorful markets, fragrant spice shops, and everything else India has to offer (all for about what you'd spend in one day in the US).


Peru

An Andean adventure!

Currency: Peruvian Sol
You can expect to spend about 10 S/. ($3) on an inexpensive meal, and 60 S/. ($20) on a moderate meal for two. While food, transportation, lodging, and crafted goods are inexpensive in Peru, keep in mind that traveling to different parts of the country does require a good amount of traveling - basically, it can add up. Whether it's a train ticket up to Machu Picchu, a guided drive through the Amazon, or a quick flight from Cusco to Lima, one thing's for sure - it's worth every penny.


Colombia

Colonial cities meet mountainous majesty

Currency: Colombian Peso
In cities like Cartagena and Medellin, expect to spend about $5 on lunch (including a drink), $4 on a 5-mile taxi ride, and about $30 for a swanky multi-course dinner for two with wine. Colombia is known to have some of the best food in the world, so get ready to pig out. For lunch, grab a $1 arepa on the street, for dinner try bandeja paisa, and for dessert - buñuelos!


Cambodia

You'll wat to stay forever

Currency: Cambodian Riel
Ten dollars for a good meal that includes beer? Sounds good to us. One dollar for delicious street food and beers? Sounds even better. Things are so inexpensive in Cambodia that there's a good chance you'll only spend about $30 per day! Experience spectacular Angkor Wat and tons of other ancient temples and palaces. With extra cash in your pocket, you'll be able to check everything off your vacation bucket-list!

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