budget backpacking cheapest travel

Budget backpacking: 12 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish-list might be putting some pressure on your purse/wallet, but there are tonnes of destinations that you can visit to get more for your money. So where? From Thailand to Turkey, we’ve listed 12 places you can travel to without breaking the bank. So get ready, grab your gear, and go!

1. South Africa, Africa

south africa travel backpacking

One of the greatest things about South Africa is that you don’t need to splash out to experience the wonders of this natural paradise. Have the Big Five safari experience in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. Ditch the tourist hotspots and visit Drakensburg for hiking, cheap food and amazing culture, then spend a few days in the bustling city of Cape Town.

2. India, Asia

india travel backpacking

Eat, Pray, Love your way through this awe-inspiring country! India is still one of the ultimate destinations for budget travel, being one of the fewer countries where you can travel so extensively for so little. The vast subcontinent has everything from desert safaris to the Himalayan Mountains to the beaches of Goa. Whether to want to sleep in the city of Bollywood or yearn to see the Taj Mahal, India is a backpackers best friend with so many cheap places to head to.

3. Greece, Europe

greece travel budget

Don’t be put off by Greece’s ongoing economic turmoil – if anything, it’s more reason to travel here to support the country’s incredibly friendly and welcoming locals. The situation means that prices are lower than they once were, meaning you could probably squeeze an extra island or two into your journey. History, culture, glistening coves and perfectly white sandy beaches await!

4. Peru, South America

peru travel budget

With its world-famous rainforests, beaches and ruins, Peru is really an amazing (and cheap!) place to visit. This laid-back country is kind to the disorganised traveller. Lima, the capital, is a good place to start your trip, but you may end up partying in the beach town of Mancora or hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – something that is an indescribable experience.

5. Thailand, Asia

thailand travel budget backpacking

There’s a reason why Thailand is still so popular with backpacks – it’s got a rich culture, world-class cuisine, exotic islands and adventures galore, all available at often very low prices. Give Thai Boxing a go, then fill up on the renowned fresh street food and authentic Thai iced tea from the local stores. Wander off the beaten path and hire a motorbike to make the 600km trip along the Mae Hong Son Loop through the forested mountains.

6. Mexico, North America

mexico travel budget backpacking

Few places in the world offer as much culture and diversity as Mexico, and you’d be surprised at how far your budget can stretch here. Whether you want to string your hammock up on the dazzling white sands, visit the ancient ruins and dense rainforests, or indulge in tacos and tequila, this country will leave you eager to come back for more.

7. Vietnam, Asia

vietnam travel budget backpacking

After decades of turbulent change, Vietnam is still amazing value for visitors. Anyone that’s been will tell you the country’s greatest asset is its gorgeous countryside with charming waterways, aromatic tea plantations, and blissful breaches. Then there’s the cuisine – pull up a seat at a pho stall and for next to nothing you’ll be eating amazing food, shoulder to shoulder with the locals.

8. Turkey, Europe

turkey travel budget backpacking

Turkey is becoming an increasingly popular destination for backpackers because of its spectacular landscapes and cultural history. Start your journey in Istanbul, which is filled with excellent and affordable accommodation and eating spots. Visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and Istanbul Old Town, then wander the streets of the Grand Bazaar – packed with thousands of shops, it’s the perfect place to absorb Turkish culture and cuisine.

9. Nepal, Asia

nepal travel budget backpacking

Having recovered from fuel strikes and a catastrophic earthquake, Nepal is a great choice for budget-conscious travellers in search of worldly wildlife and life-changing hikes. Head to Birgunj, the nation’s capital, to see Durga Temple, and Shankar Acharya Gate, where India meets Nepal.

10. Uruguay, South America

uruguay travel budget backpacking

This South American beauty is definitely less pricier Brazil and Argentina. But you can still find excellent steak here which is pretty cheap, plus there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to choose from – head to Cabo Polonio for peaceful sands and abundant wildlife. Don’t forget to visit the gorgeous old capital of Montevideo!

11. Costa Rica, North America

costa rica travel budget backpacking

You might hear that Costa Rica is the most expensive place in Central America, but with its incredible biodiversity, natural hot springs, active volcanoes and beautiful shorelines, it’s so worth putting in extra effort to visit on a budget. Opt for staying in hostels or camping, and eating at the “sodas” or local Tico restaurants, where meals costs half of what they would in tourist spots.

12. Namibia, Africa

namibia travel budget backpacking

With the country’s currency at one of its lowest, now’s a good time to experience and explore this wonderful country. Go for wildlife spotting in the Etosha National Park, sand surfing down the Sossusvlei Dunes, and hikes in the wilderness of the Fish River Canyons. With its exceptionally clear milky-way night skies, know that the best memories of this natural paradise won’t cost you a penny.


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