The world beyond our familiar borders is more accessible now than it has ever been before. We can migrate across vast distances in record speeds, communicate in foreign languages using technology, and find myriad opportunities to work or volunteer while hopping from country to country.
Travel, however, is still expensive. Unless you’ve been saving up for a very long time, any long-term traveling you want to do will likely confine you to a tight daily budget. Transport, food, and accommodation alone are enough to take a chunk out of your savings, even before money spent on activities and entertainment.
This list is for the backpacking traveler on a tight budget – tourist-friendly countries where you get the most bang for your buck.
Southeast Asia is a common stomping ground for the penniless tourist. You can get by on a surprisingly small amount of money if you avoid tourist traps and budget carefully. Cambodia is probably best place to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience while saving big on basic expenses.
It’s impossible to be bored in Cambodia. It hosts some of Asia’s most stunning natural landscapes and is steeped in rich history, art, culture, and cuisine. Tourists flock from every corner of the world to visit the Ancient Khmer temples and take in the lush, green, mountainous landscape.
You can easily feed yourself and keep a roof over your head for as little as $6 per day and spend whatever you have left on sightseeing and nightlife.
Although travel in Vietnam has become more expensive of late due to the high volumes of tourist traffic, it is still remarkably affordable. In addition, it is simply a must-see destination for any serious traveler. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to avoid spending too much money if you avoid the tourist-heavy areas like Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.
Vietnam is renowned for its cheap, delicious street-food. Wherever you go, you’ll find cheerful vendors selling an incredible variety of Vietnamese cuisine at unbelievably low prices. In fact, many travelers find that it is actually cheaper to get the bulk of their food from street vendors rather than self-catering.
You can subsist fairly comfortably in Vietnam on $6-8 per day, depending on where in the country you are. The more densely populated metropolitan areas will be slightly more expensive.
Nepal is one of the most culturally and historically rich countries you will get to visit on a tourist visa, and it is relatively affordable too. For $10-20 per day, you can live in comfort while touring extraordinary cultural and religious heritage sites.
Many people visit Nepal to hike sections of Everest, but access to the infamous mountain costs a heavy penny so you may want to try and win big with online roulette first. Fortunately, there are plenty of other less physically and financially demanding mountain hikes for tourists of any persuasion to enjoy.
Bolivia is a popular destination for those who want to experience authentic South American culture on a budget. Unlike Brazil and Chile, it is relatively easy to support yourself in Bolivia on less than $20 per day.
Bolivia is home to the expansive and gorgeous Lake Titicaca, whose azure waters draw thousands of travelers every year.