Countries You can Travel to for Less Than $30/day
- by Ari Travels
Throughout many years of country hopping, I have learned that international traveling is actually a lot more affordable than most people think it is. The key is to choose a country that is overall affordable and guess what…you are in luck! There are so many wonderful countries that you can travel to for under $30/day which includes accommodation, food, and activities. Being a full-time traveler on a budget, I have been able to develop tips, tricks, and secrets to traveling for cheap! If you are interested in talking about this in detail, don’t be afraid to reach out to me and I can help you plan your dream trip within your desired budget!
Today, I will be sharing a list of affordable countries, categorized by continent for all my budget travelers out there who want to see the world but are afraid they won’t be able to afford to do so. You might be surprised what countries you can affordably travel to.
It’s no doubt that Asia is one of the most affordable places in the world. Not only that, it's full of rich culture, beautiful landscapes, white beaches, turquoise waters, adventures, temples, and architecture. Asia is very easy to get around by either sleeper train/bus or flying depending on your budget. It’s a great place for backpackers.
I had the opportunity to live in Thailand in 2020 and it was some of the best months of my life. During my time here, I explored the entire country from the southern beaches to the northern mountains and villages.
If you eat at local restaurants in Thailand, you can eat 3 meals a day for under $5 USD total. Yes, you read that right. Local food in Thailand can cost as little as $1 for a large, filling plate. Thai food is some of the best in the world, so you will thrive here if you’re a foodie. Just remember to go to the more populated restaurants and I would not recommend eating salads here.
Accommodation can cost as little as $8 per night for a hostel dorm bed or $12 for a hotel or Air Bnb. If you are trying to “splurge,” you can treat yourself to a villa with a private pool for as little as $15-$20/night.
Lastly, if you want to travel around the entire country (which I highly suggest), you can take sleeper trains and busses for as little as $20 one way! Make sure to use 12goasia for the best prices and easy booking.
During your time here, I suggest heading to one or two islands in the south such as Koh Panang or Koh Kood, along with Khao Sok National Park and Krabi. go to the north such as Chang Mai or Chang Rai and Pai. Don’t forget to also spend a day or two seeing temples around Bangkok. For a full guide to traveling Thailand, you can check out my entire blog section.
Cambodia is ranked one of the top 3 most affordable countries in the world. Cambodia is a pretty underrated country, but it's worth visiting if you are planning on going to Southeast Asia. Cambodia can actually be traveled to for as little as $20 per day. I have seen nice hostels in popular areas such as Siem Reap for as little as $4/night and hotels or Airbnb for only $8.
The cost of living here is so incredibly low that the U.S. dollar goes such a long way. During my time here, I spent only $10/day which included food and accommodation (I stayed in a hotel).
There are plenty of things to do in Cambodia such as exploring the history of Siem Reap and seeing the famous world wonder Angkor Wat during sunrise. There are many hikes to do and beaches in the south to see.
For an affordable Cambodia Itinerary, you can refer to this page.
Home to the famous Taj Mahal, India is one of the cheapest countries in the world. India is easily affordable at around $20/day. You can find quality accommodation here for as little as $3/night….YES $3 and for a nice stay as well. Be aware that these are basic, so you won’t have all the bells and whistles, but if you’re out exploring all day, who cares! 3 meals a day here will cost you around $5-$6 total. Again, transportation on 12Goasia will be very affordable so you can see other parts of the country.
If you enjoy trekking and outdoor activities, Nepal is the perfect country for you. Nepal is known for its outdoor adventures. If you choose to go trekking, it’s easily one of the most affordable, yet cool ways to see the country. You can do this for under $15/day.
Europe has a reputation of being quite expensive, actually some of the most expensive tourist destinations are in Europe but don't let that scare you. Europe can actually be very affordable if you choose countries that aren't flooded with tourists. Prices significantly also decrease during off or shoulder season. The rail system is a great way to explore the continent and there are plenty of choices for affordable accommodation as well.
Turkey is a bucket list country for sure. Accommodation is extremely affordable and eating local meals can be around $3 per meal. Now, popular tourist activities such as the hot air balloon ride in Capadoccia can be quite pricy, although you can still travel here and just opt out of the expensive activities and choose other options such as hikes or watching the sunrise from the red valley or your $15 hotel/Airbnb terrace. It's still worth it in my opinion to visit popular places such as Capadoccia.
Transportation here is easy in Turkey to use, but be aware that Turkey is a bigger country, so it may take some time to get from place to place It's more pricy than transportation in Asia, so I would recommend picking two cities to visit and sticking to that. If you plan your trip to Turkey right, it can be super affordable.
Always fly into Istanbul and travel from there. When in Istanbul, make sure to check out the famous Blue Mosque, Galanta Tower, rooftop cafes and the colorful villages.
Being one of the most underrated countries in Europe makes it so affordable. Georgia is one of those places you should definitely consider sneaking into your European trip because it is absolutely beautiful.
You can actually enter Georgia and stay here without a visa for up to a full year which is insane! Meals are less than $3 and locals are super welcoming and friendly. Accommodation can cost as little as $5/night for a hostel or around $15 for a private hotel or Airbnb. Hitching here is very common actually, although I always suggest going with a group and making sure you are being smart about it!
There are many day trips, hikes, and architecture to see in the country of Georgia, so go check it out!
Safaris, pyramids, deserts! Africa is a great option for budget travelers. You can get meals for as little as $3 and the landscapes are immaculate. Africa is a unique place to travel to, so prices can be very affordable. There are also lots of volunteer exchange options throughout Africa.
I traveled to Egypt and it felt absolutely unreal. During my time here, I explored the Pyramids, Aswan, and Luxor. Check out my FREE full Egypt guide if you are interested in exploring this unique, wonderful country.
Egypt is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a unique travel experience. I found when traveling to Egypt, there was accommodation for as little as $6/night. In cities like Cairo, the metro system is very affordable and you can explore the city for 25 CENTS one way. Large meals cost as little as $1.50 USD.
Popular attractions such as the Pyramids and museums do have entry fees of around $10, but once you add up how affordable accommodation and food is, it's worth it to check these places out.
You can take sleeper trains from city to city here for under $30 one way.
Nambia is home to canyons, deserts, and more. Don’t let the luxury accommodation all over the internet located in Nambia scare you off, because there are many more affordable places to stay here that the internet is not showing.
Make sure to always choose a camp and NOT a lodge. Lodges are much more expensive, but you can find campsites for $8-$10. Government campsites run slightly more from about $15-$20 per night. Your best bet is to rent a 4x4 to explore the country too! Of course, I recommend traveling here with a group so you can split the cost of the vehicle so it’s much more affordable.
Central America is very affordable to fly to if you live in the United States. Central America can be easily backpacked because they have a great public transportation system. There are many surf towns that offer work exchange programs and hostels are very affordable. There are lots of markets where you can eat local here as well. Of course, the weather is beautiful too. I mean who doesn't love the tropics?
Mexico is full of endless adventures. Avoid the more expensive tourist hot spots such as Cancun or Tulum and opt for places and surf towns that are just as great such as Oxecana, Bacalar (considered the Maldives of Mexico) or Puerto Escena, plus these places are full of backpackers which automatically makes finding accommodation affordable and easy.
Car rentals here can cost only $30/day, so if you find a group to split it with, this could be a great option for exploration. Hostels also offer a lot of day trips in Mexico to places such as the famous new world wonder Chichen Itza.
Learn more about traveling to Mexico here.
Ever wanted to hike up a famous volcano? Guatemala is famous for this which takes place in Antigua. Guatemala has very affordable accommodation all over the country for as little as $10/night for a hostel. One of my favorite hostels is called Free Cerveza. It’s located right on the lake in Lake Atlilin and they have free paddle boards and kayaks along with free beer from 5-7.
The chicken buses are the more popular budget transportation ways to get around here. Basically, they are converted school buses from the United States. There are no specific routes to these, basically, you wave them down and then get off. There is no specific price, so see what the locals are paying and consider matching that. These buses can be slightly confusing at first, but once you get used to them, it’s a great way to see the country.
During your time in Guatemala, I suggest exploring the villages along Lake Atitlan, enjoying the peacefulness of the area, and then heading into Antigua for the famous volcano hike and learning about the history of the colonial town. I would only recommend one day in Antigua because it is a little pricier than the rest of Guatemala, although still affordable and worth it to see.
Nicaragua is the next best thing to its more expensive neighbor, Costa Rica. Updated, accommodation with a pool and other popular amenities can run for about $12/day for a hostel bed or $25/day for a private hotel or Airbnb. Nicaragua is a great place to meet other backpackers and if you are a digital nomad, it's a great place to work remotely.
Learn how to surf in San Juan Del Sur and make sure to make a trip to explore volcanos and beautiful beaches on Ometepe Island which is located on the lake. Read all about my travels to Nicaragua and Ometepe island here. Lastly, Granada is a wonderful city full of interesting architecture and history.
The public transportation system in Nicaragua is great. There are bus stops everywhere in the larger cities where you can pay as little as $1 to get from city to city.
Use Rome2Rio to help figure out the right bus routes!
South America is another great option closer to the United States, which makes for easy and affordable flights. South America is becoming an up and coming place for digital nomads to reside, making accommodation affordable even in popular tourist destinations. South America is perfect for someone looking for hiking and other outdoor activities.
As shocking as it seems, Peru is actually very affordable if you plan on seeing other sites besides the famous Machu Picchu. Now, I encourage you to budget this trip into your Peru route, but there are many other places throughout Peru that won’t cost an arm and a leg to get there. On my recent trip to Peru, I was eating local for around $4/meal and staying in $10 hostels located right in the city center of the popular city, Cusco.
Peru Hop is a bus system for backpackers that is designed to be an affordable way to travel throughout the country. You can customize where you want to go and stop at many sites such as Rainbow Mountain, Humantay lake, and Sechura Desert just to name a few.
Colombia has had some bad reputations in the past years, but it’s an up-and-coming new place for budget travelers. I went to Colombia with a group of friends and it was one of the best trips of my life. We explored the city of Medellín and the colorful lake village of Guatapé. Check out my Colombia travel guide here. Cartagena Colombia is also a wonderful city full of surrounding beaches, unfortunately, did not go here but have multiple friends who came here. You can even take an affordable boat ride to the many islands surrounding Cartagena.
Additionally, Colombia is known to have some of the best diving sites in the world.
Accommodation can cost as little as $8-$12 per night for a shared dorm and shuttle buses to get from city to city will cost about $30 for a one-way ticket, making this country easy to explore.
Bolivia is not for everyone, but if you’re down for a real South American adventure, it's for you! From the famous Salt Flats to the mountainous lakes and villages this “off the beaten path” country is worth exploring.
Stick to the local's lifestyle and eat for $2 per meal. Local transportation is very affordable and there are lots of guesthouses to stay at between $8-$12/night. For affordable prices, don’t book online. Instead, walk into these places and ask in person. I know it sounds a little questionable, but you will get much better pieces doing it this way.
Learn how to Travel on a Budget Today!
Now that I have given you many options for affordable countries to travel to, what's stopping you? I encourage you to stop sitting at home and watching others travel and instead… go see the world on a budget as I do!