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cheapest countries to visit

What are the cheapest countries to visit in Europe and beyond?

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Finding the cheapest countries to visit in Europe and the world these days is not as easy as it once was. The digital world has shrunk the real world in terms of uncovering those secret places that few knew about.

Finding out what are the cheapest countries to visit in Europe and other areas of the world is challenging. 

The information is scattered all over the Net and it would take you days to try and assimilate it all.

In my own efforts to break it down for an easy selection of places I wanted to visit, I started my research. With a mix of first hand experience, going to the country.

And with info received from fellow travelers, I started to get a good cost snapshot. Then I began to reference and update material on the Net.The spreadsheet was made.

I have put together all the approximate costs in one place for you as a rough guide to give you an idea of costs in various countries and regions. 

For simplicity sake, I have given approximate estimates so if you see a country listed that you really want to go to, do further research.

Not including airfares or sundry items like souvenirs, clothing, equipment etc, this would be a rough guide for food and lodging with some entertainment added in – i.e. drinks and social stuff or some sightseeing.

When finding the cheapest countries to visit, Budgets are variable and subjective

Obviously, everybody has different budgets and ways of traveling. Many people are happy with the backpack experience and could do things very cheaply. Others may enjoy their comforts and so their budget would be bigger.

However, whatever your budget, this can serve as an ‘eye-ball’ measure as to the costs of each country to get an idea what you may wish to include in your travel plans or not.

Nowadays most travelers are savvy to places they can save money.  If you’re on a tight budget then you will have to ‘cherry pick’ your destinations and visit some amazing places that may not be your first choice. 



The charts

*Defining the regions of Europe

For the purposes of simplicity, I have broken the regions of Europe and the rest of the world down as per the UN Geoscheme which was created for statistical convenience. These divisions are simplistically  divided into 4 groups. Here is an easy reference to determine the cheapest countries to go visit

finding cheap travel

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries

Western Europe Travel

Places to see and things to know when traveling Western Europe

Layers of decay and rebirth reveal Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe offers some of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. It is a fascinating region, in many ways frozen in time against the west. With the fall of communism came the very slow progress of catch-up and, in many instances, there are still towns that have an almost cold war ambience that remains like an icy hangover.

plan a trip to Eastern Europe

The region encompasses many differing languages, customs, cultures and legacies. cultures, ethnicity, languages, and histories. The somewhat odd aspects of travel in eastern Europe is that the region is so vast and so eclectic that no one country or area seems to connect with the next territory. It is an uncomfortable mix of territories that make up eastern Europe.

Therein lies the draw of this area, an ambiguous travel box of curious goodies. Each adventure to an onward border will never be predictable or dull. The cities along the way are personalities unto themselves from Polish Warsaw to Czech Prague..wonderful and historic areas to explore and indulge.

Eastern Europe is generally defined by its geo-political grouping and not strictly in a geographical sense. As a result, the precise area of East Europe and what countries may be included in this area are confused with some including Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia as Eastern Europe territory. Even Greece in the south is included in this area by some.
Geographically speaking, let’s look at Eastern Europe with the following countries:

Find out more about travel in Eastern Europe

Video Spotlight: A fantastic way to explore mainland Russia and beyond

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Trans-Siberian Railway

* Do your research diligently if you’re planning a visit to Russia. There are some very real do’s and dont’s to consider.

Visas are expensive and you need to work through reputable travel agencies to secure your train tickets.

Also consider that if you are traveling from London or Western Europe on the train, you would have to overnight in a Moscow hotel.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

Southern Europe Overview

When thinking of travel in Europe our first thoughts spring to the cultural sightseeing and if that’s not our scene we quickly move off with our attentions elsewhere on the globe. Yes, southern Europe is a veritable treasure chest of cultural wonder from the ancient ruins of Rome and Greece to the conquering castle monuments of Spain.

Southern Europe boasts more than monuments and history. It is a living canvas of beauty, style, grace and a home for the arts. The adventurous and the extreme sports lovers are not forgotten in the renaissance values and past.

The yawning chasms of valleys against sky scraping peaks of the Alps offer some of the best skiing and hiking in the world. White water gushes an invitation to the water lovers on the edge and the majestic threat of Mount Vesuvius looms.

Moments can be slowed down to a leisurely pace in time with genteel savoring sips of fine French wine. Idyllic beaches on the Mediterranean seduce and the summer nights bristle with taverna anticipation.

Southern Europe is something for everyone. It’s easy travel here. Simple to get around. Definitely the best way to explore Europe is by rail. Small countries and fast changing landscape can have you traveling to different worlds in a day. From big cities in the morning to mountains in the afternoon and sea at night.

Sadly, if you’re looking for some of the cheapest countries to visit in mainstream Europe, aside from parts of Spain, Portugal and Greece, you’ll struggle. Get a little off the beaten track and you will found the secondary tourist areas are cheaper.

Introducing Asia

Asia Travel brings an avalanche of color, taste and the visual to the senses

Asia travel is endowed with some of the best tourist attractions across the globe today.  Traveling through Asia would literally take months, if not years of voyage. Most people consider Asia as being the east with the likes of China, Thailand and other high profile areas in that region. But Asia is massive and includes countries like Israel and Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey.

With a diverse range of exciting and memorable destinations across Asia, you will be spoiled for choice when deciding on where to travel to first.

travel asia



Cheap Travel in Asia – The Facts

It is no secret that Asia has some of the cheapest countries to visit.  When looking at accommodation in Southeast Asia, the good news, if you’re up for some adventure and not too fussed over the 5 star resort vibe, you can do it really cheaply.

You can find rooms for as little as $5 USD in parts of Laos and Cambodia. More mainstream areas like Thailand, expect to pay  approx $15 USD per night. Heading off to Vietnam?  Ten USD should see you straight which would be about the same for Indonesia.

Getting around Asia, a bus is the way to go. You can take a bus to almost anywhere in Asia. Again, don’t be looking for air conditioned luxury. This is roughing it but you’re definitely going to be absorbing the culture and the lifestyle if you choose this route to go.

How about food? Well, if you’re not a picky eater and really are not worried about what you may be eating, as long as it tastes good, then the street stalls can provide meals for under one US dollar.

However, if you’d prefer to eat western style with brand names you know and trust, expect your food costs to go up substantially with those types of meals reaching the $20 mark. 

A look at Southeast Asia - providing some of the cheapest countries to visit

Southeast Asia is one of the least expensive areas to travel. It is, as a whole, a fascinating area to visit. It consists of eleven countries that extend from the outer reaches of eastern India to China, and is commonly divided into “mainland” and “island” zones. On the mainland side, the countries of Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Laos.

Southeast Asia is a land of contrasts. Tradition and faith melt into the mix of futurism with its modern cities. Ancient villages doze while beautiful beaches and steamy jungles languish under the warm tropical sun.

The island areas of Southeast Asia includes the new nation of East Timor, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei. Cultural diversity abounds in this area, making it one of the most amazing places to travel. Something like 1000 languages are spoken in Southeast Asia


Travel southeast asia

The reason why most backpackers go through Southeast Asia …it is by far the cheapest region to travel in the world

Travel to the Philippines
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Get to know the wonderful Philippines

Things to do when in Southeast Asia…

There’s a ton of things to do in Southeast Asia – Foodies will love the place with so many different dishes on offer. Temple hunting is a no-brainer – there are wonderful temples everywhere. Drinking and party is easily found almost any place.

  • Visit the “Bay of Descending Dragons” at Halong Bay, Vietnam -a unique topography that juts out of the sea and forms a fascinating accumulation of 2,000 limestone islets.
  • Make sure you do visit the major cities of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. 
  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia, is one of the most amazing places to go and a trip to Southeast Asia demands a stop at this marvel of human ingenuity.
  • Learn to scuba dive. The water is perfect for it and the scuba tuition is inexpensive and  generally safe.
  • Indonesia gives us Bali. People think of Bali as the mecca for wild nights of party and surfing but there is so much more to this tropical paradise. The beaches are truly amazing and the area also provides a culture that is distinctly Indonesian with traditional dancing and crafts – go to Ubud and enjoy!
  • Like a good curry? Savoury soups, Spicy curries, mouth-watering laksas are the must-eats in Penang, Malaysia
southeast asia culture
Central America travel

Places to see in Central America

Irse de fiesta…Mexico

Directly translated, going to the party! And Mexico is a party. Here is a region that probably needs little introduction to most North American travelers. Truth is, Mexico is a sort of misfit geographically. Considered to be in North America but referred to as being in Central America.  It really is the bridge to both but probably you would be more correct by stating it as a part of North America. 

Visit MexicoMexico has long been held in high esteem as one of the cheapest countries to visit and for fun travel. Spring breakers will tell you as much. So will retirees with timeshare. Mexico offers all things to all people and as a gateway to Central and South America, it is a good starting point for your backpacking or regular around the world travel.


Cheap: You can do just fine on 30-50 Euros a day in Mexico as a budget traveler. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is a  smorgasbord of white sand beaches, jungle deep green wilderness, fantastic food, Mayan Ruins and of course a party just about anyplace at night.  

The Yucatan is a little more expensive, being a popular tourist area but the much cheaper places are outside of this province.Mexico’s Yucatan is diverse in the accommodation offerings. You can stay in 5-star resorts, find good hostels and even stay in a tree house. The thing to watch out for, especially in the Yucatan is the high season when things go a little crazy and prices skyrocket.

Cancun, Tulum or Playa del Carmen are the best-known areas for tourists going to Mexico. These are the places they have heard about. But what about other areas in Mexico?

Mexico is massive. Getting around is a mission if you’re planning on doing it overland. You can use the camiones  (local buses). Believe me, it truly is an intense cultural immersion to travel on a local bus all the way to Mexico city from Tijuana.

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is a pleasant surprise. Sure, it can be smoggy and crowded- not surprising considering it is the most populous city in North America but it also has a real sense of flair, style and spectacular color.

visit Mexico
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Africa travels - a continent of diversity

Africa holds for most, a certain mystique. Here is a continent of contrasts from some of the cheapest countries to visit to some of the most expensive.  The sheer diversity of the continent offers the would-be tourist to Africa a multitude of choices. Clearly, it is an area that will require some planning. The first thing to consider is what it is you actually want.

A mysterious land that offers both adventure and challenge.

There are few places left on earth where you can find the truly unspoiled essence of nature in its raw. Millions of acres of Africa remain as they were ions ago, a time before man even walked this earth.

The secrets of the real Africa come without red carpets and gourmet meals. Africa is unlike most, if not a majority of destinations in the world. It is a character unto itself. Africa is mysterious and misunderstood. 

Certainly the luxuries can be found, but venture out just a short way from such comforts and Africa will reveal herself to you in all her majestic wonderfulness. 

This is a continent with few airs and graces. She is a brutal and beautiful land that stirs the imagination and enforces a perspective on our cosseted and insulated existence.

To discover the real Africa is to rekindle your most primitive soul as you stare up at a canvas of millions of stars, a canopy so bright as if the surface of heaven leaked light through countless pin holes in the floor. 

An African sunset melts away a blazing day and the bush quietens for just a moment ahead of a cacophony of nocturnal creatures launch a choir to welcome the night.

“They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end.”

Places to visit

Take a look at a world map and I bet you could pick out 20 places or more that you would love to travel to. I have been fortunate to do a lot of worldwide traveling and share some of the most amazing destinations that you may love and never thought about visiting..
the call of Africa

“There is language going on out there- the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression... We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild.”

Kenyan tribe

The Costs of travel in Australia

First up, prepared to be a little shocked. Australia is not a cheap vacation. Even if you are a seasoned backpacker, it is doubtful you would get away with less than $80 AUD per day. (+-$60 USD)

The other thing you must consider is that with its size, to see the best that Australia has to offer, you will need a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Factor in the bare minimum and you’ll be looking at around $2500-$3500 AUD for the stay – not including your airfares to the continent.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that once you get there, you will feel like it is money well spent.

Hostels will vary in price, depending where you are – factor in an average of $35 AUD/ $25 USD per night and you should be ok. If you are looking for a private room in a hostel, the costs will go up to about  $80 AUD average. 

A B&B, motel or budget hotel can be as high as $+200 AUD  and if you are planning on living it up, top end hotels you can budget for around  $180 USD upwards,

Food and drink is not cheap either. Simple type meals will start around the $7USD mark  and a beer will be approximately $6 USD. 

Obviously if you want to go out on the town or partake in some activities, your budget needs to extend accordingly. 

The Costs of travel in New Zealand

Here’s the thing – The land of the “Middle Earth”, New Zealand is probably as expensive as Australia. However, what make it very different is the fact that there is so much to do, by way of activities and heading off to the islands that your costs soar astronomically. 

All the pleasures to be had in NZ will cost money. Ok, not all, but certainly a vast number of adrenaline type sports the country is renowned for and anything else you would really like to do will be attacking your budget.Depending what kind of traveler you are, the costs could be high.

If you really want to take in both North and South Islands, really see the scenery for what it is and immerse yourself in the activities, I would say get your budget ideas as high as $50-80 USD per day. This would include a hostel stay, eating out a few times, having a couple of drinks and taking in one or two memorable splashes in cash to enjoy something phenomenal.

The average dormitory style hostel will set you back about  $20-30 USD per night. Going out to eat will be around the  $15-20 USD mark and  about five American dollars for a beer or $7-10 for a glass of wine.

A budget hotel will be at the $100 per night mark and more luxury at about $175 USD.


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