As we all know, the cheaper the destination, the longer you can afford to stay — or the better your travel lifestyle can be while visiting. The cheapest countries to visit on this list offer both affordability and value for money.
In some countries, $45 per night barely gets you a hostel dorm bed, while in others that can pay for a luxury villa. For example, in Canggu, Bali, you can get a 2 bedroom private pool villa for $50 per night, while when visiting Japan that same $50 might get you a double bed on the floor of a small room.
By opting for more affordable destinations, you’ll be able to enjoy a longer trip, which ultimately means you’ll be able to better immerse yourself into the culture and have more meaningful experiences. If you’re planning your trips for the year, then this post of cheap countries to visit is for you.
Cheapest Countries to Visit
Some of these destinations are more affordable now than ever, largely due to drops in their local currency on the global market, or due to a recent lack of tourism.
We would never write a post to revel in low prices at the cost of economic struggle, but by visiting these places independently now, you can not only enjoy better prices for yourself but also help the local businesses and people along the way.
With white sand beaches, world-class surfing, the best scuba diving in the world and some of the most picturesque jungle and rice paddy scenery, Indonesia is without a doubt one of our favourite countries on earth and it’s a cheap place to travel as well.
We spent 3 months living in Canggu, Bali, 2 months backpacking around the archipelago, a week of scuba diving in remote destinations, a week in Lombok and Gili Trawangan Island, and 3 weeks exploring lesser-visited places like Gangga Island, Raja Ampat, and Candidasa.
Currently, Indonesia is one of the cheapest countries to visit that we know of. These days, $1 US dollar will get you around 15,000 rupiah, which is about 1,500 more rupiah than last year.
As I said in the opening paragraphs of this post, Indonesia offers incredible value for accommodation, food and transport. Your budget here will depend on which island you visit, with the popular islands of Bali and the remote areas of Raja Ampat costing more than somewhere like Sumatra.
Regardless of where you stay in Indonesia, you can easily get beautiful guest house rooms, often set in pool villas, for as little as $30 per night. Have a look at this list to see guesthouses, hotels and villas for less than $50 per night.
You can eat delicious seafood meals and millennial classics like “smashed avo on toast” for around $3 and you can rent a motorbike here for just a couple of dollars per day (cars are around $15 per day).
The only thing that’s not of great value is alcohol. Indonesia has placed a pretty heavy tax on imported booze, so a low-quality bottle of imported wine will cost around $20, while a drinkable local wine is still $13 – $15.
Bintang beer is nothing to write home about, but it’s affordable at around $1.50 – $3 at a beach bar or restaurant and imported beer is around twice the price.
Out of all the countries we’ve travelled to and kept track of our budgets, Indonesia is definitely amongst the top 3 best value for money, and with a stronger dollar and weaker rupiah, this has never been truer than it is today.
There are endless things to do in Indonesia and many tours. Have a look at these top, affordable activities and tours: Cooking Class from Ubud, Surfing Lesson in Bali, and Hiking Mt. Batur Volcano for Sunrise (we did this and it’s awesome!).
2. Mexico (one of the cheapest countries to visit for North Americans)
A diverse and delicious cuisine, friendly local people, world-class beaches, all the amenities you could hope for and an intoxicating vibe make Mexico a place that we return to time and time again.
It’s one of our favourite countries to travel to and one of the few destinations where we could see ourselves living long-term. There are so many incredible places to visit in Mexico, and things to do that you could spend years here and not see it all.
For Canadians and Americans, getting here is very affordable and there are many points of entry, and airlines available.
Now, while Mexico is affordable, and will probably cost less to visit than your home country, getting by on a super-low budget is more difficult these days. With the remote work boom, many Canadians, Americans and Europeans made their way south to Mexico. And with that, they brought their strong currencies and higher budgets.
On top of that, with the demand so high, the cost of accommodation went up. Also, at the time of writing, the US dollar is at just 18 Mexican pesos — which is lower than usual. Click here to have a look at the cost of hotels, guesthouses and apartments in Mexico.
We’ve been to Mexico numerous times. When we travelled here way back in 2014, the dollar was at just 12.8 pesos, while in 2020 it was at 25 pesos to the US dollar. Regardless, Mexico is still excellent value for money, especially if you get off the main tourist / digital nomad track!
If you want to really save money while visiting Mexico, avoid coming here during peak season (November – March) when accommodation prices can skyrocket (especially in December) and many of the best places are booked out.
No matter when you travel here, Mexico will shock you with its great value on food, drinks, and transportation. Tacos for around 50 cents each, a kilo of fresh prawns from the fish market for $5, Coronas with a slice of lime for $1.50 and strong margaritas served to you while your feet are buried in the sand for just $1 each.
You’ll find affordable internal flights with Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico, and cheap long-distance bus rides with Addo.
On top of the great prices for food and booze bought in restaurants and bars, Mexico has many shops that North Americans love, like Sams Club, Costco in the major cities, and Walmart.
Mexico also has its own brand of grocery stores like La Comer, Mega and Soriana. Purchasing your own groceries and cooking for yourself is a great way to save money (and make a healthy meal) as the food in the grocery stores here is very reasonable.
Mexico may be one of the cheapest countries to visit, but it’s also a popular destination for digital nomads and retirees looking to spend a longer period of time in the country. Have a look at these highly-rated tours in Mexico: Trip to Chichen Itza with Cenote, Kayaking in Cabo San Lucas, and this Authentic Food Tour in Mexico City.
India is one of the most exhilarating travel destinations on earth, and if cheap countries to visit are what you seek, look no further than India.
Chaotic and tranquil. Pristine and dirty. Friendly and frustrating. India is the epitome of all the oxymoronic experiences that make travel so amazing.
While India is likely the most exciting and bewildering place to travel to, it’s also probably the cheapest country in the world to travel.
Thanks to the Indian Rupee currently trading at around 80 rupees to the dollar (which is 7 rupees more per dollar than you would have received last year), India is likely the best place to travel if you want to stretch your budget.
The last time we were in India, I purchased the cheapest (yet filling) meal I’ve ever had while travelling. Just 20 cents bought me a pile of puris (fluffy fried bread) and two different types of curries served to me from a street cart. The meal was delicious and completely filled me up… amazing.
While the cost of that meal was exceptionally low, we often ate all-you-can-eat thali meals for as little as $1.50 and drank fresh lime juice squeezed on the street for 15 cents a glass.
We had free accommodation in ashrams (it doesn’t get much cheaper than that) and when paying for our hotels, we had decent but basic double rooms for around $5 per night. You can splash out and get a very nice place for $20 per night.
Depending on what class of train and bus you take, getting around India can be done on a budget, with a train from Mumbai to Kolkata covering 1,968 km and taking over 30 hours costing around $10!
In my opinion, India is one of the best countries to visit in terms of experiences and cuisine, and it’s also one of the cheapest countries as well. Have a look at the best guesthouses, hotels and apartment rentals in India here.
There are endless things to do in India, don’t miss these affordable, highly-rated experiences: Trip to the Taj Mahal from Delhi, Camel Safari and Overnight in the Desert, and a Houseboat Cruise down the Backwaters of Kerala (which is one of the best things to do in Kerala, and still one of our most memorable moments in travel).
After backpacking Colombia a few years ago, it quickly set itself amongst our favourite countries we’ve ever been to. With friendly people, incredibly pristine and lush jungles, stunning Spanish colonial cities and breathtaking beaches, Colombia is a traveller’s dream.
The Colombian peso saw a massive drop in recent years which unfortunately isn’t good for local economies and Colombians looking to travel, but it does give budget travellers an added incentive to visit this incredible country.
At the time of writing, the Colombian peso is sitting at around 4,600 pesos to the US dollar, which is 1,000 more pesos than you would have received last year.
This means that everything in Colombia is of great value for travellers. Whether you’re visiting with a dollar, pound, euro, yen or yuan, Colombia is a better deal now than it’s ever been.
We were eating delicious seafood meals on the beach for just a few dollars, beautiful Spanish-style guest houses only cost around $30 per night and you can enjoy scuba diving in the Caribbean here for as little as $24 per dive when buying a 10-dive package. Travelling in Colombia offers great value for money.
We stayed in some of the best hostels we’ve ever seen in Colombia, with rooftop pools, funky bars and luxurious rooms (one even had a jacuzzi in it). The cost of tours and experiences are also excellent in Colombia.
I highly recommend doing the 4-day Ciudad Perdida trek and a coffee tour in Salento (the latter is only $2). Don’t miss the beautiful city of Cartagena and the islands offshore, the cities of Medellin and Bogota, San Gil, and Barichara (to name a few).
Colombia is one of the cheapest countries to visit this year, and it offers excellent value for money. Have a look at the cost of accommodation here. Check out these affordable, highly-rated tours: Day Trip from Medellin to Guatape, Hiking to the Highest Waterfall, and Sailing Around the Rosario Islands. There are endless amazing things to do in Colombia.
If you’re looking for a cheap destination to visit in the Caribbean, then Cuba tops the list!
You can travel here on an all-inclusive, but if you choose to travel to Cuba independently, you’ll have a far richer experience and it’ll cost you less. For cheap countries, Cuba is one of your best bets.
For Americans, it’s possible to travel to Cuba if you travel under one of the allowed categories. Support For The Cuban People is what most people choose to travel under. But, it’s still a confusing process for our American friends.
You’ll need to build an itinerary containing activities that meet the criteria for Support For The Cuban People category.
We spent a month backpacking Cuba and it was a highlight of all our travel experiences. Meeting the Cuban people, dancing in the streets, lazing on virtually empty beaches, partying in Havana and hiking to tobacco farms were our most memorable moments.
Cuba has two currencies: the CUC and the CUP.
In general, you’ll use CUC (which is pegged 1:1 to the US dollar) for your accommodation, food at tourist restaurants, cocktails & beer, activities & excursions, car & scooter rentals, and the Viazul bus.
CUP is used for smaller items such as fruit and vegetables from local vendors, the local bus and some peso food shops.
1 USD = 1 CUC
1 USD = 25 CUP
Staying in casa particulares (guesthouses) with the local families is what Cuba is all about. This is the best way to meet people and enjoy an authentic experience.
Casas will cost $20 – $30 per night for two people, with discounts for 1 person (and oftentimes it includes breakfast), while hotels cost around $25 per night up to $180+. You can find casas and hotels on Booking.com.
The cost of food in the restaurants in Cuba really depends on which city you’re in, and which restaurant you are at. But in general, expect to spend between $5 – $10 for a filling meal.
We recommend dining at least 1 night at your casa as they cook some amazing traditional food! Cocktails are about $2 – $3 at a bar. Now, if you were to eat “peso food”, you would spend about $1 for a small meal.
Activities can be fairly cheap in Cuba as well, with chilling out on beaches and wandering around the stunning and bustling streets costing you nothing.
Museum visits, caving, horseback riding and other tours will cost between $5 – $30. The cost of travel in Cuba is incredibly fair, making it one of the cheapest places to travel.
Bulgaria is one of the cheapest countries we’ve been to in Europe, and actually, we live here now. With gorgeous old towns, phenomenal wine, lovely coastline and super friendly and ailak (relaxed) people, Bulgaria is also one of our favourites in the region.
While the country has offered great value to travellers for decades, as with many places in the world right now (Europe in particular), prices of accommodation, transportation and food have gone up over the past year or so. Currently, $1 USD = 1.80 LEV.
When we visited Bulgaria in 2016 we were blown away by the incredible value we got for our dollars. On one occasion, we sat in a restaurant bar for over 5 hours. We ate a massive platter of meat, veggies and bread and drank copious amounts of wine.
When the bill finally came, we thought there was a mistake, or we were misreading it in our double vision. That night we paid under $30 for that bill and we still don’t know how it was that affordable.
The great deals continued as we travelled around Bulgaria, with lovely hostel rooms in 200-year-old buildings costing just $20 per night and bottles of wine at restaurants rarely breaking the $10 mark.
These days, while restaurant costs and accommodation have definitely gone up, traditional, local food is still quite affordable.
If you want to visit Europe, experience history, meet really cool people and taste some of the world’s best wine while not breaking the bank, Bulgaria should be on your travel wish list this year.
Bulgaria is still one of the cheapest European countries and the best places to visit this year. Click here to see the costs of hotels and apartments, and have a look at these top tours: Sofia Communism Walking Tour, Rila Monastery and Boyana Church, and Sunny Beach Catamaran Cruise.
7. South Africa
One of the most adventure-packed and naturally blessed countries on earth, this list wouldn’t be complete without our favourite country in Africa (so far). South Africa offers visitors too much to see in any trip under 6 months.
With a rugged and stunning coastline, incredible wildlife, extremely friendly people, tasty Indi-afro fusion food, solid amenities, and great prices, you really can’t beat SA.
We believe that this country on the south tip of the continent is the perfect beginner’s stepping stone into the more chaotic and adventurous travel of other countries in the region. South Africa is relatively easy to travel to, especially if you rent your own car, which we did for 5 weeks. (Highly recommended! Check out Discover Cars for deals).
Part of what makes South Africa so budget-friendly this year is the currency. Last year, the conversion was $1 USD = 14.6 rand. This year, it’s gone up by 3 rand and you’ll now receive around 17.6 rand for 1 dollar.
When we were last there twelve years ago, we received just 6.7 rand to the dollar, but everything was still of great value. We paid $40 per night for lovely double rooms (called “Backpackers”), around $7 per meal and just $10 to enter some amazing national parks.
These days, you’ll still find hotels and accommodations available from $20 per night! Click here to search for affordable places to stay. Your budget for South Africa can be as high or as low as you wish.
Take into consideration the current discount based on the currency devaluation and these all become incredibly affordable in 2023, even considering the rate of inflation. Due to South Africa’s volatile political situation (plus some corruption here and there), the currency remains weak, making it one of the cheaper places to visit.
To save even more money in South Africa, consider renting accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. You’ll find grocery stores such as Pick n’ Pay and Spar in all the major cities. We actually picked up a cooler (esky/cool box) so we could bring a picnic along on road trips.
Grab a friend, split the cost of a rental car, stay in fun guesthouses and enjoy all of the adventurous activities on offer in South Africa. Here are a few top activities you’ll want to budget for your trip: Hiking up Lion’s Head at Sunset, Garden Route and Addo National Park, and this Zipline Canopy Tour.
There was a devastating earthquake earlier in the year that hit Syria and the southeastern part of Turkey around Gaziantep, and while that area is recovering, the rest of the country is still open and safe for tourism.
Possibly the most liberal of the countries in the region, Turkey attracts visitors with one of the most exciting and beautiful cities on earth, Istanbul.
Plus, this country offers a blissfully alluring Mediterranean coastline, amazingly friendly people (especially in the east) and an intoxicating Islamic culture and architecture.
If you’re looking for cheap places to travel, the value for money in Turkey has always been great, but these days, with the current economic crisis in Turkey, everything is cheaper for travellers.
The Lira continues to crash, and sadly, the Turkish economy is struggling. At the time of writing, $1 USD equals close to 20 Turkish Lira. Compare that to last year when the lira was around 14 to the dollar.
Every time we visit Turkey we are amazed by the value for money found here. You can eat delicious meals of traditional Turkish food for $7. Portions here are often so massive that you could share a meal and that cost.
Tasty kebabs are just a couple of dollars on the street and you can get lovely guest house rooms here for under $20 per night (it costs more in the major cities). Have a look at hotels and guesthouses available in Istanbul for under $50 per night, here.
One of the activities in Turkey that are pricier is taking a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, but it’s absolutely worth the money! Other exciting excursions such as whitewater rafting in Antalya or cruising down the Bosphorus River are very affordable.
If you’re on a tighter budget, the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul are free to enter. You can also consider joining a free walking tour of the city.
Turkey offers excellent value for money and by visiting now, taking local tours, staying at local accommodations, and eating at smaller, family-run restaurants, you’ll be directly helping the local people during this financial crisis.
We have to include the Land of Smiles on this list of cheap travel destinations for 2023. Thailand has always been one of our favourite countries in the world and the budget backpacker that still resides deep inside our souls rejoices every time we return.
There are numerous places to visit in Thailand — whether you want National Parks, jungles, cities or islands, there’s a place in Thailand for you.
The Thai Baht, although it has seen some dips and spikes, doesn’t make the country especially cheaper than it has been in the past few years, but that doesn’t matter. Thailand simply offers some of the best value for money you can find anywhere.
Having said that, following the boom of remote work, and the fact that the country was basically closed to tourism for almost two years, prices seem to have increased a bit in Thailand. It’s still more affordable than in places like the USA and Canada, you just might need to search a bit harder to find great bargains.
You can still find lovely guest houses and beach huts right on the sand for as little as $15 – $20 per night, spicy and mouth-watering Thai dishes for under $2 a plate, and scuba diving for under $20 a dive. All of this makes Thailand a constant competitor as one of the cheapest countries to visit in the world.
When we first visited in 2008 we were amazed to find budget rooms (albeit extremely basic) for under $10 and when we returned in 2017 on a higher budget, we couldn’t believe the luxury, 2 bedroom private pool villa we were able to afford for just $1,500 per month ($50/night).
Have a look at these accommodations in Bangkok which cost between $10 – $50 per night. For tours, you can find great value in Thailand as well. Don’t miss a visit to the Chiang Rai white temples, a boat trip to Maya Bay and Bamboo Island, and a trip to the Floating Market and Railway Market in Bangkok.
Your biggest expense when travelling in Thailand (depending on where you’re coming from) will likely be your flight, but once there you can enjoy an incredibly low cost of living and the warmth of the local people who have made this place famous.
If this list was in the order of most picturesque and best value for money, Greece would no doubt be near the top. It’s amazing how a place so beautiful, set right in the Mediterranean, can be so affordable.
Athens Airport is such a central hub, offering many great flights to many other countries. Greece is one of the cheapest places to travel from the US and is actually one of the cheapest places to fly to from most places in the world. Once you arrive in Greece, a great way to get around is by rental car.
Greece has been on the Euro since the start of 2002, so while there has been a devaluation of the Euro in recent years, Greece was always considered a low-cost destination in Europe, but perhaps never as much as it is today.
With such great value, Greece is the perfect place for 2023.
During our travels in Greece over the years, we’ve rented a beautiful, modern, 550 sq ft studio apartment with a view of the sea for under $20 per night on Zakynthos Island. We also had another 2-level, 1-bedroom apartment with a pool near the south coast of Santorini for under $20 per night.
Have a look at the excellent accommodation options in Greece, here.
Greek food is incredibly delicious and you can usually get tasty seafood meals in restaurants for under $8. On top of the already great value, Greek restaurant owners and chefs have a habit of offering their patrons freebies, like free wine, appetizers and desserts.
Whenever you’re leaving a traditional restaurant in Greece, you’ll be full and satisfied — without breaking the bank.
On top of good food and accommodation value, activities in Greece are typically priced well. We did a free honey bee tour, an olive oil tour and tasting, a half-day cycle tour for $24, an amazing cooking class with unlimited booze and food for $65 and winery visits and tastings for under $5.
We also rented our own boat on the island of Corfu and drove it from bay to bay for an entire day. This cost us $95 plus gas, which isn’t overly “cheap” but considering Sea-Doos and Jet Skis typically rent for around $50 per hour, we thought this was an amazing deal for both of us to enjoy a full day out on the water.
All-in-all, Greece is definitely one of the cheap European countries to visit and it offers some of the best value for money in all of the continent. This is especially true if you check out lesser-visited islands and travel in the shoulder or off-season.
Considering its location on the map and the level of quality you find here, it also competes as one of the best value travel destinations on earth.
Whether you’re into culture and history, nature and landscapes, lakes and fishing, or cities and wine, Argentina has something for you…and right now in 2023, it’s one of the cheapest countries to visit.
Affordable Things To Do in Argentina
Since Argentina is such a vast country, with a wide variety of landscapes and regions, it can be visited year-round.
Argentina is known for being one of the top fly fishing destinations in the world. If you’re an angler, fly fishing season in the Lake District of Patagonia around Bariloche is best in January and February due to the warm weather, and the ability to fish all waters during this time.
For trekkers, the winter months are a good time to hit the mountains of Patagonia. El Chalten in the south is dry and has temperatures around 20°C (68°F), perfect for checking out the peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, exploring waterfalls, drinking beer on patios and much more.
Don’t miss nearby El Calafate and its popular Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves massive chunks of ice every few minutes.
Argentina Currency in 2023
If all of these places to visit in Argentina aren’t enough to spark your interest, maybe the cost will. When we first travelled to Argentina in 2017, we received around 18 Pesos for 1 US Dollar. In January 2021, the rate was 85 Pesos for 1 US Dollar.
When we returned to Argentina in 2022, the Argentine Peso had taken a huge dip and the economy was (and still is) struggling.
Currently, the official exchange rate is: $1 USD = 211 Pesos
However, there’s a “blue dollar” here in Argentina. If you bring US Dollars (in cash) and exchange those at a cuava or exchange centers (such as Pago Facil, etc.), you’ll receive around 390 pesos for $1.
Taking it a step further, if you send yourself money by Western Union and pick up cash pesos at a WU location, you’ll receive around 405 pesos for $1.
This is a cash economy right now. If you pay with your credit card, you’ll pay the official rate, which is essentially double. If you use the ATM, you’ll pay huge fees and receive cash at the official rate.
It’s mind-blowing. In our on-the-ground experience in Argentina during the economic crisis, the country is by far one of the cheapest places to visit.
Visit Argentina and Help the Locals
Argentina is one of the best-value countries to visit in 2023.
Since the country was closed for tourism for 2020 and much of 2021, and with inflation through the roof, the people of Argentina and the economy are struggling. By visiting now and spending your foreign currency at local businesses, you can help Argentinians get back on their feet.
Argentina isn’t usually known for being one of the cheapest countries to visit, but with the current instability of the peso, you can definitely save some money by travelling here now.
Argentina has always been a favourite country of ours due to the welcoming people, the stunning nature, and the excellent food and wine. We highly recommend travelling here.
This lesser-known country in the Balkans has become somewhat of a digital nomad hotspot in the past few years. While most nationalities can stay in Albania for 90 days, American citizens can enter Albania and stay for up to one year. You don’t need a digital nomad visa or residency to stay this long, it’s an automatic one-year.
Not only does Albania offer stunning beaches, historical sites, fantastic cuisine, and welcoming people, but this is one of the cheapest places to visit.
While the Albanian Lek has become stronger against the US Dollar over the years, at 103 LEK to $1 USD, the country still offers incredible value for money.
Albania is located just across the Adriatic Sea from Puglia Italy, and bordering Greece to the south, but the costs here are half the price. If you want to travel on a budget, you can get by on around $40 per day staying in a double room and eating at the local restaurants.
Food is of great value in Albania with 3-course meals at trendy restaurants in Tirana setting you back around $20. Bottles of wine are around $10, while beer is $1.50 – $3 for a pint.
The activities you choose can range from free (hiking around Albania is amazing, and so are the beaches), to about $20 – $50 for entrance fees and fun day tours to some of the popular attractions. Don’t miss the Tirana Walking Tour, and some of the fun day trips from Tirana, including Berat and a visit to Shkoder Lake.
When we first travelled to Albania back in 2016, it felt like a bit of the Wild Wild West! GPS was non-existent on our road trip, the infrastructure was lacking and the roads were awful – which made for quite the adventure.
While the roundabouts in Albania are still a nightmare to navigate, and the mountain roads and hairpin turns can be a bit sketchy, these days Google Maps works here and driving between the cities in Albania is pretty straightforward. If you’re a confident driver, have a look at rental car options here.
There are so many incredible places to visit in Albania, so give yourself some time. This truly is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
Yet another underrated country in Europe that allows long stays! Georgia is a transcontinental country in the Caucasus Region that’s filled with natural beauty and interesting cities. Most nationalities are able to enter visa-free and stay for one year. Due to this, Tbilisi has become a popular destination for remote workers.
Currently, $1 USD will get you 2.55 Georgian Lari (GEL), and that Lari will go far in Georgia. With the cost of accommodations, food, wine and excursions not breaking the bank, this country is very budget-friendly. We spent some time in the capital city of Tbilisi and were blown away by the value for money, the unique architecture and the fantastic food and wine.
At the lower end, you can expect to travel around Georgia for about $30 per day, while staying in hostels, eating tasty local cuisine, and getting around by marshrutka bus. Cheaper hotel or hostel rooms go for around $10 per night, a plate of khinkali dumplings will be around $4, while an intercity marshrutka bus might cost around $7 – $10.
There are some excellent excursions and trips around Georgia that you won’t want to miss, and that will easily fit into a daily budget of $50. Discover Kazbegi and Gergeti Trinity Church, the Kakheti Wine Region (with 7 tastings!), and this fun day trip to the country of Armenia.
You could spend months in Georgia and not see it all.
If you’re looking to visit Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is an excellent first stop for first-timers in the region. We’ve travelled here two times, once on a 3-week backpacking trip, and the second time working to help plot new trekking routes and bring tourism to more rural areas. It’s a country that we’d return to in a heartbeat!
Not only are the mountains stunning and the people welcoming but the culture and history here are incredibly interesting. In many parts of Kyrgyzstan, you’ll still see traditional clothing worn, people getting around by horse, and yurts dotting the landscape.
If you’re not into hiking, camping or horse trekking, you’ll still find lots of things to do. The town of Karakol offers many non-trekking things, such as the beautiful Lake Issyk-Kul, Altan Arashan hot springs, and the amazing Dungan village visit and family dinner. These days, the capital of Bishkek has some pretty cool craft beer bars and lots of museums, galleries, and more.
What makes Kyrgyzstan one of the cheapest destinations is the accommodation, which starts from free (camping!) or around $15 per night for a small hotel or guesthouse, while staying in a cool yurt camp will also cost around the same. For food, local dishes are around $4 – $8 each, while an intercity marshrutka is around $5.
However, if you plan on doing guided trekking, overnight horse trips, skiing or rafting, adventures like that can add up.
Some of our fondest travel memories are from Kyrgyzstan, and if you find yourself visiting this affordable country, don’t miss trekking on “our route” in Jyrgalan which we plotted!
Famous for its outstanding trekking opportunities, hospitable people, and incredible cultural experiences, Nepal is also known for being a cheap country to visit.
Here you’ll find a wide variety of travellers – some on a $50,000 Everest trekking expedition, while others are visiting on a budget during their gap year. Luckily, apart from summiting Mount Everest, everything is affordable in Nepal.
Currently, the Nepalese Rupee is sitting at 130 for $1 USD, which is 10 more rupees to the dollar than last year.
While exploring Nepal, you’ll find hostel beds for around $8 a night, and nice hotel rooms for just $25 per night. Food is tasty and very affordable with the typical meal of “dal bhat” (cooked lentil dish with rice) costing as little as $1.
As of April 2023, the Nepalese Government has announced that trekking in Nepal must be done with a guide. So if you plan on doing any trekking, you’ll need to add those fees to your budget.
During our travels in Nepal, we trekked the Annapurna circuit, enjoyed the mountain town of Pokhara and spent some time visiting the cultural sites in Kathmandu. There are many places to visit in Nepal, and with it being one of the cheapest countries to visits in Asia, you can afford to stay awhile.
Another popular spot in the country is the Chitwan National Park, which is home to many animals (rhinos, tigers, leopards, elephants, and more). Don’t miss this multi-day trip to the Chitwan National Park!
Where Will You Go?
As the world becomes more connected by flights and advanced communication and commerce, many places are becoming more and more expensive to visit with each year that passes.
Thankfully, there are still some incredible countries that always offer travellers great value for money. The most exciting countries in the world are often those that are still developing. For visitors, this means low prices but also a better understanding of the world economies and wealth disparities.
We always recommend visiting countries independently so that you’re giving the most amount of money back to the local communities as possible. Rather than always staying in American or European chain resorts, consider locally owned guest houses, hostels and homes.
Instead of joining a foreign-owned tour, consider heading there on your own and hiring guides yourself once you’re in the country, or book with local companies online. Not only will this likely be much cheaper for you, but it will also enrich your experience in the places you visit.
We’ve listed 15 of our favourite cheap countries to visit in this article, but the list is by no means exhaustive! Happy travel planning.