Travellers are always on the lookout for best deals they can snag. The cheapest flights, the cheapest hotels – you name it! But what’s the point of getting all these great deals if you’ll still end up blowing through your entire travel budget within the first day? Remember: the best kind of travel is the one that stays within your budget!
Check out our round-up of 5 of the world’s cheapest countries to travel to and start travelling affordably!
Estimated daily budget: S$35
What’s shiok: mountain climbing, hiking trails, beautiful temples, varied landscapes
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Nepal is an exotic, landlocked country in South Asia. Home to the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, Nepal is often considered a mountain trekker’s paradise. It’s also where you’ll find a wealth of beautiful golden temples, villages, and diverse wildlife. The quintessential Nepal experience is definitely to go on a mountain trek. You can either attempt a difficult trek like the Annapurna Base Camp Circuit or go for something easier like the Poon Hill Trek.
Nepal Travel Budget
Most backpackers on a shoestring budget can spend as little as S$30-$35 per day on accommodation, transportation, attraction fees, and food. In general, a bed at a hostel in Pokhara or Kathmandu will cost about S$5 per night. The best way to get around in a mountainous country like Nepal is to ride the buses which will cost about S$7-11 per trip. It’s important to note that guided trekking in Nepal can be very expensive, especially if you’re renting equipment. If you’re experienced, you might want to go for a self-guided trek which is significantly cheaper.
Estimated daily travel budget: S$35
What’s shiok: flavourful food, stunning temples, lush national parks
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Intoxicating and exhilarating, India might be considered the epitome of “exotic”. But apart from that, it’s also an incredibly beautiful country with a very distinctive culture. If you’re into something a little more adventurous, head to Kerala and ride a houseboat along the snaking backwaters. You’ll see life along the riverbanks and get a better understanding of the local culture. Alternatively, you can head to Goa where you can relax at one of the many beach resorts. Of course, you can’t leave India without tasting the food. The best place to eat authentic Indian street food in Old Delhi. Taste popular dishes like parantha, kachori, biryani, and mutton korma.
India Travel Budget
One of the best things about travelling to India is that it offers excellent value for money. A decent mid-range budget will only set you back S$35 per day. With that daily budget, you’d be able to stay in a nice double room, three decent meals (at a restaurant, even!), and plenty of pocket money for transportation and other activities. One important thing to note about India is that money scams are quite prevalent. As much as you may try to avoid these scams, it’s highly likely that you will encounter one or two locals who will try to scam you out of your money. In general, make sure you stay alert throughout your trip and avoid taxi drivers who force you to go to certain places.
Estimated daily budget: S$40
What’s shiok: architectural, Turkish hospitality, hot air balloon rides
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Straddling both eastern Europe and western Asia, Turkey is a melting pot of various cultures. It’s an awe-inspiring country with amazing architecture, delicious food, and hospitable locals. Whether you’re a backpacker, thrill-seeker, or a luxury traveller, you’re bound to find something that suits your fancy in Turkey. First-timers should head straight to Istanbul to see iconic attractions like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace Museum. We also highly recommend a day trip to Cappadocia to experience the hot air balloons!
Turkey Travel Budget
The Turkish currency, the lira, has been depreciating in recent years. Because of this, Turkey is about six times cheaper than the rest of Europe. In fact, you can get a one-way public transport ticket for a little over S$1. For as little as S$8, you can already get a decent meal at a decent restaurant. Overall, a daily budget of about S$40 should allow you to have a relatively comfortable stay in Turkey.
4) Sri Lanka
Estimated daily budget: S$45
What’s shiok: ancient ruins, pristine beaches, easy hikes, tea plantations
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Sri Lanka is somewhat Asia’s hidden gem that’s yet to be discovered. Blessed with breathtaking natural landscapes and pristine beaches, Sri Lanka is a relatively laid-back country that offers a little something for everybody. You can visit Ella, a small town in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka that has recently been gaining popularity. It’s where you’ll find a number of scenic hiking trails such as Little Adams Peak where you can enjoy the sunset. You can also ride a train over the iconic Nine Arch Bridge and see Ella Rock. Other must-visit locations include Kandulla National Park and Diyaluma Falls.
Sri Lanka Travel Budget
Sri Lanka is a very affordable place to visit. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a non-Indian and non-Sri Lankan food here but that shouldn’t be a problem. Aside from being crazy delicious, Sri Lankan food is quite cheap. For as little as S$2-4, you can get a simple, but filling meal of dosas, kottu, or chicken. The best way to get around would be to hire a tuk-tuk which can set you back about S$27 per day.
Estimated daily budget: S$50
What’s shiok: Gothic architecture, beaches, fresh seafood
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Travel to Europe doesn’t have to be expensive. The scenic beach country of Croatia is one of the most affordable places to visit in Europe. Of course, this will also depend on when you’ll be visiting. Split and Hvar are quite expensive during summer, but you get better deals towards autumn. If you want to make the most out of your travel budget, you’ll want to visit the less popular regions like Rijeka, Opatija, and Pula. While you’re there, make sure you get a taste of traditional Croatian cuisine which typically includes indulgent truffle-based dishes!
Croatia Travel Budget
Depending on how good you are at finding great hotel deals, you might spend anywhere between S$20-$45 per night. Try to find a decent hostel instead and you’ll be able to cut that amount in half. A mid-range meal can set you back S$8-$20 depending on where you’re eating. Travelling by bus from city to city can cost you about S$5 per trip. Bonus tip: get the cheapest espresso in Europe here for less than S$1 a cup!
Despite the various costs associated with travel, it is still possible to travel around the world on a budget. It’s all about going to the right places at the right team and knowing what to spend your money on. Everyone should have the opportunity to satisfy their wanderlust without breaking the bank.