It’s a catch-22: you want to see the world while you’re young, but since you just graduated college, you don’t exactly have the funds for an around-the-world airplane ticket…or a nice hotel room anywhere, for that matter. Budget-conscious (or, let’s face it, broke) travelers can still satisfy their wanderlust by visiting these cheaper-than-you-expect destinations. Bon voyage.
Bolivia is a cheap place to sleep and the food’s inexpensive, but the main draw for budget travelers is how many naturally beautiful things there are to see. Head to lake Titicaca and the Salar de Uyuni, or the historic city of La Paz. You can explore La Paz’s four museums for less than a dollar.
Cambodia is a favorite destination for backpackers, mainly because you can rest your head on a bed at a hostel for just $4. Sure, the flight’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but the inexpensive food and lodging will more than make up for it. Bonus: Cambodia has a ton of free things to do, which means 90% of your entertainment will be gratis. This is one of the best places in the world for gap-year travelers (people who check out of life in order to explore new terrain for a year or more).
Book a room for just $10 per night and explore Colombia’s never-ending collection of culture, sights and activities for either free or next-to-nothing. If you can steer clear of the tourist traps in Bogota and Cartagena, two of Colombia’s major cities, you’ll get a ton for your money. Just make sure you can speak a bit of Spanish – most people don’t speak English there.
As long as you can spare up to $7 per day, Nepal is within your budget. Keep in mind that you’ll have to seek out low-cost accommodations (which definitely exist) and you’ll want to eat local cuisine. U.S. natives will have to get a visa, but the price is an inexpensive $25.
When people think of cheap places to travel, they don’t often consider Europe, but Prague is a major exception. Most hostels cost between $10 and $15 per night and you can throw back a beer for less than it would cost to buy water. Prague is gorgeous enough to stroll around and explore, which won’t cost you a dime.
Thailand’s on the steeper end of budget travel, costing about $40 per day. If you stick to street food and explore your accommodations options, though, you can probably make out for less than that. Rooms in Phuket sometimes get down to $10 per night. Areas of Northern Thailand, like Chiang Mai, are even less expensive. If you’re at the end of your trip and are ready to splurge, for $100 a night you can get the kind of accommodations that would cost thousands in the states.
3 Affordable Cities in the U.S.
Prefer to stay in the country? These U.S. cities don’t cost an arm and a leg to stay in:
1. Kansas City, MO – Some hotel prices have dropped while many others have stayed the same. Three of the city’s art museums are free, as are two factory-style tours.
2. Nashville, TN – Even the best burgers in town start at just $7. Head to the famous Bluebird Cafe to catch free shows (it gets crowded, so try to reserve a seat online).
3. San Antonio, TX – San Antonio has a ton of free attractions, like visits to the Alamo. Rent a bike on Riverwalk for just $10 a day and munch on tamales for super cheap.
Image by: Wikimedia Commons
Ken Ripoll is the founder of AllstarPassports.com, a Los Angeles Passport expediter specializing in passport renewals and visas to China.