Updated: 02/03/2020 | February 3rd, 2020
We all want to take that vacation, career break, or gap year trip. No matter what kind of trip you want to take, chances are you are going to encounter one of the largest obstacles when it comes to travel: money.
Saving money to travel can be an uphill battle, and with so many expensive destinations out there it can sometimes feel impossible.
Even if you’re fortunate enough to find a cheap flight, the daily cost of living in a new country can often be prohibitive.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of amazing places to visit that are still quite affordable.
To help you make the most of your next trip overseasons, here are ten incredible places to travel on $30 USD per day — or less!
10 Destinations Under $30 Per Day
Despite being a hugely popular tourist destination, Thailand as a whole has remained relatively cheap.
Outside of a few of the popular tourist islands, it’s easy to live on less than $30 USD per day. Budget rooms cost $6-10 USD per night, you can eat on less than $5 USD per day, drinks are about $2 USD, and sightseeing activities cost around $10 USD.
To live on $30 USD a day, stay in guesthouses, eat the delicious local food, avoid lots of expensive drinks, and take local transportation.
But even when I splurge here, I still barely break $30 USD per day. Most of the time I spend around $20-25 USD per day. This is a country where drinks cost more than food, so as long as you go light on drinks, you’ll find Thailand quite inexpensive.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Thailand!
Even cheaper than Thailand, Bali is a great destination for those looking to avoid spending a lot. In the south, especially around Kuta, you’ll find more rooms for $1,000 USD per night than any other place in the world.
However, right next to them are rooms for less than $10 USD a night. Though flights are long and expensive, the island itself is amazingly cheap. Most local meals cost $2 USD while “Western” dishes are about $5 USD. Activities such as snorkeling tend to cost no more than $10 USD.
Moreover, once you leave the touristy southern part of the island and go inland, everything gets even cheaper.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Bali!
Even before Greece almost went bankrupt, the country was a bargain. Now, it’s even cheaper.
I was shocked at how cheap it was. Gyros cost around less than $5 USD, you can get a huge lamb dinner for $10-15 USD, drinks go for under $5 USD, and single rooms can be found for under $20 USD.
An expensive night for me in Greece was $55 USD and that included an evening of drinks. Yes, if you’re island-hopping during the peak summer months you’ll need closer to $45-50 USD per day. But if you aim for the shoulder season (or stick to the less-touristy islands) and travel slow, you’ll be able to cut your costs significantly.
If you want to enjoy Europe on a budget, visit Greece.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Greece!
4. Central America
Most of Central America is pretty cheap, and you can travel on less than $30 a day.
Of course, you’ll need to exclude Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama, as they are more expensive (about $35-40 USD per day!).
But throughout the other countries in Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala), you will find most budget hotels for around $10 USD per night, meals for $3 USD, most bus journeys for the same price, and beer less than a dollar.
In the central part of Central America, if you are spending more than $30 USD per day, you’re living large!
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Central America!
I love Budapest. It’s a beautiful, historic city.
And it’s cheap.
It was a warm welcome coming from expensive Western Europe. Hostels in Budapest start at $10 USD per night, and private rooms were double that. Meals at the markets or at the plethora of kebab and sandwich shops are around $3-5 USD. Trains and buses were just a few dollars.
Unless you are going out for a big night of drinking or paying for lots of attractions and activities, $30 USD will give you plenty of room to enjoy the sites and sounds of Budapest. Budapest is a great alternative to more popular destinations like Prague or Vienna.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Budapest!
Home to the epic Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu, Peru is one of the most popular countries in South America.
While hiking the Inca Trail will definitely burst your budget, everyday life in Peru is quite affordable. Hostels can be found for as little as $6 USD while street found is available for $1-2 USD.
Unless you’re going to do tons of activities, it will be easy here to enjoy Peru well under $30 USD per day.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Peru!
Because the country is under the radar, you’ll find no crowds and affordable prices. Hostels are only $12 USD per night and there are plenty of ruins, beaches, and a great mix of Turkish and European culture.
If you’re traveling Europe and need to leave the Schengen, Bulgaria is a great place to spend some time!
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Bulgaria!
If you’re on a backpacker budget you can enjoy a day in Vietnam for as little as $10 USD per day. Hostels can be found for as little as $3 USD, with many including free breakfast and free beer (during limited hours). Street food can be found for under $1 USD, and buses around the country are incredibly cheap.
For $30 USD a day, you can live here like a king.
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Vietnam!
No budget travel list would be complete without India. While I’ve never been (yet!), I know plenty of travelers who have and they rave about the budget-friendly foods and accommoation.
Hostels and guesthouses here are as little as $2 USD, while delicious food can be had for under $1 USD. If you’re a foodie on a budget, India should definitely rank high on your list.
If you’re looking to get some value for your dollar, this is a great destination to splurge in. $30 USD a day here will get you a nicer hotel, allow you to take taxis to get around, and keep you stuffed with as much delicious food as you can eat!
For more information, check out our guide to visiting India!
While getting here might not be incredibly cheap, once you’re here, daily life in Madagascar is quite affordable.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, one that is commonly found on the’ bucket lists of intrepid travelers — and for good reason! The wildlife here is bountiful and unique, and both the food and accommodation are as cheap as it gets.
Less than 400,000 people visit Madagascar each year, which means you won’t have many crowds to deal with either. In short, if this magical country isn’t on your list it should be!
For more information, check out our guide to visiting Madagascar!
There are many great destinations in the world that don’t have to cost a fortune. While some of these destinations might be expensive to fly to, once you get there, they are incredibly affordable.
You may not be able to embrace the luxurious lifestyle you’ll see on social media, but any trip is better than no trip!
By visiting some of these more affordable budget destinations you’ll be able to stretch your budget and make your trip financially attainable.
The only question is: which of these places are you going to visit first?
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
My New York Times best-selling paperback guide to world travel will teach you how to master the art of travel so that you’ll get off the beaten path, save money, and have a deeper travel experience. It’s your A to Z planning guide that the BBC called the “bible for budget travelers.”
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.