The Cheapest Places to Backpack: 22 Countries you can Travel for less than $50 a day

22 of the Cheapest Places to Backpack in the World.

It’s a common misconception that travel is expensive, certainly some destinations and luxury hotels can leave a dent in your wallet, but fortunately there are still many countries that you can enjoy on a budget and I’m going to let you in on the cheapest places to backpack in the world.

The majority of the cheap places to backpack are mostly in Asia. There are some countries on the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia where you can travel in comfort for as little as $15 – $20 a day. For this budget don’t expect luxury hotels but then you won’t exactly be roughing it either as you can stay in budget hotels (not dorm rooms!) eat in restaurants and take taxis and see some amazing sights all for under $20 a day! See a detailed breakdown of the average daily budget for backpacking in India here.

These countries are well set up for backpackers and independent travelers and getting around and finding accommodation on a budget is easy.

In fact, backpacking in these countries can even be cheaper than staying at home! If you’re tempted to give it all up then maybe check out these cheapest places to live abroad. 

Central America, North Africa and Eastern Europe also offer some cheap options and if you get a good deal on your flights, travel independently, use public transport, stay in hostels and eat where the locals do or cook for yourself it is possible to travel pretty much anywhere for less than you might think.

So here’s 22 of the cheapest places to backpack in the world – most of them you can get by on less than $50 a day!

The Cheapest Places to Backpack in Asia

Asia has to be one of the most fascinating, most popular and cheapest places to backpack in the world. With tropical beaches, golden temples, amazing food and captivating cultures where you can live like a king for very little.

Backpack Thailand for $25 a Day

Bangkok's glittering and golden Grand Palace, Thailand

Bangkok’s glittering and golden Grand Palace, Thailand

Thailand’s beaches, fiery cuisines, golden temples and friendly locals are long a favourite with backpackers and now everyone and can be traveled for $25 a day. With amazing street food for only $2 and dorm beds for $6. Traveling in North Thailand is cheaper is than the paradisaical islands in the South or bustling Bangkok where prices are steadily rising but Thailand is still a great place to start backpacking.

See First Time in Bangkok: A Backpacker’s Guide.

Backpack Nepal, India and Sri Lanka for $15 – $30 a Day

The Taj Mahal, India's most iconic building

The Taj Mahal, India’s most iconic building

The Indian subcontinent can be one of the cheapest places to travel to in the world and India arguably offers one of the most fascinating shows on earth. Be captivated by desert forts, the swirl of colourful saris, spicy food, ancient temples and chaotic cites.

From tropical beaches to the snow capped Himalayan peaks you  could spend a whole lifetime traveling here as there is so much to see.

Luckily, even without counting the pennies its easy to only spend $15  a day in places like Nepal or cheaper regions of India where a dorm bed could cost as little as $3 and a meal for $2 or get a private room for only $8. You would probably spend roughly $3o a day in Sri Lanka or more expensive India cities like Mumbai or Delhi.

See more about backpacking India here. 

Backpack Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for $20 a Day

Cambodia's amazing Angkor Wat is still a terrific bargain

Cambodia’s amazing Angkor Wat is still a terrific bargain

Even cheaper than Thailand, neighbours Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are increasingly popular places to travel. Wonder in Awe at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Temples, cruise mystical Halong Bay in Vietnam and explore the beautiful nature in landlocked Laos. South East Asia sometimes feels ridiculously cheap with beers can be had for only $.50, a tuk tuk ride $1 and a private hotel room only $5, it’s easy to live like a king for so little in these countries.

Backpack Indonesia and Philippines for $25 a Day

Philippines has amazing beaches that are also amazingly affordable

Philippines has amazing beaches that are also amazingly affordable

Both archipelagos have so much beautiful nature and undeveloped beaches just waiting to be discovered but very different cultures. Bali in Indonesia is home to luxury resorts and can get busy with tourists but there are so many other islands of steaming volcanoes, jungles and temples to explore where accommodation can be found for only $5 and good street food for a few dollars.

The Philippines has a distinctly different culture from the rest of South East Asia but will still delight with impossibly perfect beaches, rice terraces and stunning natural beauty and fun loving people.


Cheapest Places to Backpack in Latin America

Latin America offers some of the most spectacular sights in the world although distances are huge and some countries, like Brazil, can be as expensive as Western Europe but you can still get a taste for the stunning rain forests, Latin culture, amazing ruins and beaches on a budget.

Backpack Bolivia and Ecuador for $20 a Day

The amazing salt flats in Bolivia

The amazing salt flats in Bolivia

Bolivia is the cheapest place to backpack in South America, explore La Paz – the world’s highest capital and beautiful colonial cities for less and make sure to head to to witness the incredible salt plains and lake. Hostel accommodation can be found here for only $8 a day, a meal is a couple of dollars and transport and beer are cheap too.

Ecuador is only slightly more expensive as long as you don’t plan on heading to the pricey Galapagos Islands that is.

Backpack Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for $25 a Day

The Mayan ruins of Tikal in the jungles of Guatemala

The Mayan ruins of Tikal in the jungles of Guatemala

For a taste of the incredible nature of Costa Rica and the Atzec ruins of Mexico without the crowds and expense just head deeper into the steamy jungle of Central America. Explore the jungles, volcanoes, wildlife, Mayan ruins and excellent beaches of Central America with with dorm beds from $6, a restaurant meal from $3 and buses and museums for just a dollar or 2.

Visit Guatemala, the Mayan heart of Central America and home to the famous Tikal ruins, still a bargain compared to Mexcio. Honduras is touted as a cheap Caribbean with excellent beaches, natural beauty and cheap diving with great value for money. You could also explore the volcanoes, lakes and colonial towns of Nicaragua for surprisingly little money.

Backpack Peru from $30 a Day

Magnificent Machu Picchu is the biggest attraction in Peru

Magnificent Machu Picchu is the biggest attraction in Peru

Peru holds one of the world’s most fascinating sights – Machu Picchu. Depending on how you want to witness this incredible ancient lost city it can get expensive (see here how to do Machu Picchu on the cheap) but the rest of Peru still remains affordable with hostel beds for $7 and a meal for $3. Go for incredible hiking, nature, ruins of intricate ancient cultures, some of the prettiest Spanish towns and colourful locals.

Cheapest Places to Backpack in Europe

You might think that Europe is just too expensive to travel on a budget but it is possible if you stick to the Eastern reaches. Eastern Europe offers up some of the cheapest places to backpack in Europe and is a really interesting alternative to the crowded iconic western European destinations and a fascinating recent history. Take a look behind the iron curtain and discover a different side of Europe for less.

Backpack Bulgaria and Romania for  $30 a Day

Transylvania in Romania is full of fairy tale castles and gorgeous countryside

Transylvania in Romania is full of fairy tale castles and gorgeous countryside.

Bulgaria and Romania are some of the cheapest places to travel in Eastern Europe and offer idyllic countryside and rolling hills, castles, cobbled streets and golden domed churches and a smattering of interesting communist monuments.

The word has started to get out and hostels can now be found here with hostel beds from $8, entrance fees and taxi’s are $2 – 3 and a meal will only set you back about $5, plus the beer here is some of the cheapest in Europe at only just over a dollar.

Backpack Albania and Montenegro for $30 a Day

Albania's beaches are equally as beautiful but way cheaper than others in the Meditterains. Photo Credit:

Albania’s beaches are equally as beautiful but way cheaper than others in the Mediterranean.

Albania and Montenegro are emerging as the cheapest places to backpack on the Mediterranean. Go for the stunning beaches and nature before the crowds and prices rise. You can still get a hostel bed from $8 and a pizza slice for $2

Backpack Turkey for $30 a Day

Turkey is not such a bargain as it used to be but there is so much to discover and it's still possible to do it on the cheap

Turkey is not such a bargain as it used to be but there is so much to discover and it’s still possible to do it on the cheap

Turkey is where Europe meets Asia and home to some fascinating sights from buzzing Istanbul to fairy tale like Cappadocia to ancient monuments at Troy and Ephesus to the glittering beaches of the Med, although spending a lot of time in the popular beach resorts or Istanbul will push the price up. But with so much to explore thrifty backpackers can still get by on $30 a day with dorms beds for only $9, but more often $12, and a tasty kebab for $3.
Also consider, Poland, Bosnia, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia for cheap places to travel in Europe where, if really frugal,  you could survive on $30 – $35 a Day

Cheapest Places to Backpack in Africa

Africa is a huge, diverse and endlessly fascinating continent to explore. Backpacking in Africa is not as easy as some of the other destinations in the world but countries in North Africa are some of the cheapest places to travel with vibrant and unique cultures to explore for less than you might think.

Backpack Morocco for $25 a Day

Marrakesh in Morocco.

The bustling main square – Djemaa el fna in Marrakesh,  Morocco.

Morocco is one of the most exotic and cheapest places to backpack in Africa. Explore the bustling souks and medinas of Marrakesh and the medieval town of Fez or journey into the desert, Morocco offers a feast for the sense for the senses for very little. Hostel beds can cost $5, transport is cheap and a meal could only cost $5.

Backpack Egypt for $25 a Day

pyramids in egypt in one of the cheapest places to travel in africa

The pyramids in Egypt

Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and a treasure trove for travelers. Egypt is of course home to the famous Pyramids, the Nile and with much more to explore luckily a hostel bed can be found for only $5 and great deals can be found for hotels at the moment. Transport is cheap and a meal can be had for only $3 but entrance fees to some of greatest monuments in the world will push your daily price up but are still great value at between $5 and $15.

As I haven’t traveled much in Africa, please let me know if there are more cheap places to backpack in Africa that I can add it to the list.

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The Cheapest Places to Travel- 22 Countries you can Backpack for less than $50 a day

Wheres the cheapest place to backpack that you’ve been to? Anywhere that I’ve missed that you would add to the list?

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  • isab says:

    Ciao! Well, I am in Thailand right now I have a 60 days visa and travelling with my husband. We like south places, island, beaches and so on: we’re trying to save money choosing accomodation for at least 20€ with ac and fridge and eating mostly local but…. the average per day is about 100€ per day! (Incl everything: sleep eat transfert etc). Not SO cheap 🙁 we prove that the major money exit is about meals: we guess we would find an accomodation with kitchen and will save a lot of money (and eat better… you know, we’re italian lol). But how can match travelling a lot with hire a proper home/flat for short time n save???

    • Anna Phipps says:

      Yes, Thailand is more way more expensive in the South and on the islands. the North is really cheap and in many places like in Chiang Mai you can rent a decent apartment for a month for about $150. I found that eating street food for a dollar or two was cheaper than buying groceries and I never got sick. Love pad thai! But having AC will blow your budget! Also take local transport to save money instead of the mini vans or touristy options. Sorry you are finding Thailand expensive but it really is possible to travel there for only $20 a day with street food, local buses and basic accommodation – plus I feel that traveling this way gives you a better feel for the local culture, Enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  • Jess says:

    Great post Anna! Some people think they need to be loaded to travel the world but there are so many places that you can get by on much much less and still have lots of fun! I look forward to more posts
    Jess x

    • Anna Phipps says:

      Thanks Jess! Yes, I’m still surprised how often people ask me if I am really rich to travel so much but the truth is that it is cheaper than staying at home (UK) and so many amazing cultures and places to explore!

  • Great job on your budget, we have been to many of these places but spent a lot more than $30 a day,especially Peru with the cost to hike the Inca trail.

    • Anna Phipps says:

      Yes, the Inca Trail is expensive, seeing Machu Picchu whatever way you do it adds up but overall, apart from that Peru is not too expensive so spending a bit more for a few days and then spending less – it averages out in the end I think,

  • Sally says:

    Awesome list. I am all about cheap haha! It dribes me crazy when people say you ave to be rich to travel. It is cheaper than living at home!

    • Anna Phipps says:

      Thanks Sally. I know, I totally agree with you, I feel the same way. There is so much beauty to explore and it’s cheaper than going out on a Saturday night in your local town!

  • damian says:

    Isab, it’s all how you live. 2 people should easily be able to get by on $50 a day. $30 if you’re living simply.

    • Anna Phipps says:

      Thanks Damian, yes it depends on your style of travel and comfort level but despite the new fancy resorts it is still possible to travel Thailand for little money, In Cambodia I even struggled to spend $20 per day!

  • expeditions2001 says:

    Bangladesh also one of the cheapest travel nation of Indian subcontinent. wwe have world largest mangrove forest searching obscure Bengal Tiger in wild and other wildlife, world longest natural beach and coral island for snorkeling, World heritage listed archaeological sites, tea valley and 14 individual tribal communities around peaks and hills.

  • What a great resource to prove that there are amazing places to visit in the world without spending a lot of money.

  • farzana larney says:

    Hi your blog..I’m an avid traveler myself and yet have so much more to should consider SOUTH AFRICA.particularly cape town,where I’m has beautiful beaches,great food diverse culture and so much more.our currency s bit weak at the moment so on the dollar would be really budget friendly

  • Aswin S says:

    It’s quite interesting facts about travel..

  • nargis says:

    wow good job thanks for sharing this

  • Mnh Nurshed says:

    Bangladesh is one of the most beautiful beautiful countries in Asia. The country smells of beauty especially around winter. Cox’s Bazaar, the world’s largest beach, Bandarban Sajek, Nichol-Nigiri, Hill Alemmelo Road will impress anyone first. Rangamati Lake, beautiful animals of Sundarvan, Sylhet tea garden, Dhaka seaport and how much !!
    Let’s turn to travel Bangladesh with joy !!

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