10 Countries You Can Visit For Less Than $40/Day

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10 Countries You Can Visit For Less Than $40/Day

It's easy to fall back on the old excuse: "I can't afford it".

Sure, the dollar may not go as far as it used to, but there are still tons of adventurous destinations around the globe where you can vacation for less than you'd spend in a day at home. Choose the right country and it's easy to stretch your funds - no matter how limited - without having to sleep on couches or eat ramen noodles.

Here are ten of our favorite countries that go easy on you wallet - some old budget favorites, some unexpected new additions - so you can get up, get out the door and on to your next big adventure. #ThinkLessTravelMore style.

 

1. GUATEMALA (OR NICARAGUA...).

guatemala antigua volcano run budget travel destinations backpackers

Want to roam ancient ruins, trek through the jungle, surf, and eat delicious food with few tourists around? Visit the smaller countries in Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala). These countries get a bad wrap on the news, but as long as you aren't roaming bad neighborhoods at night or trying to rumble with the drug cartels, you'll be more than fine. Here you will find most budget hotels for around $15 per night (cheaper for hostels), meals for $3, most bus journeys for the same price, and beer for less than a dollar. Added bonus: Flights from the U.S. are cheap!

2. FIJI.

fiji budget travel destination backpacking

Blame it on Fiji Water, but most of us think of Fiji as an expensive honeymoon destination. But in reality, it's popular with many travelers because unlike it's expensive island neighbors, it's actually cheap. Yes, there are many $1,000-a-night resorts, but there are also dorm rooms, hostels, and all-inclusive local guesthouses you can stay in for $25 a night (or way less). Transportation around the islands isn't expensive and the pristine beaches are free. Toss in great diving, tasty seafood and friendly locals and you've got a tropical vacation without the expense.

3. INDONESIA.

bali indonesia budget destinations travel sumatra backpacking

Bali, Komodo, Sumatra. Sure Indonesia sounds exotic, but it's kind on your wallet as well as long as long as you zig when everyone else zags. That means you should steer clear of the touristy south near Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud and get out into the less explored countryside and lesser frequented towns. You'll be rewarded with a beautiful island with affordable rooms ($15-20/night), inexpensive local meals ($2), and activities that cost around $10.  And, away from those crowds, you get beautiful rice terraces, black and white sand beaches, volcanoes, food markets, and jungles virtually to yourself. 

4. GREECE.

budget travel destinations portugal backpacking lisbon

Even before the region had it's little bankruptcy problem, Greece was a European bargain. Now it's a straight up budget traveler's paradise and the declining number of tourists visiting the country in recent years has only helped to ensure cheaper prices. Gyros cost around $3, you can get a huge lamb dinner for $10, drinks go for around $3, and single rooms can be found for under $30. Go there, enjoy historic sights, help the local economy, and save money.

5. INDIA.

india kerala budget travel destination backpacking guide

While India has always been a cheap country, the Indian rupee used to ride high at 39 rupees to the dollar. Now, you get 60 rupees to the dollar - that's nearly 50 percent more money to travel with. Even if you splurge on mid-range accommodation and food, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than $50 per day, unless you book 5-star resorts. Flights to India are the most expensive part, but once you're there, everything's a bargain. That makes the long flight to see the historic Taj Mahal, the beaches of Goa, and metropolises of New Delhi and Mumbai much more appealing.

6. PERU.

peru machu pichu budget travel destination

Most people come to South America for the Inca trail, but there's a lot more to Peru than that. Here you can sail the Amazon, visit the deserted, white sand beaches of Mancora, and explore the ruins of other Inca destinations like Moray and Choquequirao. Meals are rarely more than $5, private guesthouse rooms are around $25, and you can go anywhere in the country for less than $30. Don’t let those jaw-dropping prices for the Inca trail you see online deter you from one of the funniest, happiest, and cheapest countries in South America. Pro tip: If you go to Cuzco, you can get last-minute deals to Machu Picchu for 50 percent off!

7. CHINA.

china budget travel destination backpacking guide

While the days of China topping the list of cheapies is long gone, the country remains a budget destination, especially if you're interested in exploring the countryside away from the bright lights big city. Rooms are less than $20 a day, food is $2-5 per meal, and local transportation in cities less than dollar. Those who travel in China are richly rewarded with friendly people, delicious food, a country in constant flux, and beautiful mountains, beaches, and valleys on a budget anyone can afford!

8. CAMBODIA.

cambodia south east asia budget travel backpacking guide

While you cut put most of Southeast Asia on the list, Cambodia is one of the best value countries in region; everything is super cheap! This country is very budget travel-friendly and, if you are spending close to $50 a day, you are living large. We're talking private, air-con rooms for $20, local food for $2 and Western for about $7. Cambodia is one of my favorite countries in the world with some of the nicest people, most beautiful beaches, ruins, and jungles out there. It’s rough, it’s raw, and it’s stunning.

9. PORTUGAL.

portugal budget travel guide backpacking europe cheap

Don't give up on the Eurozone without checking out Portugal with it's beaches, wine country and historic cities at bargain prices. Throw in helpful, outgoing locals who serve up delicious food (especially seafood), and you have the making of a perfect place. Next time you're headed in that direction, consider sipping Italy - Portugal is where it's at! Looking for a splurge? Lisbon is one of the most affordable cities in the world to stay in a 5 Star hotel.

10. SOUTH KOREA.

south korea budget travel destination backpacking guide

Often overlooked by backpackers, South Korea rivals the prices of Southeast Asia in many ways - it's a great bargain. Bottles of beer in 7-Eleven (yes, they even exist in Korea) are less than a dollar and you can enjoy a nice dinner and drinks on the town for about $8 per person. Next time you're in SE Asia, consider adding South Korea to the list. 

 

Want more ideas?

Check out the Think Less. Travel More. Destination Concierge, where we serve up curated suggestions based on interest, trip length, region and budget. Or share your own favorite spot in the comment box, below (we want to hear!).


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Nicaragua Is So Much More Than The "New Costa Rica". Here's Why, In 5 Stunning Photos.

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Nicaragua Is So Much More Than The "New Costa Rica". Here's Why, In 5 Stunning Photos.

Carley Rudd Think Less. Travel More. Headshot

Intrepid traveler & the lady behind one of our fave feeds, @CarleysCamera, contributor Carley Rudd shares why Nicaragua should top your list for 2015.

I recently traveled to Nicaragua and returned home with a new perspective and nothing but rave reviews for a country that is emerging as the new “must see” destination in Central America.

Here are five of the top reasons you should add Nicaragua to your 2015 travels:

1. UNTAPPED NATURAL BEAUTY.

Much of Nicaragua’s land has been beautifully preserved, leaving lush jungle rain forests, deserted beaches and dozens of volcanoes, rivers and lakes. This reason alone is worth visiting.

carley rudd nicaragua beach playa

2. COLORS.

Nicaragua is bursting with color, from their old colonial architecture, to the local fashion, art and the indigenous flora and fauna. One of my favorite days was spent wandering the streets of Grenada, the oldest colonial city of Nicaragua filled with beautiful Spanish architecture and bright colorful buildings.

carley rudd maderas village nicaragua

3. BEACHES & SURFING.

Although Costa Rica has dominated the surf tourism in Central America, Nicaragua offers up excellent conditions without the crowds. Just north of San Juan Del Sur, Playa Maderas is one of the most popular surfing beaches with serene white sandy beaches and consistent surf for beginners to pros.

carley rudd playa maderas village nicaragua
carley rudd maderas village nicaragua travel guide

 

4. CEVICHE & COFFEE.

It’s impossible to leave Nicaragua without becoming a ceviche-lover. Nicaraguan ceviche is made with local raw fish, onion, peppers, lime juice and cilantro. So fresh and delicious! And the coffee, some of the best I’ve had. Café Las Flores is Nicaragua’s top coffee producer and has been in the family for over three generations.

carley rudd maderas village nicaragua travel guide

5. OFF THE BEATEN PATH ADVENTURES.

The activities are endless for anyone looking for a fun adventure and include everything from hiking up and ash-boarding down volcanoes, zip-lining, kayaking, surfing and more!

maderas village carley rudd nicaragua travel guide
carley rudd maderas village nicaragua travel guide

Okay fine, that was seven photos (not five) but we couldn't help ourselves - they're too pretty! And because we love you very much, dear readers, here are a few of Carley's favorite places to get you started on your journey... VIVA LA ADVENTURE!

WHERE TO STAY: The Tribal Hotel & Maderas Village 

WHERE TO EAT: Espressionista 


WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NICARAGUA?

OF COURSE YOU DO.

Head over to our brand new Travel More. Nicaragua Guide

for everything you need to know before you go + more of Carley's visuals.


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Video Inspiration: The Epic Traveler Behind This 26 Year Road Trip Is One Of "Human History's Greatest Individual Travelers"

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Video Inspiration: The Epic Traveler Behind This 26 Year Road Trip Is One Of "Human History's Greatest Individual Travelers"

This is a man that has to be one of human history’s greatest individual travelers and he’s done his journey completely under the radar. No blog, phone, Facebook... he’s not looking for any accolades

This incredible (and inspiring) video tells Gunther's story.

Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. 

In 2007 the couple drove to Thailand.

In 2007 the couple drove to Thailand.

Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock (155k of which were off-road), Gunther is still going. 

For those of us who are bad at math (like me!) that means he's driven so many miles, he's actually circled the globe TWENTY times. 

Yep, that's a pretty long road trip.

In Myanmar.

In Myanmar.

But the coolest part in my mind is how under the radar Gunther is. Like the video says, he's not looking for recognition, sponsorship or accolades -- which is a pretty cool way to travel: for travel's sake. 

Click on the map, below, to get a better look at everywhere Otto's journey has taken Gunther and friends.

Gunther Holtorf Travel Map Mercedes

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15 Famous Landmarks Zoomed Out To Show Their Surroundings.

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15 Famous Landmarks Zoomed Out To Show Their Surroundings.

I stumbled across a great photo essay today that that starts out with this poignant thought,

Finding out the Great Pyramids weren’t in the middle of the desert and that there is a KFC across the street was a huge disappointment.

THE TOURIST "BAIT AND SWITCH"? WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE.

Maybe not in Egypt, but if you've been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal in India or anything by Gaudí in Spain, you know what I'm talking about. 

On the left, what you think it'll be like to visit the Pyramids. On the right, the disappointment that sits in when you realize they aren't quite as remote as you thought they are. Photos Via Elephant Journal.

On the left, what you think it'll be like to visit the Pyramids. On the right, the disappointment that sits in when you realize they aren't quite as remote as you thought they are. Photos Via Elephant Journal.

Whether it's that moment when you realize just how teeny the Mona Lisa really is or the shocker that there's an actual queue to take a selfie with the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, the photos highlight a huge truth of "bucket list" travel. 

The wonders of the world might be beautiful, but to travel deeper we can't ignore the context and the present history of a given destination -- even if it would be easier to just ignore it and share a creatively edited Instagram photo. 

What you think you're going to see at the Louvre, Paris.

What you think you're going to see at the Louvre, Paris.

The actual view in the Mona Lisa room.

The actual view in the Mona Lisa room.

I'm not advocating trucking all the way to India and then skipping your Taj Mahal moment, the shift in perspective highlighted by the article did give me pause. But don't let us burst your bubble just yet...

There is hope out there for the independent traveler.

When I'm exploring a new place I generally try to do, see, eat and experience just about everything -- packing as much as possible into even the tiniest of trips and only coming up for air when I'm back on American soil. 

Me and Mcgee on a cactus crawl in sunny Sayulita, Mexico.

Me and Mcgee on a cactus crawl in sunny Sayulita, Mexico.

My friend and fellow editor Laura McGeeQuite the opposite. She's taught me so much about the difference between seeing the sites in a given country... and looking beyond them to see that country for who and what it really is.

We're talking less landmarks and museums and more elbow rubbing with locals, spontaneous wonderings and cultural connections that change your perspective for the better. 

That's why Think Less. Travel More. encourages you to step off the tourist track in search of an experience that's more meaningful to you, rather than relying on your guidebook to tell you what you "should" see on your trip. 

Read the Full Article.

Ever dreamed of visiting a famous landmark and then be thrown off by what it's really like when you see it for yourself? Share your story in the comments below and don't forget to #ThinkLessTravelMore.


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Traveling In Asia? This Tool Will Make Your Life A WHOLE Lot Easier, Trust Us.

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Traveling In Asia? This Tool Will Make Your Life A WHOLE Lot Easier, Trust Us.

Sure, you're probably familiar with Air Asia. But what about Lion AirBatik or Guruda?  If you're planning to travel within Asia, these budget airlines will get you where you need to go -- at a fraction of the cost. 

utiket budget backpacking travel asia

Checking these niche sites can save you big bucks, but now your friends at Think Less. Travel More. will save you precious time as well so you can get off the internet and get back to the important things -- like island hopping. 

How, you may ask? By sharing our favorite flight aggregator: uTiket.com. Just like Kayak or SkyScanner, uTiket aggregates the tens of under-the-radar airlines that serve the likes of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, bringing you cheap (and we mean cheap) flights so you can get where you need to go without the hassle or the expense. 

Happy Travels!

El Nido on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Wouldn't you like to be there now? We thought so.

El Nido on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Wouldn't you like to be there now? We thought so.

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