Many people still believe in the most persistent myth in travel: that traveling necessarily has to be expensive (it’s normal, I used to think that myself). But it simply is not true at all. And the easiest way to travel for less (which allows you to travel more) is definitely to choose a destination among the cheapest countries to travel to.
By the way, this is just 1 of our 100+ tips on traveling for less that will be included in our free ebook that those who attended our free webinar will get first this week, but you too can get it after.
(And we’re doing another edition of the same free webinar in a few weeks if you want to learn a lot!)
For now, here’s a teaser of the cheapest countries to travel to — and plenty of related information.
Basics of cheap trips
Of course, if you do it like most people who only travel in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, and Western Europe… no wonder you believe travel is expensive. Those are the worst, most expensive spots in the world!
It’s not that complicated to travel more: I travel a lot because I make it a priority to travel a lot. So logically, I often choose to travel to countries where C$30/day is enough!
That’s what allowed me to go on 12 international trips in 2019 and what allows Flytrippers’ other cofounder Kevin to travel full-time for cheap (for less than what many of you spend on your rent/mortgage alone).
It’s worth it to be able to travel more. Because travel is the most amazing thing… so traveling more is the most important thing.
We use plenty of other tips too, but choosing a cheap country is among the most important ones.
(Another one is definitely to get into travel rewards so you can join our readers who have now earned close to 2 million dollars in free travel — join us tonight for a new live feature!)
So yes, it’s easy to travel with about C$30 per day. That’s it.
Traveling can be really cheap! And the destinations are just as amazing. Often more amazing. They’re just cheaper!!!
We’ll have a lot more details on how to plan your cheap trip on your own like a pro, get all our content by joining the waitlist for the free ebook (if you didn’t attend our webinar).
Map of the cheapest countries to travel to
There are at least 40 countries where you can travel for C$30 total per day thanks to budget traveling (which I’ll explain below of course). In all cases, for every type of traveler, these are still the cheapest countries in the world (I’ll get back to that too).
These cheap countries are located all over the world, there is really something for everyone. A lot of variety, although unsurprisingly, Asia has the most options (how perfect; that’s the most amazing spot with the best culture shock).
First of all, here is the infographic with all the cheapest countries.
(the written list by region is below, if you prefer that format)
Here’s another infographic with just the best countries.
Now, this is just a teaser, it’s meant to be a good start to help you choose the cheapest countries, as many have asked for it. It’s really to help you quickly know where to prioritize traveling if you are planning a trip this winter.
I give you all the details of how this works below if you’re interested.
But of course:
- Some countries are missing
- Some countries on the list are cheaper than others
- The current inflation varies by country
It’s obviously not a perfect and exhaustive list (tell us the cheapest countries that should be added based on your experience).
There are also countries among those where it’s really much cheaper than others in this same list. In most of the countries, the C$30/day budget is easily attainable, but in a few, you need a bit more effort. On my trip to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in 2021 for example, I spent way less than $30. Our full guide will highlight countries like that.
Finally, governments worldwide have printed a lot of money and inflation rates are high in most places. But even if the inflation was 16.67%, which is extreme, that would be just $35 instead of $30. It varies greatly by country though.
Basics of the cheapest countries to travel to
Here are many details:
- The best destinations among the cheapest countries
- Budget travel vs more comfortable/expensive travel
- Why choosing a cheap country is important
- What is included in the daily cost
- How the daily cost is calculated
- Why the real cost is actually even lower
Best destinations among the cheapest countries to travel to
This is just a teaser, we’re going to have plenty of content about the best cheap destinations soon.
One thing is for sure, there are some great destinations among the cheapest countries to travel to.
It’s so funny when some people say that these countries are less interesting because they are cheap (tell me you really haven’t traveled and don’t know much without saying you really haven’t traveled and don’t know much).
I’ve loved every place on this list that I’ve been to. Many of the 66 countries I’ve been to are cheap countries. That’s how I can visit a lot of countries.
The more authentic and less touristy a trip is, the more rewarding, enriching, and enjoyable it is.
That is a universally recognized fact.
And less expensive countries are often more authentic, in addition to being less expensive! A real win-win!
Budget travel and more comfortable/expensive travel in the cheapest countries
Obviously, as mentioned, when you really want to travel more, you have to act accordingly.
Budget travel allows you to enjoy your trips just as much (or even more) and allows you to travel a lot more.
Budget traveling is how these countries can cost just C$30 total per day. We will soon have a complete guide on how to travel for less concretely, but I included an intro below.
But even if you don’t want to travel in budget travel mode (it’s okay not to want to travel more that much), these countries are still the cheapest in the world! So they are the cheapest for all types of travelers.
In other words, it’s important to choose cheap destinations no matter your travel preference!
If you want it to be cheap, it’s a given.
But even if you like to have more luxury, it’s just as important to travel to cheap countries because luxury costs a lot less in cheap countries.
Why choosing a cheap country is important
The same seat can sell for $500 or $1,500, a 200% difference for the exact same thing (there’s nothing else quite like that in terms of variation).
That’s exactly what happened to me on my $499 roundtrip flight deal from Montreal to Singapore, as the guy in the middle seat next to me had paid $1,500 for the exact same route. Ouch.
But don’t look at that alone.
Because in my example, let’s pretend I did not know how to travel for less.
If I had spent 3 weeks in Singapore while he made his way to Malaysia or Indonesia (for less than $100 roundtrip from Singapore by bus, ferry, or plane), well, his trip would not have cost so much more than mine overall.
Despite my initial $1,000 savings on the plane ticket price!
Because Singapore is a much much more expensive country.
That’s why choosing the cheapest countries is very important if you want to travel for less.
To give just one example, my accommodation in Bali, a 5-minute walk from the beach, cost me US$5 a night. It was at least twice as expensive in Singapore. And if I had chosen to go to Hawaii, it would have been at least 10 times more expensive. Not just lodging: everything else too!
In other words, even if the frequent deals we spot from Canada to Hawaii in the $300s roundtrip from Western Canada (or in the $400s from Toronto and Montreal) are amazing…
If you want to lower the total cost of your trip, you’re better off paying $400 more for a flight to Vietnam; you’ll save more money overall. Same for Eastern Europe versus Western Europe, and so on.
What is included in the daily cost
In terms of the C$30/day budget, that only looks at the cost once you’re there (like any daily travel cost resource).
Everything is included (including local transportation), just not the cost of transportation to get there—because of the aforementioned huge possible variation in the cost of getting to a country.
But we’ll soon combine our cheap flight insights with this ranking for another post to help you choose the cheapest overall destinations too, specifically for Canadians.
If you’re super flexible, it’s easy to find cheap flights. So you can add just $500 for a roundtrip flight to get to Central America (it’s more expensive than usual these days).
If you’re not flexible, then maybe you’ll have to add $1,000 for the same flight. That’s why it would be stupid to include a flight price in there, airplane ticket prices vary so much, it’s pretty much the most basic thing to understand!
Not to mention that even if you pay the exact same price for a flight, if you leave for 10 days, your flight cost per day is twice as high as for someone who leaves for 20 days.
The flight price also depends on which city you’re leaving from; there’s subjectivity.
The cost once you’re there is the same no matter where you’re from. That’s why these kinds of budgets are always built this way. And will always be built this way.
And of course, the cost varies within a country and even within a city, but this is the cost for the countries overall, for the most popular regions. A good ballpark figure.
How the daily cost is calculated
Obviously, if you are not careful, if you don’t plan adequately, if you splurge too often, or if you don’t make traveling for less a priority… you can easily spend $400 per day in any country in the world.
Even the cheapest countries. There’s no top limit. Anywhere.
So that’s why we focus on the bottom limit.
The price you can very realistically expect if you want to travel for less as a budget traveler; an attainable fair baseline cost, a reasonable reference point.
It’s the cost for the average budget traveler… and a great way for you to get an idea of the cheapest destinations and how much money you need if you want to take up budget traveling. There are plenty of variables and how much you spend will depend on your choices, so you can then add on any luxuries and comforts to that cost if you don’t want to travel for the lowest price.
That said, it’s also possible to travel for even less than this cost if you want to stretch your savings as I do, since I want to travel more and I don’t spend much at all on activities and food.
Exploring the less-touristy parts of a country can lower the cost too.
Others manage to lower these prices even further by lowering their quality standards for lodging, by Couchsurfing, or by hitchhiking.
But we didn’t assume any freebies like that in the budget, so it also does not include any travel rewards you could easily get at all either.
For example, in a super affordable place like Bali, considering the real cost (explained below) and the fact you can easily get 17 completely free nights in beautiful hotels for $120 total per person if you have a travel buddy, you basically don’t need to budget much money at all except for the plane ticket.
As for the logistics behind the actual ranking, for now, we’ve taken into account many cost-of-living and cost-of-traveling sources and benchmarks and even included our own data from our experiences in 60+ countries each.
In the longer term, we plan on tweaking this even more to give you more details, but just knowing the 40 cheapest countries to travel to will go a long way in getting you started planning a low-cost trip.
Why the real cost is actually even cheaper
Keep in mind that this is the cost of what you’ll spend, but that’s much higher than what you need to budget to save for a trip.
Why? You’ll be saving on some avoidable expenses by not being at home.
Normally spend $100 per person on food every week at home? The net cost of your week in the cheapest countries just went down by $14 a day!!! That’s HUGE if you’re in Vietnam, where $30 per day is enough. Your net cost is actually under $20 per day!
Check the gas/transport costs you’ll be saving by not being at home, the activities and leisure expenses you’ll be saving on, every discretionary expense you’ll be avoiding by being away… you might realize that with these cheap countries being so affordable, the overall net cost of a month-long epic trip might actually be just a few dollars a day!
That’s why it’s so important to be organized and financially responsible if you want to travel more, and not just to take advantage of the wonderful world of travel rewards.
By tracking your expenses and being on top of your finances, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll save by being away and how much can be deducted from your trip budget (and you’ll obviously more easily spot quick ways to cut back on your spending to increase your travel budget too).
Some even rent out their home on Airbnb (or their car on Turo) while they’re gone and are therefore actually paid to travel since they make a profit with that income.
How to travel for less
Here’s a teaser.
The short version is that travel is not expensive: it’s wanting travel to be convenient and simple that can be.
Being a budget traveler means making choices that are less practical and convenient, but these choices allow you to either travel for a much longer period or travel a lot more often.
That’s a tradeoff we love personally, as we believe if you really are passionate about travel, you should act accordingly so you can do more of it.
And it’s not just cheaper to travel this way: it’s much more authentic and enriching, as mentioned. Talk about a win-win! We are confident you’ll find that being a budget traveler is just as fun, or even more fun.
Especially when you consider that it allows you to travel twice as much as before (or more).
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “well, I’m only traveling once this year, I might as well splurge”: that’s the best attitude to make sure you keep traveling just once per year, sadly.
It’s fine if that’s what you want, but I personally much prefer the 12 international trips I took in 2019.
So here are the main assumptions for the daily cost (aka a budget traveling crash course while you await the more detailed guide soon):
- sleeping in a clean but basic room (if you have a travel buddy)
- sleeping in shared rooms (if traveling solo)
- using mass transit or walking (but taxis are really cheap in some places)
- staying longer in each place (limiting the intercity transport costs)
- cooking some meals / eating street food / eating in the locals’ restaurants
- not doing every single expensive touristy activity there is
- avoiding airport taxis, always (please)
- doing some research to be well-prepared and informed
It’s really that simple.
Traveling can be affordable if you want traveling to be affordable. Like anything in life, you need to make it a priority if you want to make it happen.
But as good a budget traveler as you’ll become, some destinations are just extremely expensive (looking at you, Iceland), so it’s easier to start with these 40 cheap countries.
List of the cheapest countries to travel to
Here is the list of the cheapest countries to travel to, classified by region.
- El Salvador
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Northern Macedonia
Caucasus and Central Asia
- Sri Lanka
Middle East and North Africa
Want to get more content to discover awesome destinations?
The cheapest countries to travel to are the best destinations in the world for travelers who want to travel more often (or just travel for less, including in luxury). Don’t miss our upcoming content to help you even more!
What would you like to know about the cheapest countries to travel to? Tell us in the comments below.
See the deals we spot: Cheap flights
Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration
Learn pro tricks: Travel tips
Discover free travel: Travel rewards
Featured image: Map of the cheapest countries to travel to (photo credit: Flytrippers)