The list is based on the Backpacker Index for 2023, in which we will show the average daily cost in USD for each location. This includes a dorm bed at a good/cheap hostel, 3 budget meals, 2 rides in public transport, 1 cultural attraction, and 3 cheap beers.
Turkey has been on the radar of budget travelers recently and there are a lot of amazing things to do. As they have had a currency crisis in the past couple of years, so everything is incredibly cheap for foreigners.
Turkey is super cheap, where you can get a Big Mac meal for $3, as a reference, based on the Big Mac Index. It’s one of the cheapest countries to visit at only $15.78 per night on a budget!
Istanbul is also known for it’s great nightlife, where you can find cheap bars, hostels and nightclubs to party for less than $2 per drink!
Laos has long been known as one of the cheapest countries in the world, and of course the capital Vientiane is one of the cheapest capital cities in the world.
The street food is super cheap if you’re brave enough to try it, and the alcohol is also. Be sure to try Lao-Lao rice whisky, a clear spirit that is apparently the cheapest booze in the world.
At an average cost of $18.05, Myanmar is an up-and-coming country, still getting used to tourists.
Yangon is considered the cheapest city, and while prices continue to rise in Myanmar, now is still the time to visit before it becomes too popular.
A cheap noodle dish is around $0.90 cents and you can find cheap beer from $0.60 to $2.00.
Vietnam is notorious for being home to the cheapest beer in the world, called Bia-Hoi at around 25 cents per draft and around 3% alcohol. With an average cost of around $20.02 per day, Hanoi is the cheapest city in Vietnam.
Buenos Aires is still very affordable for backpackers, though not as cheap as it was back around 2008.
It’s a very European-esque city without European prices. Famous for their food, especially beef, it is surprisingly cheap.
As long as you’re not trekking or climbing up Mt. Everest, Nepal is one of the cheapest countries to travel in.
In a place like Pokhara, you can enjoy a cheap meal for around $1-4 depending on the dish whereas a hostel would go for around $3-6 per bed.
With an average daily price of $21.29, it’s no wonder Nepal is one of the cheapest countries to visit in 2022.
With an average price of $21.78 per day on a budget, the Philippines has so much to do, from exploring bustling cities to island hopping to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
While a beer goes from $1 and up, a meal is around $2-5 and a hostel bed ranges around $10. Manila nightlife is also quite affordable for a night out.
Hands down one of the most famous budget destinations, Thailand has struggled with tourism in the last couple of years due to Covid lockdowns.
While in Chiang Mai the average daily cost is only $21.83, a larger city like Bangkok will be quite a lot more expensive.
9. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has become more and more popular lately as a budget destination for backpackers after having recently re-opened for tourists.
The food in Sri Lanka is very inexpensive, ranging from $1.40 to $3 for some rice and chicken curry.
A budget hostel would go for $6-14 depending on how nice it is. Average daily price: $22.52
Previously one of the top 5 cheapest destinations on our list, Ecuador is slowly becoming a little pricier after the Covid pandemic.
The average daily price in Quito, the capital, is $22.8 if you’re living on a budget. With a good place to avoid exchange rates if you’re American.
Another cheap gem in Southeast Asia is Cambodia, specifically Phnom Penh the capital and smaller towns like Siem Reap.
While they have their own currency, the Riel, ATMs dispense US dollars and everything can be bought with USD. The average daily cost is $23.04 with hostel dorms and beers being exceptionally cheap.
A day on a budget in Jakarta will set you back around $23.21 according to the Backpacker Index.
While you may spend a lot more than this in other areas of Indonesia such as Bali, it’s still one of the cheapest destinations still out there. Unfortunately, they seem slow to open up to tourists after the pandemic.
Granada is a beautiful but small colonial town situated on the west coast of Lake Nicaragua and considered one of the cheapest countries to visit at $23.21, although this is debated as some beach towns can be considered cheaper.
Nicaragua has become one of the most popular backpacking destinations in recent years.
India has been known for decades as a cheap and exotic place to visit. If you really want to save, check out Delhi, considered the cheapest destination in India at only $23.44. Get a beer for around $1-2 and dare to sleep in a cheap hostel for just $7!
Tanzania has to be on your list as it’s one of the cheapest countries to visit in 2022, and quickly became a new & popular spot for those seeking open countries during the covid lockdowns.
With beautiful towns and untouched beaches, it’s a place not to miss. Zanzibar City will only cost you around $25.47 per day.