Fulfilling your wanderlust doesn't have to drain your savings! In 2023, adventurous globetrotters can find a wealth of wallet-friendly destinations that offer unforgettable experiences.
From Asia to Europe, central and South America, America to Africa, and even North America, there are countless countries where you can explore diverse cultures, landscapes, and cuisines – all without breaking the bank.
Ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime without worrying about your budget? Join us as we unveil the top 15 cheapest countries to visit in 2023, and let the adventure begin!
- Explore the world on a budget with 15 of the cheapest countries to visit in 2023!
- Experience Asia's culture, cuisine and captivating beauty or explore Europe, South America and Africa for an unforgettable adventure.
- Get creative & plan ahead: couchsurfing, hitchhiking & booking flights in advance are great ways to make your travels more wallet friendly!
Asia's Most Affordable Destinations
Asia, the world's largest and most populous continent, is a treasure trove of affordable destinations offering rich cultural experiences, mouthwatering cuisine, and jaw-dropping natural beauty.
Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have emerged the past few years as the most wallet-friendly countries to visit in Southeast Asia, providing diverse experiences from adrenaline-pumping trekking and boat rides to a deep dive into their rich history and underrated beauty.
Not to mention, the delicious street food – a culinary delight that's easy on the pocket. So, without further ado, let's embark on an Asian escapade that won't break the bank.
1. Vietnam: A Wallet-Friendly Adventure
Vietnam, with its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a dream come true for budget travelers.
The ultimate bargain-hunter's paradise, Vietnam offers wallet-friendly accommodations and transportation options that won't dent your savings.
Long-distance buses and trains are affordable and reliable, with GrabBike offering rides for as little as 50 cents for a 2km trip – now that's a steal! Hostel beds can be found for as low as $10 a night, and the street food is an absolute delight, with meals costing less than $2.
The country's diverse attractions cater to every traveler's taste. Trek through the gorgeous Ha Giang hills, sail through the Mekong Delta backwaters, explore the limestone islands of Ha Long Bay, or visit the world's largest cave, Hang Son Doong.
Although the US State Department advises level 2 caution, Vietnam is generally a safe country for travelers. Just remember to hire a trusted guide when trekking to make the most of your Vietnamese adventure.
2. Cambodia: Rich History on a Budget
Cambodia, a country steeped in history and culture, offers a budget-friendly experience without compromising on the quality of your trip. It's one of the must visit places of Southeast Asia.
Its low cost of living, affordable accommodations, and transportation make it a haven for budget-conscious explorers.
A cozy riad for two will only set you back around $20 per night, while a reserved seat on an air-conditioned coach for trips from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap or Sihanoukville will cost a mere $10.
Pedal through quaint villages and feast on scrumptious meat skewers without burning a hole in your pocket.
Be awestruck by the grandeur of Phnom Pehn, delve into the past at Angkor Wat, appreciate Battambang's old-world charm, and relax on the stunning beaches of Sihanoukville.
The north offers breathtaking natural landscapes, and the Mekong River provides a chance to spot the elusive Irrawaddy dolphins.
A 3-day pass to Angkor Wat comes at a bargain of just $62, making Cambodia's rich history accessible to all.
3. Laos: Underrated Beauty at a Low Cost
Often overlooked, Laos boasts dazzling Buddhist temples, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls that make it a must-visit destination for those seeking beauty on a budget in Southeast Asia.
With a below average daily budget allowance of just $25-$35, Laos opens the door to a world of underrated natural attractions and rich cultural experiences making it one of the cheapest countries to visit.
Savor the country's stunning waterfalls, float down the Vang Vieng river, or indulge in a soothing tiger balm massage – all without breaking the bank.
A bus trip from Luang Prabang to Vientiane costs only $16, while Tuk Tuk rides and motorbike rentals are available for just a couple of bucks.
Hostels offer accommodation for $10-$15 a night, and entry fees to the country's most amazing sights and man-made and natural wonders usually cost only a few dollars.
Ultimately, Laos is a hidden gem that's packed with adventure and affordability, making it a must-visit destination for budget travelers.
Budget-Friendly European Escapes
Europe, with its rich history, world-renowned architecture, and diverse landscapes, may seem like an expensive destination.
However, countries like Romania, Poland, and the Baltic States offer affordable escapes with charming towns, heritage sites, tourist restaurants, and budget-friendly alternatives to the more expensive Scandinavian countries.
With a little research and smart planning, you can embark on a mesmerizing European journey without emptying your wallet.
4. Romania: Charming Towns and Free Activities
Romania, a land of fairy tales and enchanting landscapes, offers budget travelers a chance to explore its charm without breaking the bank.
Thanks to the favorable currency exchange rate of 1 USD to 2.55 Georgian Lari (GEL), Romania becomes an affordable destination for adventurous souls.
Enjoy free walking tours to explore the beautiful country side's numerous historic sites, or wander through time-honored villages and parks without spending a dime.
To save on food expenses, consider starting your day with a meal at the hostel, indulge in a filling lunch, or eating street food and cooking a delicious dinner yourself.
Delight in a 3-course traditional Czech feast for less than $20, discover Sofia's history with the help of locals, and stay in hostels for just $10-$15 per night – all while experiencing the magic of Romania.
5. Poland: Heritage Sites on a Budget
Poland, with its captivating history and rich cultural heritage, is an ideal destination for travelers seeking an affordable European adventure. The country offers an array of attractions, from ancient monuments to museums, without draining your savings.
To save on food expenses, try the famous Polish "milk bar" for a delicious meal that costs less than 15 PLN ($4). Do not miss the charming towns of Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane, cheap places where you can capture postcard-worthy memories.
Admission to Poland’s museums and historical sites is dirt cheap, usually as low as $5, making it an accessible and budget-friendly destination for heritage enthusiasts.
6. Baltic States: Affordable Alternatives to Scandinavia
The Baltic States, comprising Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, provide a fantastic opportunity to explore Northern Europe without breaking the bank.
These countries offer a wealth of exciting activities and experiences at just a fraction of the cost of their Scandinavian neighbors.
Travel between major cities within the Baltics by bus or sail from Finland for under $30.00. Enjoy the charm of local eateries, hitchhike or walk to explore the cities, and consider camping to save on accommodation costs.
Delve into the unique blend of cultures evident in Latvia's architecture and embark on hiking adventures through national parks. The Baltic States offer an affordable and enchanting European experience that won't disappoint.
South American Gems That Won't Break the Bank
For those seeking a taste of Latin America without overspending, look no further than Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina. These countries offer colorful and cost-effective experiences, with diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and thrilling adventures.
From trekking through the Amazon rainforest to exploring ancient ruins, these South American gems will leave you with unforgettable memories without emptying your wallet.
7. Colombia: Colorful and Cost-Effective
Colombia, a country bursting with color and life, offers a budget-friendly experience without compromising quality. With an exchange rate of 4,600 pesos to the US dollar, Colombia is more accessible than ever.
Travel around the vast country by using public buses and local collectivos, or take advantage of Worldpackers to find volunteer positions that allow you to save on accommodation costs.
From the bustling streets of Medellin and Cartagena to the serene beaches of San Gil and Barichara, Colombia is home to an array of exciting and wallet-friendly adventures.
Unleash your inner adventurer with a day trip to Guatape, hike to the highest waterfall, or sail around the Rosario Islands – all at unbeatable prices. Colombia makes it on the list as one of the cheapest countries to visit.
8. Bolivia: Ultimate Budget Destination
Bolivia, with its unique blend of indigenous and colonial cultures, is the ultimate destination for those on a tight budget.
With a daily allowance of just $20-$30 per person, Bolivia offers travelers an opportunity to immerse themselves in its rich history and breathtaking landscapes without breaking the bank.
The country's must-see attractions include the surreal landscape of Salar de Uyuni and the majestic Lake Titicaca. A visit to Bolivia wouldn't be complete without sampling its delicious cuisine, with meals costing as very little money as two to three dollars.
With its diverse attractions and wallet-friendly prices, Bolivia is the perfect destination for budget-conscious adventurers.
9. Argentina: Diverse Experiences on a Dime
Argentina, a country known for its tango, wine, and mouthwatering steaks, offers travelers a diverse and affordable experience.
Despite its economic challenges, Argentina remains a budget-friendly destination for most travelers thanks to the favorable exchange rate of 1 USD to 211 Argentine pesos.
Explore the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, marvel at the stunning landscapes of Patagonia, and indulge in the country's delicious cuisine without breaking the bank.
To save even more, consider using Western Union to transfer funds and pick up cash in person, offering an exchange rate of 405 pesos for every US dollar.
From its vibrant cities to its breathtaking natural wonders, Argentina is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences that won't cost a fortune.
Affordable African Adventures
Africa, a continent synonymous with adventure and natural beauty, offers a range of budget-friendly destinations for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.
South Africa, Morocco, and Kenya provide excellent value for USD and Euro travelers, with vibrant and wallet-friendly experiences that allow you to explore the continent's diverse landscapes and cultures without overspending.
We'll go over some of the cheapest countries to visit in the African continent.
10. South Africa: Value for USD and Euro Travelers
South Africa's weak currency makes it very cheap country and a great value destination for travelers from the United States and Europe.
Renting a car and hitting the open road is the best way to explore this vast and diverse country, allowing you to experience its stunning natural beauty, wildlife, and rich cultural heritage at your own pace.
Accommodation in South Africa is affordable, and cheap destination with hotel rooms starting at just $20 a night. Dining out is also a bargain, with delicious local dishes available for a fraction of or half the price that you would pay in other countries.
Whether you're exploring the bustling streets of Cape Town, embarking on a safari adventure, or hiking through the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences at a fraction of the cost.
11. Morocco: Vibrant and Wallet-Friendly
Morocco, a country steeped in history and culture, offers travelers an affordable and lively adventure. Its bustling markets, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine make it the perfect destination for those seeking a unique and wallet-friendly experience.
Visit the vibrant Blue City of Chefchaouen, explore the beaches along the west coast, or trek through the majestic mountains and desert without breaking the bank.
Opt for local eateries around the famous Jema El Fnaa square in Marrakech, where you can enjoy a full meal, including a drink, dessert, and main course, for as little as $6.
With its rich history and colorful charm, Morocco is an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers.
12. Kenya: Budget Safari Experiences
Kenya, known for its incredible wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, offers budget travelers the opportunity to embark on a safari adventure without spending a fortune.
With a daily allowance of $50-$80 per person, visitors can explore Kenya's national parks and wildlife reserves, all while enjoying the country's natural beauty.
Ride an ostrich for just $5, visit an elephant orphanage, or take a guided tour of Nairobi National Park – all without breaking the bank. Accommodation options in Kenya range from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels, ensuring that you can find a place to rest your head after an exciting day of adventure.
For travelers seeking an affordable African safari experience, Kenya is the perfect destination.
North American Road Trip Bargains
While North America may not be the first destination that comes to mind for budget travelers, there are a few countries with plenty of affordable road trip options that allow you to explore the continent without breaking the bank.
Arizona and Utah offer scenic drives through breathtaking landscapes, while Mexico and Cuba provide Caribbean charm and diverse experiences at wallet-friendly prices.
So, if you're looking to hit the open road on a budget, consider these North American gems.
13. Arizona & Utah: Scenic Drives on a Budget
Arizona and Utah are home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the United States, making them the perfect destinations for a budget-friendly road trip.
Marvel at the Grand Canyon, explore the rugged beauty of Monument Valley, or discover the awe-inspiring Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon – all without spending a fortune.
To save on costs, consider camping or staying in hostels along your route, and be sure to pack your own food to keep your daily expenses to a minimum.
With its breathtaking scenery and affordable travel options, a road trip through Arizona and Utah is an adventure you won't want to miss.
14. Mexico: Diverse and Affordable
Mexico, with its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, offers travelers a diverse and affordable experience.
From bustling cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara to the pristine beaches of Cancun and Tulum, there's something for everyone in this vibrant country.
Budget-friendly accommodations can be found throughout Mexico, with hostels and guesthouses offering rooms for as little as $10 a night.
Eating out doesn't have to be expensive either – delicious street food is available for just a few dollars, and local restaurants offer hearty meals at affordable prices.
With its diverse attractions and wallet-friendly options, Mexico is an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers.
15. Cuba: Caribbean Charm on the Cheap
Cuba, a country known for its vibrant culture, classic cars, and beautiful beaches, is the perfect destination for travelers seeking a taste of the Caribbean on a budget.
Despite its reputation as an expensive destination, Cuba offers a range of affordable accommodations, from casa particulars to budget hotels, with prices starting at just $25-$30 per night.
Dining out in Cuba doesn't have to break the bank either – try the local food which offers delicious meals for as little as $6, including a drink, dessert, and main course.
To save even more, consider exploring Cuba by public transport or renting a bicycle to get around.
With its Caribbean charm and affordable options, Cuba is a must-visit destination for budget travelers.
Tips for Traveling on a Tight Budget
Embarking on a budget travel adventure doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality. With a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy unforgettable experiences without emptying your wallet. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your budget travels:
- Don't be afraid to try the local food in the area since it can save you a whole bunch of money and may be even more delicious than the food at the expensive restaurants.
- Couchsurfing: This free accommodation platform connects travelers with locals who are willing to offer a cheap place to stay. Not only does this save you money on accommodation, but it also provides an opportunity to experience local life and make new friends.
- Hitchhiking: While not suitable for everyone, hitchhiking can be a cost-effective way to get around, especially in countries where public transport is expensive or unreliable.
- Skipping activities: While it can be tempting to join every guided tour or paid activity, consider prioritizing your must-do experiences and skipping those that are less important to save money.
- Booking flights in advance: Airfare can be one of the biggest expenses when traveling, so be sure to book your flights well in advance to get the best deals.
Exploring the world doesn't have to cost a fortune. With options like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Romania, Poland, the Baltic States, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Arizona & Utah, Mexico, and Cuba, there's a budget-friendly destination for every traveler.
By following our tips for traveling on a tight budget, you can embark on unforgettable adventures without breaking the bank.
So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the incredible experiences that await you in these affordable destinations!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the cheapest country to visit?
If you're looking for a budget-friendly destination, Laos is the best choice - offering both affordability and amazing experiences for only $15 a day!
From the stunning temples of Luang Prabang to the lush jungles of Vang Vieng, Laos has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-filled trek, Laos has it all.
What is the cheapest country to fly to from the United States?
For those looking for an inexpensive flight from the United States, a trip to the Caribbean or most countries in Central America is sure to be an affordable option. Europe can also be very budget traveler-friendly when flying out of the east coast USA, and Asia is an economical choice if departing from the west coast USA.
What is the cheapest country to travel to Europe?
If you're looking for the cheapest European country to visit, Romania should definitely be on your list! With affordable accommodation, delicious cuisine, and a plethora of activities, Romania is an incredibly affordable country budget-friendly destination for travelers.
Plus, there's something for everyone, making it a great destination for all ages.