Surprisingly Affordable Countries for Travel
by Alek S.
There is a major misconception that one must be rich to enjoy traveling around the world. However, this is only because people think that travel has to be geared towards the places that we are most often marketed. Sure, visiting Western Europe can bleed your bank account pretty quickly, but there are plenty of lovely countries around the world that are much easier to visit on a tighter budget. Here are some countries to help you start planning…
Want to head south?
Ecuador is a great place to start. This is partly because the country uses the same currency as the United States. That makes it easy to figure out if you’re getting a good deal. And Ecuador is full of good deals. You can start your morning with a cup of coffee for about 25 cents, and get fresh-squeezed juice for a dollar per large cup. A multi-course meal in Ecuador will only cost you a couple of dollars, and a good pint of beer can be found for a dollar.
Traveling around Ecuador is very inexpensive. A taxi ride can take you almost a mile per dollar, and most buses that travel between cities charge only a dollar per hour drive. Hotels in Ecuador are just as budget-friendly. A basic hotel room with a bathroom runs about $20.
Argentina is another destination to consider if you’re thinking of heading south. Not only does Argentina have the breathtaking beauty of Patagonia to offer, but Buenos Aires is a wonderful place to visit for good food, art, and lots of fun. Not to mention, the Argentine peso is currently worth .13 dollars. That means it takes almost eight pesos to equal one U.S. dollar! Needless to say, your dollar can stretch pretty far down there
Mexico is still a wonderful and inexpensive place to visit, despite recent concerns over safety. Most of the tourist spots in Mexico are very safe, and prices across Mexico are pretty low. The Mexican peso is currently worth .07 U.S. dollars. That means it takes 13 pesos to equal one dollar.
Or cross the Atlantic?
Hungary boasts an incredible culture and beautiful sites but, for some reason, it’s not at the top of the list when people visit Europe. Budapest especially boasts walking tours, dinner cruises, beautiful architecture and opera houses, delicious local cuisine, and world-famous bathhouses. Plus, it takes about 225 Hungarian forints to equal one U.S. dollar. So instead of heading to London or Paris, take a trip to Budapest. You’ll likely get much more time and value out of your money.
The Czech Republic, like Hungary, offers beautiful spa towns, lovely snowy mountain ranges, delicious, cheap local brews, and is also constantly overlooked. Plus, the country’s currency, the koruna, is worth 0.05 dollars. It takes almost twenty koruna to equal one dollar. So take your time and money there instead, and avoid the countries that deal in euros entirely.
Iceland, though its name doesn’t tip you off, actually has a plethora of natural wonders to visit, and most of them are free. Waterfalls, natural geysers, sea cliffs, and lava fields should all be on your to-visit list. And to top it off, economic instability in Iceland has made its official currency, the krona, worth only a fraction of the dollar. It takes about 113 krona to equal one dollar. At those rates, you can stay in a hostel in downtown Reykjavik for just a couple of dollars a night. And it’s usually pretty cheap to fly straight into Reykjavik.
Then maybe over to Asia?
Thailand is a great destination when it comes to getting more bang for your buck. The Thailand baht is worth .03 dollars. Meaning it takes a little more than thirty baht to equal one dollar. Thailand also has a seemingly endless supply of international markets and bazaars to visit, where you’re likely to hear just as many foreign languages being spoken as Thai. There are weekend gem markets and even high-end antique shops specializing in tribal art.
South Korea is about as visitor-friendly as you can get. Apart from how budget-friendly the city is, there are also free shuttles between major cities most of the year, and free multilingual calling service to assist visitors. Not to mention, one dollar is worth an astounding 1,000 South Korean won.
Vietnam is a treasure trove of adventure that gives you some of the most bang for your buck. It’s not unheard of for travelers to live comfortably and enjoy local amenities for the low price of $20 per day. Within the country, there are plenty of jungles and mountains with striking historical structures, and the food is incredible, as the country is home to two famous dishes: pho and Bahn mi.
Cambodia is a traveler’s favorite destination. The people are welcoming, and there are incredible ancient sites to visit, like those at Angor, which features the ruins of several capitals of the Khmer Empire. Plus, one dollar equals almost 4,000 Cambodia riel. That means you’ll be able to travel at very low costs.
Or down under.
New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful, which you’d know if you’ve ever watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But don’t just watch the movies. Take it a step further and visit New Zealand. You’ll hike, kayak, and visit local markets where you can buy the famous New Zealand greenstone, a semiprecious stone that you can find in a necklace for as little as $15. The New Zealand dollar is worth .83 of a U.S. dollar. So while your dollar may not stretch as far here as it would in Cambodia or Iceland, the reasonable pricing of New Zealand (and the incredible scenery) makes it worth a visit.
And so much more…
If this list isn’t enough for you, there are so many more places to visit. As you’re looking, just keep an open mind. You don’t have to vacation in London or the Bahamas to have an incredibly fun and culturally stimulating experience.