Top destinations for budget-friendly travel

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 28, 2023

Laos, $30/day

If you’re looking for an affordable travel destination, Laos offers a budget-friendly experience at just $30 per day. Here’s what you can do while staying within this budget.

  • Explore the ancient city of Luang Prabang: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage by visiting historic temples, traditional architecture, and historical sites. The entrance fees to most attractions are minimal, making it an economical way to delve into Laos’ history.
  • Visit the stunning Kuang Si Falls: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the breathtaking beauty of these cascading waterfalls. It’s not only a feast for the eyes but also a great spot for swimming and relaxation without breaking the bank.
  • Indulge in delicious street food at the night markets: Sample local cuisine from various stalls at affordable prices. This is an excellent opportunity to savor delicious Laotian food and mingle with locals while enjoying live music and vibrant atmospheres.

Laos provides an enriching travel experience without putting a strain on your wallet, allowing you to make lasting memories without overspending.

Nepal, $30/day

Trek through the breathtaking Annapurna Circuit in the country, a world-renowned trail offering stunning mountain views and diverse landscapes. The cost of this adventure, including accommodation and transportation, is remarkably affordable, making it an ideal choice for budget travelers.

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Kathmandu by visiting its ancient temples, bustling markets, vibrant streets, and country. The city’s charm lies in its fusion of tradition and modernity.

Experience spiritual enlightenment at Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. This sacred site offers a serene atmosphere for introspection and meditation while providing insight into Buddhism’s origins.

Nepal stands out as a budget-friendly country due to its incredibly low daily expenses without compromising on unique experiences. From accommodation to meals and transportation, travelers can comfortably explore this captivating country with just $30 a day.

India, $25/day

India, country, places, food, USD

  • Wander through Jaipur’s old city with its vibrant markets, stunning architecture, and rich history. The colorful streets and bustling bazaars provide an authentic glimpse into traditional Indian life.
  • Marvel at the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, a testament to love and architectural brilliance. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit for its breathtaking beauty and fascinating history.
  • Sample a variety of flavorful dishes from different regions for incredibly low prices when you travel. From aromatic curries to delicious street food, India’s culinary scene is diverse and affordable.

With an average daily budget of just $25 USD a day, travelers can go to India’s diverse country, explore ancient traditions, and enjoy mouthwatering cuisine without straining their wallets.

For instance:

  • Accommodation: Hostels or guesthouses can cost as little as $5-$10 per night in USD.
  • Food: Street food or local eateries offer meals for as low as $2-$3 per person.
  • Transportation: Public transport like trains or buses are extremely economical; intercity travel can be as cheap as $5-$10.


Vietnam offers a myriad of captivating experiences for budget-conscious travelers:

  • Halong Bay Cruising: Sail through the enchanting limestone karsts of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The emerald waters and towering rock formations create an otherworldly landscape that’s perfect for exploration.
  • Ho Chi Minh City Vibes: Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City. From bustling markets to historical landmarks like the War Remnants Museum, this city provides a rich tapestry of culture and history.
  • Coffee Delights in Hanoi: Indulge in the traditional Vietnamese coffee culture at Hanoi’s charming cafes. The local coffee scene is not just about beverages; it’s also an opportunity to soak up the city’s unique ambiance.

Vietnam’s affordability doesn’t compromise on adventure or cultural immersion. Whether cruising through breathtaking landscapes, exploring bustling cities, or savoring local delicacies, Vietnam offers an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

The Philippines, $37/day

The Philippines offers an array of budget-friendly experiences for travelers. With an average daily cost of just $37, this Southeast Asian gem is a paradise for those seeking affordable adventures.

  • Relax on the pristine beaches of Palawan
  • Palawan’s breathtaking beaches, including El Nido and Coron, provide an idyllic setting for relaxation, exploration, and day trips.
  • Visitors can indulge in day island-hopping tours to witness stunning limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters.
  • Snorkel with vibrant marine life in Apo Reef Natural Park
  • Apo Reef Natural Park boasts one of the world’s best-preserved coral reefs, offering snorkeling opportunities amidst diverse marine species.
  • Travelers can immerse themselves in the underwater wonderland while keeping costs low by opting for budget-friendly day tour packages.
  • Explore the vibrant nightlife and street food scene in Manila
  • Manila’s bustling streets come alive at night and day with an abundance of affordable dining options and lively entertainment.
  • From savoring local delicacies at night markets to experiencing live music performances, visitors can enjoy the city’s energetic atmosphere without breaking the bank.

In addition to its natural beauty and cultural richness, The Philippines stands out as a pocket-friendly destination that allows travelers to make unforgettable memories without straining their budgets. Whether it’s unwinding on picturesque beaches or delving into vibrant urban experiences, this tropical haven beckons adventurers seeking affordability without compromising on adventure.

Georgia, $30/day

Georgia offers an array of experiences for budget travelers.

  • Take in the stunning mountain landscapes of Kazbegi, with its iconic Gergeti Trinity Church perched dramatically against the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains.
  • Wander through Tbilisi’s historic Old Town, where narrow streets lead to hidden courtyards and charming cafes.
  • Delight in the unique flavors of Georgian cuisine, from khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) to khinkali (dumplings).

Entrance fees are remarkably affordable or even non-existent at many attractions. For instance, visiting Kazbegi on a budget for a day doesn’t require any entrance fees as it mainly involves hiking and enjoying nature’s beauty.

In addition to sightseeing, accommodation costs are also incredibly low. Hostels can be found for as little as $10 per night while guesthouses offer a chance to experience local hospitality at similarly budget-friendly rates.

Transportation is another area where budget savings can be made; public transport within cities is very economical and intercity marshrutkas (minibusses) provide a cost-effective means of getting around.


Albania is an enchanting destination offering a diverse range of experiences for budget travelers.

  • Discover the ancient ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing a rich history that dates back to the Greeks and Romans. The site offers visitors a glimpse into Albania’s past and its significance in ancient civilizations.
  • Soak up the sun on the beautiful Albanian Riviera, boasting gorgeous beaches and crystal-clear waters. This coastal paradise provides an affordable escape with options for budget-friendly accommodation such as hostels or small towns near the coastline.
  • Explore Tirana, the vibrant capital city known for its colorful buildings, lively atmosphere, and bustling nightlife scene. Travelers can indulge in local cuisine at modest prices while enjoying good news—Albania’s currency is euro—making it convenient for tourists from Eurozone countries.

In addition to these attractions, Albania also presents opportunities for free walking tours in major cities like Tirana and intercity buses that are both economical and efficient means of transportation. Moreover, adventure seekers can head north to explore picturesque parts of Albania such as Lake Koman which offers stunning views during ferry rides.

Albania stands out as an ideal destination where travelers can enjoy affordability without compromising on memorable experiences—a perfect blend of culture, nature, and history awaits those who choose this charming European gem.

Malaysia, $40/day

Experience the blend of cultures in Penang’s George Town, where Chinese shophouses stand next to Indian temples and British colonial buildings. The vibrant street art scene adds a modern twist to this historical city.

Trek through the lush rainforests of Taman Negara National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Here, you can spot diverse wildlife, including Malayan tigers and Asian elephants.

Enjoy a shopping spree in Kuala Lumpur’s bustling markets with an advantageous exchange rate. From high-end malls to lively street markets like Petaling Street, you’ll find everything from traditional batik fabrics to trendy fashion at budget-friendly prices.

Malaysia offers affordable accommodations and delicious street food that won’t break the bank. With an average daily budget of $40 USD, travelers can comfortably explore Malaysia without compromising on experiences or comfort.

Poland, $44/day

Stroll through Krakow’s charming Old Town and visit Wawel Castle. The city offers a rich history with stunning architecture, making it perfect for budget travelers seeking cultural experiences without breaking the bank.

Reflect on history at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. This sobering experience provides a glimpse into Poland’s past and serves as an important reminder of the atrocities of World War II. Entrance to the memorial is free, allowing visitors to pay their respects without incurring additional expenses.

Indulge in hearty Polish pierogi and traditional vodka. Polish cuisine is not only delicious but also affordable, making it easy for travelers to savor authentic dishes without overspending. With meals averaging around $3-6 per person, indulging in local specialties won’t strain your budget.


  • Accommodation: Hostels can cost as little as $10-15 per night.
  • Transportation: Public transport fares are reasonable, with tickets starting at approximately $0.70.
  • Attractions: Many attractions have low entry fees or offer free admission on certain days.

Poland presents an array of affordable options for accommodation, dining, and sightseeing that make it a fantastic destination for budget-conscious travelers seeking an enriching experience without financial strain.

Taiwan, $45/day

Taiwan is a perfect destination for budget travelers. With an average daily cost of just $45, you can experience the best of this vibrant country.

  • Admire the impressive architecture of Taipei 101: Standing at 1,671 feet, this iconic skyscraper offers breathtaking views of the city. It’s a must-visit and provides an excellent photo opportunity without breaking the bank.
  • Explore the natural beauty of Taroko Gorge National Park: This stunning national park boasts marble-walled canyons, lush forests, and crystal-clear streams. Hiking trails cater to various fitness levels, making it accessible to all nature enthusiasts.
  • Feast on delectable street food at Shilin Night Market: Indulge in an array of Taiwanese delicacies without denting your travel budget. From oyster omelets to bubble tea and stinky tofu, there’s something to satisfy every palate at affordable prices.

Taiwan offers not only affordability but also diverse experiences that cater to different interests. Whether it’s exploring urban landscapes or immersing oneself in nature and culinary adventures, Taiwan has something for everyone while being light on the pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top budget-friendly travel destinations?

If you’re looking for affordable travel options, consider Laos, Nepal, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Georgia, Albania, Malaysia, Poland and Taiwan. These countries offer diverse experiences at reasonable costs.

How much should I budget for a trip to these destinations?

On average, budget around $25 to $45 per day in these countries. However, actual expenses may vary based on your travel style and preferences.

Are these destinations safe for travelers on a budget?

Yes! These places are generally considered safe for budget travelers. As with any destination though it’s always wise to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

What kind of activities can I expect in these locations?

From exploring ancient temples and scenic landscapes to enjoying delicious local cuisine and engaging with friendly locals – there’s no shortage of enriching experiences awaiting you in these destinations.

Do I need a visa to visit these countries as a tourist?

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and the specific country you plan to visit. It’s essential to check the latest visa regulations before planning your trip.