If you’re looking for the top 10 cheap destinations for backpackers on a budget then there are a number of different options. European destinations are cheaper to get to but if you can afford the fare to get further afield then you will find that the cost of living and accommodation is much lower in countries in Asia than destinations in Europe. Here are some ideas for both:
Croatia is something of an undiscovered gem for lots of European travellers. Between the hustle and bustle of Zagreb, the 16 Plitvice Lakes, Marco Polo’s hometown and Mijet, which was Ulysses’ holiday destination of choice, the country has a lot to offer. Daily living is relatively inexpensive here when compared to countries like the UK, particularly in terms of food and travel. Cheap flights to Croatia start at around £120.
With lots of budget accommodation, low cost internal travel and cheap daily living, India is a great option as a backpacking destination for travellers on a budget. There is a huge amount to see and do, from trekking in the Himalayas, to visiting the legendary Taj Mahal, beach parties in Goa and the hill stations of Tamil Nadu, and the country has a good, cheap bus network that will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. Cheap flights to India start around £350.
Because of the huge number of tourists that travel to Spain for summer holidays, the country is really geared up for accommodating travellers, whatever the budget might be. If you go out of summer season then prices drop dramatically and sights like visiting the Pyrenees Mountains or the windswept beaches of Ibiza become much more shoestring friendly. Eating in Spain can be fantastically cheap if you opt for local beers and mouthwatering tapas and there are hostels and budget hotels galore. Flights start at around £20.
Turkey is a hugely popular destination with budget travellers as there are plenty of cheap hotels, hostels and apartments along the length of the country, from the stunning beach at Olu Deniz, to the frenetic fun of Istanbul. Antalya and Bodrum are good options for those looking for some relaxing tanning time and the surreal landscape at Cappadocia is a spectacular spot to explore. Cheap flights to Turkey start at around £90.
Thailand is another one of those destinations that might cost a little more to get to, but where you can stay for very little once you’re there. Bangkok is a must see for backpackers but don’t stay too long as it can get very expensive, especially in the tourist areas. Heading out to some of the quieter islands, such as Koh Kood or Koh Mak, will allow you eat and sleep well, for very little, and of course the best bit of the islands – the beaches – are completely free. Cheap flights to Thailand start at around £400.
Vietnam has a fantastic combination of sightseeing and history and much of the country has yet to fall foul of the destructive tourism that has hit some other areas of South East Asia. The bicycles, French baguettes and puppet theatre of Hanoi are a must see, as is the beach life at Nha Trang, the Cu Chi tunnels near Saigon and the architecture of Hue. You will find your daily budget stretches a long way in Vietnam, with mouthwatering dishes like pho noodle soup cheap to buy and low cost transport like motorcycle taxis to take you wherever you want to go for next to nothing (just hold on to your hat as they are fast!). Cheap flights to Vietnam start at around £400.
Cambodia is a fascinating country and one where budget travellers can live very cheaply as there are plenty of backpacking hostels and internal travel is budget friendly. The cultural and historical sights in Phnom Penh are a must and the temple complex at Angkor Wat is a totally otherworldly experience. There is also plenty to see for those who want to explore the country’s recent troubled history, such as the ‘killing fields’ at Choeung Ek and the former prison Tuol Sleng Museum in Phnom Penh. Flights to Cambodia start at around £700.
Poland is one of those countries that is often ignored when it comes to exploring close to home but it is a goldmine of fascinating history, culture and entertainment. Warsaw and Krakow provide a hot bed of museums, art galleries, clubs and restaurants, whilst the Dunajec River Gorge has some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. Getting around, eating and accommodation are all cheap here and flights start at around £40.
Estonia has become one of the coolest travel destinations, both for backpackers and all sorts of other budget explorers. It is easy to enjoy a trip here without breaking the bank, whether you want the cosmopolitan cool of Tallinn, or the beautiful beaches that edge the Baltic Sea. There is a huge range of accommodation options to choose from in Estonia, from hostels, to campsites and budget hotels, and travel is not expensive. Cheap flights to Estonia start at around £30.
For budget travellers looking for some winter sun and a taste of the exotic, without the large airfare, Morocco is a great option. The bustling city of Marrakech is a fantastic place to shop for cheap souvenirs or clothes and the art deco buildings of Casablanca are fascinating and free to view. You can sleep and eat very cheaply indeed in Morocco – in the city, at the beach, or up in the Atlas Mountains – and internal travel is also great value, especially if you opt for buses. Flights to Morocco start at around £60.
No matter where you are looking to travel to – whether you want beaches, cities, history or culture – there are plenty of low cost options that offer all this. These top 10 cheap destinations for backpackers on a budget will give you the opportunity to get out and explore some of the most interesting and entertaining locations in the world without coming back to the post-holiday blues of a huge credit card bill.