As we’ve said many times before: Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s always a way to get someplace new without breaking the bank. Sometimes it’s bidding your time and shopping the flights. Sometimes it’s eating out of grocery stores instead of restaurants. Sometimes it’s couch-surfing your way from city to city. Often it’s a combination of all of the above. One surefire way to assure that you save money is to go to a place that’s already cheap.
Hitting up a city or country where prices (for basic amenities) are less expensive — allowing your tourist dollar goes that extra mile — makes far flung adventure that much more accessible. This isn’t so much about bartering prices down or trying to get a deal once you’re in-country. This is more about making choices before you leave that’ll allow you to travel within your means and make your money last.
With that in mind, we thought we’d cobble together a list of ten locations around the world that are crazy cheap, amazingly fun, and worth every one of your tourist dollars. The ten spots below are, of course, not the only inexpensive places to travel on this spinning rock of ours. There are hundreds of spots to choose from. Also, we’ve left some super affordable cities and destinations off the list because, well, they’re over-touristed already (think Bali, Phuket, Berlin, and Prague).
Quito is one of the most affordable cities to travel to in the Americas. The cost of a bed in a hostel in the city center go for as little as $6 per night (private rooms are less than $20/night). That’s a big advantage on the budget travel spectrum, right there.
Then there’s the whole eating and drinking thing. Quito is crazily affordable if you’re willing to eat on the streets and from markets. Imagine a piping hot, delicious meal for less than three bucks, plus 50 cents for a bottle of water. Beer or coffee will set you back a buck, maybe two if it’s upscale. And even if you don’t want to eat on the streets, a meal in a cafe or local joint will rarely cost more than a fiver (of course there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to splash out in as well). Still, let’s say you’re spending $6 a night for a bed and another $10 on a couple meals and beer, that’s less than $20 a day to be in an awesome new city.
The biggest expense you’ll be looking at here is getting to Quito. Right now, prices for roundtrip tickets from Miami to Quito are running $361 this month. You can’t beat that price for the chance to visit a city that’ll challenge you and introduce you to a wholly new culture (unless you’re Ecuadorian and then… homecomings are dope, too!).