As backpacking has grown in popularity, it seems to have become more expensive, but seeing the world doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Some of the most unique experiences can be had, not by spending huge sums of money, but by encountering fascinating cultures with friendship and respect.
Some think that travelling on a budget is dull and restrictive, but this is far from the truth. Here are three budget-friendly locations that are anything but boring.
Armenia is a classic, budget-friendly destination. Hostel rooms cost a couple of pounds per night and public transport is famously cheap. Travellers on a shoestring can happily eat out for around £2 sampling some of the country’s specialities, such as stuffed vine leaves or grilled shashlik with flatbread. A day trip from the capital will only cost about £10. Don’t leave the country without seeing some of the stunning monasteries clinging to rugged mountainsides.
Thailand is certainly not off the beaten track. These days the country is on almost every backpackers’ bucket list due to its beautiful beaches and world-famous parties. Despite its popularity, there are still plenty of places in Thailand where a traveller can live cheaply. Catch a Full Moon party before heading inland or to the north. Here you’ll find cheap and cheerful dorm rooms for around £2 a night along with delicious street food for less than a pound. You won’t find a nicer (or cheaper) Pad Thai anywhere else in the world!
East Timor is another South Asian beauty but with a totally different feel to more usual destinations like Indonesia or Thailand. An interesting colonial history has left the country with a lot of Portuguese influences and East Timor is relatively untouched by tourists. It’s easy and cost-effective to navigate the country by public bus, making its sights all the more accessible to travellers. Food will only set you back a few pounds a day, though accommodation is a little pricier coming in at around £10 a night.
Before You Go
Though backpacking in these countries can be perfectly safe, familiarise yourself with key facts, such as the political situation, traveller-friendly towns and access to transport before you go to ensure your trip runs smoothly. Before you set off it is absolutely necessary that you invest in backpacker travel insurance. Cover is not a luxury and there are plenty of affordable backpacker travel insurance policies out there. As a backpacker, travel insurance is your safety net, protecting you in case something goes wrong, from cancelled flights to stolen cameras to an unexpected illness.
Backpacking on a budget is possible, and it doesn’t have to be dull. Budget restrictions should be seen as a challenge, motivating you to choose to visit more unusual and authentic places than many people manage to reach on expensive trips.