When travelling we often moan about how expensive things are when visiting popular tourist spots. It’s no wonder really – if you visit the most popular destinations then you’re likely to encounter prices that match the demand! Cheaper, less visited countries can easily exceed these popular tourist spots in terms of authenticity, excitement, and the amount of things to do.
Visiting a less expensive country means that your bank balance can be stretched further. You could travel for longer, stay in nicer places, and go on more adventures than you could in a traditionally more expensive country. Cheap certainly does not mean inferior when it comes to travel, quite the opposite in fact.
Sri Lanka sits just off the South Coast of India and provides a unique mixture of intriguing traditions, one of a kind wildlife, beautiful beaches, and a modernising urban scene. Many people visit Sri Lanka to see elephants – after all, there are around 6,000 of them roaming the island! But being an island means Sri Lanka also has endless miles of beautiful beaches that are just begging you to visit. The waters surrounding Colombo can reach 30°C in April and May which is perfect for a leisurely dip.
Thailand has become a very popular tourist destination over the last decade. The azure seas, tropical islands, bustling cities, and cheapness of visiting have made it a must-see destination for travellers all over the world. The southern islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao are a must for hot waters, beautiful corals, and mesmerising fish. When visiting Thailand, you can stay in a clean and modern hotel for around $25 a night, have a nice meal out for around $9, and get a long distance overnight train to your next destination for around $14. When a country is this cheap and this beautiful you never want to leave!
India is such a large country that it will take several weeks to even scratch the surface. It’s a good job then that India is so cheap your bank balance will let you stay as long as you please! The most majestic hotels can be found for $18 per night and a banquet of the most authentic Indian food can be bought for around $7. The sights in India are just magical; there is such a diverse range of landscapes from the tallest mountains in the north, to tropical rainforests in the south. The countries bustling cities will open your eyes to a world of organised chaos, and the remnants of the Raj will enthral you.
Currently, the UK Foreign Office recommends caution when travelling to Guatemala. This is due to a rather large volcano waking up and causing quite a bit of damage. However, when it goes dormant again and you take a trip to Guatemala you will be happy that you waited to visit this magnificent Central American country. Mysterious Mayan Ruins, beautiful volcanoes, tropical forests punctuated with majestic lakes make Guatemala a truly unique country to visit. The people are very friendly and the traditions that the country observe run deep and true. The cost of travel in Guatemala is also highly appealing, good accommodation for the night can be found for $17 and another $17 can buy you all your food for the day.
Vietnam is roughly in the same price range as Thailand and can provide a person with enough memories to fill their whole life – it certainly did with me! In the North, you have the bustling city of Hanoi. Past Hanoi lies the mountain village of Sapa. East from Sapa sits the majestic beast of Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you choose to travel south you will pass national parks with the largest caves in the world, towns with unique traditions such as suit making or lantern festivals, and deserted beaches that will transport you to another world. Add to all of this the countries deep and intriguing history and there is clearly no place else like Vietnam.
When planning your next journey consider the 5 countries on this list. You’ll explore countries that have such a wide variety of traditions, experiences, and culture to offer that you’ll be talking about them for years to come. In the process you’ll save money which will let you travel for longer, stay in nicer places, and take part in even more activities and excursions. You also won’t have to moan to your travel buddy continuously about how expensive everything is!
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