Once upon a time I went backpacking around the world for the first time, some 20 years ago, and it was really hard to put that itinerary together. Not because of fights between the two of us on where we should and shouldn’t go, but because we had a limited budget and needed to see where we could really afford to go.
That guided our choices, as it should for most travelers who are not living off a trust fund, a few years of hedge fund savings, or a very generous set of parents. Even if you’re really frugal or are crashing at someone’s house, a week in Japan will cost you what a month will cost you in Cambodia. A week in Switzerland will get you a month or more in Bulgaria—which also has views like this:
Fast-forward 20 years though and it’s still not all that easy to figure out which places offer the best value. The info is easier to find than it was two decades ago, when we checked 10 guidebooks at a time out of the New York public library to peruse prices. But you can end up down a rabbit hole in a hurry online where nothing seems to make sense or agree.
The easy and obvious choice is to buy the one book I wrote because I couldn’t find the book I wanted. Now in its 4th edition, The World’s Cheapest Destinations will give you the lowdown on where to go and why, and how much you’ll spend on the ground there. You’ll spend a night’s lodging in Malaysia on the paperback, a tad more than a night’s lodging in Nepal on the e-book version. But it’ll save you a fortune overall.
I try to be a generous soul on this Cheapest Destinations Blog though without giving you a hard sell or annoying you with sign-up boxes that pop up and cover up what you’re trying to read, so here’s some free stuff to give you a general idea of what to expect. Enjoy, and happy trails!
That should be enough to get you started, right? That last one is not one of the cheapest places to travel in the world, but it’s the best value in Western Europe, so that’s worth remembering. The cheapest place that’s sunny and warm in April you could say.
I can’t tell you which countries will leave you breathless and which will make you wish you hadn’t booked your outbound plane ticket in advance, but I can tell you that when your money goes a long way, you have a lot better time. Stressing about how much you’re spending for each meal, each room, each taxi ride, and each beer is no fun. Go where your money buys a lot instead.