Are you planning to undertake a backpacking trip, but you don’t know which destination to choose? All the countries in the world are worth exploring, but before making your decision, you should take several factors into consideration: the idea you have of traveling or the destination that best meets your desires for greatness air.
If you still can’t decide, read our article and dive with us into the top of the most interesting countries in the world for backpackers.
The best destinations for backpacking
- 1 The best destinations for backpacking
- 1.1 1. Thailand
- 1.2 2. Turkey
- 1.3 3. Vietnam
- 1.4 4. New Zealand
- 1.5 5. Estonia
- 1.6 6. Cambodia
- 1.7 7. Georgia
- 1.8 8. Canada
- 1.9 9. Cuba
- 1.10 10. The Philippines
- 1.11 11. Albania
- 1.12 12. Indonesia
- 1.13 13. India
- 1.14 14. Morocco
- 1.15 15. Iran
- 1.16 16. Nicaragua
- 1.17 17. Portugal
- 1.18 18. Bolivia
- 1.19 19. Nepal
- 1.20 20. Croatia
- 1.21 21. Peru
- 1.22 22. Iceland
We present to you our list of destinations for backpacking trips.
Although Thailand is now one of the most visited countries in the world, and whose cost of living has increased, there are still lesser known areas, where it is quite possible to admire the true culture of the place.
The north and the mainland of the country remain less visited and are still relatively unknown, which allows you to stay there at a very low price , without giving up the beauty that Thailand is able to offer you.
Backpackers who wish to travel at low-cost prices can still enjoy paradisiacal oases and breathtaking exotic views by only depending on a few euros a day.
To stay in these areas, all you need to do is book a night in a hotel dorm room, and you should get away with paying just over €2 a day. But if you prefer a private room, prices only go up to around €5.
On the other hand, Thai food is very inexpensive: you can taste authentic Pad Thai by going to any restaurant and paying just over €1.
Turkey is one of the favorite travel destinations for backpackers: you can visit Istanbul by paying €5 per night in a hostel. And if you are hungry, you can eat delicious Turkish dishes on sale in the many typical markets, at very low prices.
As far as Turkish transport is concerned, it is quite affordable, both in terms of flights to the capital and getting around the cities with buses. They are really accessible and will offer you all the necessary comfort to move around, even from town to town.
You have never taken a look at the landscapes that Vietnam has to offer and your backpack is not yet ready to go on an adventure? This country is an absolute wealth for those who wish to live a large number of different experiences and practice a large number of activities at very low prices, or who simply do not require to pay a single euro!
A hotel stay costs less than €3 a night with breakfast included, and if you decide to eat traditional Vietnamese street food or head to a budget restaurant, you’ll only pay an average of €2.
4. New Zealand
Do you want to travel alone or in a group? If you can’t imagine going alone, without someone else’s company, then New Zealand may be the ideal destination for you.
The best way (and obviously the cheapest) to cross the country from one side to the other is, in fact, renting a mini van with friends, or even hitchhiking . The entire island has fully equipped and free travel areas, or for a price of a few euros per night; and gasoline is relatively cheap there, too!
Furthermore, by renting a minivan you will also save money on food, since you will have the necessary equipment to cook your own meals directly in your vehicle, without having to spend all your savings on restaurants.
If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Scandinavian countries, but gave up because they were out of budget, then Estonia might surprise you.
This country is, indeed, a good melting pot of Scandinavian, Baltic, Russian and European cultures, but certainly remains one of the cheapest, compared to those countries from which it receives the influence.
A hotel night in the center of the capital, Tallinn, costs less than 10 €, and on the other hand, the city can offer you many restaurants that serve delicious dishes, hearty and at very low prices.
Cambodia is one of the favorite destinations for backpackers. This enchanting country offers very affordable prices, as much for transport as for daily life, or even the stay.
Do you dream of the temples of Angkor Wat, located near the city of Siem Reap? You can stay there for less than €3 a night if you share a room in a hostel, while you will pay less than €10 for a stay in a private room. But you want to spend even less? No problem !
This country is famous for being one of the cheapest places in the world: you can find places to spend the night for less than €1! Even the food is affordable and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed looking at the portions you’ll be served…
If you dream of beaches as far as the eye can see, in exotic places, while spending as little as possible, then Cambodia is for you!
Georgia is probably the least known country in Eastern Europe, and yet the best destination for those looking for a new place to discover, as it is a country that is looking to develop its tourism industry.
The inhabitants are particularly friendly and warm with foreigners. On the other hand, the prices there are extremely low and, presumably, Georgia tends to become a flagship destination in the next decade.
If you are already familiar with the tips and tricks for preparing your backpacking trip , you can enjoy a large number of free activities and stay at unbeatable prices: a private room in the country’s capital, Tbilisi , costs an average of €7 per night and, if you are willing to buy food from the street markets, you will pay ridiculous prices for your meals.
If you thought that visiting Canada was too expensive, it’s because you didn’t consider the idea of avoiding the most touristy places. Visiting the city of Vancouver is expensive, but you can totally enjoy other regions of Canada by spending less money.
Montreal is perfect for backpackers : hotel prices for a hostel room start at €15 a night. Also, there are plenty of free activities to do and plenty of entertainment to experience.
And if you don’t mind eating slices of sandwich bread spread with peanut butter and jam, then you can get away with spending just $15 a day on food.
This country has a lot to offer you: bright colors, a characteristic culture and magnificent landscapes. Those who have been there can only boast of having visited such a wonderful country as Cuba.
The best way to enjoy the beauty of this country is by bus: the cost of tickets is ridiculous, but they are very special, since they are very often late…
As for the stay on the island, a hotel night in Havana costs around €10, while for lunch and dinner you will not pay more than €10 per day.
10. The Philippines
In the Philippines, it is possible for a tourist to stay there for less than around €8 per night, and by buying your food from a street vendor or eating in a few restaurants, you will get away with it for a maximum of €2 or €3 the dish.
Although the Philippines is not as popular as Thailand, this country has seen its tourist rating on the rise, thanks to the magnificent landscapes it abounds. In addition, the Philippines offers many opportunities for both those who love the outdoor life and those who are passionate about adrenaline.
Do you want to discover superb panoramas, a very special architecture and the culture of the Mediterranean basin without paying exorbitant prices, such as those exerted by Italy and Greece? Then Albania is a perfect destination for you, as it has lots of beaches, cities and museums at very low prices.
Although more expensive than some other places in the world, Albania is an ideal place to explore Europe and the Mediterranean basin without spending a fortune. It is easily accessible from the main European ports or airports and you can find a private single room for 20 € per night and a meal in a restaurant will cost you just over 5 €.
Certain regions of Indonesia are certainly victims of inflation. Staying there for spring break might seem very expensive and the island can be infested with tourists as it is very attractive to them at this time but if you get away from the crowds of Bali and sail towards from the neighboring island of Lombok, you will find plenty to enjoy without the mass of tourists who visit the capital every year.
If you’re the adventurous type and want an authentic Indonesian experience, choose any island, but forget about Bali. It is on these islands, which are a little less frequented, and therefore a little less subject to fluctuations in the stock market, that you can easily find a complete meal for the modest sum of less than €2, while snacks or sweets, will cost you half again.
You will also have no difficulty finding a place to sleep, since for just a few euros you can rest in a hostel, and for €10 a night you can enjoy a night in a private room, all in a very typical Indonesian style: change of scenery guaranteed!
Although India has a great number of options for those who wish to stay in luxury hotels, it is also full of budget hotels, where you can spend the night for only a dollar or two.
It is obvious that these will not offer you the comfort of a 5-star hotel, but this will be very largely compensated by what Indian food is able to offer you: in the restaurants, in fact, you will be able to taste typical and original dishes at a very low cost.
And if you want to save even more money, you can satiate yourself by tasting one of the many dishes that are on sale in the street, for only a few euro cents.
Morocco is a fantastic country to visit and the best way to do it is to go there on an adventure.
The food here is incredibly cheap and if you’re inclined to buy most of your meals from street vendors or town stalls, you can eat like a king for less than around €13 a day.
A little thirsty? Squeezed orange juice or barely brewed tea will only cost you a few cents. Also, in Marrakech, you can easily find hotels that will cost you around €5 a night; and even if the city’s transport is a little disorganized, you can take advantage of a bus or taxi tour at a totally ridiculous price.
One of the most beautiful countries, but certainly one of the least known, is undoubtedly Iran. Visiting this country is an incredible opportunity and an unforgettable experience. Its people are probably one of the friendliest on the planet, because indeed, in Iranian culture, foreigners are very often welcomed directly into people’s homes, so you will very rarely have to pay for sleeping, because they will refuse any amount of money in exchange for a bed.
The splendid architecture of the country, the legendary hospitality of the Iranians, the extraordinary island of Hormuz… everything is there; and Iran is a breathtaking country that you will remember all your life!
If you are ready to visit the country by hitchhiking, you can visit it in its entirety for practically less than 10 € per day… what more could you ask for? In this way, you will be able to enjoy the famous Iranian hospitality as much as traveling at a very low price!
Whoever decides to venture into this extraordinary country will be amazed by the marvelous volcanic peaks it has, the unforgettable folk festivals, the luxuriant jungle and also the ancient Mayan sites.
But the exceptional side of this country does not stop there: it is possible to stay in Nicaragua for less than 10 € per night and to find something to eat among the street vendors, for less than one euro!
In addition, the youngest will be happy to learn that alcohol is very expensive there and that the beaches are all free! Compared to other Central American countries, such as Costa Rica (which is its neighbour), Panama, or even Belize, Nicaragua is certainly one of the most accessible: a hotel room in Costa Rica can cost you twice a room in Nicaragua!
If we return to the Old Continent, here is another country where it is possible to organize a trip very inexpensive, but just as satisfying.
Compared to other European countries such as Germany or France, the cost of living in Portugal is half as expensive there, although it is obviously not one of the cheapest countries in the world.
We advise you to choose this destination only if you want to stay in Europe and you have the possibility to live every day spending between 40 and 50 €. But at that price, you won’t have to give up a nice place to sleep, restaurants to eat, and other local attractions.
Unfortunately, Portugal is subject to seasonal taxes: the price of a single room can double in summer (especially in well-known and touristic regions such as the Algarve), so it is better to book during the mid-seasons (spring /autumn), during which you can still enjoy very pleasant temperatures, or you can go there in winter, to take advantage of even lower prices.
Bolivia is very well known for its salt deserts, its incredible architecture, its folk festivals and its famous trekking routes. It is a perfect destination for backpackers.
Travelers who choose to visit this country will be rewarded with a number of fun and extraordinary activities, as well as absolutely sublime landscapes, and among the most beautiful on the entire continent.
In addition, it is easy to have fun in Bolivia without blowing your budget, since it has free tours, a large number of organized treks, and you can enjoy exploring the parks and markets at really competitive prices. .
But it is obvious that if you decide to add longer exploration tours to your program, the price will increase exponentially, and quite significantly. You might have to shell out a few hundred euros for a three-day tour of the salt flats of Bolivia, but we assure you it’s well worth it.
Once you leave the tourist areas of Thamel in Kathmandu, the cost of living and all consumer goods in Nepal decreases drastically: you will find bus tickets for 3 to 5 €, you can buy food on street stalls such as fries or spiced chickpeas for around €0.70, and hotel nights are very cheap.
However, beware of scams… in Nepal, there are often two prices indicated: one for tourists and one for locals. If you see that a local gives 200 rupees to the bus driver and you are absolutely certain of this, give 200 rupees to the bus driver, and nothing more.
He might try to extort a little more money from you, but in the end he will give in, because he will know that it is the real price.
Croatia very quickly became one of the leading European destinations, as it became popular with all tourists, especially Europeans. You wonder why ? Well, simply on the one hand, because it is one of the cheapest countries in the area in which it is located, and on the other hand, because it is full of picturesque coastal towns, splendid national parks, qu it has an extraordinary culinary culture and has marvelous Roman remains. And for the biggest Game of Thrones fans, it also hosted some of the series’ legendary scenes!
In addition, in Croatia, you can find real rare pearls: little-known islands, with exceptional beaches, and at quite affordable prices, compared to the most touristy of them.
A trip to Croatia will probably cost you between 35 and 50 € per day, especially in low season. It is during these seasons (so spring and autumn) that you will find the best offers and that you can organize a superb trip.
Peru is a really special country to visit, especially because you can do it spending very little money. Its capital, Lima, as well as the seaside town of Máncora have, indeed, a particular attraction, which, in our opinion, makes this country truly magical.
All this without mentioning the Inca Trail which will take you to Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World!
You will do very well and paying only a few euros to eat, drink and sleep. The folklore of the country and its people are fantastic. A feast for the eyes and the heart.
Have you ever thought about planning a backpacking trip around Iceland? Maybe you don’t know it, but this is the Nordic country with the Blue Lagoon: a wonder of nature.
If you decide to go there between October and April, you may even have the chance to see the Northern Lights rearing up in the sky: an absolutely magical and unforgettable spectacle!
However, be warned, because Iceland is quite an expensive country, and spending a night in a hotel can cost you tens of euros. That’s why our best advice would be to rent a van or motorhome, so that you no longer have the question of booking hotel rooms, throughout your trip.
On the other hand, you will have to feed yourself and Iceland, as enchanting as it is, will necessarily take some of your money with it… We will end this article with one last piece of advice, for inveterate travellers.
You never have time to take a vacation to fulfill your travel desires? If you are self-employed or have the ability to telecommute (and especially since the pandemic crisis), you might be able to lean towards a “digital nomad” lifestyle and which allows you to travel while working, thanks to your laptop, via the Internet connection of the place in which you are. Work remotely to allow you to continue exploring the world: a brilliant idea, right?!
If you liked this article, do not hesitate to continue reading and have a good trip, friend!
Aiden is a freelance journalist and content writer who writes about the outdoors, the environment, and travel. He is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. Aiden has always enjoyed pushing people to step outside their comfort zones. His mission is to help others get out of their homes to have fun and stay active in nature.
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