10 Affordable Countries That Are Perfect For Budget Travellers

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1. Indonesia

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Accommodation – Hostels usually cost around RM 42 per night for a shared room and RM 106 for a double private. Prices will be up to half the price outside of the major cities. Most hotels begin at RM 128 per night for a double room.

Food – Local food is extremely cheap, starting at RM 2 for street food and RM 4 for a full local meal. On average, you’ll spend RM 8 – RM 12 for a solid meal. Western food is more expensive but is still affordable at around RM 38 for a meal and drink.

Transportation – For traveling between islands, ferries cost around RM 2 (and up) for a ticket from East Java to West Bali, and the rates go up from there for other routes. An eight-hour journey on a bus costs around RM 21. Overnight bus will start at around RM 40.

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2. Cambodia 

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Accommodation: Many guesthouses have dorm beds available for just a couple of dollars a night. A double room in a guesthouse will cost around RM 40. Hotel rooms with TV, air con and an attached bathroom can be had for as little as RM 62 if you shop around.

Food: Like most of Asia, food in Cambodia is dirt cheap. You can get food from a street vendor for around RM 4 and a meal in a basic restaurant rarely costs more than RM 20. If you are on a really tight budget then just buy fruit from a local market.

Transportation: Local city transport is cheap with tuk tuks only costing a couple of dollars presuming that you haggle properly. Hiring a taxi for the day normally costs around RM80 and you can take a bus to pretty much anywhere for under RM 40.

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3. Vietnam

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Accommodation – Hostels start at RM 24 per night. Private rooms average about RM 72 for a double room. In the past hostels were pretty scarce, though recently, hostels have started popping up all over the country to accommodate budget travellers.  “Homestays” are often popular budget option, too.

Food – By eating at street stalls and markets you can get a bowl of pho or a rice dish for RM 4. Most sit down restaurants are also inexpensive at around RM 8–RM 17.  The fancier (and more touristy) the restaurant, the more expensive.  A liter of water at a convenience store is about RM 3, while a beer or soda at a restaurant is about RM 4-RM 7.

Transportation – Bus travel is very cheap in Vietnam.  For example, the public bus around Ho Chi Minh City will cost a maximum of RM 0.60.  The train is also another inexpensive way to travel with the 791km long train journey from Da Nang to Hanoi costing RM 140. Overnight buses (aside from saving on a night’s accommodation) are only about RM 18-RM 19 and can take you to lots of cities in Vietnam.  There are extremely low-cost airlines that can hop you around the country quickly for as little as RM 70.

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4. Thailand

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Accommodation: Although cheap, accommodation in Thailand is more expensive than most other countries in Southeast Asia. You can still find guesthouses for around RM 29 in the cities and RM 17 in the countryside. Bungalows and beach huts start at around RM 20 but can cost way more if you haven’t perfected your haggling skills.

Food: Food is super cheap in Thailand and is some of the best in all of Asia! Street food costs around RM 3 and if you eat locally it is possible to get by on about RM 8 a day. You can save a lot of money on your bar tab by taking advantage of happy hours or buying cheap beer from a 7-Eleven.

Transport: Transport is pretty cheap in Thailand if you don’t get ripped off by a tour operator. Only get in taxis which agree to run on the meter. A taxi ride normally costs under RM 12. Tuk Tuks are great fun but you have to haggle, they probably work out more expensive at around RM 20 a journey. Boats between islands cost between RM 29 and RM 60 and it sometimes works out better value to buy a boat and bus ticket combo. Buses are pretty cheap and local buses cost just RM1 in Bangkok. Trains across the country cost between RM 29 and RM 72.

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5. China

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Accommodation – Prices start at around RM 24 for a dorm (but can be closer to RM 50 in Beijing) and are about RM 77 (city dependent) for a private room with a shared bathroom, or RM 114 for a private room with ensuite. Budget hotels begin around RM 83 per night for basic accommodations that are basic but good value. Expect higher prices in Hong Kong, with a single room starting around RM 90 per night.

Food – Food in China is cheap. A meal from a street vendor usually goes for around RM4-RM8. For this you might get noodles, rice, pork buns, or a soup. A full meal in a sit down restaurant will cost between RM 8 – RM 16 plus the fee for a bowl of rice and clean bowls (yes, these cost extra!), which is often around RM 2. If you stick to the local food, you’ll find it hard to go broke. You could spend less than RM 40 for an entire day’s worth of food. In western China, southwestern China and the interior, food is much cheaper than in the big cities and you can eat for under RM 20 per day; about half the costs of the big cities.

Transportation – China may be a huge country, but it’s easy and cheap to get from one place to another. Buses are the most popular way to travel and usually cost between RM 1 – RM 2 in a city. Major cities also have extensive underground systems that are less than RM 4 per ride. Taxi fares start at about RM 4. On a high-speed train, the ticket from Beijing to Shanghai is around RM335  for 2nd class, around RM 571 for 1st class, and around RM 1100 for a VIP seat. For the longer, full day train, a 2nd class seat is around RM 273 and a 1st class seat is around RM 331. Buses are generally cheaper than trains. For example, the 9 hour to Beijing to Anshan is RM115 while the train is between RM140 and RM 580. The two hours bus from Beijing to Tianjin is RM20 – RM25 while the high speed train is around RM 40. The trip to Shanghai to Hanghzou is 2.5 hours by bus and RM 45, while train is RM 57.

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6. Bulgaria (or anywhere in Eastern Europe)

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Accommodation Hostel dorms range in price from RM 28 – RM 43, while privates are generally between RM 64-RM 85 for a single or double room. A budget hotel really varies depending on what you’re looking for and the location, RM 85-RM 166. Renting a room in a private home is your best value for as cheap as RM 62 for a pretty legit spot.

Food You can buy a hamburger for about RM 6 or have a Mac menu for RM 22. If you want to eat something more local, try banica (made of dough, cheese and butter) for just RM 3 or a little bread with weenie named krenvirshka. There are a lot of street pavilions where you can buy a döner, a Turkish sandwich with chicken, vegetables and sauces, for RM 13. There are also many places where you can buy a slice of pizza for just a dollar or less.

Transportation Public transportation in Bulgaria is extremely affordable. A local bus will cost between RM 1-RM 3. Rail transport ranges in prices – for example, it would cost around RM 30 to travel from Borgas to Sofia. Taxis have a starting price of RM 3, and are an affordable way to get around in a pinch.

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7. Nicaragua

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Accommodation: Room costs vary across the country with Leon being one of the most expensive places to stay. In general, the good places fill up fast so you want to try and book in advance. It’s possible to get a dorm bed for as little as RM 20 but a double room will often cost the price of two beds in a dorm so if there’s two of you, you can have a private room most of the time for no additional cost.

Food: The food is cheap, tasty and plentiful. There’s not as much street food as I would like but you can normally pick up a meal in a local Comedor for around RM 4. If your eating out, expect to pay more like RM 40 for a decent meal.

Transport: When it comes to getting around in Nicaragua, it’s pretty easy going. I hitched a fair bit and found it relatively easy and safe but some locals seemed to think I was crazy for risking it! The cheapest way to get around is by chicken bus. This is how most of the locals get around. Tourist shuttles are available to most major destinations on the backpacker circuit but they cost significantly more.

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8. Guatemala 

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Accommodation: Room costs vary wildly across the country with Antigua being one of the most expensive places to stay. In general, the good places fill up fast so you want to try and book in advance. It’s possible to get a dorm bed for as little as RM 20 but a double room will often cost the price of two beds in a dorm so if there’s two of you, you can have a private room most of the time for no additional cost.

Food: The food is cheap, tasty and plentiful. There’s not as much street food as I would like but you can normally pick up a meal in a local Comedor for around RM 12. If your eating out in Antigua, expect to pay more like RM 50 for a decent meal.

Transport: When it comes to getting around in Guatemala, the options are pretty much endless. I hitched a fair bit and found it relatively easy and safe but some locals seemed to think I was crazy for risking it! The cheapest way to get around is by chicken bus. This is how most of the locals get around. Chicken buses started off as US school buses before being sold on and glammed up – they tend to be covered in glitzy chrome and sport kick ass paint jobs. If you can get a seat then they tend to be relatively comfortable but the conducters fill these buses to bursting points so travelling with backpacks can be a pain. Tourist shuttles are available to most major destinations on the backpacker circuit but they cost significantly more.

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9. Honduras 

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Accommodation – Budget dorms begin around RM 36 per night, with private rooms costing RM 80-RM 125. Accommodations are cheap in this country, though it is usually more expensive in Ultila and Roatan.

Food – A meal will be around RM 12 at cheap local place. Restaurants cost slightly more at RM 20.

Transportation – There are plenty of taxis in Honduras, but they don’t use meters, so agree a price before you get in. A short ride will start at around RM 8, with a cross-city trip starting at RM 12. The national bus system is inexpensive. Generally, for every hour you travel, it’s RM 8.

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10. Peru

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Accommodation – Budget hotels or hostels are in great supply in Peru. A dorm room costs between RM 30-RM 60 per night. Most double private rooms with a bathroom are between RM 98-RM 195 for hostels, and around RM 110-RM 195 for a budget hotel.

Food – Street stalls and markets have very cheap food (RM 4-RM 7) and in a sit down restaurant you can get lunch and dinner menus for RM 15-RM 25. For a Western meal in an average restaurant, you will pay RM 40-RM 58.

Transportation – The usual price for a 10-hour bus journey is around RM 115-RM 267 depending on how nice the bus company is. A taxi around Lima should cost no more than RM 30. Lima has brand-new, clean intra-city buses. These buses are safe and cost RM 0.70-RM 4 per trip. Microbuses (colectivos) run as well, and prices vary depending on the distance, but will always cost less than RM 3. They are a bit hectic and take some getting used to.

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Written by FunnyMalaysia

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