Affordable Backpacking Destinations

Top Affordable Backpacking Destinations to Explore

Backpacking abroad is a budget-friendly way to travel and explore the world. It allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures, experience breathtaking landscapes, and create lifelong memories. If you’re looking for affordable backpacking destinations, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of top budget-friendly locations that offer incredible adventures without breaking the bank.

From the majestic mountains of Nepal to the stunning beaches of Thailand, there’s something for every backpacker seeking adventure on a budget. So grab your backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to explore these affordable destinations that will leave you in awe.

Key Takeaways:

  • Backpacking abroad is a cost-effective way to travel and experience new cultures.
  • There are numerous affordable destinations that offer a range of experiences.
  • From Nepal to Costa Rica, these destinations offer a mix of breathtaking landscapes, cultural immersion, and budget-friendly options.
  • Consider exchange rates, meal costs, and hostel accommodation when planning your budget-friendly adventure.
  • Have the time of your life exploring these amazing destinations without breaking the bank.


Nepal is a classic backpacking destination that offers both stunning landscapes and affordability. Renowned for its majestic peaks, including Mount Everest and the Himalayan range, Nepal is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers.

With a favorable exchange rate of 1 USD equivalent to 114 Nepalese Rupee (NPR), travelers can make the most of their budget without compromising on experiences. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, Nepal provides abundant hiking opportunities through its diverse terrain.

When it comes to costs, Nepal is incredibly wallet-friendly. Meals can be enjoyed for as low as 250 NPR ($2.22), allowing travelers to savor tasty local cuisines without breaking the bank. Accommodation options in the form of hostels are readily available with prices ranging from 450-900 NPR ($4-8) per night, ensuring a comfortable stay within your budget.

Why Choose Nepal for Budget-Friendly Travel?

Nepal offers a unique blend of cultural charm, natural beauty, and adventure at a fraction of the cost compared to many other destinations. Here are some reasons why Nepal stands out as a budget-friendly travel location:

  • Breathtaking Landscapes: From the towering Himalayas to lush valleys and tranquil lakes, Nepal’s landscapes offer awe-inspiring views that will leave you spellbound.
  • Thrilling Hiking Opportunities: Whether you’re dreaming of trekking to Everest Base Camp or exploring the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal has a wide range of hiking trails suitable for every level of experience.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Nepal is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including ancient temples, palaces, and monasteries. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and traditions of this enchanting country.
  • Friendly Locals: Nepalese people are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature, ensuring that you feel right at home during your backpacking adventure.

“Nepal combines affordability, natural beauty, and cultural wonders, making it a top choice for budget-conscious travelers seeking unforgettable experiences.” – Travel Enthusiast

Cost Comparison – Meals and Accommodation in Nepal

Average Cost
Meals (Local Cuisine) 250 NPR ($2.22)
Hostel Accommodation (per night) 450-900 NPR ($4-8)


Thailand is a budget-conscious backpacker’s paradise, offering a rich cultural experience, stunning beaches, and delicious street food. With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 31.30 Thai Baht, you can enjoy meals for as low as 80 THB ($2.56) and find affordable hostel accommodation ranging from 280-400 THB ($9-13) per night.

When you visit Thailand, prepare to be immersed in a vibrant and diverse culture. Explore the bustling street markets of Bangkok, where you can find unique souvenirs and try local delicacies. Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic temples, such as Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew, which showcase the country’s deep-rooted spirituality and architectural beauty.

Thailand’s stunning beaches are a major draw for adventure seekers. Whether you want to relax on the white sands of Phuket, go snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Koh Tao, or experience the vibrant nightlife of Koh Phi Phi, there is something for everyone. The country is also home to numerous national parks, where you can hike through lush jungles, encounter exotic wildlife, and witness breathtaking waterfalls.

Exploring Thailand on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing experiences. You can still indulge in traditional Thai massages, take part in cooking classes to learn how to make authentic Thai dishes, and embark on thrilling adventures like jungle trekking and zip-lining.

To give you a taste of what Thailand has to offer, check out some of the top attractions:

  • Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, a dazzling complex known for its intricate architecture and the revered Emerald Buddha.
  • Explore the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with temples and ruins.
  • Experience the beauty of Railay Beach in Krabi, a paradise for rock climbing enthusiasts.
  • Discover the vibrant floating markets in Amphawa, where you can shop for fresh produce and try local snacks.
  • Immerse yourself in the nightlife scene of Chiang Mai, with its lively night bazaars and cultural performances.

Thailand offers a mix of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion at an affordable cost. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a food enthusiast, this Southeast Asian gem is sure to captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.


Mexico is a budget-friendly backpacking destination that offers a mix of beautiful beaches, rainforests, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, indulging in flavorful street food, or hiking through breathtaking landscapes, Mexico has something for every adventure seeker.

With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 19.26 Mexican Pesos, your budget can stretch further in this vibrant country. You can enjoy delicious and affordable meals for as little as 90 MXN ($4.60). From mouthwatering tacos to traditional mole dishes, Mexico’s cuisine is a blend of flavors that won’t disappoint.

When it comes to accommodation, backpackers have plenty of affordable options. Hostels in Mexico range from 230-345 MXN ($12-18) per night, providing a comfortable and budget-friendly place to rest after a day of exploration.

One of the highlights of backpacking in Mexico is the opportunity to embark on epic hiking adventures. From the majestic Copper Canyon to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, you’ll find a range of scenic trails suitable for all fitness levels. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty as you hike through diverse landscapes and discover hidden gems along the way.

Benefits of Backpacking in Mexico

Tips for Budget-Friendly Travel in Mexico

  • Stunning beaches
  • Rich cultural experiences
  • Affordable meals and accommodation
  • Diverse hiking trails
  • Try street food for authentic and budget-friendly meals
  • Research and book hostels in advance for the best rates
  • Opt for local transportation options to save money
  • Explore off-the-beaten-path destinations for unique experiences

From the stunning beaches of Cancun to the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico offers a diverse range of experiences for backpackers on a budget. Plan your adventure to one of Mexico’s economical hiking destinations and immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and culture this vibrant country has to offer.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Backpacking

Sri Lanka is an affordable destination for backpackers, offering beautiful scenery, tea plantations, and cultural experiences. With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 178.30 Sri Lankan Rupee, you can find inexpensive meals for 300 LKR ($1.68) and hostel accommodation ranging from 1420-2140 LKR ($8-12) per night.

When exploring Sri Lanka on a budget, you’ll be captivated by its stunning landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush green mountains. Immerse yourself in the country’s rich history and culture by visiting ancient temples, exploring colonial architecture, and experiencing traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.

One of the highlights of backpacking in Sri Lanka is the opportunity to visit picturesque tea plantations. Take a scenic train ride through the rolling hills of Nuwara Eliya and learn about the tea-making process while enjoying breathtaking views.

“Sri Lanka offers a unique blend of affordability and natural beauty. From scenic beaches to magnificent tea plantations, this country has something to offer every backpacker on a budget.”

Whether it’s relaxing on the golden sands of Mirissa, trekking through the lush rainforests of Sinharaja, or exploring the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka has a diverse range of attractions that won’t break the bank.

Embrace the local hospitality by staying at budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses, which offer comfortable accommodation and often include amenities such as free Wi-Fi and communal kitchen facilities.

Explore Sri Lanka’s vibrant markets, where you can sample delicious street food at affordable prices. Indulge in traditional dishes such as kottu roti, hoppers, and spicy curries that will tantalize your taste buds.

Why Choose Sri Lanka for Affordable Backpacking?

  • Affordable meals and hostel accommodation
  • Stunning natural landscapes
  • Tea plantations and scenic train rides
  • Rich history and culture
  • Warm and welcoming locals

Sri Lanka is a gem in the affordable backpacking world, providing a wealth of experiences and adventures without breaking the bank. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on pristine beaches, or savoring the flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine, this budget-friendly destination offers a perfect balance of affordability and beauty.


Indonesia is a must-visit destination for budget-conscious backpackers. With its vast archipelago of thousands of islands, this Southeast Asian gem offers a wealth of natural wonders, cultural attractions, and affordable adventures.

When it comes to the cost of living, Indonesia has favorable rates for backpackers. With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 14,014 Indonesian Rupiah, your budget will stretch further, allowing you to make the most of your travel experience.

One of the advantages of backpacking in Indonesia is the availability of cheap eats. You can savor delicious local dishes for as little as 30,000 IDR ($2.14). Whether you’re indulging in mouthwatering street food or enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, the flavors of Indonesia won’t disappoint.

In terms of accommodation, hostels provide affordable options for backpackers. You can find a comfortable bed for the night in hostels ranging from 140,000 IDR ($8-11) per night. These budget-friendly lodgings offer communal spaces where you can meet fellow travelers and share stories of your adventures.

Highlights of Backpacking in Indonesia

  • Explore the pristine beaches of Bali, Lombok, and the Gili Islands
  • Trek through the lush jungles of Sumatra and encounter orangutans
  • Witness the stunning sunrise over Mount Bromo in Java
  • Discover the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Yogyakarta

“Indonesia offers a diverse range of experiences for budget travelers, from stunning natural landscapes to rich cultural heritage. With its affordable prices and welcoming locals, it’s no wonder why backpackers flock to this tropical paradise.”

Expense Average Cost (in Indonesian Rupiah) Average Cost (in USD)
Street Food Meal 30,000 IDR $2.14
Restaurant Meal 60,000 – 100,000 IDR $4.28 – $7.12
Hostel Accommodation 140,000 – 200,000 IDR $8 – $14
Local Transport (per day) 100,000 IDR $7.12

With its affordability, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, Indonesia stands out as one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. Whether you’re hiking through lush rainforests, exploring ancient temples, or simply relaxing on idyllic beaches, Indonesia offers incredible experiences without breaking the bank.


Croatia Backpacking

When it comes to budget-friendly backpacking destinations, Croatia is a hidden gem in Eastern Europe. With its stunning beaches, majestic mountains, and vibrant nightlife, Croatia offers a perfect balance between adventure and relaxation.

One of the advantages of backpacking in Croatia is the favorable exchange rate. With 1 USD equivalent to 6.54 Croatian Kuna, your money can go a long way. Enjoy delicious and inexpensive meals for around 65 kn ($9.90), allowing you to indulge in the local cuisine without breaking the bank.

Accommodation options in Croatia are also affordable, especially for budget-conscious travelers. You can find hostel accommodations ranging from 65-80 kn ($10-12) per night, providing a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploration.

Whether you prefer lounging on the picturesque beaches of Dubrovnik, hiking through the breathtaking Plitvice Lakes National Park, or exploring the historic cities of Split and Zagreb, Croatia has something for every backpacker. The country’s rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes make it a must-visit destination for budget travelers.

Why Choose Croatia for Backpacking?

  • Stunning beaches along the Adriatic coast
  • Opportunities for hiking and outdoor adventures in national parks
  • Vibrant nightlife and music festivals
  • Rich history and cultural experiences in cities like Dubrovnik and Split
  • Affordable meals and accommodations

So pack your backpack and head to Croatia for an unforgettable budget-friendly adventure!

Expense Average Cost
Meals 65 kn ($9.90)
Hostel Accommodation 65-80 kn ($10-12) per night


Peru is a captivating and diverse country that offers a myriad of experiences for budget-conscious backpackers. With its picturesque rainforests, ancient ruins, and stunning beaches, Peru has something to satisfy every traveler’s wanderlust. What’s more, it won’t break the bank!

When it comes to affordability, Peru is a dream destination. With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 3.34 Peruvian Sol, your money can go a long way. Meals can be enjoyed for as little as 10 PEN ($3), allowing you to savor the local cuisine without worrying about your budget.

Another cost-saving aspect of backpacking in Peru is accommodation. Hostels in Peru offer affordable options, with prices ranging from 30-35 PEN ($9-10) per night. These hostels provide a comfortable and social atmosphere, making it easy to connect with fellow travelers and share memorable experiences.

Whether you’re exploring the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu, trekking through the Amazon rainforest, or relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Mancora, Peru has an abundance of affordable adventures waiting to be discovered.


As the capital city of Peru, Lima combines history, culture, and exquisite cuisine. Explore the colorful Barranco district, known for its bohemian vibes and vibrant nightlife. Indulge in ceviche, Peru’s iconic seafood dish, and immerse yourself in the buzzing gastronomic scene.


Cusco is a must-visit destination for any backpacker in Peru. This enchanting city was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is now the gateway to the iconic Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in the rich history and marvel at the architectural wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage site.


Nestled beneath three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa is a charming city renowned for its colonial architecture and white volcanic stone buildings. Explore the Santa Catalina Monastery, visit the Juanita Museum, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.

Expense Average Cost
Meal (inexpensive restaurant) 10 PEN ($3)
Hostel Accommodation 30-35 PEN ($9-10) per night
Bottle of Water 2.50 PEN ($0.75)
Local Transportation 2-3 PEN ($0.60-0.90) per ride
Machu Picchu Entrance Fee 152 PEN ($45)

With its affordability, rich culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Peru is undoubtedly one of the top inexpensive backpacking destinations. Embark on a budget-friendly adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Turkey Outdoor Adventure

Turkey is an increasingly popular backpacking destination that offers a wide range of affordable outdoor adventure opportunities. With its rich history, unique landscapes, and delicious cuisine, Turkey is a must-visit for budget-conscious travelers seeking thrilling experiences without breaking the bank.

When visiting Turkey, you’ll have the chance to explore stunning natural wonders, hike picturesque trails, and engage in thrilling outdoor activities. From the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean coast, Turkey offers a diverse range of landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

Not only is Turkey known for its breathtaking scenery, but it also boasts a favorable exchange rate, making it a budget-friendly destination for backpackers. With 1 USD equivalent to 5.26 Turkish Lira (TL), you’ll find that meals can be enjoyed for as low as 25 TL ($4.50). Additionally, hostel accommodation ranges from 45-58 TL ($9-11) per night, providing affordable options for overnight stays.

In Turkey, you can embark on thrilling adventures such as paragliding over the stunning coastal cliffs of Fethiye, rafting down the turquoise rapids of the Köprülü Canyon, or hiking along the Lycian Way, one of the world’s best long-distance hiking trails. For history enthusiasts, the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale offer a glimpse into Turkey’s rich cultural heritage.

“Turkey offers an incredible blend of natural beauty, thrilling adventures, and affordable prices. Whether you’re hiking through stunning landscapes or exploring ancient ruins, Turkey is the perfect destination for budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.”

Top Outdoor Adventure Activities in Turkey:

  • Hiking along the Lycian Way trail
  • Paragliding over Fethiye
  • Rafting down the Köprülü Canyon
  • Exploring the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia
  • Visiting the ancient ruins of Ephesus
Expense Average Cost
Meals 25 TL ($4.50)
Hostel accommodation 45-58 TL ($9-11) per night

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, located in Central America, is a dream destination for backpackers seeking adventure in stunning natural beauty. With its lush rainforests, breathtaking beaches, and diverse wildlife, Costa Rica offers an unforgettable experience for budget-conscious travelers.

One of the greatest advantages of backpacking in Costa Rica is its affordability. With an exchange rate of 1 USD to 608 Costa Rican Colóns (CRC), you can stretch your budget and enjoy all that this tropical paradise has to offer.

The Wonders of Costa Rica

From the dense jungles of Corcovado National Park to the breathtaking Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want to hike through cloud forests, zipline above the canopy, or surf in crystal-clear waters, this country has it all.

For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Tortuguero National Park is a must. Here, you can witness sea turtles nesting on the beaches and explore the intricate web of canals in search of monkeys, toucans, and other exotic creatures.

And let’s not forget about the beautiful beaches! Costa Rica boasts both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, offering endless opportunities for sunbathing, snorkeling, and beach hopping.

But it’s not just the natural beauty that attracts backpackers to Costa Rica; the country’s rich culture and warm hospitality are equally enticing. Immerse yourself in the local way of life, savor mouthwatering traditional cuisine, and connect with the friendly locals who are known for their pura vida lifestyle.

Affordable Meals and Accommodation

Costa Rica offers a range of affordable dining options for budget-conscious backpackers. You can enjoy a traditional casado (a plate of rice, beans, salad, and a choice of meat or fish) for as little as 4,393 CRC ($7.20). Don’t miss the chance to try gallo pinto, a delicious breakfast dish made with rice and beans.

When it comes to accommodation, Costa Rica has a wide selection of affordable hostels and guesthouses. You can find hostel accommodation for as low as 6,000 CRC ($10) per night, providing a comfortable and budget-friendly base for your adventures.

Costa Rica Budget Breakdown

Expense Average Cost
Meals 4,393 CRC ($7.20)
Hostel Accommodation 6,000 CRC ($10) per night

With its stunning natural wonders, vibrant culture, and affordable prices, Costa Rica is undoubtedly one of the cheapest backpacking destinations for budget travelers. Embrace the pura vida spirit and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this tropical paradise.


Backpacking doesn’t have to break the bank. By exploring these budget-friendly backpacking destinations, you can experience the best of the world without draining your wallet. These destinations offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and affordable options for meals and accommodation.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or history enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. From Nepal’s majestic mountains to Thailand’s stunning beaches, and from Mexico’s vibrant culture to Sri Lanka’s picturesque tea plantations, these destinations will leave you awe-inspired and craving for more.

So, why wait? Grab your backpack and embark on an unforgettable journey to these incredible budget-friendly destinations. Discover breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t let the fear of expenses hold you back from exploring the world. With these affordable options available, your dream backpacking adventure is within reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these affordable backpacking destinations suitable for all types of travelers?

Yes, these destinations cater to all types of travelers, including budget-conscious backpackers. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you can enjoy the affordability and adventure these destinations offer.

What makes these destinations budget-friendly?

These destinations have favorable exchange rates, which means your money can go a long way. In addition, you’ll find inexpensive meals and affordable hostel accommodations, allowing you to save money while still experiencing the beauty and culture of each location.

Are these destinations safe for backpackers?

Safety is always a concern when traveling. While no place is completely without risk, these destinations are generally considered safe for backpackers. It’s important to take the usual precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and following local advice, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

What are some popular activities to do in these destinations?

These destinations offer a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike through breathtaking landscapes, explore cultural sites and historical ruins, indulge in delicious local cuisine, relax on stunning beaches, and immerse yourself in vibrant nightlife.

How do I get to these destinations?

The best way to reach these destinations is by flying into major airports and then utilizing local transportation options, such as buses or trains, to get to your final destination. It’s recommended to research and plan your transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and cost-effective journey.

What should I pack for a backpacking trip to these destinations?

It’s essential to pack lightweight and versatile clothing suitable for various weather conditions. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes, a good-quality backpack, a reliable map or navigation device, sun protection, a reusable water bottle, and essential toiletries. It’s also advisable to pack a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications.

Can I find budget-friendly accommodations other than hostels?

Yes, aside from hostels, you can also consider other affordable accommodations such as guesthouses, homestays, or budget hotels. These options provide cost-effective alternatives while still offering a comfortable place to rest after a day of adventure.

How long should I plan to stay in each destination?

The duration of your stay will depend on your personal preferences and the activities you wish to partake in. It’s recommended to spend at least a few days in each destination to fully explore and experience what they have to offer. However, you can adjust your itinerary based on your budget and time constraints.

How can I ensure I stay within my budget while backpacking?

To stay within your budget, it’s essential to plan and research in advance. Set a daily or weekly budget for meals, accommodation, transportation, and activities. Take advantage of local street food or markets, opt for affordable transportation options, and consider free or low-cost attractions. Keeping track of your expenses and avoiding unnecessary splurges will help you stick to your budget.

Are these destinations suitable for solo travelers?

Absolutely! These destinations are popular among solo travelers due to their affordability and backpacker-friendly atmosphere. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet fellow travelers and make new friends along the way.

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