22 Travel Destinations You Can Visit on $20 a Day

Bargains Abroad

UH Photography / Moment / Getty Images CC

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Bargains Abroad
UH Photography / Moment / Getty Images CC

Bargains Abroad

Few people know the world better than travel bloggers, particularly when it comes to places that can be visited on the cheap. So, Cheapism tapped bloggers for their recommendations regarding destinations that can be experienced on $20 a day or less for food and accommodations. Here are some of their top suggestions, as well as several destinations identified by combing through budget travel sites and hostel listings. (If you go, watch out for these 20 Mistakes Americans Make When Traveling Abroad.)

Prices and availability are subject to change.



Thailand is easily one of the most affordable destinations on the planet. No matter where you are in the country — Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai — it's possible to eat and sleep on a shoestring budget. Delicious food can be purchased from street vendors for just 30 to 40 baht (about $1) and a meal at an average restaurant will set you back about 90 to 150 baht, which is about $3 to $5. "In Thailand, it's generally cheaper to eat out than it is to cook at home if you're eating at local Thai restaurants," says Haley Gallerani, who spent 16 months living in Chiang Mai and is the creator of The Vegan Abroad Blog. "There are a ton of local Thai restaurants that you can easily get a meal for $1 or less." Youth hostels are available from just $2 a night and there are countless options. One notable choice is the Barn and Bed Hostel in Bangkok, which is about $14 a night.



From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are fabulous cheap eats and remarkably affordable places to sleep in Vietnam. A bowl of the country's ubiquitous pho soup can be found for just $2 to $3 at a restaurant. Hostel prices, meanwhile, are just a few dollars a night. At the RedDoorz Hostel @ Bat Dan Street, located in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter, bunk rates run as low as $4 per night. And that price includes free Wi-Fi.

Related: 25 Destinations Where Your Dollar Will Go Far

Bali, indonesia
Guitar photographer/shutterstock


A sprawling nation made up of thousands of islands including Bali, a legendary hotspot, Indonesia is another destination where it's possible to travel for very little. Rooms at the Surfaris Inn, in the famous Balinese beach town of Kuta, can be booked for about $10 a night (and there's even a small outdoor pool). As for food, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can be purchased for 25,000 rupiah, or less than $2.



Nate Hake, a globetrotter who visited 37 countries in nine months and created the site Travel Lemming, recommends Svaneti, Georgia, for those on the hunt for a memorable and affordable destination. "Svaneti is a gorgeous mountain region with its own culture," he says. "It evaded capture by the Mongols, Persians, or Ottomans thanks to its unique geography and the fierce Svan people. The stunning mountain landscapes are still dotted by medieval towers." Accommodations at guesthouses can be found for as little as $10 or $11 per night on Airbnb.

Coron Island, Philippines


When it comes to memorable beach destinations, it doesn't get much better than Coron Island in the province of Palawan, according to Katherine Cortes, creator of the blog Tara Lets Anywhere. "There are protected islands, green lagoons, and tons of beaches, plus clear lakes," she says. A day of meals in this region of the Philippines costs about $10, while dormitory rooms can be found at Sea Horse Guest House for $6 a night.



Colombia is experiencing a resurgence, becoming an increasingly popular destination. It is a favorite choice for traveler Joe Wareham, who says one of his favorite locations in the country is Cali, a region known as the capital of salsa music. "Being in the south of the country, Cali is cheaper and less touristy than further north," Wareham says. "And watching and participating in salsa dancing is a primary, cheap form of entertainment." The cost of accommodations at many of the highly rated hostels in the region start at just $5 to $6 per night. The cost of food in Colombia varies but averages around $7 per day, according to past visitors.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

An island nation south of India known for its beauty, Sri Lanka can also be a budget traveler's paradise, says Leslie Price, creator of My Adventure Bucket. "This is one of the absolute cheapest places I've ever visited," she says. "The staple foods here are cheap, spicy, and plentiful. ... I paid 120 Sri Lankan rupees for a vegetable kottu, which is less than $1. And the serving was so big I had enough for a second meal." Steer clear of high-end hotels and instead stay at guesthouses, which are a Sri Lankan specialty, Price says. Dorm beds at the Marine Tourist Guest House at Negombo Beach start at around $7 a night.

Angkor Thom in Siem Reap, Cambodia


Described by Hostelbookers as a land of $2 dorm beds and 50-cent beers, Cambodia has countless affordable hostels. The Hi Siem Reap Deluxe Hostel starts at around $7 a day for dorm room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, a price that leaves plenty of money to explore the country's famous sites, including the Angkor Wat temples. Food is equally cheap in Cambodia, with cafes serving curry or char-fried noodles for as little as $1. 



The land of pyramids and countless other fascinating antiquities, Egypt is a must-do on any serious traveler's bucket list, and you don't have to spend a fortune checking this one off. The Australian Hostel, which is just five minutes walking distance from the Egyptian museum, lists dorm beds for just $10 a night, and that includes breakfast. (Many hotels and hostels in Egypt serve breakfast.) Inexpensive cafes are another place to score a cheap meal, costing about $3. The trick is to steer clear of the tourist restaurants, which charge much more.

Krakow, Poland


Unlike countries such as France, Italy, and Spain, many Eastern European destinations remain inexpensive for travelers. Poland, rich in history and beautiful architecture around every turn, is a prime example. Rooms at 2-star hostels such as the Art Hostel can be found for about $8 a night, a price that includes free Wi-Fi. When it's time to eat, try a milk bar — not a candy bar but rather a Polish cafeteria. These restaurants are a remnant of the communist era and serve meals for about $3.

Saranda, Albania
Aleksandar Todorovic/shutterstock


Albania should also be on budget travelers' radars. The Albanian Riviera, the charming interior region of Berat, with its whitewashed Ottoman houses, and the capital of Tirana are all fascinating choices. Rates at the Milingona City Center hostel in Tirana are about $10 a night, which includes breakfast. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about 500 leks, or less than $5. 



A central South American country that includes the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, and the Amazon Basin rainforest, Bolivia is a backpacker's paradise. For those starting in the city of La Paz, dorm beds in a mixed dorm at the Selina La Paz (which earned a "superb" rating from Hostelworld) start around $10. Meals at inexpensive restaurants can be had for less than $3. 



A land of mind-boggling antiquities and the unforgettable islands, Greece also offers a plethora of bargain accommodations and dining. In the historic city of Athens, the SmallFunnyWorld hostel charges $12 a night for a dorm bed. The price includes free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Dinner at an inexpensive restaurant costs about $11. Sandwich shops serve gyros for about $7. 

Luang Prabang, Laos


Known for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements, and Buddhist monasteries, Laos is a Southeastern Asian country where it's possible to live quite comfortably on $20 a day. (It’s also an easy place to get a last-minute visa.) Rooms at the Chill Riverside Hostel & Bar, which received solid reviews from TripAdvisor users, start at $5 a night, and the property is near a royal palace, waterfalls, and a night market. As for dining, street food costs just a few dollars.

Roatán, Honduras
Tony Moran/shutterstock


One of Honduras' Caribbean Bay islands, Roatán is an ocean and beach lover's paradise known for its dive sites and marine life. The Roatán Backpackers' Hostel — which has received a rave reviews on Hostelworld thanks to its location, cleanliness, and helpful staff — offers beds for $10 a night. The property includes a communal kitchen, where visitors can cook their own meals to save money and take cooking classes.  

Chengdu, China
ESB Professional/shutterstock


Get out of Beijing and it's entirely possible to live on just $20 a day in China. In Chengdu, for instance, the Chengdu Lazybones Hostel Templeside Poshpacker (which comes highly recommended by Lonely Planet) lists dorm beds for less than $6 a night. A vintage, stylish property, it's just a 5-minute walk from a historic local monastery. For cheap eats, try the popular Mi Xun Teahouse, which is known for combining the ancient Chinese tea traditions and food with modern, hip offerings. The average price of a meal ranges from $4 to $14.

Kathmandu, Nepal


A central Himalayan country full of endless natural wonders (including eight of the world's 10 tallest mountains), Nepal is one of the least developed nations in the world. Dorm beds at the Shangrila Boutique Hotel in Kathmandu, which receives a "superb" rating from Hostelworld, start at just under $9, a price that includes breakfast. There are many options for cheap eats, including Fren's Kitchen Restaurant and Yangling Tibetan Restaurant.

New Delhi, India
Don Mammoser/shutterstock


A huge South Asian country with history dating back five millennia, India is one of the planet's cheapest places to travel. The possibilities here are limitless. In New Delhi, for example, there's also a long list of hostels for $10 or less (some as cheap as $4 to $6 per night). Inexpensive food is also plentiful in India. TripSavvy recommends Karim's, which serves up inexpensive Mughlai-style food in a colorful neighborhood of Old Delhi. Meals are about 800 rupees, or $12.



If there's one destination that can claim to be cheaper than India, it is Pakistan, says travel blogger Samantha Shea of Intentional Detours. "In major cities, it's easy to find a bed in a hostel for $10 or less," Shea says. "Outside of major cities, rooms tended to fall around 1,000 rupees, which translates to about $7. Food was by far the cheapest expenditure of my travels there, with most meals costing no more than $4 per person on the high end, and street snacks clocking in below $1 more often than not." Even bus rides are cheap here, says Shea, with long-haul buses costing between $8 and $14. The fare is even cheaper for local minibuses.

Amazon jungle, Ecuador
Ammit Jack/shutterstock


Ecuador encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands, and the Galápagos Islands. If you're using the capital of Quito as your starting point, try Hostel Revolution in the old center of the city. Dorm beds start at $8, which includes free breakfast. The cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is about $3.50. You'll also want to be sure to partake in the local tradition of almuerzo (also known as ejecutivo), which is a special lunch offering served at most restaurants as the midday meal. It costs just $2 to $3.50 per person and includes several courses.  



A traveler can get by on less than $20 a day here, or live like a sheik for $40 a day. Consider bringing a little extra money to spend on camping in the Sahara Desert, an adventure you won't soon forget. It's cheapest to go between October and December. Highly rated for its location in Marrakech, the Hostel Dream Belko offers rooms starting at $3. Head to markets and eateries like the Corner Cafe for cheap eats. Meals are between $7 and $16.



Cuba is a fascinating, colorful, and inviting destination whose tourism industry has been suffering under Trump administration restrictions. Visiting Cuba is still perfectly legal and still very easy under the "support for the Cuban people" visa category. It's also possible to visit for just $20 a day, says Enmanuel Tirado, CEO of TourRepublic, a travel marketplace dedicated to Cuba. "Even in Havana, the most expensive city in the country, a $20 daily budget does not seem unreasonable." When it comes to accommodations, renting a room in a casa particular (a private house) is the most affordable option. Listings can be found on Airbnb starting at $10 a day, and many casas include a home-cooked breakfast each morning. "Street food is very cheap in Havana," Tirado says. "For less than $1, you can buy pizzas, sandwiches, omelets, and milkshakes." If you prefer to eat in a restaurant-like setting, you can dine at cheap paladares (private restaurants) for less than $7.