cheapest countries
People visit Seminyak beach near Denpasar, on Indonesia's holiday island of Bali on January 5, 2021. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP)

A new place brings not just escape, but rest and rejuvenation — even in the cheapest countries to travel to. Being on a budget may not be as restrictive as you think.

There are lots of countries to visit that are cheap and affordable. In these countries, you can enjoy cheap and delicious food, favourable exchange rates, campsites, and affordable accommodation whether you’re travelling alone or with friends. You can do something you haven’t done too — maybe through the many cheap and free activities you didn’t even know existed.

After two years or more of lockdowns, it’s time to travel far. And the good news is you don’t have to spend much at any one of the cheapest countries to travel to:


Phi Phi Islands is known for its sandy beaches, clear blue water and its colourful marine life. Source: Mladen Antonov/AFP

Cheapest countries to travel to



Thailand is a vibrant country with culture, history, sparkling temples, spicy cuisine, tropical beaches and legendary nightlife. It’s a tourist’s paradise, especially for those on a budget. 

Expect to pay less than US$4 for a single portion of tom yum, green curry, pad thai and pad kra pao from mid-range restaurants. Accommodation in Thailand ranges from US$23 to US$131 per night depending on how well equipped it is. Most tourists spend around U$S21 to US$43 per day on transport, food and activities.

If you’re not into the hustle and bustle of a sprawling megacity, ditch Bangkok for Phi Phi Islands’s white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. There are six islands that make up Phi Phi Islands. Mixed with lush greenery and mountainous terrain, this is a place of stunning beauty. Not bad for one of the cheapest destinations.


Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is known as the city that produces the world’s finest Emeralds. Source: Guillermo Legaria/AFP


Colombia is becoming more and more friendly to tourists from all countries. Colombia’s Caribbean coastline, towering Andean mountains, and mysterious Amazonian jungle make it one of South America’s most exotic and fascinating countries. The Caribbean, Spanish and indigenous cultures blend to create delicious cuisine, stunning colonial architecture and the warmest and most beautiful people.

One of the country’s most famous cities is its capital, Bogota, which is charming, quaint and welcoming. Bogota is a city full of art that dazzle, from bright graffiti-covered city streets to the Botero Museum.

Accommodation and transportation are affordable, and there are many options available depending on your budget. 

Hotels range from US$29 to US$153 per night, while most vacation rentals will cost US$50 to US$440 per night for the entire home. As for other expenses such as transportation, activities and food, you should budget an average of US$25 to US$52 per day.


Surfers from all around the world travel to Bali for their world-famous waves. Source: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP


Thousands of islands, hundreds of languages, white sandy beaches and bubbling volcanoes. Indonesia’s rich diversity is the ideal gateway for a relaxing trip. With so much to offer travellers, there are plenty of free and affordable activities to experience the best of Indonesia.

Indonesia has over 1,000 islands but is most known for Bali, the “Island of the Gods.” It has sublime beaches, many temples, glorious food and majestic scenery. Overlook the bad traffic and make your way to like snorkelling, surfing and yoga on the beach.

As one of the most affordable travel destinations, you can find expect to find cheap accommodation, food and activities here. Prices of hotels in Indonesia range between US$24 to US$154 depending on the hotel. To save on food, head to roadside stalls (known locally as “warungs”) for spring rolls, grilled seafood or “nasi pedas” (translated as spicy rice).


The Bayon Temple is one of the most famous temples in Angkor Wat. Source: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP


Perfect for small budgets, Cambodia offers a distinctly Southeast Asian experience with affordable accommodation, food and transportation.  The country is known for many things, including being the filming site for the movie King Kong and being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But what makes Cambodia unique is its thousands of temples, the most famous being Angkor Wat.

The most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia are Monkey Island and Siem Reap which also offers affordable accommodation, dining, transportation and entertainment.

Tourists usually explore the city by foot as most of Siem Reap’s attractions are within walking distance. Tuk-tuks are also available and are an inexpensive way to get around in.

On average, one day in Cambodia should cost you around US$49 for food, transportation and accommodation. A budget meal only costs between US$2.70 to US$6.