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Category: Budget Travel (page 1 of 2)

Tips for traveling the world on a shoestring and detailed budget breakdowns from my own travels.

RTW Budget: Vietnam

Vietnam is lauded as one of the cheapest countries in the world to travel. Between street food, hostels, the acceptability of haggling, and the absolute least expensive beer in the world, the Backpacker Index claims you could conceivably get around even the country’s largest cities on less than $20 a day. Honestly, this was part of the draw for me to spend three weeks in Vietnam at the halfway point of my solo RTW trip. I knew my Vietnam budget would be minimal, and I could easily travel overland through Southeast Asia without worrying about the money. I didn’t know a ton about the country before visiting, so without those draws of ‘bucket list’ attractions, I needed to know I wouldn’t be going out of my way to travel in Vietnam. So was the Backpacker Index right? Read on for my detailed, penny-by-penny budget for Vietnam.

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RTW Budget: Laos

One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to steer clear of destinations in high tourist demand and instead go off the beaten path. Few places in my travel history have been as off the beaten path as Laos. The Southeast Asian country sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam has just enough of a tourism industry to ensure I’d be able to find places to stay, things to do, and restaurants to eat, while keeping the price of all those things under $30 per day. See the full breakdown of what I spent below.

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RTW Budget: Thailand

Thailand may have been the first travel destination I ever became aware of. My dad grew up as an army brat and spent three years of his childhood in Bangkok. So I grew up hearing endless stories of the former kingdom of Siam. Naturally, no matter what the country’s reputation in the larger travel community was, I would have carried a big soft spot for Thailand. But I’ve been lucky enough to not only get to know my dad’s childhood home, but to also discover a country famed for its convenient and budget friendly travel. How much does it cost to explore Bangkok and Chiang Mai? I break down every dime I spent from airfare and accommodations to every last Thai iced tea I sipped on.

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Hostel Horror Stories

Hostels are one of the staples of budget travel, whether you’re on a year-long RTW trip like me or a shorter vacation. Found nearly everywhere outside the US, these shared spaces help travelers save money and make friends. Though they have a bad reputation among many less experienced travelers, there are plenty of hostels that are clean, comfortable, and safe. Sometimes, however, it’s true that you pay a different price for that tempting low nightly rate. Below are all my worst hostel experiences from nearly a year on the road.

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RTW Budget: Nepal

I stand by my choice to trek with a group. But, because I booked an organized tour, Nepal ended up being one of the more expensive countries on my RTW trip. View the full breakdown of what I spent on a 16-day tour of Nepal below.

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RTW Budget: India

India is famous as a budget-friendly destination, but how much does it really cost? I spent two days in transit and 10 days in Delhi with perhaps the least expensive hostel and dining expenses of any destination on my RTW itinerary.

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RTW Budget: London

Budget London? Isn’t that an oxymoron? The British capital isn’t exactly known as a cheap destination. When I determined Istanbul probably wasn’t the best place for me to spend the month of October, I was afraid switching gears to London would completely kill my RTW budget. I did wind up spending about $200 more than planned. But that was about the difference in the cost of my Airbnb rental from city to city – everything else pretty much evened out. Read on to see exactly what I spent on a month in London.

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RTW Budget: Greece

Sights like the Acropolis and Santorini caldera are as universally recognizable as Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. But where a trip to London or Paris might cost you $100 a day, Athens comes in at just half the price. Yes, Greece is one of Europe’s most affordable big-ticket destinations. Read on to see the full breakdown of what I spent in three weeks in Athens and Santorini.

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Tips for Booking a Great Hostel (and Avoiding the Duds)

Some travelers swear by waiting until they arrive in a destination to choose a place to stay. They say they get better deals and enjoy the freedom to shop around. Personally, I’m not hardcore enough for it. I often travel during peak season and prefer the security and convenience of booking a hostel in advance, even if that means paying a few extra dollars to afford a place that keeps an advertising budget.

Like any traveler who books on the fly, I’ve stayed in good hostels and bad. Over the course of my year-long solo RTW trip, I learned how to make the most of Hostelworld and book the right place for my stay. When you’re traveling on a budget, choosing a hostel is all about priorities. Read on to learn about five ways you might go about the hostel selection process.

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RTW Budget: Balkans

The Balkans are one of the most affordable regions of Europe. Tourism may have erupted on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, but countries like Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are still recovering from the war in the 1990s. In spite of this recent troubled history, the Balkans are absolutely safe for travelers and home to some of the most hospitable people in the world. Having access to inexpensive lodgings and food meant I could spend more on cool things like castles, kayaking, hiking in Plitvice Lakes, and all the beer!

See exactly how much I spent on over three weeks in the Balkans below.

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