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10 Affordable Countries That Budget Travelers Can’t Miss

10 Affordable Countries That Budget Travelers Can’t Miss

Traveling is a way of life. Traveling inspires, changes us, and broadens our horizons. We should all travel at least once in a while.

Unfortunately, often times budget can be a limiting factor to our travels. Sometimes, we may look at the new travel guides from Lonely Planet or Matador Network, and think, how could I possibly afford that?

Still, the world has a lot to offer to the budget traveler. Budget traveling can be quite interesting and entertaining, and if you’re resourceful and savvy, you won’t need a large amount of money.

Preparation and exploring can provide you with tons of ideas, and today we are bringing you 10 affordable countries that you can’t miss.

1. Costa Rica

costa rica budget travel

    Lovely beaches, exotic wildlife, and a relaxed way of life. The people are friendly, and there are tons of attractions to visit and explore, such as:

    How much it will cost me?

    To stay in Costa Rica you won’t need a fortune. A typical meal with juice will cost around $4 and a private room in hostel costs ranges from $14 to $50. Taxi fares within the city limits will be around $3 to $12. Look here for more cost information.

    2. Greece

    Greece budget travel

      Greece is a beautiful Mediterranean country, with a lovely sea, climate, and great history. Many starting destinations won’t empty your pockets and will provide you with plenty of relaxing and quality leisure time.

      Here are some of the most affordable destinations:

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      • Meteora – spectacular formation of rock pillars with monasteries on top of them. It’s free to visit them, and €2 ($2.28) to enter the monastery.
      • Navagio Beach – an isolated sandy cove with a shipwreck on Zakynthos island and one of the most famous and photographed beaches in Greece. It’s reachable only by boat, and it won’t cost you more than $25 to have a full cruise around the island.

      How much will it cost me?

      You’ll taste spectacular food in Greece for a bargain — lamb specialties cost around $10, drinks are around $3, and hostels will provide fine accommodations starting from $30 per night. Here’s more info on prices for traveling to Greece.

      3. Fiji

      fiji

        Magnificent vacations for a bargain — that’s how you can summarize Fiji. The backpacking community in Fiji welcomes new travelers, and diverse island localities will fulfill all your needs. And the best part, it won’t cost you a fortune to do it. While in Fiji, you might consider:

        • Diving/Snorkeling – an amazing experience, that you shouldn’t miss, starting from $35
        • Turtle watching – many excursions with prices starting from $20
        • Drinking Kava, a natural sedative, often free.

        How much will it cost me?

        Hotels offer rooms from $15 a night, and you can get a fully equipped modern home on a beach for $25 a night. Food prices start from $2 for authentic street food. Look here for more info on Fiji travel prices.

        4. Latvia

        latvia

          Among the most-visited countries in Baltic and Northern Europe, Latvia has a lot to offer to tourists. Backpackers who love architecture admire the capital, Riga, for its vibrant and lively atmosphere, along with its interesting culture, heritage, and mixture of styles in buildings.

          While in Latvia, you should not miss Old Riga, a historic area of the city where you’ll find dozens of monuments and structures from the old ages. Some of them require an entrance fee, while the others are free to explore.

          Turaida Museum Reserve is another place not to miss, as it’s affordable (around $5 for admission), as well as rich in archaeological, architectural, and artsy monuments of Latvia.

          How much will it cost me?

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          The national beer, Aldaris, costs around $2.50. A full lunch of pork with potatoes and sauce is $6, and a night in a hostel or budget hotel will cost from $18 to $45. Here’s more info on Latvia travel costs.

          5. Sri Lanka

          sri lanka

            This is the one of most popular countries for backpackers since it provides a lot on a small budget. Beautiful nature surrounds and awakens your spiritual side, while exploring the pristine temples and sacred relics inside will be your travel memories from Sri Lanka. This affordable country provides hundreds of places to visit, and when you discover Sri Lanka, you simply can’t endure not to return.

            Here are some of the mesmerizing and affordable attractions to visit:

            • Adam’s Peak – a summit of the Buddha’s footprint, where the iconic smiling monks have meditated. The view from Adam’s Peak is unbelievable. Expect some serious climbing though.
            • Yala National Park – A popular park, home to much of Sri Lanka’s beautiful native flora and fauna. $15 for entrance fee.

            How much will it cost me?

            A typical meal will cost you around $3, and a guesthouse room can be found for $20 a night or even less. Average fees for popular attractions are around $30. Look here for more info.

            6. Turkey

            turkey

              A unique mix of eastern and western cultures, and country of many beautiful landmarks, Turkey is a great tourist destination. Among thousands of attractions and experiences to have, you most certainly should not miss:

              • Topkapi Palace – the ancient home of the sultans from the past ages, now an exquisite museum. You can explore it for around $5.
              • Hagia Sophia – the biggest church in the city, and for the long time the biggest in the world. The main attraction of Istanbul is accessible for about $10

              How much will it cost me?

              Traditional fast food like Kebabs and shawarma will cost around $2. A decent hotel will charge you $20 to $30 a night. Famous Turkish coffee is around $1.50. More info on travel prices in Turkey here.

              7. Croatia

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              croatia

                Picturesque mountainous regions and the beautiful Adriatic sea lure budget travelers to Croatia every year. More than a thousand islands create an extraordinary formation of shore and rocky areas, surrounded by turquoise seas. Visiting Croatia, one should not miss these attractions:

                • Dubrovnik – “The Pearl of Adriatic”: a historic monumental city beneath a mountain on the shores of Adriatic Sea. Surrounded with ancient walls, this fortress is a top attraction. Entrance to the city is free, and several buildings inside charge fees.
                • Plitvice Lakes National Park – a beautiful lake formation showcasing stunning natural surroundings. Absolutely worth visiting and paying the $27 entrance fee.

                How much will it cost me?

                A room for two will cost you $15 to $25 per person. A simple meal will be around $5, and bus tours are $2 to $4 per hour. Here is more info on Croatian traveling prices.

                8. Ecuador

                ecuador

                  South America has been known as a destination for budget travelers for decades. The natural beauty attracts tourists to have spectacular vacations for a budget that may not even be enough to cover the costs of transportation to some other destinations. Ecuador possesses a lot of natural and cultural monuments. It has all the characteristic landmarks of South America, like culture and architecture.

                  You should not miss visiting Laguna Quilotoa, a volcanic crater-turned-lake located at 3900 m above sea. Hiking tours to this attraction last for 3 to 6 hours.

                  The Galápagos wildlife is another fine reason to visit Ecuador.

                  How much will it cost me?

                  You won’t need a big budget for Ecuador. A big lunch will cost you $3 or less, drinks or coffee will cost $0.50 to $1.50, and a taxi ride will range from $1.75 to $6. Hotels and hostel rooms will usually cost $7 to $15 a night per person. Here’s more info on Ecuador travel costs.

                  9. Dominican Republic

                  dominican-republic-

                    White sandy beaches and lovely sea awaits you in the Dominican Republic. A holiday can be really low-cost here, and the country has a good reputation as a summer holiday destination. Alongside beaches, you’ll find lots of lovely natural surroundings and animal species.

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                    Here are some of the highly recommended places to visit in Dominican Republic:

                    • Playa Rincón – this is a picture-perfect beach. Imagine 3 km of flat and nearly white sand, warm and turquoise sea, and a lovely breeze.
                    • Constanza – a mountainous region which makes for an extraordinary adventure.

                    How much will it cost me?

                    A hotel room will usually cost around $20 per night, and bus transportation is around $3. An average lunch meal will cost you $10. Here’s more info on prices in the Dominican Republic.

                    10. Morocco

                    morocco budget travel

                      Located in North Africa, Morocco is a perfect place to visit for a budget travelers. Cheap prices for everything lure people all year long to have fine holidays for bargain prices. The beauty of the huge Sahara desert is not to be missed, as well as the many attractions of Marrakesh, the capital.

                      Be sure to check out these destinations:

                      How much will it cost me?

                      Beds in a shared dorm room in hostel can cost $5 per night, and a complete meal in Morocco can be bought for $6. Transport is cheap as well, ranging from $2 to $5. Here is more info on Morocco travel costs.

                      As you can see, there are many countries around the world that you can visit without breaking the bank, while still enjoying a quality vacation. Which of these countries have you visited before? Do you have plans to visit some of the countries from our list? Let us know in the comments below.

                      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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                      Dejan Kvrgic

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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