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Last Updated on November 11, 2021

11 Exotic Destinations Even A Broke Student Can Afford To Visit

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11 Exotic Destinations Even A Broke Student Can Afford To Visit

When we think of exotic destinations, it’s easy to think of luxury, expensive hotels/resorts and that sort of deal, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. This list of affordable exotic destinations should provide you with a good idea of where you can go when you’re tired of the same ol’ same ol’.

1. Thailand

If you want to get the most value for your money, make sure you stay out of/spend little time in Bangkok. While the bustling capital is a thing worth experiencing in and of itself, accommodation and food is much cheaper in other places in Thailand, and there are a lot more interesting things to see. For example, the featured image is from Khao Phing Kan, also known as James Bond’s island. Also, many places in Thailand allow you to get up close and personal with Tigers, so if that’s on your bucket list, Thailand is just the place for crossing it off.

2. Indonesia

You might be surprised to learn that Indonesia is the 4th most populated Country in the world, with almost 240 million people inhabitants. This fact, combined with the many small islands that make up the country, makes it a completely different scenery from what most of us are used to. With options like admiring huge active volcanoes from afar, visit what was recently a completely isolated people in Baliem Valley, experience bustling trade districts, the traditional dance performance of Legong(picture), or relax on the beac, it’s hard to go wrong.

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3. Malaysia

At this point you’re probably not surprised that Malaysia made the list. Kuala Lumpur is the most popular destination, and with some cuts, like not staying in a premier hotel, it’s possible to do a longer stay on a budget. The picture is from Batu Caves, a series of caves and cave temples located just north of the capital. Again the options are many, and you can choose to have a very multi-faceted trip if you want to. One thing you should keep in mind is that Malaysia has a primarily Muslim population, so making an effort to not offend them by the way you dress will keep you out of trouble, and might even earn you that little extra bit of good-will you need to have an amazing experience.

4. The Philippines

While perhaps being most famous for cheap labor, the Philippines is a great destination for backpackers and budget travelers in general. Not only is it a haven for budget divers and beach people in general, you can also go to see the stunning Banaue Rice Terraces, or the monstrous Mayon volcano, or you could even take a trip through the Puerto Princesa underground river, one of the new 7 wonders of nature. With some suggested daily budgets going as low as 15-20$ per day and even lower, it’s a no-brainer for the sun deprived, broke student.

5. Albania

Although it’s probably not the first country that comes to mind when you hear “exotic,” Albania has some of the cheapest costs of living of all the countries in Europe. And its safety, culture, and the many beautiful beaches, for example Ksamil Beach in the picture above, makes it an ideal location for someone who wants maximum return on their dollar.

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6. Bulgaria

Another East European country where you get a lot of value for your money is Bulgaria. While some of the beach towns have become infamous party towns that are infested with lowlifes who prey on the drunk tourists, there are other more peaceful locations that can have you living the relaxing beach life on a budget. Or you could even visit Plovdiv and see some roman ruins(picture) if that’s more your wavelength. Just make sure you do some research beforehand so you end up with the vacation you want.

7. Greece

While there is still some social unrest in Greece, the economic collapse has made the country much more welcoming to the broke student. Plus, by visiting and pumping money into the local economy, you’re actually helping them slowly get back on their feet. If you’re a fan of Greek food, or just always wanted to see the Parthenon but never had the money, now is the time to pay a visit.

8. Portugal

Another great European country you should definitely consider visiting is Portugal. Also here, due to the recent economic climate, the general costs of living have gone down noticeably, making it a more affordable location for people whose instinct would be to avoid western Europe for travel. The cities of Lisbon and Porto are by far the most popular destinations, the latter being the home of the port wine. If the usual sunset in Lisbon is anything close to the picture, that alone would be worth the trip don’t you think?

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9. Ecuador

If you want to relax on the beach, experience an interesting culture and perhaps learn some Spanish, all on a budget, Ecuador is an ideal location for you. If you’re worried about safety, Ecuador actually has very few instances of tourist targeted crime, and it’s general crime rates are not high enough to prove itself an actual risk to your safety. All this relies on your own behavior though—if you go out of your way and get dead-drunk without friends to look after you, or try to buy illegal substances, you are much more likely to be targeted. The Galapagos islands(picture) is by far the most popular destination, and with possibilities of views like this it’s easy to understand why.

10. Uruguay

Uruguay is perhaps the most modernized of the South American countries, and often to referred to as the safest place to visit in South America. If you’re more interested in a city vacation than chilling on the beach, or want the best of both worlds, staying a few days in the capital of Montevido can be a great idea. Uruguay is a country that should definitely be on a backpacker’s bucket list. One interesting idea is to visit one of the local ranches called Estancia(picture).

11. Peru

With many historical remnants of the Inca empire, one of the most fascinating civilizations in history, it’s hard to get more exotic than Peru. If you love experiencing the culture of times past and imagining what things were like, Peru is probably one of the most exciting places to go. But that’s not all it has to offer either. Peru is also a great destination for aspiring surfers on a budget, or people who want to experience traditional sightseeing and the beach life in one trip. While visiting Machu Picchu might be a bit upsetting for the budget, it’s definitely going to be food for the soul.

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12. India

It’s hard to write a list like this and not include India. Home to many of the most amazing historical monuments in the world, and some of the world’s most popular dishes(although you haven’t tasted real Indian food until you’ve been, as my friend keeps telling me) and one of the cheapest destinations for food and accomodation in the world, India is perfect for the bootstrapping backpacker. The only problem is that India is such a big country, you would have to write a separate post altogether to guide you in the right direction. Thankfully, there’s this list of best Indian destinations put together by Tripadvisor, arranged in order of users’ enjoyment.

Featured photo credit: Juan Ordonez via unsplash.com

More by this author

Ragnar Miljeteig

Ragnar is a passionate writer who blogs about personal development at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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