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11 Amazing Countries Anyone Can Travel To On A College Budget

11 Amazing Countries Anyone Can Travel To On A College Budget

Need a vacation but have a tiny travel budget? Planing a trip on a student budget might not be as restricting as you thought. There are countries in the world where travel costs can be a fraction of what you would pay in other destinations. I did a little research based on cost of living and budget travel costs in certain countries and found some astoundingly cheap places to visit. There are also lots of cheap and free things to do in these countries.

My findings are broken out like this for each country:

  • Cheapest dorm bed at a decent hostel in the Countries capital. If staying outside the capital I am pretty sure you would find even cheaper.
  • Two trips on public transit a day (the counties average price).
  • One paid attraction a day based on prices in the countries capital.
  • Three cheap meals a day.
  • Three domestic beers a day.
  • Adding all for mentioned together for a total daily budget.

Here are 11 countries anyone can travel to on a college budget:

1. Colombia

Colombia- travel on a college budget
    Photo via Flickr

    Colombia has Caribbean coast, towering Andean mountains and mysterious Amazon jungle making it one of the most exotic and alluring countries in South America. Caribbean, Spanish and Indigenous cultures combine to create delicious cuisine, striking colonial architecture and the warmest, beautiful people. To make Colombia even more enticing, it can be as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes. Colombia has a lot of cheap accommodation options and is loaded with free and cheap things to do.

    Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attraction prices are based on prices in Cartagena and the rest is average pricing for Colombia.

    • Cheap accommodation- $11.77
    • Transportation- $1.62
    • Meals- $11.46
    • Drinks- $3.57
    • Attractions- $7.27
    • Daily budget- $35.69

    2. Ecuador

    Ecuador travel on a college budget
      Photo via Flickr

      Ecuador is Colonial architectural treasures, picturesque plazas and meandering cobbled streets. Coupled with misty Amazon rain forest, majestic volcanoes and you have all the makings of an adventurous fairy-tale. Whats even more surreal, travel to Ecuador can be quite cheap. Every city has many free and cheap things to do. Wander an open air market, they are free to visit and a great way to experience the culture in Ecuador or take a free walking tour and learn about the city you are visiting from a local guide.

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      Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Quito and the rest is average cost of living in Ecuador.

      • Cheap accommodation- $10.75
      • Transportation- $0.50
      • Meals- $9
      • Drinks- $3
      • Attractions- $5.25
      • Daily budget- $28.50

      3. Bolivia

      Bolivia travel on a college budget
        Photo via Flickr

        Some say a little perplexing, rough around the edges even. Bolivia is unequivocally robust, complex and bewitching. One of the Earths best trekking countries, Bolivia offers towering peaks, swaths of dense jungle and sweeping forbidden expanses that beckon you even further into the wild. What this means is, Bolivia is unbelievable and one heck of a deal to explore. It is free or very cheap to visit most of Bolivia’s beautiful churches and Museums.Outdoor adventure activities abound in this intriguing country and are quite inexpensive as well.

        Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in La Paz and the rest is average cost of living in Bolivia.

        • Cheap accommodation- $9.78
        • Transportation- $0.60
        • Meals- $6.51
        • Drinks- $4.51
        • Attractions- $1.93
        • Daily budget- $23.33

        4. Nicaragua

        Nicaragua travel on a college budget
          Photos via Flickr

          Smoldering Volcano Conception spills smoke over Lake Nicaragua and gives birth to one of the worlds most exciting views. Nicaragua’s Conception is fire from earth, wind over water telling the swirling, passionate tale of elemental importance in the countries tumultuous, distant past. It sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Good news is, it’s inexpensive too.

          Accommodation (hotel) and attractions are based on prices in Managua and the rest is average cost of living in Nicaragua.

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          • Cheap accommodation- $18
          • Transportation- $0.30
          • Meals- $15
          • Drinks- $3
          • Attractions- $7
          • Daily budget- $43.30

          5. Costa Rica

          Hike through the rain forest, zip line through the canopy. Enjoy gushing white water rapids and epic world class surfing. Hike lofty trails and behold smoldering volcanoes. Given its compact size, you can experience all of this in Costa Rica without breaking the bank.

          Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in San Jose and the rest is average cost of living in Costa Rica.

          • Cheap accommodation- $12
          • Transportation- $1.48
          • Meals- $22.23
          • Drinks- $6
          • Attractions- $9.28
          • Daily budget- $50.99

          6. Mexico

          medium_8563067756
            Photo via Flickr

            Mexico has it all; deserts spotted with juicy cactus, lush jungles teaming with exotic wildlife, white sand beaches and idyllic lagoons. Oh, and lets not forget all of the food that will make your taste buds rejoice. Mexico is a bonafide thriller for the senses. Not so much for the bank account.

            Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Mexico city and the rest is average cost of living in Mexico.

            • Cheap accommodation– $2
            • Transportation- $1.04
            • Meals- $13.26
            • Drinks- $4.41
            • Attractions- $6.32
            • Daily budget- $27.03

            7. Romania

            romania travel on a college budget
              Photo via Flickr

              Steeped in folk lore, Romania has all the trappings of a Grimms tale. There are heart-stopping castles perched ominously on jagged hilltops, villages that appear to have just stepped out of the middle ages and a small part of the population that still honestly believes in witchcraft. The stuff of fairy tales indeed.

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              Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Bucharest and the rest is average cost of living in Romania.

              • Cheap accommodation- $12.85
              • Transportation- $1.12
              • Meals- $16.41
              • Drinks- $4.23
              • Attractions- $4.01
              • Daily budget- $38.62

              8. Thailand

              medium_301954879
                Photo via Flickr

                Thailand has culture, history, shining temples, outstanding food, tropical beaches and buzzing cities with bumping nightlife. There is something for every budget no mater how small in the land famous for it’s peoples enchanting smiles.

                Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Chang Mai and the rest is average cost of living in Thailand.

                • Cheap accommodation- $6.63
                • Transportation- $1.22
                • Meals- $5.01
                • Drinks- $5.49
                • Attractions- $3.34
                • Daily budget- $21.69

                9. Albania

                Albania travel on a college budget
                  Photo via Flickr

                  Europe is perceived to be expensive but some of its countries are great for travelers on a budget. Quite possibly Europe’s best kept secret, Albania is loaded with natural beauty, remarkable attractions and mountain villages seemingly frozen back in time (like the prices to visit this little gem).

                  Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Tirana and the rest is average cost of living in Albania.

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                  • Cheap accommodation- $11.67
                  • Transportation- $0.54
                  • Meals- $18.66
                  • Drinks- $3.72
                  • Attractions- $6
                  • Daily budget- $40.59

                  10. Sri Lanka

                  sri lanka travel on a college budget
                    Photo via Flickr

                    Ahh, Sri Lanka; Savory food, limitless stretches of beach, enduring relics. Best known for it’s tea, I was surprised to learn tiny Sri Lanka has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Distances between things are short so it’s easy to get around cheaply. There is much to see, mountains, lush tea plantations,rain forest teaming with wild life and spectacular temples. Sri Lanka is alluringly beautiful, and affordable.

                    Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Colombo and the rest is average cost of living in Sri Lanka.

                    • Cheap accommodation- $16.02
                    • Transportation- $0.46
                    • Meals- $4.59
                    • Drinks- $4.14
                    • Attractions- $15
                    • Daily budget- $40.21

                    11. Indonesia

                    indonesia travel on a college budget
                      photo via Flickr

                      Indonesia is a land of intrigue. Boasting thousands of islands, hundreds of languages, white sand beaches and simmering volcanoes. Indonesians staggering diversity equals one heck of a grand adventure. With so much to offer travelers there are many free and cheap things to do to experience the best of Indonesia.

                      Accommodation (hostel dorm bed) and attractions are based on prices in Jakarta and the rest is average cost of living in Indonesia.

                      • Cheap accommodation- $17.22
                      • Transportation- $.58
                      • Meals- $6.12
                      • Drinks- $6.12
                      • Attractions- $1.02
                      • Daily budget- $31.06

                      Booking plane tickets is another budget challenge. Airlines adjust prices regularly so check prices early and frequently. They can change pricing multiple times within a week so check daily until you find a price you like. The best pricing is generally seven weeks in advance. You are likely to pay more booking last minute or too far in advance.

                      Featured photo credit: Pedro Szekely via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                      40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

                      40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

                      Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

                      1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

                      Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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                        2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

                        We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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                          3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

                          Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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                            4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

                            Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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                              5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                              Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                                6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                                We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                                  7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                                  This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                                    8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                                    One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                                      9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                                      If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                                        10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                                        Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                                          11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                                          Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                                            12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                                            Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                                              13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                              You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                                14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                                With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                                  15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                                  Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                                  Black-Bean-Cilantro-Mango

                                                    16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                                    If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                                      17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                                      The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                                        18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                                        If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                                          19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                                          Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                                            20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                                            I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                                              21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                              Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                                22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                                You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                                  23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                                  Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                                  Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                                    24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                                    Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                                      25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                                      Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                                        26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                                        If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                                          27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                                          Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                                            28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                            A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                                              29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                              You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                                                30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                                Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                                  31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                                  Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                                    32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                                    Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                                      33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                                      Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                                        34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                                        If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                                          35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                                          Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                                            36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                                            Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                                              37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                              You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                                38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                                Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                                  39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                                  Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                                    40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                                    You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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