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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 June 6, 2019

                      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

                      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

                      Are you on track for retirement?

                      If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

                      Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

                      But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

                      If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

                      What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

                      Saving for retirement is tricky.

                      Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

                      Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

                      Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

                      Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

                      20’s – $16,000

                      During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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                      Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

                      30’s – $45,000

                      At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

                      Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

                      40’s – $63,000

                      This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

                      50’s – $115,000

                      During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

                      60’s – $172,000

                      By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

                      Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

                      The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

                      Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

                      First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

                      Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

                      Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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                      How to Save Money Each Month

                      By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

                      But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

                      Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

                      Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

                      Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

                      Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

                      Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

                      To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

                      How?

                      By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

                      Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

                      If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

                      Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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                      Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

                      Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

                      When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

                      Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

                      Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

                      If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

                      Why?

                      You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

                      Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

                      Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

                      Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

                      After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

                      You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

                      By starting a side-business.

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                      This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

                      The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

                      So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

                      Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

                      Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

                      What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

                      My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

                      Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

                      For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

                      If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

                      Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

                      Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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