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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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                      Published on November 11, 2020

                      10 Best Ways to Save Money Faster and Smarter

                      10 Best Ways to Save Money Faster and Smarter

                      People love to talk about budgeting, reducing spending. and investing. But unfortunately, talk is cheap, and poor money management is expensive. It’s easy to talk about the best way to save money, but putting it into practice is a different thing.

                      What people need to talk about is the practical and efficient ways you can quickly save money to accomplish your goals. After all, they don’t teach this stuff in school.

                      Here are the 10 best ways to save money faster and smarter.

                      1. Cancel All Your Subscriptions

                      Yes, all of them.

                      Okay, you can keep your wifi and trash. But other than that, cancel all your monthly subscriptions for one month. You will survive, I promise. Better yet, you will realize you won’t miss all of them.

                      Now that you have had 30 days to examine what you really missed and what you never thought twice about, you can add some of them back in. The others? you never have to think about them again.

                      This is something you can and should do with every part of your life. If it’s clutter, cancel it. Being able to step back and see what is cluttering your life and what is excelling your forward helps improve your quality of life and financial standing.

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                      2. Automate Savings From Your Paycheck

                      Many of us are so excited about getting a new job that we rush through the paperwork during the hiring process. Good news for you, I have had lots of jobs so I have seen it a million times.

                      There is an option for a portion of your paycheck to go directly into a secondary savings account. This is by far the most effective way to save money every month. We tend to spend most of what we have. So, if we take it off the top first, then it’s less likely to be spent. Just head over to HR and ask. It will only take two minutes.

                      3. Cancel the Happy Hours for the Rest of the Pandemic

                      We are in the middle of a global pandemic, which means that there is no better time to buy some drinks from the local store and stop shelling out $5 a drink at the local cocktail bar. When we look back at our bank statements, we are always shocked that fast food and alcohol can add up so quickly. You can easily save a couple of hundred dollars just by taking this step.

                      A great exercise is to print out your last bank statement and highlight all the areas of alcohol and fast food. The amount may surprise you and make you think twice about that old fashion.

                      4. Online Grocery Shopping

                      Some people think online shopping increases the amount they spend. For the most part, I would agree—except for this category.

                      Online grocery shopping is now a no-brainer, though. Whenever you walk through a grocery store, two things always happen: you always grab impulse items, and you never know the total of your cart until you checkout. This means that we always spend more than we originally planned.

                      With online shopping, you can see your total as you add items to your cart. You are way less inclined to make those impulse purchases and because of that, I would venture to say that you could even pay to have them delivered to your door and still save money each month by choosing online grocery shopping.

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                      5. Get a Famzoo Debit Card

                      This is something my wife and I swear by, and it’s great for the entire family! Famzoo strictly exists to help families and kids budget their money better. Each month, my wife and I have an allotted amount loaded onto our pre-paid Famzoo debit card. This amount has changed every year depending on promotions, kids, stage of life, etc.

                      The important part is that when you give yourself the freedom to spend a certain amount, you are more likely to only spend the allotted amount. Think of it as a diet. If you are counting calories, you are more likely to stick close to the amount you set. You can also look for some tips online to better stick to your family budget.

                      6. Purge

                      This is actually my favorite to do, and it is actually one of the best ways to save money. Raise your hand if you have ever moved. Okay, so everyone.

                      When we move, we are always amazed at how much junk we have acquired. I have found that about every 6 months, I can find a couple of boxes to sell online of things that we never use. This not only gives you so extra quick cash, but it also keeps your house more tidy and organized.

                      Now, go clean out that garage!

                      7. Amazon Subscribe and Save

                      32! That is how many items I have setup on amazon subscribe and save. Let me explain.

                      This sounds expensive, I know. But it actually saves us hundreds of dollars per year! We all need toothpaste, shampoo, razors, laundry detergent, toilet paper right? This feature is truly a triple threat. When you have more than 5 items on subscribe and save, you automatically unlock the max savings for every product on your list. This can be up to 20% per item!

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                      Now, even better is that it ships straight to your door on the exact day you want the item, maybe monthly or maybe you only need it every 4 months. This way, you never have too much or never run out. Either way, it’s totally customizable.

                      Lastly, there is no contract for any items, which means you can switch brands or items at any given time at no cost. My advice: every single staple item should be on your subscribe and save.

                      8. Rewards

                      This may ruffle some feathers, but if you are using your debit card for purchases, you are missing out on free money! We have this notion that credit cards are evil but in reality, they are the same piece of plastic as your debit card.

                      How you use it can be bad, don’t get me wrong. But if you want my opinion though, ditch the debit card and get a rewards credit card. Use it just like you would your debit card and make sure to pay it off as soon as the statement comes in!

                      Just to give you an idea of how powerful this can be in terms of money, here are some things that our miles have paid for:

                      • 4 nights in Vail with Flight
                      • Rental car in Vail (convertible might I add)
                      • Flight to Ireland
                      • Flight to Hawaii
                      • Multiple staycations at very nice Hotels

                      That’s roughly about 7 thousand dollars in travel expenses so far! Remember that the credit card is just a tool and can be one that benefits you if you use it wisely. Ironically, this can be an effective way to save money.

                      Pro tip: If you don’t trust yourself carrying around a credit card, then set up all your monthly bills with your credit and leave it in a drawer at home. This way, you rack up miles but don’t get tempted to overspend.

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                      9. Vacation With Friends

                      Now, I know travel is hard right now but what a perfect time to go grab an Airbnb in the woods with a couple of friends and detox from the world right now!

                      Vacationing alone can be pricey and get rather boring quickly, but if you split lodging and set out for a road trip, it can become affordable quickly! For a couple of hundred bucks apiece, you can have one of the most relaxing vacations ever. Don’t forget to pick up your food at the local grocery store to avoid eating out every meal!

                      10. Make a Budget

                      When is the last time you updated your budget or made one for that matter? Making a budget is like writing down your goals. If you don’t make a budget, then you will struggle to save.

                      How can you know if you are spending wisely if you are not tracking everything?

                      Our advice would be to get a finance app like Mint, Every dollar, or personal capital. All these apps are free and do a tremendous job of tracking spending and budgeting. I still am old-school and have an excel spreadsheet which I do highly recommend.

                      Work Smarter, Not Harder

                      The entire goal is to boost your bank account while reducing the effort required. Efficiency is the name of the game, and automation is the key player. Luckily, we live in a world that has more perks than we can ever take advantage of. But if I were to choose a few, it would be the ones above.

                      Taking on all 10 of these steps may seem a little daunting. You can first try to pick three of your favorite and start there. Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore as long. As we use the tools correctly, it can be quite effortless. And now, you have a great blueprint to get started!

                      More Tips on Saving Money

                      Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

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