20 Best Budget-Friendly Countries to Travel with Friends

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Travelling with your friends is a joy and adventure in itself. I am sure you would agree with that. You are aligned on a budget, but you also share the same enthusiasm to explore the world.

One thing that is always true about travelling with your friends is that our plans often get sidelined due to lack of money.

Fortunately, going on your dream vacation along with your buddies doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pockets. Most people hesitate to wander away from popular tourist attractions that are way too expensive, as you are already familiar with.

Once you start considering some other destinations that are unfortunately less explored or overlooked, you would be surprised at what these places offer at much lower prices. I have been to three spots on this list personally, and I was blown away by the sheer beauty and hospitality.

Here are the 10 best budget-friendly countries to travel with friends that won’t put a hole in your pocket from all the countries worldwide.

Let’s dive right in.

Here are 20 Best Budget-Friendly Countries to Travel with Friends
10 Best Budget-Friendly Countries t...

Asia

Thailand

Thailand- best budget-friendly countries to travel with friends

It is impossible not the mention the obvious when it comes to talking about budget-friendly travel destinations. Thailand is a paradise for people on a tight budget which is why it’s also a perfect place for digital nomads.

No matter who you are or how much you have, Thailand has something to offer to everybody. From the pristine beaches in Pattaya, bustling streets of Bangkok, rejuvenating massage spas, and polite and welcoming people, Thailand is a wanderlust’s paradise.

Thailand has a perfect mix of bustling city life, the calm of serene beaches, incredible wildlife, and adrenaline-inducing adventure treks.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$-15$Meals are included with some hostels
Accommodation5$-10$Shared rooms are available in some motels
Transportation6$-10$/dayYou can easily rent a motorbike in Thailand. Fares might vary depending on the bike you rent.
SIM card7$1.5 GB data with unlimited calling for 30 days

🏖 Suggested read: Is Bangkok worth visiting? 15 Good Reasons to Visit Bangkok

Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam is an Asian wonder. Beautiful beaches, rich wildlife, lush-green paddy fields, ancient cultural heritage sites, and the healthiest street food in the world, Vietnam is packed full of surprises.

If you are a foodie, mouth-watering Vietnamese cuisines like Pho (most famous Vietnamese dish), Cha ca, and Banh xeo will leave your taste buds craving more.

For those who love adventure, Vietnam offers scuba-diving, rock climbing, kayaking and much more for half the price compared to other destinations in the world.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$-12$Vietnam has the healthiest street food in the world globally, thus saving your expenses on food.
Accommodation5$-10$Accommodation costs are amongst cheapest in the world.
Transportation5$-10$/daySimilar to Thailand you can rent a motorbike
SIM card3.50$-7.50$1.5 GB data with unlimited calling for 20 days

Indonesia

Indonesia

World’s largest island country is gifted with one of the most serene beaches, blooming wildlife, fantastic coral reefs, lush-green terrace paddy fields, rich culture, and kind people on the Earth. It’s no wonder almost every wanderlust wants to visit this majestic island country at least once in their lifetime.

Lucky for travel enthusiasts, Indonesia also happens to be one of the cheapest countries to travel globally, considering the fantastic travel experience the country provides.

Indonesia is one of the top-ranked countries in the world for surfing and scuba diving. Another great thing about travelling to Indonesia is exploring exotic wildlife and spending nights camping in the wilderness.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 15$Some hostels in Indonesia also provide breakfast.
Accommodation5$ to 20$ per nightStick to hostels or mid-range hotels, they are good enough with ample amenities to spend some nights.
Transportation5$ to 10$/dayRent a scooter for sightseeing. When travelling longer distances use public transportation.
Calling and internet3.50$ – 7.50$Don’t buy SIM cards at the airport as they cost more than what you get at nearby local stores.

🏖 Suggested read: Bora Bora or Bali for Honeymoon? An honest comparison to HELP you choose!!

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

This majestic and exotic island country below India usually goes under the radar of many travel enthusiasts looking for budget travel. Sri Lanka ‘The Pearl of Indian Ocean’ is home to one of the most extensive tea plantations globally and gifted with pristine white sandy beaches, dense national parks with diverse species, and bustling city life.

It’s a beautiful place to go for a vacation with your friends, where you can relax on the beaches and enjoy seafood in Colombo and Negombo.

If you are the adventurous type, you would be amazed by the plethora of adventure activities you can do in Sri Lanka. From scuba diving in the Indian Ocean to rock climbing on the cliffs of the Ella adventure national park, Sri Lanka has more than enough adventure for you.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 10$You can easily enjoy the best of Sri Lankan cuisine for as low as 5$-8$/ day.
Accommodation8$ to 15$ per nightDepending on the type of room you choose and amenities provided.
Transportation5$ to 15$/dayYou can rent a scooter for local sightseeing or book a taxi for 15$ to 20$ a day.
Calling and internet2$ – 3$1.5 GB /day with unlimited local calls for an entire month. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Nepal

Nepal

Tucked away between the mighty snow-capped Himalayas, Nepal is the ‘Land of Solitary Meditation and Penance.’

As the whole country is surrounded by the tall and mighty Himalayan Mountain range, Nepal is known for the best and extreme mountain adventures globally. Nepal is a trekking enthusiast’s paradise, from beginner mountain hikes on the Annapurna base camp to the most infamous Mt. Everest expeditions.

Apart from the gigantic mountains, Nepal is also known for its ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions, temples, and welcoming and courageous Gurkhas. Nepal offers all this and much more without burning a hole in your pocket.

I was fortunate enough to visit this mysterious land back in 2018 with my friends. It was the most adventurous trip of my life, particularly when trekking on the Annapurna base camp.

Nepal is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and get lost in the calm and serenity of the Himalayas.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 10$Avoid street foods in Nepal as they are not known to be the best. Stick to hotel food as they are quite inexpensive and hygienic.
Accommodation5$ to 15$ per nightCharges may go up as you travel to places located high above in the mountains otherwise its cheap.
Transportation10$ to 15$/dayPrivate car with shared expenses or local bus or other modes of transport.
Calling and internet2$ – 3$1.5 GB /day with unlimited local calls for an entire month. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Laos

Laos

Laos is a landlocked country that has few people living in it. The country is known for its spectacular landscape, including high mountains, lush jungles, crystal clear water, and rice fields covered in tea leaves.

Buddhist monasteries, rustic tribal villages, and serene stupas all add to the serenity of this land of lotus-eaters.

If you are looking for some peace and tranquility, then Laos is a place you must travel to with your friends. Laos offers you all this and much more without you having to stretch your dollar.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 10$You can save more money by tasting the exquisite Laos street food.
Accommodation5$ to 15$ per nightDorm rooms are quite cheap. Even staying in mid-range hotels won’t cost much.
Transportation10$ to 15$/dayPrivate car with shared expenses or local bus or other modes of transport.
Calling and internet2$ – 3$1.5 GB /day with unlimited local calls for an entire month. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia is always perceived as a bit expensive destination to travel mainly by those on a budget, but it’s not true. If you want to experience the best tropical weather, Malaysia is the place to hang out with your friends.

Malaysia will mesmerize you with its breath-taking landscapes, pristine beaches, rich wildlife and biodiversity, colourful festivals, tasty cuisines, and diverse culture.

There’s so much to do in Malaysia that you will always find yourself craving for more adventure. From playing with baby elephants in the elephant orphanage sanctuary, dinner along the Singapore River, to the fantastic tour of the Batu caves, there is enough to satisfy your wanderlust.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 10$Choose hostels that also provide breakfast
Accommodation5$ to 15$ per nightFor dorm rooms to mid-range hotels
Transportation3$-5$/10$ to 15$/dayLocal bus and train fare. Intercity travel costs up to 10$-15$
Calling and internet5$-8$2 GB /day with unlimited local calls for an entire month. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Cambodia

Cambodia

Home to Angkor Wat temple, the largest religious monument in the world spanning over 160 acres, Cambodia is a haven for budget travellers.

Experiences in Cambodia include:

  • Phnom Penh’s enticing riverfronts.
  • Sihanoukville’s beaches.
  • Battambang’s colonial towns.
  • The endless rice fields of Mondulkiri.
  • Lush green parks with quaint structures provide tranquillity.

You can do all of this and more for half the price of inter-city travel in the US. To spend a month in Cambodian dorms with just 1000$ is not tricky.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$ to 10$Choose hostels that also provide breakfast
Accommodation3$ to 10$ per nightFor dorm rooms to mid-range hotels
Transportation6$-15$/dayMotorbike for one day (Prices vary with the condition of the bike and your haggling skills)
Calling and internet2$1.5 GB /day with unlimited local calls for an entire month. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Europe

Romania

Romania

Infamously famous in the world for the Dracula castle, Romania is easily one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Romania is a Transylvanian wonder, surrounded by the majestic Carpathian Mountains with medieval towns, villages, churches, and tall castles.

Barring the most iconic destinations, most of the country mostly remains unexplored by tourists even today. Suppose you want to experience the life and beauty of living in a European town in the lush green mountains and the warmth of the kindest souls on Earth. In that case, Romania is a place to visit.

One of the best things about travelling in Romania is that you can easily hitch a ride everywhere you go. Romania is amongst the best hitchhiking-friendly countries in the world, which makes your journey more adventurous, fun, and dirt cheap.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals10$-15$Choose hostels that also provide breakfast
Accommodation10$-15 $ per nightFor hostels or local guesthouse
Transportation5$-10$/dayBus or a train ride
Calling and internet6$3 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 28 days. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Georgia

Georgia

At the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia is home to the world’s oldest wineries, stunning landscapes, ancient churches, and the most generous and good-hearted people in the world. Every part of this country will mesmerize you with the scenic beauty and hospitality of the local people.

Like Romania, Georgia is also known to be amongst the best countries in Europe for hitchhiking, which further adds to your Georgian experience and saves you money on transportation. Not just that, most hostels charge only 3$ for a night, and entrance fees to tourist spots are as low as 4$ on average.

The locals are friendly and helpful, and you can hitchhike for short or long distances. In Georgia, one could easily spend months without getting bored. For those with more time than money.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals10$-15$Choose hostels that also provide breakfast
Accommodation5$-15$ per nightFor hostels or local guesthouse
Transportation5$-10$/dayHitchhiking in Georgia will save you a lot of money if you ready to wait and walk a little.
Calling and internet3$1 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 28 days. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey island where two cultures, the east, and the west, live in tandem. If you want to experience the best of both these cultures, then Turkey is the best destination in the world to do so. Turkey is a wanderlust delight from the stunning medieval mosques, picturesque landscapes, Turkish baths, delicious food, and kind people.

The best thing about travelling in Turkey is that you save on transportation if you are ready to walk a little and hitchhike your way through the Turkish roads. Almost everyone we came across in Turkey was very kind and generous to us and went as far as inviting us for a meal.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals10$-15$Some hostles offer complimentary breakfast
Accommodation5$-15$ per nightFor hostels or local guesthouse
Transportation1$-3$/ 30$-50$/dayFor taxi and intercity bus travel (Hitchhiking in Turkey is a great way to save money on transportation)
Calling and internet3$1 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 28 days. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Estonia

Estonia

This Baltic state always goes under the radar of even the most adept wanderlusts. Estonia is the most forested country in Europe, with 53% of the land covered by forest. This also means that hiking and exploring national parks are plentiful and inexpensive (if not completely free).

Most small towns also have fantastic walking and cycling options, which means transportation costs can be minimal.

However, not all small towns have affordable hostels, so plan your stay based on your itinerary and take day trips to more affordable locations.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals10$-15$Some hostles offer complimentary breakfast
Accommodation10$-12$ per nightFor hostels or local guesthouse
Transportation3$-6$/ 10$-15$              For taxi and intercity bus travel
Calling and internet7$3 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 28 days. (Prices may vary from operator to operator)

Albania

Albania

This southeastern country in the Balkan region is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Albania stunned us with its spectacular beaches, ancient towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, scenic landscapes, and delectable Mediterranean cuisine.

To add the Albanian adventure, we hitchhiked from Tirana to Shkodër in a truck with the most enthusiastic driver we’ve ever met in our life. Hitchhiking in Albania was a little tiresome but fun and pretty cheap nonetheless.

Albania is an excellent option for those looking to explore the splendour of Europe on a shoestring budget. Additionally, you can reduce your accommodation costs by ‘Couchsurfing’ at a local’s home.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals6$-15$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation8$-19$ per nightFor hostels and rooms with double occupancy
Transportation5$-11$/day              For taxi and intercity bus travel. (Taxi rides cost significantly more than public transportation)
Calling and internet7$-13$2 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 28 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three week validity)

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

This lovely small country in Eastern Europe is a budget-travellers haven. Bulgaria is one of Europe’s oldest countries. It is also famous for its hitchhiking culture, which began during the socialist regime. So it’s no surprise that hitchhiking in Bulgaria is more enjoyable and convenient than taking public transportation.

You’d be surprised what Bulgaria has to offer for low travelling costs. Bulgaria has everything for every kind of traveller, from the scenic landscapes, sandy beaches, turquoise waters, medieval churches, ancient miniatures, Neolithic caves to the traditional vineyards.

Bulgaria is an excellent choice for people on a tight budget who want to explore the beauty of Eastern Europe, learn about ancient culture, and make new friends.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals6$-10$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation12$-25$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation6$-9$/day              For taxi and intercity bus travel.
Calling and internet10$-18$9 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Americas

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is currently one of the least expensive Central American travel destinations, though this is unlikely to last much longer. The country has been dubbed “the next Costa Rica,” which we all know what it means. The country is still affordable, fun, and interesting for the time being, so visit before prices rise and mass tourism takes over.

For adventure lovers, Nicaragua offers fantastic hiking, trekking, surfing, and scuba diving experience. For those looking for some solitude, the sandy beaches are a great escape to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals6$-10$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation5$-15$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation3$-5$, 8$-15$/day              For taxi and intercity bus travel.
Calling and internet12$1/ GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Colombia

Colombia

Colombia, a vibrant destination with a dark past, is quickly gaining popularity. Museums and historical sites in Bogota, the Lost City, and beyond will fascinate history buffs.

The Amazon awaits nature lovers. Colombia has some of the world’s best diving sites and beaches for diving enthusiasts. Consider booking a luxurious villa for a night or two; you won’t find a better deal anywhere else in the world!

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals10$-15$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation8$-12$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation1$-3$, 10$-50$/day              For taxi and intercity bus travel. (Some domestic flights are cheaper than intercity bus service)
Calling and internet13$2 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Bolivia

Bolivia

If you want to have a truly South American adventure on a limited budget, Bolivia is the place for you. You will encounter several roads that meander through the mountains, but you shouldn’t have any problems with the altitude.

While it is nearly impossible to travel and see everything on the Salt Flats and Death Road Bicycle Trip, you simply must see the Amazon due to it being virtually untouched, and the country is incredibly ethnically diverse.

To keep things cheap, just live like the locals. In a local restaurant, a 3-course meal can be had for under $2. Taking local buses and walking into local guesthouses instead of booking online saves money and time. Tours to places like the Salt Flats can be costly, but totally worthwhile.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals8$-10$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation8$-12$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostels
Transportation1$-2$, 8$-15$/day              For taxi and intercity train rides.
Calling and internet8$1 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Africa

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco is a cheap and easy way to travel to Europe. That is if you can avoid the pushy salesmen hawking overpriced rugs and trinkets! Travelling on a budget in Morocco is simple.

Morocco has a growing network of backpacker hostels, which will please backpackers. You can also stay in one famous raid, traditional hotels with garden courtyards that provide a nice respite from the busy city streets.

The Sahara has more sand grains than stars in the universe, which is an excellent thought while camping in the Moroccan desert under a clear Milky Way sky.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$-10$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation10$-25$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation1$-2$, 8$-15$/day              For taxi and intercity train ride.
Calling and internet5$1 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Kenya

Kenya

Africa is the ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, with countless wild species and scenic safaris. This East African country with an Indian Ocean coastline is the only one that will provide you with endless outdoor activities.

It offers a traditional African safari, hot air balloon safari, wildlife savannas, and white sand islands with sparkling blue water.

In addition, you will discover rich and intriguing cultures, pristine coastal beaches, scorching deserts, and coral reefs. Dive in Malindi Marine National Park or snorkel in Manda Toto Island.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals5$-10$Some hostels also provide complimentary
Accommodation5$-10$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation1$-2$, 8$-15$/day              For taxi and intercity train ride.
Calling and internet5$2 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

Egypt

Egypt

Many countries in the world are not only affordable but also have ancient civilizations. Travel to India to see the Taj Mahal, Jordan to see ancient tombs and temples, or Peru to hike through the ruins of Machu Picchu.

On top of the list are Egypt’s pyramids and the 13th-century BC Abu Simbel Temples. One can enjoy the ancient Abu Simbel Temples, an informative full-day tour from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings, and several enjoyable excursions like sampling delicious local teas and sweets in one of Cairo’s many teahouses for the price of a movie ticket.

While cheap hotels are available throughout Egypt, a three-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor can save you time and money.

Travel activityTravel expenseRemarks
Meals4.65$-10$Street food is very cheap in Egypt especially meat.
Accommodation7$-14$ per nightFor single to double occupancy in hostles
Transportation2.55$-10$/day              For taxi and intercity train ride.
Calling and internet4$1 GB /day with unlimited local calls for 30 days. (Some network operators also provide tourist packages with three-week validity)

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***

Travelling with your friends is definitely more fun. You end up having enough crazy and fun memories to last you for a lifetime that you can cherish. Not to forget the added advantage of saving lots of money on trips where you don’t end up sharing most of the burden of your vacation.

The places mentioned above are not just cheap but also safe when it comes to travelling. Budget-travelling is an art and the more you travel, the more you learn how to save your time and money.

So choose any one destination from above list, pack your bags, pull your socks and enjoy one of the best moments of your life with the best buddies.

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About the author
Aditya Bhosale
Hello there. For the past five years, I have worked as a travel blogger, photographer, and digital marketer. I packed my backpack, pulled up my socks, and have been wandering around the world wherever the roads lead me since quitting my mundane 9 to 5 job.

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