5 Underrated Pocket-Friendly Countries for the Budget Vacation of Your Dreams

5 Underrated Pocket-Friendly Countries for the Budget Vacation of Your Dreams

Traveling the world, though however much of an experience that gives back, can cause a serious dent in the pocket. But what many don’t realize is that you can have the time of your life around the world, on a budget! An unforgettable experience doesn’t always need to deplete your finances, so here are five of the most underrated locations for a perfect vacation on a budget:

Sri Lanka

One can easily get around in the gorgeous tropical country of Sri Lanka with daily expenses averaging $33. Pocket-friendly accommodation options include local hotels and Airbnbs, but your best bet is small, family-run homestays. Hospitality in these stays is excellent, and you can expect to pay $15-20 a night for a comfortable, authentic Sri Lankan experience. If you wish you stay in fancier hotels or private villas, expect to pay about $50-$100 a night.

Transport in Sri Lanka is easily accessible and affordable. Tuk-tuks, also called auto rickshaws, are widely available, and if you want one to take you around for the day, expect to pay around $15-$20. An average one-way ride in a tuk-tuk will cost you $0.18 per kilometer. For a 7-hour ride, a first-class train ticket costs $8.59; a second-class ticket costs $1.77; a third-class ticket costs $1.00. Bus tickets are typically priced from $0.15 for a short journey to $2 for a journey that takes several hours. If you eat street food at local shops, food will cost you roughly $7 a day. Eating at higher-end places will cost $30 a day. Popular attractions and activities in Sri Lanka range from $3-$75. Some of these are free and open to all.


When vacationing in the beautiful, historical Laos, you will typically be spending about $30 a day. Although the local currency is the Laotian Kip (1 USD = 11,950 LAK based on present conversion rates), USD is widely used and is accepted almost everywhere in Laos. A hostel dorm bed is about $5-$10 a night; a private room is $15 a night; and for $60 a night, you can stay at a pretty decadent hotel. Intercity bus rides, usually overnight, are priced between $10-$21. You can find excellent street food in Laos for $1-$2. A two-course restaurant meal with a beer is about $10. For local attractions and tours (the more expensive of which can be 2 days long), you can expect to pay anything between $37-$350, depending on which activity you choose.


When in Poland, daily expenses usually come out to be around $40. For a single dorm bed, you will be paying about $5-$15 a night. But if you’d like to save even more and would like to explore the option of free accommodation, Poland is big on couchsurfing. Farm stays are hugely popular in rural Poland and are typically pretty inexpensive. Airbnbs here are also very reasonable.

For your travel needs, buses are cheap and very well-connected. Again, if you’d like to not pay for transport altogether, hitchhiking is a popular and safe option in the country. Wait times are low and drivers are friendly. Another cheap way to get around in Poland is through ridesharing apps, which are also a very popular choice. For gastronomy on a budget, your best bet is Poland’s iconic Milk Bars, which serve delicious meals for under $4. These Milk Bars harbor a cafeteria vibe and wait times are low.


You can easily have an enjoyable day in the incredible country of Cambodia for $25 a day. Currency is not an issue as US dollars are widely accepted in Cambodia. Your cheapest accommodation option is staying in a 10-bed hostel dorm for $0.50 a night. These can be a bit of a compromise, but can be worth it if you’re on a really tight budget. Alternatively, you can opt for $5-$10 a night dorm beds, or for private rooms which are typically priced at $15 a night.

You also have the option of couchsurfing in Cambodia if you want to cut down on your expenditure even more. The country has thousands of hosts who will welcome you happily. Bus tickets in Cambodia are $10 each and you can also take ferry rides to nearby islands for an average of $12, one-way. Tuk-tuks are also a cheap option to get around. Food in the country is very cheap and delicious. You can get a good meal for as little as $1, and food expenses will be a maximum of $5 a day. Activities and tourist attractions here can cost you anywhere between $1-$70.


A typical day in the country of Romania will have you paying about $33. As it is one of Europe’s most inexpensive countries, a night at a business hotel with all basic amenities and sometimes more, will cost you $35. Business hotels are an excellent option for budget travelers as they give you everything you need, just without the lavishness of what you get at a resort. Alternatively, most bed-and-breakfasts are about $40 per night. Staying at a mixed-dorm hostel will cost you around $16 a night, which is about as reasonable as it gets in Europe. Expect to pay around $10 for transport per day. When it’s time to eat, Romania has great, pocket-friendly options. A decent meal for one at a restaurant is typically about $10, and a small café meal is $4.