With beds for £1 and lip-smacking food for less than that, Cambodia is so cheap you often feel guilty for paying so little. Where once travellers justifably feared to tread, Cambodia is now very much on the SE Asian itinerary for many a school leaver. Perhaps the country’s biggest draw is Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most amazing historical sites. Spiritual, sublime and yours for £3 a day…or less!
Unspoilt and undeveloped, despite its rise in popularity in the last few years, Vietnam is still super cheap, as well as being a beautiful country (although ‘beautiful’ might be stretching the description of thrillingly hectic capital Hanoi). You can easily get by on £5 a day, which includes a guest house, local food, transport and a bit of drinking. Just imagine the lifestyle you could have if you stretched to £10!
Of course, it is possible to do India on the not-so-cheap. A spending spree in Mumbai’s designer shops and a stay in an Internation hotel in Delhi is going to cost you as much as it would in Dubai, but away from these enclaves the cost of living is ridiculously low. Even if you travel first class on the trains and take taxis everywhere, you’ll be hard pressed to spend a lot of money here. For £15 (1,100 Rupees) a day, you can live like royalty.
In the heart of capital La Paz’s historic quarter, Calle Jaén, you’ll find one of the best preserved colonial streets in the whole of Bolivia. It definitely has style, and it also has four municipal museums. See them all for the grand total of 30p (55 cents). As if that weren’t enough (there’s more to life than museums?!), Bolivia perhaps boasts the best value for food and drink in all of South America. For example, a bottle of Paceña beer costs less than £1 ($1) and a bowl of chairo (potato soup) about the same. There: beer and soup – bases covered.
Budapest, the historic Hungarian capital on the Danube, is a definite must-see on anyone’s European tour. While it isn’t quite as cheap as before the budget airlines got there, it still has prices from its days at the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Indulge in luscious cakes, get refreshed on strong liquor and sweat it out in the famous thermal spas. With meals for £2 ($5), train tickets for £1 ($4) and rooms for £10 ($20), Budapest is a beautiful bargain.
There’s Belize. There’s Costa Rica. There’s even Guatemala. But for real bargain-basement Central American value, plump for Honduras. The country isn’t up there on the most-visited lists, but if you do visit you’ll discover white sand-and-palm beaches like the Maldives, diving to rival the Red Sea, and mega cheap food and drink, while spending less than £18 ($30) a day. Forget your money worries and have another cocktail!
Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have undergone a bit of a boom with British visitors in recent years, probably because they offer a total bargain compared with traditional summer sun destinations like the south of Spain. The further east you go, the cheaper it gets. If you prefer city breaking to beaches, capital Sofia offers hearty food, warm company, ‘robust’ drink and a comfy bed, which can all be yours for just £20 a day.
8. Sri Lanka
‘With gossamer-fine sands, cloud-wrapped mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations and palm trees wafting in the breeze, Sri Lanka is the picture perfect paradise’…Ok, thanks tourist brochure. We’ll concentrate on feasting on fish curry, trekking in the jungle and staying in hotels on the beach for tuppence. Well, not quite two pence, but you can live right royally for under £25 (5,000 LKR) a day.
Buenos Aires has earnt a reputation as one of the most exciting cities on the planet thanks partly to its totally up-for-it nightlife. Stay out of its most exclusive nightspots and you can experience the colourful, flamboyant life of the Argentinian capital for less than £25 ($40) a day.
Due to the country’s economic crisis, the cost of living in Greece is lower than it used to be (at least for visitors). On famous Greek islands like Paxos, you can bask on the beaches for free, grab a bed for a tenner and a meal for £5 – a fraction of the price of many other European countries. Greece is, quite possibly, the most underrated budget destination in Europe.