You wanna travel this year, and you’re wondering which destination is going to give you the most epic experience at the lowest cost? Well, I’ve gathered together the top travel content creators/travel experts who are sharing with you 12 insanely cheap budget travel destinations to visit in 2023. Siya and I will be sharing ours as well, so be sure to read through until the very end.
If you’d prefer to listen to the top travel creators share their top choices for budget travel destinations to visit in 2023, click the play button below:
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #1: Bangladesh
Mark Weins from Migrationology say Bangladesh should be on your budget travel list to visit in 2023 and here’s why:
“Bangladesh is a country I just absolutely loved visiting. It’s one of the densest countries in the world! When you’re there, there’s just so much action happening everywhere you look. The people are extremely friendly, and the food should be top priority. The food in Bangladesh is so good with so many spices and ingredients like mustard oil, which gives such a unique flavor to the food. When it comes to budget, Bangladesh is very affordable to travel in. Let’s start with the food…
You know how when you travel a lot of places, it’s not uncommon to find a small snack for around $1 USD? This is especially true in Asia where you can get a lot of things for a dollar. In Bangladesh, take that dollar and move it to 50 cents, and you’ll find plenty of delicious snacks on the street. One situation I remember is when we ate Fuchka, which is similar to Panipuri, which are small crispy fritters, stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and dipped in a variety of spice waters. I ate an entire plate of Fuchka, and it only cost 58 cents. It was one of the greatest little plates of food that I’ve had in a long time. You can have a full meal in Bangladesh that’s extremely affordable.
As for accommodation, there’s basically every level that you can imagine. If you want something really budget friendly, you could get a room for the night for $5 – $10. Transportation is also very affordable. One way to get around, especially when you’re in Dhaka, is by bicycle powered rickshaws, which are very cheap.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #2: Bulgaria
Kara and Nate have traveled to over 100 countries, and they are choosing Bulgaria as their top budget friendly destination to visit in 2023:
“The most affordable place that we visited this past year was Bulgaria. We were so shocked when we booked our Airbnb in the middle of the capital city. It was three bedrooms, perfect location, beautiful apartment for less than $100 USD per night.
We rented a car and drove into the mountains where I kid you not, we ate at a restaurant, and our bill was $13 USD for three people! That included wine, appetizers, dessert and a coffee to finish the meal.
We also slept inside of a monastery surrounded by the mountains for $10 per night. Not to mention the nature in Bulgaria is absolutely incredible. There are tons of hiking trails which are of course…free!”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #3: Romania
“I was just in Romania a year and a half ago, and I was blown away! Romania is one of my favorite countries. I was in Kluge, which is in Transylvania, and spent about $40 USD per night to stay in an Airbnb located right in the city centre. A two-person date night consisting of half a litre of beer, wine and dessert cost around $35 USD.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #4: Lebanon
Alyssa Ramos from My Life’s a Travel Movie recommends you add Lebanon to your 2023 travel plans. Here’s why:
“I went to Lebanon last year and had an amazing time. The dollar is devalued there right now which is great for us USD people, but not great for the locals of Lebanon…unless you go there and spend a bunch of money, which I highly encourage you to do! You can start out in Beirut where you can rent a car for about $15 USD a day and head up to my favorite area called Batroun. Here you can stay at Batroun Suites, which has a cool rooftop pool and vibe right in the middle of the downtown area. From there, you can get access to all the cool beach clubs. My favorite beach club is probably Butler’s Beach and Valero. It costs around $10-$15 USD for entry, but it includes drinks and food.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #5: Guatemala
“At the beginning of 2022, my wife Raya and I got to visit Guatemala while we were driving through Central America in our school bus. It was so rich in history and culture and has quickly become one of my favorite countries. Although there are expensive options throughout the country, if you know where to look and with the help of locals, you can find some incredible gems. One specific secondhand clothing market we visited in Antigua was unbelievably cheap. There were great pieces of clothing for less than $1 USD.
The hike we did up Fuego Volcano was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and also very affordable to get a guide for the day. We also stayed in a cheap RV campsite for only $16 a night, and it had quirky accommodation available to stay in including a helicopter and other school buses. One tip for affordable food, like anywhere you visit, is asking where the locals eat.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #6: Turkey
Nadine Sykora of Hey Nadine says Turkey (Antalya, Turkey to be exact), should be your pick for best budget friendly destinations to visit in 2023:
“This beautiful seaside city not only has stunning beaches, but is filled with so many well preserved ancient structures from both Greece and Rome. You’ll find ancient walls, towers and the famous Hadrian’s Gate right inside the main city center. I’d also recommend taking a day trip to both Aspendos and Perge while you’re there. My husband and I traveled there in 2018, and our hotel was pretty nice for only $50 USD per night. You can get even cheaper hostels in the main city center if you’d like. The food is also affordable where you can get a good meal for like $3 to $5 USD.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #7: Cuba
Deb from The Planet D says Havana, Cuba is a great choice as a budget destination to visit this year:
“As a Canadian, we all know that Havana is a go-to budget destination for all inclusive resorts and packaged tours, but my husband Dave and I found that going downtown Havana was a far more authentic and fulfilling experience. Instead of choosing an expensive hotel or resort, stay at a Casa Particular. Casa Particulars are locally run home states that include breakfast. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll immerse in Cuban culture and support local owners. You can get a good bed and breakfast for as low as $30 USD, but very savvy budget travelers can find it for as low as $15 to $18 USD.
Havana is really cheap to explore. Most of its top attractions are all within walking distance of old Havana or Central. I suggest starting at Old Havana and Parque Central and that’s where you’ll see all of the major classic cars lined up. If you haggle hard, you can get a good deal on a tour in a convertible. However, for those on a tight budget, instead of paying for a tour, all you need to do is hail a collectivo. Collectivos are shared rides that locals take. You’ll be joining a group of three to five locals that can take you on all kinds of routes throughout the city.
Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site and most of the sites are free to enter. You can get lost visiting its cathedrals and museums on your own, or you can join a free walking tour in Havana. But the best way to see Havana is at night when it really comes alive. You can spend all your time outdoors, intermingling with all of the families and musicians out on the streets. Grab some Cuban rum and head out for a night on the town. We stayed away from the all-inclusive resorts and the state run restaurants and instead ate at Paladares. They’re easy to find when you’re walking around El Centro or the Prodo or the old town. Just look for the locals, go inside and you’ll have some delicious and affordable Cuban food.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #8: Indonesia
Christian LeBlanc from Lost LeBlanc says you need to add Indonesia to your list for budget travel destinations to visit this year. In fact, he loved the country so much, he moved there years ago. Here’s what he has to say:
“My country of choice is Indonesia. It’s where I’ve chosen to live after seven years of travel to about 80 plus countries. This is my home. I’m here in Bali, Indonesia, and while we’ve all heard of Bali at one point or another, let me just say that’s just the starting point. Bali is incredible, but there’s a list of dozens of islands that you may not have even heard of that are incredible adventures just waiting for you.
The first reason why you should consider Indonesia is the price. It’s so cheap to travel around here especially once you get outside of the most touristy areas. You can travel for a fraction of the cost of North American, South American, or European travel. Secondly is the beauty of this destination. Indonesia has the most incredible cliff sides, mountains and volcanoes. It’s truly a fairytale. With that does come one drawback – you’ll most likely find trash. The plastic pollution is sadly the Achilles heel of this destination.
The third reason why you should choose Indonesia as your budget travel destination to visit in 2023, is it has something for everyone. If you wanna be partying, meeting new people, drinking in fancy coffee shops and having top of the line dinners, then Bali has you covered. If you wanna get adventurous, well you can actually do that here in Bali, but look no further than the surrounding islands. You’ll find incredible hikes to the top of an active volcano to go to one of the most lush and beautiful flowing waterfalls you’ve ever dreamed of.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #9: South Africa
“I moved to Cape Town in 2017, planning to stay for six months and ended up staying for four years. I have a lot to say about South Africa and Cape Town, but focusing in on why it’s such a great budget destination. The South African Rand is 17 to $1 USD, and you can get a lot of bang for your buck here. If we use my favorite fancy coffee shop as an example, you can get a milky coffee like a cappuccino or a flat white for about $2 USD. A really nice breakfast like avocado toast with poached eggs and smoked salmon is only around $7 USD. You can do it a lot cheaper, but if you’re considering that the high end is less than $10 it’s really, really good value.
Another thing that makes Cape Town so affordable is that Uber is really cheap. You might spend $2 or $3 USD to get from one part of the city to the other. A lot of neighbourhoods are also very walkable. In terms of activities, there’s many free things to do. You have beautiful white sand beaches and lots of incredible hiking. One of the coolest things to do in town is visit the African Penguins at Boulders Beach. That is a national park, and admission is around $8 USD. I could go on and on about all of the reasons that Cape Town is an amazing budget friendly destination, but I would recommend going and seeing for yourself.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #10: Sri Lanka
Juliana Broste of Traveling Jules says to add Sri Lanka to your list of budget friendly destinations to visit in 2023:
“There’s so much to see all packed onto one island. You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the capital city Colombo and climb to the top of the Lotus Tower. Next, you can go on safari seeing Asian elephants in the wild at a wildlife sanctuary. You can explore ancient cities like Anuradhapura and of course you’ve gotta see the Kandyan dancers. Their costumes are so intricate! You can visit a tea plantation where you can see how tea is plucked from the fields. It’s quite an interesting tradition. You’ll spend anywhere from 5,500 to 20,000 Sri Lankan rupees per day, which is about $14 to $54 USD. From the beautiful scenery to the wildlife to the rich culture, you’re gonna fall in love with Sri Lanka and it won’t break the bank.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #11: Costa Rica
Siya Zarrabi (one half of Hopscotch the Globe) chooses Costa Rica as his budget friendly destination of choice to visit in 2023. Now, Costa Rica can be expensive, but now that we live in the country, we’ve realized it can most defintly be budget friendly to:
“We’ve made Costa Rica our home. We fell in love with this country 10 years ago when we visited the first time. So, we ended up buying land here, and it’s where we call home base today. There are so many ways to travel cheaply throughout the country. First of all, its location is very central, which means there’s a lot of flight options to help get you here as cheap as possible. A typical dish called a Casado, which is rice, beans, a protein and veggies costs around $5 USD. If you really want to be budget conscious, there are so many fruit vendors and markets in this country where you can easily get a huge mango and bananas for under $1 USD.
There’s so many free things to do in this country to keep yourself occupied. Costa Rica is the most bio diverse country in the world, which means you are guaranteed to see natural beauty and wildlife everywhere you go…free of charge! The cheapest form of accommodation here is a hostel which will cost around $10-$30 USD per night. Since tourism is so big here, there’s many options for you to find a rental or an Airbnb anywhere you go. These will range on the cheaper end from $20 to $40 USD per night. You can even rent a tent and go camping in some places. You can also look at renting a vehicle that comes with a tent on the rooftop. Then you can drive around this country and have both a vehicle and accommodation stay in one.”
2023 Budget Travel Destinations #12: India
Lastly, my top choice for budget destinations to visit in 2023 is…India! Here’s why:
I’ve have spent six months in total in the country traveling all around from the north to the very south. It’s the most budget friendly destination I’ve ever been to out of the 70 countries I’ve traveled to date. Not just that, but India is one of my favorite countries in the entire world. I actually did a budget breakdown of one month I spent in India, which I recommend you check out.
Although it’s from a few years ago, prices haven’t changed very much. A typical Indian dish that you’ll get in a restaurant will cost around $2 to $3 USD. This will include a drink and plenty of food. If you wanna pay even less, you can check out a local dhaba, and you can get the same dish for about $1 USD.
When it comes to accommodations, as a single traveler you can expect to pay anywhere between $2 to $18 USD per night to stay in a guest house, ashram or hostel. Obviously the closer you get to the $18 USD mark, the nicer the guest house or hostel is going to be. But, even for $40 USD per night, you can stay in complete luxury all over the country.
The transportation system in India is very convenient. There’s many ways to get around. You can get an Uber in Delhi for an hour to go around the city. It’ll cost you $7 USD. You can take a train, which I highly recommend, from Delhi to Agra, and it will cost you $16 USD to stay in comfort class, which is really nice.