Yes, you read the title right. While many people have no idea that it is possible to go on an adventure while spending so little money, believe me — it is. This is a guide to traveling for months or even years while spending much less money than most people pay just for rent. Here are the important things you need to know so that you can properly plan your trip:
Where to Go
You probably already realize that if you want to spend less than $15 per day including hotel, food, and other things, you will need to go to a country where this is possible. Here are two main areas where you can still do this, with a few countries in each area that are cheap enough to live well on $500 per month:
Central/South America: Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua,Honduras,Belize,Bolivia,Peru Ecuador
Southeast Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam
While there are other countries in the world where you can go on this low of a budget, the ones mentioned above are great because they allow you to travel between different countries with lots of variety without overspending on your budget.
Now that you know where you can go, here are some of the best kept secrets that long-term travelers use to go on adventures that last years while spending less than most people would on a 3 week vacation:
- Don’t move too fast! Your biggest expense will likely be local travel, whether it is by bus, train, or boat. Get to a place and stay for a while.
- If you find a place you really like, pay rent by the month. In very cheap countries, you can often negotiate to rent an apartment for $100 to $200 per month.
- Live like the locals, not the tourists. Watch where the locals eat, and go there. In places where most people earn $2 per day, you better believe that there are restaurants with decent food for 50 cents or less. Your best bet is usually the local markets.
- Don’t spend all of your money on Alcohol! In many countries, a good meal or even a hotel room can be had for less than the price of one beer in a bar or restaurant.
There you have it, the basics of traveling the world for less than the cost of an average dinner in a western country. The most important thing to remember is to have fun, and not get too uptight about your budget.
About the Author
Jeffrey Kafka has spent over a decade traveling the world, mostly in Latin America and Southeast Asia. He has mastered the art of working for a few months and then playing for over a year in cheap countries, and so can you!