What is the real secret to cheap international travel? It’s the same as the secret to doing anything for less. Learn to be an opportunist. Opportunistic travelers get to travel more, see more and do more. Of course, you can ignore this advice if you have unlimited currency.
I went to Ecuador because the budget tours were cheap. Honestly, are not there plenty of interesting places in this world? The other places will be there in the future, and you may have an opportunity to go to those places cheaply at some point.
Ecuador is my favorite international location. You can still get a decent meal for twelve dollars. U.S. dollars, by the way, since that is conveniently the official currency of Ecuador now. From the beautiful snow-capped Andes mountains, to the Galapagos Islands, you’ll seldom run out of places to explore in Ecuador. Travel there is safe and not so expensive.
South America in general is inexpensive, and the most affordable countries are, in my opinion, the most beautiful. These are the countries along the Andes mountains. Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are relatively cheap places for travelers as well.
In Central America, it costs little to travel and holiday in both Nicaragua & Guatemala. Nicaragua, in particular, has become more stable and safe for travelers in recent years.
In Asia, Vietnam is still low-cost, if you stay in the numerous hostels and boarding houses. Laos and Nepal are also relatively cheap. With all international destinations, the plane tickets will be your single biggest travel expense. This is true with the asian countries. Being there is cheap, but getting there may not be.
Cheap International Travel Tips
Wherever you go, there are things you can do to keep it cheap. Eat where locals eat, for example, instead of at the tourist restaurants. To keep it cheap, eat fruit from street markets (wash it well) and packaged snacks from grocery stores.
Visit the free and cheap attractions first. It’s possible you’ll have so much fun that you’ll seldom get around to doing the expensive things. A higher price means better quality with travel bags, but not with travel experiences.
For cheap accommodations find out where local visitors from within the country stay. Negotiating room charges is common in some areas. In Banos, Ecuador, we negotiated our room to nearly half of the original price, by paying for several nights in advance. Consider hostels, if you don’t mind sharing a room. they are much more common overseas.
Busses are cheaper than taxis in any country, but be careful of crowded city busses, where pickpockets hang out. jogging is even cheaper, and it’s a great way to learn about a city. ask the locals where the dangerous parts are before you wander far.