Exploring the cobbled alleys of an unknown land with just a backpack and a few modest currency notes in your pocket has its own delight. Backpacking is the new way to see the world. However, not every destination is a backpacker’s paradise. An ideal backpacking destination is not only about cheap tickets but a place where you can have affordable yet quality accommodations, where the cost of living is comparatively lower than the rest of the world and where there’s plenty to explore and experience. In a nutshell, a destination where you get more for less. If you too wish to travel on a shoestring budget, here are the top 10 backpacking destinations around the world.
1. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
Utterly exotic Vietnam tops the list if you are looking to explore an astonishing destination without thinning your bank account considerably. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh both Vietnamese cities hold the top places in the list of most budget-friendly cities in the world where you can have food, sights, and accommodation for as low as US$20 per day. Both the cities are extremely backpacker-friendly and are known for some great lodging options for budget travelers. Heaps of history and the experience of living like a local? Free!
One of the most loved yet cheapest destinations in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a backpacker’s delight. Although the much talked-about temples of Angkor Wat overshadow the abundance of natural beauty this country is blessed with, it is worth exploring the gorgeous tiny islands and the stunning countryside. You can find dorms in the range of $3 to $5. If you wish to splurge, you can have a private room for $10 or less. What else can a backpacker wish for?
Mysterious Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, glimpses of the largest pre-Colombian city in the Americas, the dramatic city of Kuélap and the icing on the cake: serene sublime coastline and lively party-loving towns, Peru is a complete value for money. Hotels are fairly affordable and are in plenty. Hostels can be found for as little as $5.
Rugged yet exciting, Bolivia owes its popularity to the majestic Andes, the world’s highest Lake Titicaca, salt flats of Salar de Uyuni and great lodging options for throwaway prices. Bolivia is the ultimate backpacking destination. A basic dorm bed in the range of $5 – 6 and satisfying Bolivian meal for about 20-25 Bolivianos (approx. $3) is what allures backpackers to this landlocked country of South America.
Enchanting and affordable, India has always been one of the top backpacking destinations around the world. From the sylvan Himalayan valleys in the north to the bucolic fishing hamlets in the south, from the skyscrapers of Mumbai to chaotic streets of Delhi and from the gorgeous beaches of Goa to the life-changing burning ghats of Varanasi, India is simply magical. Everything in India from conveyance to lodging is pretty cheap. Just brace yourself to deal with the crowd and you are in for a trip of your lifetime.
Stunning landscape with soaring snow-capped peaks, welcoming smiles, sacred Hindu and Buddhist temples, world heritage sites: Nepal might still be struggling to recuperate from the previous year’s earthquake devastation, it still is one of the top backpacking destinations around the world. Unbelievably low-cost lodging, meal, and traveling options make this country one of the most loved travel destinations in Asia as well.
7. Galicia, Spain:
While the rest of Spain is more about regular travelers, Galicia in the northwest of the country is fast gaining popularity as a backpacking destination. The rocky coastline, charming villages, lip-smacking seafood, and low-cost living are the some of the reasons why backpackers from all around the world are heading towards Galicia.
8. Timor-Leste (East Timor):
Warm homestays, inexpensive beach shacks, bumpy roads, filling meals and green misty hills, Timor-Leste is less exploited as a travel destination than the rest of its Asian brethren. This Southeast Asian beauty had been in a violent conflict with Indonesia for decades until 2002 when East Timor was recognized as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Recovering from the wounds of its past, Timor-Leste is fast gaining popularity as a backpacking destination.
9. Bosnia and Hercegovina:
While a little currency fluctuation in the rest of Europe can make your budget go for a toss, this southeastern European gem will always offer you a good deal. The economical accommodations, commuting facilities and inexpensive meal combined with historic marvels and adventure sports make Bosnia and Hercegovina one of the top backpacking destinations in the world.
10. Québec City, Canada:
If Europe weighs too heavy on your pocket but you still wish to have a feel of the old continent, head to Québec City in Canada. A complete value for money this UNESCO-listed old town is a timeless beauty with bistros and cobblestone thoroughfares. Plenty of dirt cheap yet pretty neat hostels, fairly good food and the old world charm peppered with wildlife adventures, what else can a backpacker ask for?
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I love Cambodia… definitley tied for the top spot on my list. I had never really thought about Bosnia beforw… but it sounds like its totally worth adding to my “to do” list!!