It’s a fact the travel industry is now geared toward big spenders. After three years of closure, some of the hardest-hit countries want to cash in as much as possible by openly discouraging budget travelers from visiting, but there are eight in particular that have remained faithful to their lower-tiered guests, where traveling is still affordable going into 2023.
Yes, we are at a different stage of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean international travel is getting more accessible: quite the contrary. Aside from the lifting of restrictions, this year, flight fees and hotel fares have skyrocketed across the board, partly in response to the overwhelming demand, partly due to the ongoing financial crisis.
But then again, who needs New York, Dubai, and the like when are far cheaper destinations ready to be explored, and that are just as incredible?
The number one destination in Southeast Asia for American travelers, Thailand offers visitors marvelous bay views, encircled by a turquoise-colored ocean, pink-sand beaches bordered by tropical forests, where they can unwind and reconnect with nature, centuries-old Buddhist temples and unparalleled city breaks, all at inviting prices.
Thailand is particularly favored by digital nomads staying for extended periods of time. On average, they can expect to live comfortably on $532.70 per month (without rent), making it about 45% cheaper than the U.S. Getting there is a challenge in itself, as the only direct flights from North America leave from Canada, but the rewards are certainly worth the hassle.
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Still in Southeast Asia, Laos is a regional hub for natural world experiences. Cut by the Mekong River, and famous for its rugged, mountainous landscape, it has always attracted backpackers dreaming of an escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world in an under-visited, relatively obscure country – without breaking the bank, of course.
According to Numbeo, a meal for one person at an inexpensive restaurant in Laos is only $2.72, while a pint of domestic beer is even cheaper, starting at $1.13. Be that as it may, locals who earn the equivalent to $3,740 per year will probably disagree prices in Laos are fair, though the average Westerner making 11 times that will not necessarily feel the pinch.
The last entry on the triad of affordable Southeast Asian (SEA) countries, Cambodia is a center for the culture known for its several millennia-old History, vast collection of archaeological sites, and as customary in SEA, the most breathtaking nature. Whether your idea of fun is getting lost in a museum, or relaxing in a secluded beach, Cambodia has got you covered.
Regarding prices, travelers are advised to add a minimum of $593.88 every month to their budget, in order to cover the cost of living, which is almost 40% cheaper than America. In Phnom Penh, the country’s largest city, tourists staying for the long-term will find rent can be up to 55.81% cheaper than other popular Western World states, such as France.
Europe & Central Asia
Moving over to Europe, the trendy Albania is establishing a reputation as an affordable sunny spot in the Mediterranean. We know European summers are commonly associated with cliff-side vespa rides down Italy’s scenic Amalfi Coast, or Croatia‘s picture-perfect towns carved out of stone, but they represent merely a small fraction of the basin’s ancient wonders.
Here, tourists spend 45.80% less than they do in EU countries, and a quaint Adriatic coastline, UNESCO-listed monuments, and medieval castles perched on mountaintops are waiting for them. Have we mentioned already Americans can remain in the country for up to a whole year without a visa? Albania is truly a steal of a deal!
Bulgaria has recently made headlines as a nomad haven for long-term travelers country-hopping in Eastern Europe. The small town alpine of Bansko has more co-working spaces per capita than anywhere in the world, and the international resorts of Varna and Burgas, on the Black Sea, have drawn in a record number of tourists in 2022.
It’s not only because it’s 41.19% cheaper than other Western EU nations, although its high affordability certainly plays in its favor amid some heavy competition: Bulgaria is a seriously underrated country with a diverse nature, and a rich ethnic and cultural background that foreigners are only starting to re-discover (and fall in love with).
Nestled cozily in the Caucasus, a cross-continental region whose arms stretch deep into Europe as they do into Asia, Georgia (the country) is one of the oldest nations in the world, where wine was invented and cities date back thousands of years – such as Tbilisi, its vibrant capital where Art Nouveau and European influences clash with a post-Soviet aesthetic.
Georgia has been often referred to as Europe’s number one destination for digital nomads: without the inclusion of accommodation, Americans will be spending an average $555.21 on a month-long excursion across Georgia – and trust us, there are enough points of interest to keep you hooked for many more weeks, or even a whole year.
Türkiye (formerly Turkey) is yet another trans-continental gem with a complex History intertwined with that of Europe’s. An incredibly low-budget country with a burgeoning tourism scene, its standing as a winter sun destination has been strengthened by a devalued currency, which attracts low-spending tourists, and its host of historical landmarks.
From the sky-high minarets of Istanbul, to Antalya’s sandy beaches straddling the Eastern Mediterranean, Türkiye has a lot going for it as far as History buffs, and sun-seekers are concerned. Lucky for them, prices for food, accommodation, and tourist activities are on average 48% and 21% lower than Italy or Greece, respectively (according to Numbeo).
Argentina has proven extremely attractive for U.S. travelers in recent years after its national currency, the Argentinian peso, crashed before the dollar. It may not be good news for locals importing products from abroad, or even traveling internationally, but the latest conversion rate means (most) Americans visiting Argentina can live in relative luxury.
At one of the lowest rates on this list, the monthly cost of living in the country is estimated at $419.06 (rent is not considered), or nearly 60% cheaper compared to the States. Lastly, it is one of a handful of South American countries open for tourism restriction-free, making it even more appealing the overly strict Brazil and Colombia.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com