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Travel Tip Thursday: Top 5 Budget-Friendly Destinations

Sometimes choosing your destination can be as simple as seeing what countries fit within your travel budget. It’s important to travel well within your means - the last thing you want is to arrive and realize you can’t afford to exist in that country for the duration of your trip! Of course there are cheap and expensive manners of visiting nearly any country in the world - but here are 5 countries that are generally friendly toward the worth of the American dollar - which means your hard-earned cash will go further!


1. Mexico

Mexico is nearby - if you live in the US! - and can be surprisingly affordable for budget-conscious travelers. Consider staying in Mexico City, where you can stay at a hostel for as little as $10/night. Use the metro for transportation - it’s cheap, only 5 pesos (one quarter in USD) and can take you nearly any place you want to go. Check out street food to save money, instead of eating at expensive restaurants, and embrace that chance to experience authentic Mexican food! If you’re craving the beach, Cancun has cheap hostels, too, at around $11/night - but keep in mind you won’t be oceanfront at that price point!


2. Costa Rica

CR is notably one of the more expensive countries in Central America to visit - but that doesn’t stop it from being extremely budget-friendly, if you plan right! A typical hostel in CR runs from $10-$15 per night. Skip the guided tours and restaurants - explore by foot, talk with locals, and eat at your town’s Sodas to save some cash! You’re bound to fall into adventure when you look at the country as an opportunity to push out of your ideas of what a vacation “should” be. Visit during the off season to avoid the tourist price increases and crowds. Consider visiting one of the less touristy towns, like Tamarindo if you’re looking for the beach, or Monteverde if you love mountains!


3. Japan

Japan is known for its stunning architecture, beautiful trees, and unique culture. You can find luxury travel in Japan - but you can travel on a budget, too! Visit during tsuyu - the rainy season - in June to avoid crowds and to save a little cash. Hostels are common in Japan, and some hostels and hotels will even offer free accommodation for guests who are willing to work a few hours a day! Cook your own food instead of eating at restaurants, take a bus to connect with locals, and consider investing your time instead of cash while touring the country! Many of Japan’s main attractions are simply the country itself - enjoy those views while you can!


4. Laos

This is a country you may not have heard of or considered before - but it’s a contender in the Asian budget travel market! Plan on a budget of as low as $20 per day depending on how you like to eat - stay in a local hostel, take the bus, eat at local cafes, take a tuk-tuk, and stay outside of major cities - then travel in to see the city culture of the country! Guest houses can be as low as $10 per night, and there are plenty of hostels for the picking. Avoid tours, be savvy on expensive tourist traps, and enjoy the local culture to ensure you stay within budget in Laos.


5. Portugal

Hostel living is essential to cheap travel in Europe, and Portugal is no exception! Hostels run about $12/night for accommodations. Cook instead of eating at restaurants to save even more - you can get a week’s worth of groceries for a little over $40! Bakeries and light meals aren’t that much more expensive - eat where the locals eat, and avoid over-priced tourist traps. Visit museums on Sundays, when admittance is generally free. Skip taxis - enjoy the country, and walk instead!