It’s hard to believe there was once a very popular travel guide with the title “Europe on $5 a Day.” Those days have long gone along with rotary dial telephones and nickel Cokes at the soda fountain. So for someone looking for an inexpensive vacation overseas, the goal is certainly challenging but not necessarily impossible.
Although we have never been there, we have been told Ecuador is among the top destinations for travelers seeking cheap holidays abroad. Not only are accommodations and meals inexpensive, our source says, the country is also relatively safe. That is not the case with one of the Central American countries we visited this past spring. Without being too specific, let’s just say the first hand lesson learned was that a visitor to Belize City should take very seriously the warnings that it is not safe to be out alone late at night or in the early hours of the morning is you are carrying an expensive looking camera.
Many Asian nations are quite inexpensive places for vacations, particularly India, Thailand and Indonesia. This is especially true if you enjoy dining on the local ethnic food. If you don’t fancy rice and curries, you will end up paying quite a log more. Although you may be able to live quite cheaply once you get there, the airfares required to jet you to Asia tend to be more costly than countries in Central or South America. Topping the list for budget destinations there are Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Wherever you go, if you eat local food you purchase from market stalls or grocery stores you will save some money. Another tip is to travel around by bus instead of taxis. If you are traveling solo and happen to meet up with a compatible fellow traveler, you could share a hotel room and save even more. The travel memoirs David Hatcher Childress published in his “Lost Cities” series include several such instances of rooming with companions he met while on the road.
Finally, by shopping carefully for airline tickets and purchasing them well in advance, you will surely save yourself much more than if you only make your flight reservations at the last minute. Once upon a time there were last-minute airfare bargains, but in the current era, we have found they are few and far between and not recommended for those travelers wanting to enjoy cheap holidays abroad.