You’d be surprised at the number of cheap travel destinations around the world where you can stay for less than $25 USD per night.
If you are travelling in Europe or North America $25 USD per night wouldn’t even cover the worst room in a ramshackle motel on the side of an unsightly and depressing highway, or a dorm bed in a grotty backpacker hostel.
However, in other cheap travel destinations around the world it is possible to find a decent private room in a hotel for this price – with some pretty nice surroundings!
Of course, these are not going to be luxurious hotel rooms. For this price you won’t have room service or mints on the pillow. They will be basic rooms with the bare necessities – but who cares? They will serve as a place for you to lay your head at night and keep your things while you go exploring. If your priorities are adventure rather than luxury, this is perfect.
Let’s take a look at 25 examples of great cheap travel destinations that are easy on your budget and high on culture and natural beauty. (PS. You can probably get an even lower price if you follow our tips on How to Get a Cheaper Stay in a Hostel.)
1. Koh Lanta, Thailand
This Thai island is a little quieter and more laid back than other party islands like Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phan Ngan, so it is ideal or a romantic getaway or a family trip. There are long stretches of tranquil beach where soft sand meets the turquoise Andaman Sea and plenty of excellent fresh seafood restaurants. Visit during the off season for even cheaper prices – during my last trip there I was able to rent a bungalow only steps from the beach for around $20 per night.
2. Cusco, Peru
Cusco is the gateway to the 15th century Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, perched high on a mountain above the Sacred Valley. This city also has plenty more to offer visitors, including a Cacao museum that offers chocolate making workshops, a vibrant marketplace, a gorgeous historical town centre, the Temple of the Sun and an exciting nightlife. When Lee and I were there we were able to find a private room in a hostel in Cusco for under $25 – checking online today I find that it is still the case.
3. Kep, Cambodia
Accommodation prices are very cheap in Cambodia and we were able to get a clean and welcoming private hotel room in Kep for only $12. The prices still seem to be quite low, so consider this beautiful cheap travel destination. Kep is a quiet and peaceful town known for its beaches and its excellent fresh seafood. Take a stroll along the waterfront and watch the locals catching crabs, then watch the cheeky monkeys play.
4. Sucre, Bolivia
Laid back and peaceful, Sucre is a lovely city of white-washed colonial buildings and sunny patios that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Surrounded by mountains and set within a verdant valley, it boasts a mild climate. There is plenty to do while exploring the surrounding area as well as many great bars and restaurants in the downtown. It would also be a great place to settle down for a while and learn Spanish (recommended if you plan to travel South America).
5. Nha Trang, Vietnam
Hot sunshine, sandy beaches, great nightlife and plenty of delicious Vietnamese food – Nha Trang has a lot to offer. There’s always something happening along the long waterfront promenade and there are plenty of great beachside restaurants where you can relax for the evening. Avoid travelling during Tet (Vietnamese New Year) as this is the busiest time of the year and hotel rates will be inflated.
6. Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest is energetic, fun and funky and you can spend quite some time here enjoying the cafes, parks, museums and historic architecture (such as the elegant villas and 17th-18th century Orthodox churches). The Old Centre holds a great selection of clubs, restaurants and shops within its narrow cobblestone streets.
7. The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
When Malaysians go on holiday they like to escape to the cool, green and lush Cameron Highlands. This region is known for amazing jungle trekking opportunities, pick-your-own strawberry farms, rolling emerald hills and tea plantations. There are plenty of hotels here for very affordable prices, so make sure to stop and enjoy the fresh air. Check out our Quick Guide to the Cameron Highlands or read about the Top Five Things to Do.
8. The South Coast of Sri Lanka
All along the South Coast of Sri Lanka there are beautiful towns and villages boasting soft sandy beaches and lovely locally run guesthouses. Soak up the sunshine in Unawanatuna or go whale watching in Mirrissa, the accommodations are very affordable and the people are incredibly friendly and welcoming.
9. Alexandria, Egypt
Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and it has a fascinating history. Founded by Alexander the Great it was the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt and these days it offers many interesting glimpses into the past. It is also one of the most liberal cities in Egypt and you might see women without headscarves and couples walking hand in hand. Alexandria is also a hotspot for culture and art, many young writers and artists are gravitating there to express themselves. It is possible to find hotel rooms in Alexandria for around $25-30 per night.
10. Kuching, Malaysian Borneo
Kuching is a small and pleasant city in Malaysian Borneo and it is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the jungles of Sarawak. The city itself has excellent street food, a lovely riverfront promenade and an abundance of museums, including the Chinese History Museum and the Sarawak Museum. On day trips from the city you can trek to see the Rafflesia (the largest flower in the world) or go explore the beaches and jungle of Bako National Park. It is possible to get a private room in Kuching for as little as $15-$20 per night.
11. Baños , Ecuador
A small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Baños is named for the natural geothermal springs in the area. As well as soaking in the thermal baths, visitors can also enjoy trekking in the lush surrounding forests, zip lining, rappelling down waterfalls, white water rafting and getting a massage at one of the many spas in the area. Lee and I stayed for two weeks in a hotel room in Baños with private bathroom for $13 a night. It is possible to find many options around $13-$25 a night in this city.
12. Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng is a laid back, tranquil town along the Nam Song River in Laos. Surrounded by steep green-clad mountains and rice paddies, time moves much slower here. It was once famous for being a backpacker party zone where young travellers would get absolutely hammered before floating down the river, but after too many drunk backpackers drowned they changed the scene and shut several of the river bars.
Vang Vieng is now becoming a more chilled out destination where nature-loving travellers base themselves for outdoor activities. It’s possible to find rooms as cheap as $12-20 per night in Vang Vieng.
13. Krakow, Poland
My search for this European city turned up plenty of cheap hotels ranging from $15-$25 per night, making it very affordable to enjoy the history, architecture and nightlife here. Stroll through the largest market square in Europe, see the former Jewish Quarter and check out some of the great bars, clubs and restaurants in the Old Town. Also, don’t miss Wawel Castle, an amazing Renaissance palace from the 16th century.
14. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia is known for its fairy-tale-like landscapes, including strange churches within caves, houses carved into the rocks and bizarre rock formations caused by thousands of years of erosion. It is also known for being one of the best places in the world to fly in a hot air balloon, due to the surreal landscape and the excellent flying conditions.
15. Goa, India
With a fascinating mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures, Goa attracts an estimated 2.5 million visitors every year. There are plenty of reasons to love Goa, including the 70 kilometres of beaches, the excellent scuba diving, the delicious and cheap street food and the warm and friendly people. Best of all, you can have your own beach bungalow for a very affordable price.
16. Dahab, Egypt
This African destination boasts a great selection of hotels under $25 a night and it is becoming a major hotspot for backpackers along the Red Sea Coast. The snorkelling and diving is excellent here and there are plenty of great beach restaurants where you can enjoy fresh seafood. Dahab is also home to the famous Thistlegrom ship wreck dive.
17. Hanoi, Vietnam
The Vietnamese capital is a lively and bustling city that is a lot of fun to spend time in – as well as being very affordable. You can hang out at one of the bars on the corner and sip Bia Hoi, freshly brewed local beer, for only $0.25 per glass. Treat yourself to a delicious bowl of steaming, hearty Pho soup for less than a dollar. Your travel budget will stretch very far here – there are many hotel rooms for around $10-$20 per night.
18. Kiev, Ukraine
One of the oldest cities in Europe, dating back to the 5th century, Kiev is a lot of fun to explore. Most of the signposts are in Cyrillic script and few people speak English, but if you make the effort to try a little Ukrainian or Russian you’ll have wonderful encounters with the locals. Take your time and stroll through the city, admiring the gorgeous religious architecture. There are many options in Kiev for hotel rooms under $25 per night, so I’ve added it to this list of cheap travel destinations.
19. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Many travellers in Cambodia use Siem Reap as a jumping off point for visiting the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. (Read about the time we cycled around the temples from sunrise to sunset)
However, there are more reasons than just the temples to visit this lovely town. There is a lively marketplace, a great nightlife and plenty of great restaurants, as well as other activities and attractions in the local area. Siem Reap is a cheap place to hang out for a while, as you can find hotel rooms for around $12-$20 per night.
20. Jakarta, Indonesia
There are plenty of guesthouses with rooms for around $20-$25 a night in Jakarta, so you can explore this exciting city on a budget. It offers a great nightlife, plenty of shopping and lots of interesting museums and historical attractions. Jakarta is a huge city, so there is a good chance you will find something fun to do – whether it is checking out the Komodo Dragons at the Ragunan Zoo or playing a game at one of the local badminton courts.
21. Kathmandu, Nepal
An intoxicating and fascinating city, Kathmandu offers you a sensory overload of sights and sounds. Check out the medieval temples of Durbar Square, or the stunning Stupa Platform surrounded by religious monuments. It’s a sacred place high up in the mountains, a perfect base for trekking trips. Best of all, there is an abundance of affordable rooms in this cheap travel destination.
22. Marrakech, Morocco
My search for hotels in Marrakech turned up many options within the $25 a night range, so make sure you add this Northern African city to your travel bucket list. From the colourful and chaotic marketplaces where the Berber tribes once traded their gold, leather and slaves to the funky contemporary art galleries, this city is an overwhelming feast for the senses. You can also enjoy day trips mountain biking in the palm oasis or trips into the desert.
23. Mumbai, India
There were plenty of rooms in Mumbai, India for $15-$25 when I searched, which is good because this enormous Indian metropolis is a fascinating travel destination. It’s a study in extremes, home to the biggest slums in Asia as well as the most expensive house in the world. Mumbai is the financial epicentre of India and a fashion epicentre and it has an incredible history. Once you feel yourself get used to the chaotic vibe, you’ll fall in love with the unique charm of this colourful, non-stop city.
24. Kribi, Cameroon
This backpacker destination is one of those rare spots off the beaten track that few travellers discover, because it is so remote. It is a lovely beach destination that will give you a chance to relax and there are some lush and beautiful waterfalls nearby to explore. On my search I found a double room for $26, so this destination just squeezes onto the list.
25. Granada, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is known as the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” and it boasts beautiful beaches, excellent surfing, lovely colonial towns, very cheap prices and lovely friendly people. Granada is the oldest city and it offers beautiful colonial buildings, volcano hiking day trips and plenty of delicious food.
It might not be easy to find a room under $25 in Granada, but my search today turned up a private room in a hostel for $25 that didn’t look too shabby. As I said, you’ll never find luxurious hotel rooms for under $25 but you will find a simple and basic place to stay while you wander, eat, sight-see and enjoy everything these destinations have to offer.
These are just 25 destinations around the world where you can find hotel rooms for less than $25USD per night. Who said travel had to be expensive?
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