The best things in life are free… or are they? Plane tickets certainly aren’t, and for all you would-be travellers out there that simply don’t have the funds to splash out on a big trip abroad, I’m guessing that cash flow certainly ranks as one of the number one obstacles to making your travel dreams a reality.

But travelling overseas doesn’t necessarily have to cost you your first-born child. There’s a reason that backpacker culture thrives more in some parts of the world than others. More often than not, you will find that the exotic destinations you might have ruled out because of steep flight costs will allow your budget to stretch a lot further once you are actually there. Asia and Central America are backpacker hotspots for a reason – it’s possible to live cheap without feeling like you are scrimping and missing out.


A few years ago, Price of Travel launched a backpacker index to help travellers place where their pennies will go further. The 2015 rankings reveal that Asia still dominates when it comes to making your cash go the distance – the cheapest cities for backpackers include Pokhara, Nepal; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Goa, India. Now, although I am a big fan of Asia, I have to admit I haven’t been to any of these countries… yet. However, I do know a thing or two about budget travel. So, here are 5 of my faves for the budget backpacker’s bucket list…

1. Indonesia

I heart Indonesia. It is the country my travels began and is so budget-friendly that you might well do as I did and find a 3 week trip suddenly turns into you practically living in Bali for a few months. Oopsy! Anyway, there is a lot more to Indonesia than beautiful Bali. Countless islands offer paradise beaches, dramatic temples, colourful cultural experiences and plenty of tasty food – all for the price of peanuts.


2. Honduras

My boyfriend’s face when he read that Honduras was home to a city known as the murder capital of the world AFTER we’d just bought our tickets to this Central American destination. But seriously, don’t stick around in San Pedro Sula – we literally arranged a car to pick us up from the airport and get us the hell outta dodge so we could head to the coast and enjoy the delights this uber cheap destination has to offer. The sweeping beaches of Tela, the stunning Bay Islands with the best snorkelling I have ever experienced, and the quirky little mountain town of Copan with its impressive Mayan ruins were the highlights of our trip. Need a few more reasons to go to Honduras? Check out my top ten.


3. Portugal

And now for something a little closer to home… Yes, I know that Eastern Europe flies the flag for super cheap travel destinations. However, out of the Western European countries, Portugal really surprised me with its extremely affordable delights and has jacked the country up to one of my favourite European destinations! To be fair, the Euro is pretty weak compared to the pound right now – but this is the time to take advantage and visit this beautiful country. Even Lisbon boasts incredibly cheap (and incredibly strong) drinks as well as, quite frankly, some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life – even the simplest taberna didn’t disappoint.

old town porto

4. Thailand

The legendary backpacker destination – Thailand boasts turquoise waters, tropical islands and a fascinating culture has been attracting travellers on a shoe-string since backpacking began! Whether its authentic street food in Bangkok or staying in super cute island accommodation for a fraction of what a basic travel lodge stay would cost in London, backpacker can’t fail to be charmed by Thailand’s ability to let you live like a queen on a pauper’s budget. Explore some of the lesser known islands as well as Thailand’s expansive central and northern territories in order to really get the most bang for your buck.


5. Cambodia

One more little Asian wonder, Cambodia won me over with its friendly people, delicious cuisine and natural beauty. Whether you want to hang out in touristy Siem Reap with its countless dining options and thoroughly quirky nightlife or head to Sihanoukville with its glittering beaches and cheap booze – you won’t feel the burn whilst you’re living it up in this fascinating country.


Got a favourite budget travel destination to add to the bucket list? Let us know!

All pics by Alex.

saintsonaplane-alex-saint-travelettes1 Alex Saint is a writer based in Bristol, England – a place she calls home due to its friendly, diverse atmosphere and never-ending list of fun things to do. She loves tattoos, quirky fashion, pugs and, of course, travelling.

Keep up with the Saint sisters and their adventures in Bristol, London and beyond at and @saintsonaplane or Alex herself @alexsaint13