Category: Affordable Travel (page 1 of 5)

Where is the American Dollar Worth the Most?

If you’re accustomed to packing light and taking to the friendly skies on the regular, you may find yourself asking the following questions quite frequently: Where is the American dollar worth the most? Where does the American dollar go the farthest? Where can I get the best exchange rate for dollars? The answer isn’t always straight forward, but it can help the wanderlust-y among us to squeeze the most miles out of our budget. Plus, sometimes it leads us down unexpected paths.

person posing in bali

There are lots of places in the world where carrying US dollars is an incredible privilege (see: ALL).

Is the dollar strong or weak right now?

The short answer to this question is — it depends on where you’re headed. The U.S. economy has been in pretty good shape these days, so in 2019 there are plenty of places where the dollar goes far. This doesn’t just mean the countries where American money is worth the most in terms of conversion rate; for example, it doesn’t matter if one USD is worth 1 million rubles if your morning coffee will cost you 10 million rubles! But there are countries where the dollar is strong. Do your research and you’ll be living in the lap of luxury at a much more affordable rate than you’re apt to enjoy back home.

11 countries where the dollar is strong

1. Argentina

view of bariloche, argentina

Places where the dollar goes far are also the most beautiful!

Cost of living in Argentina is low, with rent, food, and utilities all coming in a lot lower than you’ll be used to at home in the States. Imported products like cars, clothes, and shoes don’t see much of a savings compared with what you’d pay at home, but if you’re just passing through, you can skip these purchases to keep your budget low!

*Cost of a head of lettuce (for all you healthy eaters out there): $0.70

2. Egypt

Rent and food costs in Egypt are so low you may not believe it at first. As a tourist, you’ll be able to enjoy the country’s culinary delights without making big dents in your pocketbook.This is the kind of space you could spend a lot of time in!

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $0.29

3. Mexico

We hear this one all the time. U.S. money goes a long way in Mexico. Rents, services, even clothing and other goods you might want to shop for all come at very accessible prices in México lindo, but the real benefit is the food. Mexican fare is delicious and there’s so much more to it than burritos — and it’s all at very reasonable price points. Pair that with the vast and diverse territory you can cover here and you may find yourself staying a long time.

*Cost of a head of lechuga: $0.75

4. Vietnam

There’s a reason why budget backpackers love Southeast Asia! Vietnam is very affordable (and so is Thailand!) — cheap beer, cheap transportation. If you’re planning on staying longer, food and clothing can also be purchased at reasonable prices, which is good because it’s a pretty long way from home. Rent will be far less than you’re used to spending in the States, especially if you share a bigger place with roommates.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $0.65

5. Peru

It seems hard to believe you can take in the incredible cultural history of the Incas and eat one of the world’s most famous and sought-after cuisines on a budget, but believe it! Peru’s major cities and tourist areas aren’t the cheapest around, but they aren’t outrageously expensive either. Meanwhile, in smaller towns and rural areas, you can snag amazing deals on lodging, homemade handicrafts and souvenirs, and delicious, nutritious food to keep you powered up at altitude.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $.071

6. Costa Rica

person sitting on car looking at arenal volcano in costa rica

Incredible journeys (and views) come along with the best exchange rate for U.S. dollars.

If it seems like there’s a lot of Latin America on this list, it’s because there are a lot of affordable amazing places south of our border, where the U.S. dollar has some serious buying power. Costa Rica is not different. You can really splurge at the luxury resorts along Costa Rica’s beautiful coastlines, but if that’s not in your bottom line, You’ll find plenty more reasonable options. Costa Rican food is simple but tasty, and a hearty meal will only set you back a few bucks. Don’t sleep on the roadside fruit stands, either. They often let you taste for free.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $.98

7. Canada

Our neighbors to the north may surprise you, but the Canadian dollar usually tracks a little bit below the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the sticker prices on meals at restaurants, and on clothing and accommodations look remarkably similar. This leaves you saving a little bit on each purchase without even knowing it. And if you think Canada is just U.S.A. North, think again. There are all sorts of cultural, social, and political differences that make it just as much of an intercultural experience as voyages to farther off lands.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $1.84

8. Puerto Rico

This might surprise you as one of the countries where the U.S. dollar is strong because, well, they use the U.S. dollar. But Puerto Rico’s restaurant scene stays affordable by celebrating all the great food the island has to offer, and if you stay away from resorts and major tourist zones, rent and shopping come at a reasonable price, too. Plus, not needing to deal in another currency? How convenient!

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $2.38

9. Hungary

Finally some Europe in this list. Take in some serious European Old World charm for a seriously reasonable price tag. Food and drink, especially if you stick to locally-derived options, will keep you full for less. For those staying longer, rents are low and public transportation options are very affordable and accessible. 

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $0.81

10. Philippines

aerial view of palawan, philippines

Incredible, fun, and one-of-a-kind; the Philippines is one of the best places where the dollar goes far.

If you’re planning a long-term jaunt to the Philippines, you will be very comfortable. Rent is just a fraction of what it costs in the U.S. of A. and food and beverages are cheap if you stick with options produced on the archipelago. Transportation is also reasonably priced. Salaries aren’t high in this part of the world, but the demand for Americans to teach English and similar opportunities is fairly strong, and the money you’ll make doing that will be enough to enjoy your time there.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $1.22

11. U.S.A.

Surprise! I bet you weren’t expecting this one. What it lacks in creativity, perhaps, it gains in being close to home. Of course we all know New York and Miami come at a big cost, but have you seen that great, wide world out there? There has to be an upside to manifest destiny, and that’s the open road. Skipping plane travel and getting to know the small towns and rural areas that make America Americuh can be very informative at a very reasonable price.

*Cost of a head of lettuce: $1.54

Everywhere is the best place for American dollars with FMT

FundMyTravel offers an easy-to-use platform for getting the word out to friends, families, and fans who might want to help you fund your next big, meaningful adventure. Sign up for a free account to start sharing your story, set fundraising goals, and share a link with anyone you think might be feeling generous. (Now’s one of those rare times where you won’t regret the fact that your grandma has Facebook.)

Go find the best exchange rate for dollars!

life is short, enjoy your coffee sign

Bonus: Favorable exchange rates mean affordable (and delicious) coffee!

Where there’s travel involved, your research skills and patience cannot be outdone. When you reap the rewards, you’ll know the time you invest now will be worth it. So get to it! Map out your plans for what you’ll be doing while you’re in-country. Are you on a program where some meals are provided or are you totally on your own? Will you have access to a kitchen to cook? And will you, realistically, cook yourself meals sometimes instead of eating out? How’s your self control at handicraft markets or high-rent fashion districts? 

All of this will help you estimate just how much bang you can get for your buck in countries where the U.S. dollar is strong. Remember: Cost of living can vary greatly from city to city, and sometimes smaller towns aren’t more affordable. Do your best to investigate regionally-specific data for the particular places where the dollar goes far. If you really do it right, there will be dollars left over for the next cheapest spot on your list. May the conversion rate be ever in your favor.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more great advice on how to fund your meaningful travel experiences!

amelia dietrichThis article was written by Amelia Dietrich. Amelia’s day job keeps her busy helping study abroad professionals grow and improve their professional practice in order to help college students have safe, high-quality educational experiences abroad. When work travel isn’t enough, Latin America is her destination of choice thanks to a past life as a Spanish teacher and bilingualism researcher.

8 Cheapest (and Safest) Places to Live in the World

Everyone dreams of living in a country that offers a balance of the best of both worlds: cheap and safe! While many countries usually tip in favor of one or the other, a select handful of countries reward wanderlusters in both categories. Whether you’re looking for urban offerings, dramatic scenic views, or diverse cultures, you’re bound to find a country in the list below that you’ll love. You may also learn a new language while living abroad in one of these countries!

bowl of food on a table in ho chi minh

Some of the most cheap, safe places to live also have the most delicious food! Cheap, safe, AND tasty? Sign us up!

The Global Peace Index, as well as the cost of living index, have helped to narrow down the cheapest, safest places to live in the world. The top countries that fit into both of these categories are primarily in Asia, Europe, and Central/South America, but the list is not exhaustive.

The hospitable locals, delicious dishes, and travel opportunities in these countries are sure to delight you! Here’s the top 8 cheapest and safest places to live in the world.

The 8 cheapest, safest places to live in the world

1. Portugal

A warm climate, fresh seafood, and stunning beaches make Portugal a popular place. Portugal ranks number 3 on the Global Peace Index, which makes it one of the safest places to live in the world. If you’re looking to enjoy the splendors of Western Europe without paying a high price, Portugal offers an affordable cost of living with reasonable rents and inexpensive transportation.

view of the coastline in madeira, portugal

Yowza. The cheapest and safest places to live in the world definitely look priceless!

Your biggest expense may be the seafood and wine! Many people in Portugal speak English, but you won’t be able to resist learning the romantic language of Portuguese. Portugal is also home to respected universities with outstanding reputations at highly affordable tuition costs if you’re interested in studying abroad!

2. Slovenia

You probably don’t hear much about Slovenia, but it’s a best-kept secret that boasts views of the Alps without the high costs of France or Switzerland. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll fall in love with the opportunities to ski, hike, and bike. Slovenia ranks in the top 10 on the Global Peace Index, and most people can live comfortably in Slovenia for under $1,500 a month, which makes it one of the top cheapest and safest places to live in the world.

The language of Slovenian could be a bit of a barrier, but many young people can speak English fluently. Learning English has become more important in Slovenia, so you may be able to nab a job teaching English here in the city of Ljubljana. 

3. Czech Republic

As a country that ranks number 10 on the Global Peace Index, you can’t go wrong with this charming castle capital of the world. Those who love history and culture will revel in the sites here. The Czech Republic boasts more than 2,000 castles sprinkled across the country, and some have been standing since the Middle Ages. You’ll also find twenty monuments that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

If you’re interested in studying abroad or teaching abroad, you’ll want to “czech” out this country! Average living costs are around $350-$750 a month, which includes food and accommodation. Teachers can earn up to $1,300 a month, and many jobs usually provide accommodation and other benefits too.

4. Malaysia

When you mix together a low cost of living, a low crime rate, friendly people, and a warm climate, you’ll see why Malaysia meets many people’s expectations as the cheapest and safest place to live in the world. Malaysia is also a good choice for those who want to study abroad here with its high-quality education programs and affordable tuition rates.

silhouette of a person in a cave in malaysia

Students and travelers alike will find Malaysia to be well worth it.

Many students enjoy the miles-long beaches, rainforests, and cosmopolitan cities. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is less than $200 a month, and many students choose to live on campus to save money. If students are interested in staying in Malaysia for long periods, they’ll be delighted with straightforward, student-friendly visa options.

5. Costa Rica

The land of “la pura vida” is an adventurer’s paradise where you can surf, snorkel, and zipline to your heart’s delight. Costa Rica is one of the cheapest, safest places to live in the world with reasonable rents around $500 a month and a fairly safe environment. The tropical climate, good health care, and tasty ceviche also make Costa Rica an attractive place to live, especially for volunteers and teachers — you can stretch your budget pretty far.

Teachers can earn up to $1,000 a month with the right credentials and teaching placement. As one of the most sustainable countries in the world that attracts thousands of tourists every year, you’ll find plenty of volunteer opportunities in ecotourism, tree planting, and trail building.

6. Uruguay

Uruguay may be South America’s second-smallest country, but it’s chock full of things to see and do. Learn to dance the tango, enjoy the longest running Carnaval, and take a selfie with the Beach of the Fingers sculpture. The colonial sights of cathedrals, plazas, and palaces as well as the plentiful beaches and museums are sure to fill your days.

Uruguay also makes the list of cheap, safe places to live in the world thanks to being one of the safest countries in Latin America, and you can find reasonable rents as well. Many study abroad programs in Uruguay are budget-friendly, but a strong fluency in Spanish is necessary for university classes. Uruguay is in pretty high demand of English teachers with a TEFL certificate, and they can do well financially. 

7. Panama

Another Central American country that ranks well on the Global Peace Index while enjoying a moderately low cost of living is Panama, which makes it a favorite on the list for the cheapest and safest place to live in the world. Where else can you watch the sunrise over the Atlantic ocean and set over the Pacific Ocean in the same country?

person surfing in panama

You won’t be lacking fun things to do in these cheap and safe places to live!

You can live fairly comfortably in Panama from $1,500-$2,500 a month. The universities draw international students from around the world with diverse program offerings, free tuition, and classes that are taught in English. You can also find lots of volunteer opportunities in Panama in the areas of health care, conservation, and human rights.

8. Vietnam

From the Buddhist pagodas to the bustling markets, Vietnam’s diverse offerings know no bounds. You can see everything from mountains to beaches to caves to tunnels all in one country. Vietnam makes the list as one of the cheap, safe places to live in the world because it ranks well on the Global Peace Index, and you can get by comfortably with a budget of $1,000 a month.

Many people come to Vietnam to teach English because the demand is high, and they can earn up to $2,000 a month with the right qualifications and job placement. Additionally, you can find a range of volunteer opportunities in education, women’s rights, and health care.

Use FundMyTravel to get you to your cheap and safe destination ASAP!

Have you chosen one of these cheap and safe places to live?! If you’re in need of startup costs, emergency travel funds, or general financial help, the best way to bulk up is with the help of FundMyTravel. Launch a campaign with FundMyTravel to get the word out and recruit help from your network to raise funds and achieve your travel dreams!

You’ll find that this dedicated platform comes with lots of free resources, helpful suggestions, and easy instructions to get started. Many wanderlusters before you have successfully used FundMyTravel to raise thousands of dollars, and you’ll find the online community would be happy to share tips.

These cheap and safe places to live are a game changer

person staring down a road in indonesia

Where will your pursuit of the cheapest, safest places to live in the world take you?

Whether you’re looking to study, teach, or volunteer, you’ll find many opportunities available in these cheap and safe places to live. Don’t fret — you can find cheap and safe places to live in the world on other continents too! However, the cost of living varies between cities and rural areas, and crime can happen anywhere at any time; it’s best to learn more about specific places you’re visiting in the country before arrival. 

The benefits you can gain from these countries include earning college credits, gaining skills for your resume, making lifelong friendships, making a difference, and more! Many programs can also help take care of the big things like accommodation and visas, and FundMyTravel can help cover program fees too. From adventures in the ocean to explorations at historic sites, you’ll have one-of-a-kind experiences in any one of these cheap and safe places to live in the world! 

Stay up to date with all the best tips for affordable travel → Sign up for the FundMyTravel Newsletter!

Sydney LutzThis article was written by Sydney Lutz. Growing up as an “army brat,” Sydney could not help but develop a thirst for traveling. She has visited all 50 states as well as England, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia. Sydney graduated with a master’s degree in public communication and technology in Colorado, and taught abroad for a year in Quito, Ecuador. Her favorite things to do include studying Spanish, practicing yoga, and travel writing.

10 Cheapest Cities to Travel to in the US

When you focus your travel plans on the cheapest American cities to visit, you get to see “Home Sweet Home” in a brand new light! Whether you focus your travel on a theme (like finding all the best sandwich shops!) or on seeing as much of the country as you can (from Texas to California to the Eastern coastline!) you’ll find that all kinds of amazing adventures await you in some of the cheapest cities to travel to in the US this year.

usa map and a compass

From sea to shining sea, you’ll find cheap cities to travel to in the US.

So if you’re trying to feed your travel bug while sticking to a budget, be sure to consider all of the cool things to do in your own backyard — or in the new and interesting backyards of any of the cheapest US cities to visit!

Take a look at the list below, complete with suggestions about things to do in these extraordinary places, and then get ready to learn how to make your trip to see cheap American cities even easier to afford!

Did someone say #staycation?! 10 cheapest US cities to visit

1. San Antonio, Texas

We know that San Antonio’s neighbor to the Northeast (Austin) gets a lot of positive press, but San Antonio has become a tourist destination of its own — and it happens to be one of the top ten cheapest places to travel to in the US! What’s even better is that San Antonio offers history, food, and all kinds of innovation along its beautiful Riverwalk to keep you busy!

Cheap things to do: See The Alamo; go to the San Antonio Missions National Park; pedal your way from restaurant to park to coffee shop on the super-affordable SWell Cycle bikes; and, take in any number of seasonal celebrations, like April’s Fiesta San Antonio!

2. San Diego, California

a view of the ocean in san diego, california

San Diego offers big value for relatively low cost!

San Diego is known as having some of the most perfect weather systems in the US. When it comes to the cheapest cities in America to visit, you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous city right on the Pacific Ocean. You might think that the heavy tourism makes it hard to afford travel here, but it’s just the opposite, with hotels and accommodations for every budget!

Cheap things to do: Go to any of the beautiful beaches; bike, hike, rollerblade, surf, or walk along the coast, visit places like LEGOLAND or the San Diego Zoo; ride the ferry excursion from San Diego to Coronado; or just gaze at the water with the wind in your hair!

3. Kansas City, Missouri

There is so much more to Kansas City than its world-famous BBQ! While the food here is definitely top-notch, the art scene, and the abundance of free things to do here make it one of the most enjoyable, fun, and cheap cities to travel to in the US! 

Cheap things to do: Take tours of any number of the breweries or distilleries in town; visit the Crossroads Art District for galleries and shops; or, spend some time volunteering with KC children at places like Kaleidoscope, helping school-aged children discover the wonders of art!

4. Atlanta, Georgia

Yes, the ATL brings us all kinds of pop-culture references, but there’s so much more to this Southern town! One of the cheapest US cities to visit, it’s also perfect for people who enjoy outdoor fun in the day, but also like to spend time dining and dancing at night! If you’re looking for a location that offers a balance, Atlanta could be just the place for you.

Cheap things to do: Grab a mountain bike and hit the trails; find your way to Stone Mountain Park; visit the childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the National Park that bears his name; explore Centennial Olympic Park and attend an event there; see some art; make some puppets; and generally just have some fun with a discounted CityPASS to guide you!

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

a view of the skyline in philadelphia, pennsylvania

Not only is Philadelphia one of the cheapest cities to travel to in the US, but it packs a punch with a TON to see and do.

Are you ready for cheese-steaks, Liberty Bells, and some pretty great American history? If so, you’ll be glad to know that Philly is one of the best and cheapest American cities to visit — and offers something to view, see, and do for every budget! You can even use a CityPASS to save 40% on all kinds of otherwise costly attractions.

Cheap things to do: Grab a free ticket at the Philadelphia Visitor’s Center for a tour to Independence Hall; eat, drink, and do some merry-making at the Reading Terminal Market; get a cheese-steak at Geno’s and one at Pat’s and vote on which has the better sammy; or, go to the Constitution Center and participate in a civil debate!

6. Houston, Texas

What makes Houston one of the more fabulous (but also cheapest) cities to travel to in the US? Well, aside from the affordable hotel rates (including places like the Wanderstay Hostel with nightly rates of about $35!) you can get there easily, get around easily, and even travel from the city center to beaches of Galveston Island within an hour!

Cheap things to do: Get some playtime in at the Discovery Green Park; grab a blanket and attend an open-air concert at the Miller Outdoor Theater; pay tribute to history at the Holocaust Museum Houston; or, meditate and center yourself at the Rothko Chapel.

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

You might not immediately think of the “Big Easy” when you research cheap cities to travel to in the US, but with entertainment on every corner — and from one corner to the next — there are so many things to see, do, and eat in New Orleans, it’s bound to be an exceptional experience!

Cheap things to do: Get some beignets and coffee at Café du Monde; realize you could spend a whole year on Magazine Street alone; get yourself lost at City Park New Orleans; hop on the New Orleans Ferry; or pick any of the other places from the New Orleans Guide.

8. Denver, Colorado

a view of denver, colorado at a distance

Denver is the best of both worlds: a modern and fun city just a stone’s throw from incredible nature.

Another one one of the cheapest places to travel to in the US is found high in the Rocky Mountains. A trip to Denver (AKA Mile High City) will have you on your way to food, fun, and all kinds of outdoor adventures. If you enjoy skiing, hiking, or biking, you’ll feel just as much at home as you will if your idea of a perfect vacation is taking tours and dining out!

Cheap things to do: See where the money gets made and take a tour at the United States Mint; check out the super cool Denver Story Site Tour; or, you can even travel to Pikes Peak for any number of big adventures; and, you can check out the deals on things to do, see, and eat using the resources posted to Denver’s tourism “Deals & Discounts” page.

9. Phoenix, Arizona

If you’re someone looking for a great destination for a road trip, be sure to put Phoenix on your list of cheap American cities — especially if you’re hoping to find a driver-friendly winter destination! It can be blazing hot in summers, and the absolute best deals can be found then, but if you’re not someone who loves the desert heat, then snag yourself an affordable RV rental, and get rolling!

Cheap things to do: Visit the Heard Museum to take in some exceptional Native American art and culture; learn and linger at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center; the desert is beautiful, and camping is both cheap and fun — but just remember that those hot days become cold, cold nights, so pack smart!

10. Memphis, Tennessee

Don’t let the thought of visiting the home of the blues give you the blues, especially when a trip to one of the cheapest cities in America to visit awaits! Memphis is located right along the Mississippi River and offers historical significance, food, music, art, and a large number of cultural festivals and carnivals all year-round.

Cheap things to do: Trace the footsteps of civil rights pioneers; go to Mud Island or any of the Memphis River parks; see the hippos at the Memphis Zoo; go to concerts, Beale Street or Sun Studios, or even take a trip to the glittery Graceland!

Use FundMyTravel to stay home OR go abroad

No matter what destination you choose among the cheapest American cities to visit, you can make your trip even more affordable by launching a targeted travel campaign on FundMyTravel! From the toolkit of free resources to the access to other successful campaigns for inspiration, it’s the perfect solution to helping you pay your way to the cheapest US cities to visit this year!

And, when you partner with the FundMyTravel platform, it’s just a matter of four easy steps to launch your campaign — and you’ll be on your way to some of the best cheap American cities, from those on this list to many more!

You don’t have to go far to find the cheapest cities in America to visit

winding road through the forest

Why not take a road trip and visit a whole bunch of cheap American cities at once?!

Sometimes the best place to visit is just down the road, or right around the bend! When you look at the long list of things you can do in various places across the United States, you will see that there are all kinds of great reasons to consider the cheapest American cities to visit among your top picks for travel. And, when you post your campaign on FundMyTravel.com, you’ll maximize the potential for your budget-friendly opportunities.

In fact, if you consider these incredible options for travel right within the United States, you can satisfy your desire to see the world while keeping your budget on track. And, if you add volunteer opportunities to the mix, you can save even more!

For example, why not consider fishing volunteer trips in the US if you love to fish? Or, intern as part of your travel plans; or, teach English in a TEFL program right here at home. Not only will you find that the cheapest places to travel to in the US offer wonderful opportunities to build your travel portfolio, you’ll also find that you can discover things about America that inspire even more adventures.

So get your list, make your budget, create a campaign, and get started today!

Sign Up for FundMyTravel and Create a Campaign Now!

andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

A Thailand Budget Travel Guide

Southeast Asia has been a popular destination for travelers, vacationers, and volunteers alike for quite a while now. And rightfully so! The breathtaking vistas, some of the world’s most pristine beaches, plus friendly, welcoming locals all put Thailand at the top of many travel bucket lists.

woman sitting on a boat in ko tao, thailand

Is Thailand cheap to visit? Depending on your savings and exchange rate, you might be able to travel like a queen.

For many in the West, Southeast Asia is an affordable destination and a great start to a life of international travel, and Thailand is no exception. It’s not a coincidence that this destination has been popular for so long. For those backpacking Southeast Asia, Thailand is a must. Traveling through Thailand on a budget is very common and rather easy to do.

Thailand has not only been attractive to vacationers, but also for those interested in volunteering, studying, and teaching abroad. It’s one of the most popular destinations in all of Asia.

Why’s that? Well, the cost of living is relatively low, Thai culture is very accustomed to welcoming foreigners in to their peaceful way of life, you can get by only speaking English (though it’s recommended to learn a few of the basics of the local language) the weather is quite agreeable, and there are endless things to do and experience.

Is Thailand cheap to visit?

If you’re traveling with Euros, Pounds, or any kind of Dollar in your pockets, you’ll most likely find Thailand to be affordable. Keeping in mind that affordability is relative, the cost of travel in Thailand is pretty cheap. To some neighboring countries, the standard of living in Thailand is a bit high, but for many folks, it’s rather low. Low enough to still enjoy yourself without missing out on incredible experiences all while creating beautiful memories along the way!

Traveling Thailand on a budget

mats on the floor of a wooden structure in ko tao, thailand

You might have to rough it during a budget trip to Thailand, but the views will always be top-notch.

1. Where to go

There are so many places to visit while traveling Thailand on a budget; there are the bustling well-known metropolises, the bumping islands in the south, or the villages scattered throughout the mountain-clade north. Here are some suggestions to help you plan a budget trip to Thailand (from most to least affordable):

  • Chang Dao
  • Koh Samui
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Mai
  • Phuket
  • Bangkok

2. What to do

What to do, what to do! Hit the beaches, check out the cities, visit the temples, eat the food, go hiking, and then some. Getting to know the culture while rubbing elbows with nature is one highly recommended way to spend your time in this exciting nation. Here are some Thailand budget travel insider tips on what to do:

  • Snorkel off the shores of the islands
  • Island hop
  • Visit temples & palaces
  • Stroll through the open air markets
  • Hike in the mountains
  • Get a massage
  • Talk with the locals

3. How to travel

It might be difficult to tell you how to travel, but there are various means of transportation which should be included in your Thailand budget travel guide. As you might imagine, public transit is often your best bet, but in Thailand you have some options.

Public transit isn’t only the buses and metro — there’s a heck of a lot more. In Bangkok, you’ll surely find it all, from the metro to famous Thai tuk-tuks, but in smaller locales there’s less of a variety.

boat emerging from cave in thailand

Luckily, public transportation doesn’t add TOO much to the cost of travel in Thailand.

Remember: You can always use your feet! Walking is an excellent way to explore a new (or old) destination but it might not fit your timeline to walk from the islands in the south to the mountains in the north. Your feet will be most practical if you’re heading out to a market or roaming about a city.

Thinking about flying? Domestic flights can usually be booked at comparatively affordable rates. Sometimes you can find them so cheap, you might not even consider a bus or the train. For example, flying from Bangkok to Phuket could cost you as little as 20 bucks. (Note: Think sustainably; flying is not going to help decrease your carbon footprint.)

So, here are some suggestions to help you move about without breaking the bank while  traveling around Thailand on a budget:

  • Tuk-tuks
  • Motorcycle Taxis
  • Songthaew (a pick-up truck with seating in the bed)
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Bangkok BTS Skytrain
  • Bangkok MRT Subway
  • Flying

4. Other costs to consider

While we’ve scratched the surface with where, what, and how to budget travel in Thailand, there are so many other expenses that shouldn’t be forgotten. Are you planning to study abroad or volunteer while away? What about food? And your accommodation! It’s not recommended to sleep under the moonlight for more than one full moon party, so you’re going to need a place to rest your head.

Consider some of these other expenses to diminish the chances of any unpleasant surprises while traveling through Thailand on a budget:

  • Program costs. Be it a volunteer program, a TEFL certification course, or a study abroad program, you will certainly want to take these program fees into account. It’s hard to say what program fees are going to look like since there are so many to choose from and so many factors influencing the price. Keep in mind that the cost will depend on the duration and the program type. Volunteer programs are usually more affordable than study abroad programs but their durations are often variable.
  • Food. Eat all of it! Anything you see. Eat it. Thai food is mouthwatering and not a cuisine you’ll want to shy away from anytime soon. If you haven’t yet tried it, you’re in for a real sweet and salty treat. What should be noted is that street food is often fried and therefore you’ll be less likely to catch any unwanted bugs, so go for it. Basically, anything that you can find which is not Westernized will be more affordable. Street food is often the cheapest option, behind preparing fresh produce for yourself from the markets. Also, keep your sousing to a minimum if you must say, “cheers!” Cutting back on alcohol will save you more money than you think.
  • Accommodations. This is all about where you want to rest your head. One way to keep your cost of travel in Thailand down is to share accommodation; find a friend to room with or consider hostels for shorter stays. If you’re going to Thailand on a program, they often offer affordable options which typically include a homestay. Staying with a local family will not only help you save a few bucks, but it’s also an exceptional window into legitimate Thai culture…which includes local delicacies!

Traveling Thailand on a budget is easier with FMT 

Is traveling on a budget still not budget enough for you? No worries, mate. FundMyTravel is here to save your day (or trip!). Phone some friends to see if they can help give you a hand. FMT is a stellar way to ask the crowd (aka crowdsourcing) for some financial support. There are only four steps and let us tell you, It’s ridiculously simple.

First, you’ll create your campaign. Then, spread the word! FMT allows you to easily share your fundraising campaign through built-in social media and email buttons — and this is the most important part of your campaign. You’ll want to cast your net wide and far.

Then, it’s nearly all taken care of. You’ll (fingers crossed) get funded because donations are automatically sent to your account. There’s no need to have your goal amount fully reached to receive your donations. And voila! You’re good to go.

Ready to take a budget trip to Thailand?

man laying on pool float in thailand

Traveling through Thailand on a budget? No worries.

Is Thailand cheap to visit? With your handy Thailand budget travel guide, it will be! Start working on your personal budget, sign up for an account on FMT, and you’re halfway there. We bet you can smell the pad thai already.

Sign Up for FMT and Create a Campaign for Your Trip to Thailand!

What to Know About the Best (and Cheapest) Travel Insurance

Imagine: You’re trekking to Machu Picchu, but miss a step, fall, and injure your ankle. Hopefully nothing like this ever happens, but when you’re abroad, having the best (and cheapest) travel insurance can be a game-changer.

man jumping in front of machu picchu

That guy definitely sprained an ankle.

Do I need travel insurance?

In short: most likely! While you’re abroad, your U.S. health insurance might not cover you to the extent you need it to, or perhaps not at all. That’s where some good, affordable international travel insurance comes in! But before we go over some quality and low cost travel insurance options, here are some reasons you might need it and questions to ask.

  • Does my U.S. insurance plan cover me abroad? If so, what does it cover? Do you need pre-authorization to be treated or be admitted to a hospital abroad? Before you go abroad, call your health insurance provider to find out exactly what international incidents they would cover, how much coverage, what it does not cover (adventure sports, natural disasters, terrorist attacks), and if pre-authorization is needed for any treatment.
  • Will I be participating in adventure sports or activities? Scuba diving, rock climbing, hang gliding, etc. are often not covered in many basic travel insurance policies. If your US insurance covers you abroad, they may not cover these incidents. Find out. If you’re planning on doing anything considered active or adventure sports-related, make sure your health insurance plan includes coverage for these activities.
  • Will I be traveling in remote areas or places with limited medical services? If you’re planning a 10-day trek through a rural area, and the nearest major city is a plane ride or a few days’ backpacking trip away, think about this. If you will be in areas with limited access to medical facilities, look into a health insurance plan that includes a higher amount of medical evacuation coverage. Around $500,000 or above should be sufficient for remote areas, but some plans go up to $1 million. This is the plan that will cover expenses for transporting you from where you are to a hospital that can adequately provide for you, and if need be, get you back to your home country for treatment.
  • And if it’s low cost travel insurance that you’re after, check what’s included!

Also keep these details in mind when on the hunt for the best and cheapest travel insurance:

  • Alcohol, drugs, etc. Many plans won’t cover accidents or injury if you were taking drugs or drinking alcohol at the time of the incident, or if you weren’t wearing a helmet while riding a motorbike or motorcycle. Read the policies carefully.
  • Carry the insurance contact information. Print out your policy, carry copies in your carry-on and with you on day trips, and know the number to call to receive pre-authorization for treatment, if needed. If possible, look up English-speaking hospitals in your area, and find out where the nearest hospitals in-network for your plan are located.
  • Keep all receipts from everything. Whether you’re prescribed medicine, admitted to a clinic, or pay for anything for medical treatment up front, keep the receipts. You can then submit them to your travel insurance company as a claim.
  • Deductibles and plan cost — what is right for me? A deductible is the amount you are responsible to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance plan kicks in and begins helping pay for your costs. For example, if a plan deductible is $1,000, it means you would pay out-of-pocket for all medical treatment up to $1,000. After $1,000, your plan starts sharing costs.

Know your out-of-pocket costs for the best, affordable travel insurance

woman sitting on cliff in norway

If you plan on sitting on the edge of the world, you’ll want the best affordable travel insurance.

Usually, plans with higher deductibles will be cheaper, and more expensive plans will have a lower, or even $0 deductible. When you’re deciding what low cost travel insurance is right for you, look at what the plan covers and always know your anticipated trip and medical needs. You don’t want to opt for the lowest cost travel insurance only to find out it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or wouldn’t cover you for the adventure activities you plan to do!

If you really want a cheap plan, ask yourself if you wouldn’t mind paying up-front for some medical costs until you reach the plans deductible. You may find you wouldn’t mind paying more for a plan if it means a lower or non-existent deductible, meaning the plan would immediately begin sharing medical costs, should a big emergency happen abroad.

3 options for affordable travel insurance

While “inexpensive” is certainly relative, we chose the best and cheapest travel insurance plans below because they also offer flexible options and quality coverage. (Quality coverage meaning the plan is best suited for your trip and your needs, while you also get the most bang for your buck.)

Look for plans that offer sufficient emergency medical coverage (at least $50,000 is a good start) and medical evacuation coverage of at least $100,000. However, if you’re traveling in a more remote area, you may consider higher coverage. Some plans reach up to $250,000 and more for emergency evacuation coverage.

Finally, be sure to review each of the health insurance providers’ plans carefully to get full information and details on coverage and exclusions, since information and prices can change from the date this blog was published.

When calculating the one month quotes for the plans below, we selected a sample participant as 27-year-old from California, USA, traveling to Peru. Quotes can vary based on age, duration of trip, and the country you’re traveling to, so be sure to use the quote calculator on each provider’s website to know your personal quote.

1. Tokio Marine’s Atlas Travel

This is a great, inexpensive travel insurance that allows for a lot of customization, meaning you can choose different plans of varying coverage amounts and deductibles. Their Atlas Travel insurance starts at $50,000 in emergency medical care, with options increasing all the up to $2 million in coverage.

The coverage also includes some awesome medical evacuation coverage: $1 million lifetime maximum. Finally, you can choose coverage that includes the U.S. and abroad, if you’ll be spending time in the U.S. during any part of your adventure.

Now let’s talk about costs. A 4-week trip with $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and a $0 deductible will cost you about $37 for 4 weeks of coverage. Remember, the deductible is the amount you must pay by yourself before your plan will start helping you cover costs.

Atlas Travel is great because you can customize your deductible. If you choose the same plan of $100,000 in emergency medical coverage but with a higher deductible of $1,000, the plan is cheaper: $23 total. You can mix and match deductibles and coverage amounts to find the best option to suit your comfort, trip needs, and budget. Sounds like some of the best and cheapest travel insurance to us! Get a quote

2. World Nomads

This is a very popular insurance for backpackers, adventure enthusiasts, and long-term travelers, since the plans cover over 200 sport and adventure activities. You can choose from a “Standard” or “Explorer” plan. Both plans cover up to $100,000 for emergency medical services and $750 for emergency dental treatment.

The Explorer plan offers higher coverage amounts for some areas, like $500,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation, whereas the Standard plans offers $300,000. As a great perk, both plans offer $25,000 in coverage in the event of a non-medical emergency evacuation, like if there was civil unrest or natural disaster that expels you from the country.

Finally, the coverage for adventure sports also varies between the Standard and Explorer plans, with Standard plans covering activities like leisure horseback riding and Explorer covering more adventure sports like ice climbing or paragliding.

Many people like World Nomads because the website interface is easy to use, and they provide 24/7 assistance, should you need to call them for advice about claims or any questions about coverage. As for costs, for one month in Peru, the Standard plan is $137 and the Explorer plan is $240. Get a quote

3. Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz offers an array of plans that cater to both leisure and business travelers. This plan is also great for frequent jetsetters, since their annual policy will protect all of your trips within that year. They also offer coverage options for pre-existing conditions.

Be sure to review the policy carefully to be sure any of your pre-existing conditions meet the coverage requirements, and to ensure you’re in line with the policy rules.

Now, let’s talk costs. For up to $50,000 in medical emergency coverage, the “One Trip Premier” plan costs $138. The annual plan will cost $500, which includes $50,000 in emergency medical coverage. Get a quote

Help cover your travel insurance costs with FMT

If the costs of all of this has you cringing, you can try and fundraise all or part of the money you need for the best affordable travel insurance. There are so many easy and creative ways to fundraise! Set up a FundMyTravel fundraiser page to share your awesome travel plans and raise money for your trip.

Online fundraisers make it easy to share your link with family and friends. Ask for donations towards your trip in lieu of a holiday, birthday, or graduation gift, and get creative with fundraising! With a compelling story and great promotion, many people fund all or part of their overseas experiences, whether it’s volunteering, teaching, or taking a gap year abroad.

Find the lowest cost travel insurance today!

man jumping off cliff into water

Even the best and cheapest travel insurance might not cover recklessness. Double and triple check what your policy covers.

While scouring the internet for the best affordable travel insurance might seem like a mundane trip detail or something you don’t think you’ll need, it’s worth it. Quality, low cost travel insurance isn’t hard to find, and with a little planning, you can find a plan that will not only give you peace of mind, but the needed coverage for any major or minor emergency.

That way, you can be off trekking through Chile, scuba diving in Mexico, or backpacking through Thailand knowing you have the support you need!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter For More Affordable Travel Tips!

Older posts