Photos of 10 places you can visit for $50 a day
9:53 AM, Mar 29, 2013
THAILAND - Although it's a popular destination, you don't have to spend a fortune in Thailand, Kepnes says. "There are still very, very cheap accommodations. You can eat local food for a dollar or two," he says. "If you're spending $50 a day, you're spending a lot of money." Even airfare within the country isn't very expensive.
BULGARIA - This Eastern European country has a fairly well-developed tourism structure and attracts travelers seeking beach vacations. But visiting still doesn't cost a fortune. Kepnes recommends the Black Sea resort town of Varna. "There are a lot of places the locals go."
PERU - Most visitors come for the ruins, but there's much more to see in the South American country, Kepnes says "Outside Machu Picchu and Cusco, you'll find $1 meals. Up in the Amazon in the north, there are plenty of things to do." And if you're set on visiting Machu Picchu you can save by waiting to book your trip until you're in the area. If you're flexible with your dates, it may be 40% to 50% cheaper than booking in the USA, he says.
ROMANIA - The former Soviet bloc country is not on many travel lists, but it offers fascinating medieval history, religious shrines and Black Sea resorts without the crowds. "I hate to use the phrase, but it's a hidden gem. You get these beautiful seaside towns that are a fraction of the price that you pay in Western Europe," Kepnes says.
BELIZE - While it's not the cheapest place in Central America, Belize has plenty to offer and it still can be experienced for $50 a day, Kepnes says. He suggests staying away from the popular Ambergris Caye resort area, and instead seek out Mayan ruins and less-developed beaches. "It has nice weather. It's small. It's easy to get around. It's still a good value destination.
CAMBODIA - Although it's in the same region as Thailand, this Southeast Asian country is even cheaper. "If Thailand is plugged in, Cambodia is unplugged. There are remote beaches and islands," Kepnes says. "The people there are some of the most amazing I've met."
INDIA - The Indian subcontinent isn't easy for independent traveler , which is one reason Kepnes suggests focusing on a single region. "It's so gigantic. You can't cover India in two weeks. But that being said, it is cheap. You can have a great hotel there for 20 bucks."
BOLIVIA - The salt flats and sites around Lake Titicaca are a wonder to visit and extremely inexpensive, Kepnes says. "It's a huge tourist destination and there are nice places to go wherever you are. You get a Latin flavor and the food's really good, but because it's in the middle of a very poor country, it's kind of a deal."
CHINA - If you avoid the major cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, China can be an incredible bargain, Kepnes says. "All these places are cheap if you do what folks over there do. If you walk into a local market, you're paying just a couple bucks for food. If you go to China and try to have a hamburger, you're going to have a bad hamburger and you're going to pay a lot for it."
COSTA RICA - Americans love Costa Rica, but it's usually not considered a cheap place to travel, Kepnes says. However, if you stay away from all-inclusive resorts and travel like a local, it can still be a bargain. The key is dining at local restaurants and mastering the two-tier bus system, which means skipping tourist coaches and instead taking local buses. "You can get on the bus anywhere in Costa Rica for 10 bucks," he says.
Travel doesn't have to be a savings-draining proposition. Pick the right destination and you can stretch your dollar for weeks or even months, says Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (Perigee Trade, $15).