Where Can You Travel Long-Term for Less than $40 a Day?

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One of the best things about traveling is that it allows you to harness the power of your home currency (whether it’s Pounds Sterling, US Dollars, Euros or whatever) by using it in countries where the cost of living is much lower.

People often think that traveling around the world is an extremely expensive hobby (and it is if you travel to the USA, Australia or the United Kingdom, for example), but it doesn’t have to be (depending on where you go).

In fact, if you go to the ‘right’ countries (and there are many of them) it is possible to travel on less than $40 a day (providing you stay in reasonably cheap accommodation and don’t go crazy with your spending).

Here are a few places you can travel through for less than $40 a day:

Travel Money

Southeast Asia

These days, South-East Asia is awash with backpackers from all over the world. The amazing experiences on offer and the low cost of living make it the perfect place for young travelers wanting to see the world.

Thailand is no-longer the great secret it once was, as it seems to be THE place to go for Australian and European travelers these days.

ThailandThis is no surprise, as not only is it a great place to visit, but it’s also extremely cheap! During my time there a few years ago I spent roughly 1000 Baht a day (at least, that’s how much I budgeted for).

In fact, I remember spending a lot less than 1000 Baht most days, but every now and then I’d splash out on a boat trip or an elephant ride into the jungle (taking the average daily cost up).

At the current exchange rate of 1 USD to 31.17 Baht (according to the current price on XE.com) that’s only $32 a day.

Malaysia often gets lost in the shadow of its noisy older brother (Thailand), but it does have some amazing places that are well worth visiting (such as Kuala Lumpur and the Taman Negara National Park).

Although you might not travel to South-East Asia solely to visit Malaysia, if you’re already in the area (in Singapore or Thailand) it’s well worth taking the trip through as it’s another cheap travel destination.

Cambodia is a country that has only recently been opened up to mass tourism (due to the recent prominence and downfall of the Khmer Rouge regime).

As with most countries in South-East Asia, if you stay in guesthouses, eat street food and travel long distances by train or bus, you can live on a very small budget.


India is a very unique place with a rich and diverse culture. Being one of the largest countries in the world, you could easily spend years exploring India and never see the whole place.

With main attractions such as the Taj Mahal being relatively cheap to see (entrance fee is $16), it is easy to spend under $40 traveling (especially if you travel by train and eat street food).

South America

South America is a huge continent with lots of different (and diverse) countries that are (on the whole) pretty cheap to travel.

Providing you stay away from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina, you should have no problem keeping your travel budget under $40 per day.

Machu PicchuPeru is a great country for the more adventurous traveler, as it’s home to the famous Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail (both of which make for great hiking experiences).

Lima (the capital) is an ever-increasing metropolis that provides a great starting point and gateway for further transport links.

By staying in hostel dorm rooms, eating street food dining at cheap restaurants or making your own meals at the hostel, one can easily travel Peru on less than $40 a day.

Bolivia is a stunningly beautiful country that can be traveled for less than $40 a day if you put your mind to it.

Cheap accommodation is easy to find in Bolivia unless you’re in La Paz (the capital).

The street food isn’t great in Bolivia, so it’s best to buy your food at markets/grocery stores and prepare it yourself. This is easy to do if you’re staying in a hostel, as most hostels will have a communal kitchen you can use.

The real expenditure in Bolivia will come from the activities. For example, a 4-day tour across the salt flats in Tupiza will set you back around $180+ (although this will be all-inclusive meaning you won’t have to spend any money while you’re on the tour).

For more information, check out this post titled How much does it cost to travel the world?

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