What makes a low-cost international destination a great spot? It’s not just the cheap prices. While there’s a certain thrill in getting another stamp in your passport to just about anywhere, part of seeking out low-cost travel spots is finding the ones where you’ll get the most for your money. What will you see? Do? And of course, eat?

Everyone’s idea of affordable travel differs, and that’s because some are looking for affordable luxury while others are just fine spending a night on an airport floor and the next few in a bunk in a hostel. This list covers exciting low-cost international travel destinations with low budgets for backpackers (under $40 a day with this style of travel) where those seeking something more luxurious should also be able to find a deal.

Keep in mind when calculating costs that your largest expense may be your flight, so it will be up to you to find a great deal on this. After that, we’re looking at accommodations, visas, food, and fun.


Colombia is a stunning, colorful, and affordable travel destination. The beaches of Cartagena, the mountains of Medellin, and the busy and colorful streets of Bogota have an exciting array of adventures calling to any traveler. Affordable connecting flights are often found through Florida or Mexico. The street food of Latin America is exceptional and affordable, and Colombia is no exception. If you have a bit more budget to play with, Colombia can be a great entry point for traveling into the amazon.

Sri Lanka

If you want to spend a small fortune and stay in luxury hotels on the beach, Sri Lanka is a great destination. If you want to backpack around an affordable country with friendly locals, amazing street food, and adventures around every corner, then Sri Lanka is also a great destination for you. While it may take some work to find an affordable flight depending on your starting point, Sri Lanka is one of the cheapest travel destinations around, and you should see it before too many others find out about its appeal.

One of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is ride the famous blue train from Kandy to Ella. This is known as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. While you won’t have a luxury seat, you’ll have an amazing view and at a low price.


Great news: It’s often easy to find a low-cost flight to Mexico, and the savings continue upon arrival. There are so many places to visit in this country and all of them fairly affordable.

If you visit the east coast you have the thrill of the ever-popular Cancun. It’s recommended that you venture a bit outside of the city itself. There are affordable buses (check the ADO website) to nearby destinations Playa del Carmen and Tulum where you can visit Mayan ruins, eat cheap tacos, and swim in Cenotes.

Further south, fly to Oaxaca and take a five-stop tour to see the world’s widest tree, El Tule, visit a Mezcal distillery, check out beautiful textiles, and see the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua. This tour is under twenty dollars and makes for a thrilling day. Stay in the city for colorful streets, awesome tamales, and coffee that’ll make you never want to leave. Don’t miss the free stamps museum, it’s more fun than it sounds.