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Budget Travel - Best Tours & Trips 2019

2,735 trips to Budget Travel tours from 220 tour companies. 4,583 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.
Traveling on a budget can have its downsides, such as dingy hostels, long journeys on uncomfortable buses, and hours of searching for the best price. But don't overlook the upsides to budget travel. Eating at street stalls, staying with local families, and traveling overland can provide a far more authentic experience than that of a luxury traveler. Not to mention that traveling on the cheap will allow you to travel for longer. So ... Read More
All Budget tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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The Best of Spain

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 250 / day
$ 2,999
From : $ 4,049
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Madrid
  • Visit Prado Museum 
  • Admire El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz in Santo Tome Church
  • View the Moorish architecture of the Giralda Tower overlooking the Guadalquivir River
  • Visit the splendid Alhambra Palace
  • Visit the famed Sagrada Familia, a large, unfinished Catholic Basilica
  • Visit Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
  • Enjoy the scenic views of plazas when you drive along the La Rambla  Boulevard
Visits:
Barcelona, Córdoba, Granada, Madrid, Palace of Versailles, Seville, Sierra Nevada, Toledo, Valencia, Spain
View Trip

Iceland Circle

Travel Talk
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 306 / day
$ 2,446
From : $ 3,302
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Climbing Volcano Crater, Sightseeing Icelandic architecture &
  • Sightseeing the dark castles &
  • Sightseeing East Iceland &
  • Sightseeing Europe's largest natioanl park, Walking on the black sandy beach.
  • Sightseeing Skogafoss &
  • City tour Reykjavik, Sightseeing Golden Circle &
Visits:
Iceland
View Trip
Classic Europe
Group Tour
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

Classic Europe

Topdeck
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 138 / day
$ 2,069
From : $ 2,793
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Walking tour of Venice
  • Walking tour of Rome
  • Walking tour of Verona
  • Driving tour of Barcelona
  • Visit a traditional French perfumery
  • Vaporetto ride in Venice
  • Walking tour of Monaco
  • Visit the Loire Valley
  • Driving tour of Paris and gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower
  • Visit Pisa and the famous Leaning Tower
  • Walking tour of Florence with a local guide
Visits:
Barcelona, Eiffel Tower, Florence, Loire Valley, Paris, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Verona, Alps, Bordeaux, France, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland
View Trip

Safari Cruise & Victoria Falls

6 days
$ 366 / day
$ 2,195
From : $ 2,700
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Get the perfect opportunity to take pleasure in the wildlife and birdlife
  • Enjoy the incredible relaxing experience of cruising on the Chobe River
  • Awesome view of magnificent Victoria Falls
  • Cherish brilliant safari experience
Visits:
Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
View Trip

Geminids Meteor Shower - 15 Days

15 days
$ 106 / day
$ 1,595
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Experience the amazing Geminids Meteor Shower in the heart of the Sahara Desert
  • Marrakech – UNESCO-listed medina, mosques, palaces and souks (explored independently)
  • Casablanca and its incredible Hassan II mosque
  • Rabat - Morocco's lively capital
  • Meknes - Amazing Imperial city
  • Rif Mountains
  • Chefchaouen – overlooked by the Goat Horns mountains
  • Volubilis – UNESCO-listed Roman ruins
  • Fes – the world’s oldest medieval city
  • Erg Chebbi/Merzouga sand dunes - beginning of the Sahara
  • Todra Gorge – Morocco’s Grand Canyon
  • Essaouira – UNESCO-listed medina, great beaches and surf
  • Valley and waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains
Visits:
Morocco
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Galápagos Express

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 182 / day
$ 1,279
From : $ 1,784
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Snorkel with sea lions
  • Travel by public speedboats around the galápagos islands
  • Camp in the middle of it all to stay closer to nature
  • Visit charles darwin research station
  • Hike sierra negra volcano
Visits:
Charles Darwin Research Station, Darwin, Isabela Island, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador
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One Week in Argentina and Brazil

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 197 / day
$ 1,192
From : $ 1,928
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Soak up the sophistication of Buenos Aires and explore the sights of its historic city centre
  • Enjoy the differing experiences of the mighty Iguazu Falls from both Argentina and Brazil
  • Rio de Janeiro offers the best combination of city, beach and mountains; famed for vibrant nightlife and rhythmic music
Visits:
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Brazil
View Trip

Fine China - 13 days

13 days
$ 169 / day
$ 2,195
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Beijing - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Pearl markets, Jade Carving Factory, Hutong area of Beijing, Chinese Acrobatic Show
  • Badaling & Juyongguan - 2 UNESCO listed sections of Great Wall of China
  • Luoyang – UNESCO listed Longman Caves and stone carvings, Shaolin Kung Fu Temple, Xiyuan Park activities
  • Xi’an - UNESCO listed Terracotta Warriors, Clay warrior workshop, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall and bike ride, Muslim Quarter, Great Mosque and market
  • Guilin/ Yangshuo – karst landscape, riverside villages and lush scenery, cruise along the peaceful Yangshuo River
  • Longsheng – the Dragon’s backbone rice terraces
  • Shanghai – free time to explore the city - highlights include the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, The Bund and Old Shanghai.
Visits:
China
View Trip

South Africa Highlights & Safari

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 214 / day
$ 2,999
From : $ 7,847
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Table Mountain (Cape Town)
  • See the Cape Peninsula (Cape Town)
  • Explore amazing Hluhluwe Game Reserve
  • Visit to Kruger National Park
  • Vist Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
Visits:
Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, South Africa
View Trip

Spain & Portugal on a Shoestring

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 112 / day
$ 1,349
From : $ 1,567
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Explore moorish palaces and great iberian cities
  • Sample some of europe's best cuisines
  • Chill out on the algarve coast
  • Indulge in tapas and wine
Visits:
Algarve, Barcelona, Granada, Lisbon, Madrid, Seville, Portugal, Spain
View Trip

Treasures of the Nile-Comfort

Travel Talk
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 93 / day
$ 1,299
From : $ 1,754
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Sightseeing Pyramids &
  • Sightseeing Aswan &
  • Sightseeing Aswan &
  • Cruise on the Nile.
  • Sightseeing Edfu &
  • Sightseeing Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and Temple of Queen Hatshepsut Optional Activities
  • Sightseeing Mt. Sinai.
  • Sightseeing St.Catherine Monastry.
Visits:
Cairo, Egypt
View Trip

New England Summer and Fall Foliage

8 days
$ 162 / day
$ 1,295
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit the historic whaling town of Edgartown
  • Enjoy the sailing to Rhode Island
  • Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum.
  • Visit Portland’s waterfront.
Visits:
Boston, Portland, Rhodes, United States
View Trip

Kerala Beaches & Backwaters

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 80 / day
$ 559
From : $ 783
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Relax in the calm backwaters
  • Experience a local homestay
  • Chill out on quiet beaches
  • Explore ecosystems aboard an alleppey ferry cruise
  • Sample south indian cuisine
Visits:
Kerala, Kochi, India
View Trip

Falls to Namibia - 10 days

10 days
$ 80 / day
$ 795
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Zimbabwe:UNESCO Listed Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world.
  • Botswana:Chobe National Park, famous for its herds of elephants. Okavango Delta. Ghanzi (home to the San Bushmen).
  • Namibia:Windhoek - quaint capital city
Visits:
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe
View Trip

Budapest to Big Ben

Topdeck
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 102 / day
$ 1,119
From : $ 1,511
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Walking tour of Amsterdam
  • Driving tour of Berlin
  • Visit former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Walking tour of Prague
  • Walking tour of Kraków
Visits:
Amsterdam, Auschwitz, Berlin, Budapest, Dresden, Prague, Krakow, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland
View Trip
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Top Budget Travel Experiences and Attractions

Top Budget Travel Experiences

Taking a cargo boat up the river Niger to reach Timbuktu

Living in a Buddhist monastery in India in exchange for teaching English lessons

Experiencing home stays with families in Himalayan villages

Spotting whales from the beach at Doradillo, near Puerto Madryn in Argentina

Sampling street food and drink in Bangkok

Taking a self-guided trek in the Langtang region of Nepal and staying at local tea houses

Cycling around the Bagan temples of Myanmar

Exploring the smaller (and cheaper) parks and reserves of Kenya, and getting up close with giraffes, wildebeest, rhinos, elephants, zebras and more

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Budget Travel Trip Reviews

4,583 Budget Travel Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 3,801
Great 653
Average 69
Disappointing 14
Terrible 46
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Brilliant crew, this was my 4th Drago trip

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Brilliant crew, this was my 4th Drago trip and all crew have been excellent.

Read more
Operator Dragoman

They offer excellent custom Safaris

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Denhum will make your holiday memorable. They offer excellent custom Safaris at astonishingly affordable rates. I recommend them any day

Read more
Operator Denhum Holidays

Thanks to Beatrice for Helping my Tibet Pilgrimage

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

As a buddhist, Lhasa is a sacred city to me. Thanks to Beatrice for help with my Lhasa Pilgrimage. She answered my questions patiently and helped to organize my tours to different monasteries. I really enjoyed this trip, especially to Dark Yerba hermitage and Ganden Monastery. Thanks very much.

Read more
Operator Great Tibet Tour

Great memory of Vietnam

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We have just backed from our 12 day trip to Vietnam via Go Asia Travel.
This is one of our most enjoyable trip so far. Mike Nguyen our assistant came to see us at hotel to ensure we got all the info.

Everything goes smoothly. Our driver and guide always wait for us at hotel, train station or airport. No hassel.

We meet different friends each tour and all of them are great. It is nice to make friend during the trip

We enjoy Hoi An so much, would love to spend 1 week relaxing in this lovely town
Thank you Mike and team for everything

Read more
Operator Go Asia Travel

Best Experience

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

It was a great experience at nepal chitwan must visit place . The travel agency white hill adventures should a good hospitality and also managed the trip perfectly.

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Operator White Hill Adventure

A fantastic introduction to Namibia

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

My husband and I went on a 12 day tour of Namibia covering Erindi private game reserve, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund and Sossusvlei. From the start, I was impressed with the professionalism and responsiveness of our contact San-Mari. The trip was a fantastic introduction to Namibia especially due to our guide, Lucky who was knowledgeable, resourceful and friendly. He made the trip a memorable one for us. We will definitely go back to Namibia with NTN again.

Read more
Operator Nature Travel Namibia

Budget Travel Tours and Travel Guide

Budget Travel Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Traveling on a budget can have its downsides, such as dingy hostels, long journeys on uncomfortable buses, and hours of searching for the best price. But don't overlook the upsides to budget travel. Eating at street stalls, staying with local families, and traveling overland can provide a far more authentic experience than that of a luxury traveler. Not to mention that traveling on the cheap will allow you to travel for longer. So swap that fancy restaurant for a local cafe, that luxury hotel for a tent, and that private taxi for a shared jeep, and find out what new experiences lie in store (and how much you can save).

Accommodation

When traveling on a budget, your accommodation will likely consist of hostels, tents, home stays, and basic guesthouses or hotels. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Hostels can be wonderfully social places, with lively common areas and lots of like-minded travelers. Small, locally run guesthouses and hotels can have a charm and warmth to them that is unheard of in large hotel chains. Camping tours can be a great way to experience nature, and provides the thrill of roughing it in the wilderness. And home stays offer a insight into local life unlike any other. Shop around to see what suits you, and be sure to ask about discounted rates.

Transport

Transportation on a budget will likely involve local buses, shared vehicles, and trains, with flights often being out of the question. Again, this is not always a bad thing. Traveling overland offers views and local experiences that are missed out on by those in the air. Yes, there may be horrible experiences of being bounced around on unpaved roads, going stir-crazy on 20 hour bus journeys, or being squashed into the back of a shared jeep, but sometimes these experiences are the ones you'll remember most fondly!

Overnight transportation can be a blessing or a curse. If it's comfortable, it can be a handy way to save money on accommodation while sleeping away the distance between destinations. Uncomfortable overnight journeys, however, can really test your limits. The comfort varies from region to region.

South America has overnight buses with seats comfier than any bed, while Europe has trains with individual cabins to rival some hotels. Parts of Asia and Africa, however, have overnight buses that can be downright painful (as well as incredibly cheap accommodation, making overnight transportation not worthwhile anyway).

Wherever you are, when booking tickets, have a look at the price differences between classes- sometimes air conditioning or a reclining seat are worth the extra dollar or two.

Food and Drink

When dining abroad on a budget, you'll have to forgo snooty restaurants with pristine tablecloths and imported drinks. Instead, you'll be forced to dine on fresh, local food, drink local beer with plenty of cheap refills, and chat to local people at roadside stalls or in cosy diners. Actually sounds quite appealing, doesn't it?

Activities and Interests

Here's where travel costs can really spiral out of control. A visit to a safari park, for example, can be a camping trip with basic amenities or a private tour with luxury hotels, with thousands of dollars in the difference. Look at the cheapest trips available, but make sure to find one that suits your needs. It's not worth saving money if you end up missing out on memorable experiences, or on a tour you don't enjoy. The cheapest is not always the best value.

Working, Volunteering, and Studying

Working, volunteering, or studying abroad can be a great way to experience life in another country while keeping costs to a minimum. Even if you aren't earning much (or anything at all), you may be able to work in exchange for accommodation and meals. Also, staying in one place rather than moving around can keep costs down, as well as allowing you to really experience a destination in depth.

The availability of paid work varies greatly from region to region, as does the amount of pay, so if you are planning to work abroad, pick your destination wisely. Teaching English is often a good job opportunity in Asia, Central America, and South America, especially if you have a qualification such as a TEFL certificate.

Getting a work visa may be difficult in some countries, however in places such as Australia, it is common for visitors to stay for a year on a working visa and find a job. If you cannot find paid work, you may be able to work in exchange for accommodation. In South America, for example, it is common for hostel guests to work in exchange for a free bed. Make sure these kinds of deals are worth it though- you may find yourself working for several hours in exchange for saving just a few dollars.

Volunteering is another excellent way of living for less abroad, not to mention doing some good while traveling. Do your research when finding a volunteering opportunity, as some organizations charge substantial amounts for finding placements, while others do so for free, and others, such as the Peace Corps, even pay volunteers. Some placements will provide food and accommodation, and some of the most rewarding placements can be in destinations where costs are minimal.

Studying abroad may not provide any money or free accommodation, but it still allows you to do something worthwhile in one destination, rather than spending all your travel fund moving from place to place. Substantial discounts are also often available when booking accommodation for a longer period. And it's a great opportunity to follow a passion, whether it's learning to tango in Buenos Aires, learning to cook in Italy, or learning to speak Mandarin in Beijing.

Budget Destinations by Region

Of course, the easiest way to keeps costs down when traveling is to choose a cheap destination.

Asia: Asia is budget traveler heaven. Countries such as India, Nepal, China, and most of Southeast Asia allow you to live on a budget of as little as $10 a day, while offering incredible sights and unforgettable experiences.

Africa: Many less-visited African countries can be very budget-friendly, though travel and sleeping conditions may be tough if you really insist on the cheapest option. Even more touristy countries such as Kenya and South Africa are very affordable, particularly if you choose your trips and safaris wisely.

South and Central America: This gigantic region comes with a vast range in prices. Argentina, for example, is one of the cheaper countries, while just next door, Chile is one of the most expensive. One major cost is getting around the massive landmass- those long bus journeys through Patagonia, and short haul flights over the Amazon do not come cheap. So plan your route well.

North America: North America doesn't come cheap. If you're trying to keep costs down, the easiest way is to avoid trying to cover vast distances, and focus on smaller areas. Though if you're determined to see as much as possible, try renting a car, or better yet, a camper van. These rentals can be surprisingly cheap (be warned, however, that insurance is not included in the initial price, and can bump up the overall cost significantly).

Europe: Even a short visit to London, Paris or Rome comes with a price tag that would shock some luxury travelers. But Europe is not out of the question for budget travelers. Inter-railing (traveling by train on a multi-stop ticket), road tripping, and camping are all popular means of affordable travel. And don't forget that a trip to Central or Eastern Europe costs a fraction of the price of a visit to its western counterpart.

Australia and New Zealand: It's difficult, though not impossible, to visit Australia and New Zealand without having a large budget or a local job. Not only are they two very expensive countries, but they are located in their own far flung corner of the globe, and therefore costly for most travelers to reach. If you're determined to visit here on a budget, try camping or couch surfing for free accommodation, or look for hostels where you can cook your own meals. Also, keep in mind that air fare prices are significantly lower outside of the peak summer season (December to February).

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