Travel Alone

The Best Locations to Travel on a Budget in Your 20’s


Your 20’s are an amazing time in your existence. You are mature enough to be responsible, courageous, and knowledgeable, but still youthful enough to possess a sense of independence and an open mind. Before settling down and starting a career or a family, traveling is a fantastic method to utilize this prime state of being and explore the world. But what are the most affordable travel destinations for those in their twenties?

For most adventurers in their twenties, money is a significant obstacle. It is uncommon for a young person to have substantial savings, particularly during or immediately after college. This means that five-star hotels and first-class airfare are typically out of the question. But even on a limited budget, it is possible to have a great time in many locations around the globe.

These destinations are ideal for solo travel in your twenties because they are rich in culture and readily accessible without hiring a private guide.

It is also a fantastic way to meet fascinating people, immerse oneself in local cultures, put one’s talents to use, or acquire new skills.

If you are in your twenties and searching for fun vacation destinations, any of these nations will provide you with an enriching experience.

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So, what are these incredible places to visit for those in their 20’s? Here is the List!

  1. Thailand
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Peru
  4. Cuba
  5. Croatia
  6. Nicaragua
  7. South Africa
  8. Ecuador
  9. Cambodia
  10. Romania
  11. Turkey
  12. Bolivia
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Mexico
  15. Laos


If you’re in your 20s and thinking about how to travel on a budget, you should visit Thailand.

Thailand, a prominent tourist destination in Southeast Asia, is as beautiful as its reputation suggests. Thailand is filled with dazzling Buddhist temples, limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, verdant forests, and bustling cities, as well as friendly locals. It has the look and feel of a costly vacation, but the same experience can be had on a budget.

In Thailand, you can cross so many items off your bucket list without spending a fortune. A full-day culinary class in Chiang Mai can be had for less than $30, a boat tour around the islands of Koh Phi Phi can be had for less than $20, and admission to the incredible temples of the Grand Palace in Bangkok costs only $15. All of these are reasonably priced considering their value.

Even day-to-day expenses are affordable in Thailand. For example, at a street market, you can purchase a complete plate of fresh Pad Thai or a gigantic fruit smoothie for $1.


If you wish to travel to Europe on a student budget, there is no better destination than Bulgaria.

This eastern European nation is frequently overlooked by tourists, but it is a genuinely remarkable country with a rich history. You can locate a decent hostel in Sofia, the capital, for $10 to $15 per night, and the majority of the city’s attractions are free.

Due to the dearth of tourism in Bulgaria, the locals are thrilled to teach visitors about their culture, so you will be welcomed with open arms. With Sofia’s free walking tours, free graffiti tours, free pub crawls, and free culinary tours, you can immerse yourself in Bulgarian culture for next to nothing.

Additionally, you can purchase an abundance of excellent products that are typically expensive elsewhere. Bulgaria takes pride in its dairy products and roses and rose-infused beverages. Made from Bulgarian yogurt and rose extract, body moisturizers and cosmetics are extremely inexpensive and of the highest quality.


This South American jewel is best known for its ancient world marvel, Machu Picchu. Peru is a large country with numerous attractions, such as the Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, and innumerable beaches, forests, deserts, and small towns.

Touristy excursions, such as hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, can be expensive through upscale tour companies, but you can find much more affordable journeys through hostel tour companies like Loki Hostel and Milhouse Hostel. For example, the 5-day Salkantay Trey is only $249 through Loki Hostel, whereas the average cost to complete the Inca Trail with a renowned tour company is $500.

Hiking Rainbow Mountain, an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon where towering mountain peaks are naturally streaked with vibrant colors, is an additional rewarding experience in Peru. Through Cusco’s local tour operators, you can attend a full-day guided hike for only $30.

Transportation throughout the nation is also excellent for economic travelers. Comfortable overnight buses can transport you across the country for dirt-cheap prices, and in every city and town, you can find delicious local cuisines such as ceviche, loom saltado, and quinoa soup for pennies. Peru is undoubtedly one of the finest travel destinations for twenty-somethings.

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This vibrant Caribbean island will transport you to the 1950s when you visit. Cuba has an abundance of activities due to its rich history and culture, which includes aromatic Latin cuisine, picturesque architecture, and cigars.

Luckily, all of these activities are affordable. Stay with a local family in an Airbnb or Casa Particular for approximately $20 to $30 per night. This is slightly more expensive than a hostel dormitory, but the authentic experience with locals is well worth the additional cost. You can make up for this by eating street cuisine for $1 per meal and purchasing inexpensive cocktails for $2 to $3 in bars.

There are numerous free methods to enjoy Cuba, such as lounging on pristine beaches such as Varadero, Playa Pilar, and Cayo Coco. You can also explore the ancient streets of Havana, appreciating the baroque architecture of Plaza Vieja and the Christian art of the city’s numerous cathedrals.

Explore small villages such as Trinidad, where you can take salsa lessons and dance with locals near Plaza Mayor. Hike approximately two miles through Parque El Cubano and conclude with a swim in the refreshing Javira Waterfall to immerse yourself in Cuba’s natural splendor.


If you wish to trek through Europe on a budget, you must visit Croatia. Croatia is one of my favorite locations to visit in my twenties due to its reassuring blend of Eastern European culture and Mediterranean warmth. Some of its more popular cities may be a touch touristy, but they are still unquestionably worth a visit.

Dubrovnik, for instance, is filled with quaint old churches and foreboding stone fortifications, many of which were used to film Game of Thrones. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in Croatia, it is possible to travel here on a budget.

If you have a valid student ID, you can ascend the city walls at a substantial discount. You can also hike and swim on the nearby Lokrum Island, which is only a 5-euro ferry journey from the city pier.

Other beautiful locations in Croatia can be visited affordably. Split is a beachside town with a whitewashed Old Town Center and a vast park ideal for jogging and sunset viewing. The good news is that both of these activities are free, allowing you to explore the majesty and tranquility of Split.

Zagreb, the capital city, is filled with magnificent architecture and cathedrals, so all you need to do to be entertained for days is meander around with a camera. Be sure to pass by Dolac Market to purchase inexpensive local produce and handcrafted items.


This small Central American nation has all the same advantages as its neighbor, Costa Rica, but it is considerably less expensive and touristic. If you’re in your 20s and looking for the best locations to travel in Central America, you should consider Nicaragua.

Here, you’ll find friendly, laid-back locals who are anxious to interact with you, small historical cities with breathtaking architecture, and inexpensive produce markets with fresh tropical fruits available for pennies. In addition to inexpensive cuisine, nice hostels can be found for approximately $10 per night, making the average cost of living in Nicaragua extremely low.

Nicaragua is a fantastic destination for surfers of all skill levels due to its powerful swells and nearly empty beaches. A lake in Managua, in the middle of the country, causes the wind to blast offshore toward the coast, resulting in perfect, glassy waves throughout the year.

At beaches such as Playa Maderas, novice surfers can learn how to navigate the waves, while advanced surfers can seek out large waves in locations such as Popoya.

In San Juan Del Sur, you can also pursue thrills by climbing active volcanoes and sandboarding back down, or by attending wild parties on Sunday Funday.

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South Africa

South Africa is the ideal destination for a voyage filled with life-altering experiences. Visit Kruger National Park for an exciting safari where you can observe lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, and giraffes in their natural habitat.

A deluxe guided safari is expensive, but you can purchase a self-drive safari for as little as $100 per night, or as little as $60 per night if you camp. The tabletop mountains of Drakensberg Park, which straddles the frontier between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, feature additional natural beauty.

Explore Table Mountain in Cape Town, one of the most populous cities in South Africa, for more breathtaking peaks. There are numerous trails with varying degrees of difficulty on Table Mountain, where hiking is free.

Green Point Park, where the 2010 FIFA World Cup was hosted, is an additional free attraction in Cape Town. Explore the architecture of Greenmarket Square and the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, or learn how to surf at Muizenberg.

Except for food and lodging, Cape Town is such a welcoming city that you will hardly need to spend any money to enjoy yourself there.


Considering its size, the quantity of natural diversity in Ecuador is astounding. Named for its location along the Equator in South America, Ecuador’s warm climate ranges from the jungles and cascades of the Amazon to the cloud forests of the north and the beaches of the western coast.

Higher elevations, such as the capital city of Quito or the famous volcanoes of Cotopaxi National Park, are also associated with colder weather.

Ecuador is the ideal country for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, as its natural beauty is genuinely endless. With the possible exception of the Galapagos Islands, the majority of the country is affordable, making it one of the best destinations in South America to travel in your twenties.

It is recommended to bring smaller notes and coins in addition to the U.S. dollar, which is the local currency. Local bus rides in Quito cost $0.20, while trips to other cities in the country typically cost between $5 and $10. It is unlikely that you will be able to pay for anything with a $20 bill or higher, and it is uncommon for locals to have changed.


Siem Reap’s ancient temples attract many tourists to Cambodia, and for good reason. You can spend up to seven days exploring the immense 12th-century stone structures, including Angkor Wat and the Bayon’s enormous faces.

Stay in a hostel in Siem Reap while you plan your trip; some hostels cost as little as $4 per night, and the staff can assist you in organizing your trip to the temples.

Passes to the temples currently cost $37 for one day, $62 for three days, and $72 for seven days, which is very reasonable given that tourism is one of Cambodia’s primary sources of revenue. Without these renowned temples, the country’s poverty would likely worsen.

As long as you respect their culture, traveling to Cambodia and contributing to the local economy is absolutely worthwhile. Always dress appropriately in temples and be courteous to the residents.

Give the Cambodians an extra warm thank you when they transport you around in a tuk-tuk, serve you their delicious Khmer curry in a cafe, or sell you clothing at a discount in the street market, and remember how fortunate you are to be able to visit their country.


Transylvania is a large region in the eastern European nation of Romania, despite what some people believe. Romania is incredibly inexpensive to visit and simple to navigate, and you’ll be able to see charming little villages and impressive fortresses along the way.

Brasov, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, and Sighisoara are some of the most prominent towns along the Transylvanian route. All of these cities share brightly colored homes, aesthetically attractive public squares, and inexpensive food. The price of delicious pastries and bread rolls from a local bakery is approximately $0.20, and restaurants offer substantial meals for approximately $5.

The train is the most convenient method to travel through Romania. The train network connects all of Transylvania’s towns to the main cities of Romania, and most trips cost between $10 and $20.

Peles Castle, a massive, ornate palace that rises tall in the thick forest, is a must-see in Romania. The most convenient method to reach the castle is by taking a train from Brasov to Sinaia for the day.


Turkey is a delightfully diverse nation, caught between the seductive beauty of the Mediterranean and the allure of a rich Islamic culture.

While the question of whether Turkey is European or Middle Eastern remains unresolved, the country’s affordability remains unchanged. Turkey is without a doubt one of the best locations to travel on a budget in your 20s (or at any age).

Authentic Turkish cuisine, such as filled vine leaves, warm eggplant dishes with yogurt sauce, sugary baklava and Turkish delight, savory Gozleme, and delicious Doner kebabs, is one of the highlights of this country.

These foods can be found on the street for only a few dollars, whereas a substantial meal in a restaurant will cost you approximately $5.

In addition to eating, spend your time in Turkey exploring the distinct attractions that dot the countryside. In Istanbul, the famous Blue Mosque and the seemingly endless stalls of the Grand Bazaar are both free to access.

Many travelers visit Cappadocia to observe the bizarre, sloping, and jagged rock formations and to watch the hot air balloons float by. The cost of a hot air balloon flight can exceed $100, but you can observe them in action from Sunset Point in Red Valley.

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Bolivia is the place to go if you want to experience authentic South American culture and breathtaking natural scenery. Not only is everything extremely inexpensive in this country, including food, lodging, and Spanish language schools, but the country’s intense local traditions and virtually undisturbed ancient culture make it an unforgettable experience.

Visit La Paz, the highest city in the world, to find fascinating stores selling witchcraft and beautifully handcrafted accessories made by local farmers. You can also trek to small villages to visit the Quechuan communities, where people still speak their ancient tongues and have no knowledge of Spanish.

After observing the natives’ way of life in Bolivia, venture into the awe-inspiring wilderness. Salar De Uyuni is a world-famous salt flat where you can slumber in salt houses and observe flamingos in a vast blue lagoon.

Czech Republic

Centrally located in Europe, the Czech Republic is a much more affordable travel destination than Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Similar characteristics can be found in all of these countries, such as fascinating historical monuments, lush forests, verdant countryside, hearty meat dishes, and delicious beer, but the Czech Republic offers the lowest prices. In the majority of pubs, beer is even cheaper than water, making it a fantastic place to indulge.

During your exploration of the Czech Republic, you must visit Prague. It is one of the most magical cities in Europe, and the nightlife scene makes it one of the best travel destinations for those in their twenties.

The presence of castles, chiming clock towers, and cobblestone streets renders the city reminiscent of a village from a fairy tale, particularly during the holiday season when the streets are filled with markets selling hot mulled wine and the tall pastries known as Trdelniks.


Mexico provides visitors with a deep understanding of Latin culture that transcends stereotypes. In addition to tequila and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, this country is filled with dense jungles, incredible surf breaks, and flavorful street cuisine.

There are some excellent places in Mexico to visit on a budget, such as Mexico City with its magnificent architecture and street tacos made from scratch, or Oaxaca with its colorful trinket markets and day trips to ancient Aztec Ruins.

The magnificent pyramids of Teotihuacan, whose entrance fee is less than $4, are also accessible by bus from Mexico City.

The vast coastline is where you can experience Mexico’s beautiful beaches for free. Puerto Escondido has excellent swells for learning to surf and a lively nightlife, while Loreto on the Baja Peninsula has an abundance of marine life to observe while swimming or surfing. In the Sierra De La Giganta mountain range, the town of Loreto is also home to historical cave murals.


This small Southeast Asian nation is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike, kayak, and explore to your heart’s content without spending too much money, making it one of the top destinations for those in their 20s.

Hostels in Laos can cost as little as $5 per night, while street cuisine can be purchased for as little as $2. A guided excursion, such as zip-lining through the forest, costs approximately $30, so it is more cost-effective to hike and explore on your own without a guide.

The stunning Kuang Si Falls, which are readily accessible from Luang Prabang, and the remote Katang Villages of Dong Phu Vieng National Protected Area are two of the most spectacular hiking destinations in Laos.

You can also kayak through the tranquil archipelago of islands known as Si Phan Don or learn to rock climb on the limestone cliffs of Tha Khaek. Laos’s adventures are genuinely endless, and fortunately, the majority of them can be enjoyed on a budget.

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