A great way to truly get an accurate feel for a country is to visit it for a longer period of time than the average weekend, week or fortnight. Spending a month or more in a foreign land gives you a chance to come to grips with its unique cultural mores and eccentricities.
When you have at least a month to play with you can dive deeply into a destination. You can get to know the natives – eating, drinking, scheduling your time, playing, living and existing as they do. In a month you can get under the skin of a place, allowing the initial novelty to fade, and then start seeing the place more accurately and realistically. After living in a country for a month or more, you can genuinely say you’ve “Been there, bought the T-shirt!”
Most of the time, if you take an extended vacation in a country, you won’t be earning much of any money during that period (unless you are lucky enough to be a Digital Nomad, earning your dollars and cents from online work). But even your average Digital Nomad would rather save money by living somewhere that’s great value for money.
So for most travelers, it is more attractive to spend a month or more in a cheap country where wealth goes a long way than in, say, Dubai or Oslo where your average (western or otherwise) bank account could easily dwindle to nothing in no time at all.
With that in mind, here is our BUCKiTDREAM list of 4 of the cheapest countries to visit for a month-long vacation. Be sure to put the country or countries that seem most alluring to you in your BUCKiTDREAM planner!
Take in the Sights and Sounds of Thailand If you stay away from tourist hotspots such as Koh Phangan and Phuket, Thailand is a very inexpensive country to stay in. Excellent street food is available everywhere and a delicious meal will rarely cost more than 40 baht, which is approximately $1. Local beers Lao, Singha and Chang are available in convenience stores for the equivalent of a few cents, and in bars (unless you go somewhere catered to tourists or very wealthy Thais) for a dollar or so. Traveling around the country by train, bus or rented vehicle is also very cheap. You can easily spend a month or more in Thailand without your accountant wearing out his or her worry beads!
Get Acquainted with Food and Fun in Cuba The picturesque communist island of Cuba has two currencies: one for foreigners and locals who work in certain (usually travel-related) industries called the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), and one for natives called the National Peso (CUP). One CUC is worth approximately 25 CUPs. In practice, both foreigners and natives can use both – with everyday items being paid for in CUPs and luxury items being paid for in CUCs. On your tightly budgeted month in Cuba you’ll be using both – so be aware of the difference.
Cuba is cheap. Casa particulars, or homestays, are to be found all over the island. You can get a room and a (usually stunning) home-cooked meal in one of these for around $20 a night. And beyond this cheap food and board, everyday items and travel are also super-reasonably priced. The price of eating and drinking out varies considerably depending on where you chose to do it. But there are cheap food and drink options to be found everywhere, so a month imbibing the rich culture and sumptuous natural beauty of Cuba certainly need not necessitate re-mortgaging your own casa back home!
Partake in the Pleasures of Peru This place is cheap, even by South American standards. Of course, you could blow your budget eating in expensive restaurants, staying in upmarket hotels and doing overpriced excursions with certain tour companies, but this is a risk in basically any destination. If you want to live cheaply in Peru – even in its capital city Lima – it is well within reason. You can get a good meal in a decent restaurant for less than $5, drink a beer for $1.50 and stay in a clean and comfortable hostel for less than $10 a night. Lima is a fun city, the beaches are warm and sandy, and there are lots of good hiking to be done in the hills and mountains. Peru is a great and affordable destination for an extended vacation.
Stay for Some Affordable Options in Serbia A great cheap option for a long stay in Europe is Serbia. This Balkan nation is steeped in a rich history, has its own unique and fascinating culture, contains areas of spectacular natural beauty, and has a fiery and flamboyant capital in Belgrade. The capital is more expensive than the rest of the country, but not by much. Renting an entire apartment smack-bang in the center of Belgrade should only set you back between $300 and $400 for a month. Meals in reasonably priced restaurants (where locals eat) cost between $5 and $10. A beer is about $1.50. The prices in Serbia are not quite as cheap as the other countries on our list, but they are about as cheap as you will find in Europe.
That was our list of 4 of the cheapest countries to visit for a month-long vacation. Hopefully, you are now feeling inspired to do some extended-stay traveling. While you are living cheaply in Thailand, Cuba, Peru or Serbia, share your experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #BUCKiTDREAM and start crossing these affordable adventures off your bucket list!