If you’re tired of your current abode for whatever reason and are looking to have an adventure on a budget, here are 8 truly cool places where you can shack up for less than $1k a month.
Good luck finding that here in the States – and if you do, it probably won’t be anywhere truly cool.
You can grab a beer for about $1.25, international schools are cheap, and a pack of cigarettes will set you back about a buck – not only that, but despite troubled relations during the Vietnam War, the people of Laos welcome Americans without holding a grudge.
You’ll be able to grab a deep tissue massage, learn how to cook vegetables like an expert, and enjoy the cuisine and nightlife all on a serious budget, and the scenery isn’t anything to sneeze at, either. Check out the village of Muang Ngoi Neua on a riverside plane in the mountains to check out their stunning limestone cliff formations and take a few days off from the city (you can also backpack, hike, go rafting, and run into people from far off places along the way).
They do tend to take advantage of tourists, money wise, so go to WeAreLao ahead of time and hire yourself a “fixer” who can make sure you’re living the high life for the right price while you’re in the country.
A beer will run you $1.50 and you can take in a world-class opera for $6. The country is full of university grads who speak English better than most people you know, and you can get organic produce for pennies compared to the States. If you’re into touring religious structures, you’ve got 4,000 to choose from, and the priests and other holy men who work there are happy to chat you up.
They’ve got 300 days of sunshine every year and have killer views from a paraglider, so make sure to indulge by yourself or with a pro.
A local draft is $1.75 and public transportation is cheap and provides amazing views of the Adriatic coast. The locals are friendly, and if night life is your thing, the clubs, beach parties, and sheer amount of vodka will make your trip.
And if the beach is your thing, their gorgeous coastline, pristine lakes, and mountain scenery will have you grinning from ear-to-ear; the Bay of Kotor is especially stunning and totally reasonable for the type of sunset you’re getting as a bonus.
You can grab a beer for about 75 cents and aside from the $160 visa, anything else you could want is super, super cheap. Their capital, La Paz, is the world’s highest capital city, and the street scene will keep you busy all day and night.
They’ve got Cholita wrestling (their version of WWE), Andean natives that will teach you the meaning of chilling out, and if you’re the type who likes to thumb your nose at your mortality, you can bike down “death road,” which was cut into the side of a mountain in the 1930s. It connects the rainforest to La Paz and the 11,000 foot drop means you’ll experience myriad climates on your way down.
Sounds fun, right?
History comes alive in this little country between China and India, and with their low cost of living, it might seem as if you’ve stepped back a few centuries as well. Kathmandu has a bunch of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a slew of travelers from all over the world looking forward to (or coming down from) epic Himalayan experiences.
If you’re looking for a bit of a slower pace, you can take the bus to the villages and discover your inner hippie with sandy riverbanks, whitewater rafting, and abundant hammocks.
You can also trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary, Annapurna Circuit, or the Everest Base Camp to bring home pictures you’ll never forget.
The nightlife is home to one of the world’s greatest club scenes and during the day, and the city boasts cafes and trendy wine bars to entertain you during the day. Georgia is clean, safe, and home to lovely people, and your hotel stay could cost less than $10 a night, if you’re not picky. Even an apartment will set you back about $150 a month, no more.
They’re big on wine, and the country has a wide variety of geography ripe for the picking (see what I did there) at a price you can afford – from hookah, to massage, to sulfur baths and wine bars with views of Mount Kazbek, you’ll truly never run out of things to do.
A bit more pricey than some of the other places on the list, but just a bit – and you’ll probably be the only one of your friends to ever make the trek!
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ve got to hit up Victoria Falls for rafting and other fun outings (did you know the spray from the falls can be seen from space?). TheVictoria Falls Bridge crosses the 1200 mile-long Zambezi river and offers the world’s 3rd highest bungee jump (a 365-ft free fall).
You can go on a safari for about $1000 a night if you want to spend a bit more, though it’s still only about half of what you would pay for a similar experience in South Africa. They’re friendly to expats and backpackers, so you really can’t go wrong.
The locals are into getting and being healthy and are quick to offer smiles – you’ll want to watch your back and keep your guard up as the economy is struggling a bit, but the “Vic Falls” area has always been fairly immune to the country’s ups and downs.
If paradise is your vibe, then the West Indies might be the best choice for you – the food and drinks are cheap (and delicious), their beaches are splendid, and you can grab a nice place to crash for super cheap. Whether you want to hike jungles, lay on the beach, or mingle with the locals while scarfing down native cuisine, you just can’t go wrong.
Make sure to check out the outdoor marketplace near Grand Anse Beach – it’s a mini-bus hub, the best place to grab open-air-grilled meat, and grab ice cold drinks from chests in the beds of pickup trucks. At night, it transforms into an instant party complete with calypso music and the enticing smell of barbecue.
I think I might make sure my passport is up to date, just in case!