Category How to Travel the World on $50 a Day


T his book has laid out a lot of numbers in front of you like pieces of a puzzle.

Now it’s time to put those pieces together. The promise of this book is that you can travel around the world for $50 USD per day, or $18,250 USD per year. Now, that number didn’t just come to me out of thin air. I picked $50 USD per day because my own years of travel experience have taught me that that’s exactly how much money you need for a world trip. That’s a daily average. Some days you may spend more, some days you may spend a lot less. If your whole trip is just to Southeast Asia, you’ll spend less than that in one year. But if you are going away for a shorter time period or spending two weeks in Norway, it will be harder to reach as low as $50 USD per day.

After years of traveling the world, I’ve reali...

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How Much Do You Need?

South America is a cheap area of the world to travel to, but costs are rising quickly as countries continue to develop. The region is still relatively inexpensive, but nations like Brazil, Chile, and Colombia are becoming increasingly expensive by the day. It’s relatively easy to keep costs below $25 USD per day in the less developed countries and $45 per day in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.

There’s a big divide in the continent along prices. You’ll be hard-pressed to eat for less than $20 USD per day in Argentina, while on the other hand you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than $20 USD per week on local food in Peru.

Moreover, you should budget a little more if you plan on doing a lot of activities...

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Activities vary, costing as much as hundreds or thousands of dollars. Simple day tours cost around $40 or $50 USD. Museums and city attractions cost around $5 USD. There are a number of good art and historical museums

throughout the region. I love the historical museums that give insight into the fabulous Inca civilization and the Spanish occupation of the region.

Activities are very expensive in this region simply because most people who visit on short holidays come for the Machu Picchu, jungle tours, and Galapagos Island adventures. These tours can cost up into the thousands of dollars, for the simple fact that people are willing to pay that much for them...

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Local buses are the most effective way to get around in South America. Most cities, even large ones, lack extensive commuter rail systems. The buses are typically old tour or school buses from the United States. Buses cost around 50 cents USD inside a city. Taxis are available everywhere and cost $2-5 USD per trip within a city’s limits. Larger metropolitan and capital cities have subway systems that cost around $1 USD per ride.


Bus transportation is the cheapest option in South America. There’s no real train network in the region and flights are expensive, so the majority of people take the bus. There are a lot tourist buses in South America, but even on those, you are going to be traveling with a good number of locals, as buses are the mainstay here...

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Service Apartments

The service apartment trend has yet to hit South America the way it has elsewhere in the world. You will find very few available options once you leave the capital cities. In all of Ecuador, there are only about 230 hosts at the time of this writing and more than 50 percent of those on Airbnb are in the capital, Quito. Prices for rooms are comparable to those of a budget hotel, typically ranging from $10 USD to $30 USD for your own room in someone’s home. Very rarely do you find whole apartments for rent outside of the larger cities.

An alternative to the apartment rental sites is Craigslist (www .craigslist. org). This site has more listed apartments and homestays due to the fact that unlike the rental sites, Craigslist does not take a commission...

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South America Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay

South America is another area of the world where your money will go very far.

Though costs vary dramatically and prices have risen over the last few years, you can still find a lot of value here. More expensive destinations, like Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Patagonia, will eat into your budget, as will big trips like the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, and Machu Picchu. However, countries such as Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are very affordable and will offset the costs of the other destinations. There is a lot of variety in South America. With the region covering such a large landmass, make sure you devote considerable time to exploring it.



Hostels in this region provide a host of amenities—free breakfast, Internet access, bars, game rooms, tour orga...

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Central America Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua

Central America is an incredible bargain and one not often visited enough by North Americans. The flights there are cheap, and getting around is cheap— it’s the perfect travel alternative to more expensive regions of the world. I’ve been to this region many times, and it remains one of my favorites in the world. I love the relaxed lifestyle, the beautiful beaches and azure-blue water, the warm weather, the jungle treks, the friendly locals, and the flavorful food.



Hostels are abundant in this region of the world. A night in a hostel ranges from just $4 USD to $10 USD for a dormitory room. In Costa Rica or Panama, you will pay on the higher end of that range. A private bed will cost you $15­20 USD for a double bed and a private bathroom.

Hostels in Central America ...

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Southeast Asia Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia

Southeast Asia is so affordable that the typical travel trail is way less than $50 USD per day. I’m always shocked when people tell me they’ve spent more than that in this region. Yes, if you stay at big – name hotels, fly a lot, eat the same food as back home, and shop, you can spend a lot of money. But this is a region where the average yearly salary in some countries is less than $1,000 USD. In Thailand, one of the most developed countries in the region, the average annual salary is $3,700 USD. Live like a local, save lots of money.

As in Europe, costs in Southeast Asia aren’t monolithic. Singapore, a highly developed shipping and financial center, is vastly more expensive than rural countries like Cambodia or Laos...

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New Zealand

New Zealand is another country that can destroy your budget. Day-to-day life here isn’t expensive—the problem is that New Zealand has so many outstanding outdoor activities that it just sucks your money out of your wallet. This country is known for its natural landscape, and adventure activities here, like caving, skydiving, bungee jumping, fishing, and glacier trekking, can really add up.



Hostels in New Zealand are very nice and feature a lot of amenities, such as common rooms, comfortable beds, bars, tour booking desks, work placement help, and Internet stations. One thing they don’t have though is free breakfast.

Hostels in New Zealand cost around $22 USD per night for a six-bed dorm. There are three big hostel chains in the country:

Base (http://stayatbase...

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How Much Money Do You Need?

On a very tight budget, I think a traveler could get by in Australia on $50 USD per day, but it would be really tough. It would entail couch-surfing and cooking just about every day, limiting your nights out, and spending most of your money on transportation and a few activities. While not impossible, it could be done if you were very frugal.

For example, if you did Melbourne to Cairns, which is the popular east coast route that most travelers take, your approximate costs for one month would be $810 USD for hostels (average price of $27 USD per night), $700 USD for food (mixing cooking and eating out), $1,000 USD for tours, and $500 USD for your Greyhound bus ticket. That works out to $100 USD per day...

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