backpackers

Best Countries to Travel to for Backpackers

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Traveling is an amazing way to see the world in a completely different way. You can broaden your horizons and learn and experience different cultures that make each region of the globe truly unique and special. You might even discover a little something new about yourself along the way.

In that spirit, today’s post is dedicated to a popular form of travel, which allows you to see all that any country has to offer and soak in the unique aspects that make them special — backpacking. It’s one of the most economical and easiest ways to travel the world. But some countries are more backpacker friendly than others, so here’s Adventure Assist’s list of the best countries to travel to for backpackers, in no particular order. Any (and all!) of them are great choices. So get your travel notebook, pack up and get out there!

Thailand

There are very few places in the world as perfect for backpacking as Thailand. This beautiful country is full of gorgeous nature and offers a culturally diverse group of people, places and food. And one of the great things about Thailand, it’s extremely affordable! Backpackers can experience Bangkok for as little as $20 per day for the economical-minded among us. You can scuba dive in Koh Tao, soak up the amazing nightlife and jump from hostel to hostel and make some new friends along the way. Plan it out in your Adventure Assist travel notebook, journal your experience and jot down the names and numbers of people you meet along the way!

Transportation: For the most part, traveling around Thailand is extremely affordable and the U.S. dollar gets you very far in the country. You can travel via bus, train or plane, and along the coasts there are boats available.

Daily Costs: One of the great perks of Thailand is the flexibility on your budget. Students looking to backpack on the cheap can easily make it work while having a great time, but if you want to spend more, there are tons of fantastic opportunities. The value here is almost unbeatable!

Flights: International travel can of course be expensive, but when flying to Asia, Thailand is usually the cheapest way into the continent. Keep your eye out for sales and buy your tickets well ahead of time for the best deals.

New Zealand

This is an amazing country to backpack through because it’s simply gorgeous. New Zealand has such a diverse landscape that you can get in just about a little of everything from the coast to mountains and more. This is an excellent country for first-time backpackers or those looking for a more casual experience because people there speak English (although the accents can be thick!) and tourism is a huge part of the country’s economy, so they’re very welcoming. New Zealand is extremely safe and provides endless things to do. If you’re backpacking as a group, this is a perfect country to visit as you can pack in lots of different things in a short time, so we definitely recommend you check it out sometime!

Transportation: Moving around New Zealand is very easy and is even simpler thanks to eliminating a communication barrier. You can bus, train or even rent a camper van if you really wanted to get away from the typical tourist locations.

Daily Costs: You’ll certainly spend more money here than other places in Asia, however, the convenience that comes with it may just be worth it for you. If you’re frugal, you can still keep the trip affordable. If you’re into more luxury things such as bungee jumping or cruises, then saving up would be the way to go!

Flights: New Zealand is pretty far away from anywhere, especially the U.S., so flying won’t be the cheapest and the flight is long. Expect to layover in Asia and spend a fair amount of time reaching the country, but once you’re there, you’ll quickly forget about all that.

Australia

This is another amazing country to hit up for first-time backpackers or those of you seeking a relaxed experience. Like New Zealand, English is the primary language, so communication isn’t a problem. Australia also thrives on a tourist industry, making it safe and convenient. Basically, the whole country is set up for backpacking! There’s plenty to see and do in the cities around the coast like the Great Barrier Reef, but travel inwards and soak up the famous Outback in person. The entire continent features extremes each way and boasts some of the most unique nature in the world!

Transportation: This is a huge country, but the transportation is actually quite easy to manage. Much of the country’s population and main attractions are on the East Coast of Australia, so there is no shortage of ground-travel options.

Daily Costs: Unfortunately, the downside to Australia is the cost. Beyond getting there, most things in the country will cost some money like eating, transportation and finding places to stay. It gets cheaper the further inward you go, but anything in the major cities costs just as much as any major city in the U.S.

Flights: As we touched on with New Zealand, flying to this part of the world is a trek and the long flight time means expensive tickets. So it might not be a top choice for those of you looking for affordable backpacking trips, but it’s well worth saving for and experience when you can make it work in your budget!

Hungary

We shift our focus to Europe and the most backpacker-friendly city on the continent — Budapest! Party all night in ruin pubs and take in the history with incredible architecture like the Parliament Building. There is great food, thermal spas and the Szechenyi thermal bath is a must! Venture outside the capital check out the landscape like gorgeous Lake Balaton, which has beaches, volcanic hills and vineyards.

Transportation: Walking is super doable when you’re in Budapest, but the underground metro makes travel easy for those not looking to walk great distances. There are trains and buses to the rest of the country as well, all of which are affordable.

Daily Costs: Compared to the cities of Europe, Budapest is quite affordable and the rest of the country is extremely cheap. Staying in hostels will definitely keep the costs down and there are plenty to choose from.

Flights: If you’re already in Europe, flying or taking a train is pretty cheap. If you come from the U.S., it might be a better option to fly into a cheaper major city within Europe and then travel from there into Hungary.

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