Not everyone prefers to stay in a five-star accommodation with 24/7 room service. Roughing it out is a different experience altogether. And no, it’s not just for avoiding a strain on the wallet. Going to places without a pre-determined aim, enjoying local cuisines, mingling with natives; it’s perhaps the most authentic travel experiences a backpacker can have.
While it may not paint a pretty picture for everyone, backpacking across several countries while immersing yourself in local experiences can be highly rewarding. Worldgoo brings to you some of the best havens to backpack through from around the globe. Take a look to learn more.
Nepal has been a backpacking haven for long. For a truly authentic experience, you can book a few nights at one of the several homestays or guesthouses, as well as enjoy local cuisine such as tarkaari or bhaat. Also, the countryside has a lot to offer. You can go trekking or visit a sacred Buddhist or Hindu temple. Make sure the trip includes a visit to Pokhara; you’ll love its laidback charm. Other than that, you can explore the historical templates in Kathmandu. Other than that, you can stay in some teahouse trekking on the cheap at the Annapurna base camp. You’d love how affordable these places and activities are.
The quieter of the Balkan countries often get featured in travel lists because of its connection of Mother Teresa, but it’s also an untapped paradise for backpackers. Food, transportation, and accommodation are quite affordable (if it is compared with other European cities), so it isn’t a surprise that a lot more backpackers are planning their trips to Albania. The best place to start is Tirana, the capital of the country. It’s not the most charming city but does have that local element. Backpackers can enjoy a drink in one of the several trendy watering holes with external cities. Other must-visit cities include Saranda and Berat. A trip to Saranda will allow you to get lost in Butrint, an ancient town, as well as go deep in the incredible Blue Eye spring and forest. If you prefer beaches, there’s plenty of virgin, unspoiled ones on the Adriatic coast.
This had to make the list of the top backpacker’s haven. Hungary’s capital – Budapest – is one of the most backpacker friendly European cities around (and one of the most fun too!). Backpackers can go there to enjoy some mouth-watering Hungarian dishes while they enjoy boat parties or enjoy the music in ruin pubs. Hungary’s architecture is also stunning, with a tremendous Parliament Building that lights up at night. While you’re there, don’t forget to cool down in one of the popular thermal spas located across the city. If you’re planning a trip during summer, there’s also the Spa Parties (Sparty’s) to look out for, although these can get wild fast. In most Hungarian cities, everything is nearby. Also, the underground metro is quite cheap and takes you to all the attractions. And compared to other cities in Western Europe, accommodation is quite cheap. You can get hostel stays for as little as $7 to $15 a night.
One of the best havens for backpackers will be a country associated with travel warnings. While you might be at a slight risk (like you’d be elsewhere if you’re unfamiliar with how to get by), you’d be able to enjoy affordable backpacking with little tourists in sight. Colombia is one of those countries. While most people in the US believe Colombia is still operated by ex-mafia members and drug cartels, the country is a lot safer than it was in the 80s. Use the knowledge to your benefit and include Columbia in your travel bucket list. For below $10 a night, you can sleep in a hostel bed in Cartagena. Beach hammocks cost as little as $3 in Playa Blanca and just $10 for a boat journey. The food is a little for expensive, but if you get meals from street vendors, you’d just be shelling out a few dollars per eat.
One of the world’s best retirement oasis, Costa Rica is a great place to be for a backpacker. However, it’s a little bit expensive, and the majority of the population is semi-fluent in English. Fortunately, its neighbor Nicaragua is an ideal alternative and offers Central American vibes to that backpacking without the prices. You can find dorms for as little as $10 a night and even less when you go to a smaller town. Meals would cost you just a few dollars, so if you have the typical backpacker’s budget, putting Nicaragua on your list would be a smart move.
South America once used to be cheap; now it isn’t. That said, there are still a few hidden areas where backpackers can survive in just a few dollars a day. Bolivia is one of the best countries for the purpose, offering exotic destinations and South American vibes that are within reach of a backpacker’s spending ability. You can get primitive locations to stay for as less as $5 a night. Meals including beans and rice cost just a few dollars.
Turkey is popular for uniting the East with the West. Dorm rooms cost as little as $6 in Izmir and Istanbul, and plenty of affordable dishes are offered to help backpackers remain full. One of the best ways to keep costs low is to eat off the streets. Transportation costs don’t make backpackers sweat either; a bus ride across several cities costs as little as $20.
Sure, a visit to the destinations mentioned on this list means forgoing some comforts, but the connection you’d make with the locals and the environment around you can’t be undervalued. Plus, you’d be meeting other backpackers from all over the world, making friends and delight memories along the way. So, where are you off to next?