5 Most Budget-Friendly Destinations To Spend Your Gap Year

We’ve spent the last year being a couch potato, but I’m sure that like me, you’d also wanna make this year the best year of travels and adventures!

Having said that, once you decide to take a gap year and travel abroad, the first thing that would surely strike you is the budget.

There are many great gap year destinations, but some are friendlier on the pocket than others. If you need to keep your budget low on your gap year, you’ll need to pick the right destination.

So here’s a list of the most budget-friendly gap year destinations that are absolutely perfect choices for backpackers and gap year travelers who are bitten by the wanderlust bug!

1. Thailand

To say the least, ‘The Land of Smiles’ undoubtedly tops the chart when it comes to the most popular gap year destination.

With an average budget of $20 per day, one can manage the stay, food, and transport easily in Bangkok. And there are ample options for those who wish to go slow and stay for a little longer in this beautiful Southeast Asian nation.

From attending Thai Boxing classes to exploring the floating markets, volunteering for the elephants to gaining some cookery skills – Thailand has the best to offer the gap year travelers and backpackers who are looking for an exclusive experience. It’s not just that – you can go for some adventurous water sports, chill by the beaches and indulge in island hopping as well!

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2. India

There’s a reason why India will always be a backpacker’s paradise – it’s gorgeous and inexpensive at the same time! A country that is so diverse, it’s often said that a lifetime is not enough to explore India’s vastness.

From the mighty Himalayas in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south, and from the great Thar desert in the west to the Seven Sister States in the east – you’ll just fall short of time to tick off everything that you have on your ‘India bucket list’!

You just need to ‘Eat Pray Love’ your way through this awe-inspiring country. Start your trip from the bustling capital city of New Delhi and spend a few days there.

Feel the culture shock and soak in the chaos before moving to another place. You can visit Varanasi and Rishikesh (which are the religious hotspots), Jaisalmer (to experience the bliss of desert camping), Mumbai (from where Bollywood originates), Goa (the beach capital and hippie paradise of India), Pondicherry (the French colony) and Calcutta (popular as ‘The City of Joy’).

Oh, and how can you miss witnessing the beauty of the Taj Mahal while you are in India!

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3. Nepal

If you’re looking for something a bit more spiritual for your gap year destination, then head towards Nepal, where Lord Buddha was born 2500 years ago.

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Termed as ‘The Most Budget-Friendly Destination’ by the Lonely Planet in 2017, this Himalayan hamlet will sweep you off your feet with its panoramic beauty and peaceful aura. The capital city of Kathmandu is nothing short of a religious hub where you’ll find hundreds of temples and even more sadhus, showering you with blessings.

Don’t miss the sunrise at Bhaktapur and a boat ride in the serene village of Pokhara. Animal lovers will surely have a treat while exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chitwan National Park.

If you wish to contribute towards the Nepalese society, then be a part of a volunteering project and make a difference. Adventure enthusiasts and mountain lovers shouldn’t miss the chance of going for an Himalayan trek

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4. Cambodia

For all those wanderlustful souls, exploring Cambodia needs no second thought!

While backpacking across this mysterious land, you’ll stumble upon beautiful islands, breathtaking beaches, visit incredible temples, and savor the taste of delicious Khmer food.

Cambodia topped the chart for housing the world’s most popular UNESCO Heritage Site, the ruins of Angkor, and you’ll know it’s essence only when you’ll visit the land.

But Cambodia isn’t just about Angkor, but the country witnessed a dark past during the Khmer Rouge and slowly pushed itself out of it, towards the light of development.

In the current decade, Cambodia is one of the most favored destinations among travelers from all across the world, who are keen on a cultural immersion at a pocket-friendly budget. It’s truly a magical land where you can buy a can of beer for just 25 cents, rent a bed at a backpacker’s hostel for a dollar and a delicious meal for just $2 – are you tempted already?

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5. Peru

From one UNESCO Heritage Site to another, the land where the Inca Civilization once flourished is undoubtedly a gem for backpackers.

A perfect destination for gap year travelers, Peru has so much to do that you’ll surely fall short of time and feel like doing as much as you can, at one go! From the lush Amazonian forests to the Andean highlands and the mysterious Nazca Lines to the ruins of the Sacred Valley and the gorgeousness of the Rainbow Mountains, exploring Peru will be an unpredictable and unforgettable adventure. There’s so much more to Peru besides Machu Picchu.

Start your journey from the capital city of Lima and head towards the Arequipa. Move to Cusco later and go for a hike to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu where you can go hike the Inca Trail. You can also enroll in a Spanish Language Learning course, that’ll add more to your Peruvian expedition.

Spend adequate time in the country, knowing about its glorious past, observe their culture and lifestyle and join their celebrations to feel the true essence of life.

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