Your imagination takes you on a euphoric roller coaster, only to find the ride takes a sudden halfway halt; that’s when the reality of the sky high price tag of travel hits you. Unfortunately, we can’t rob a bank to make it happen, all we can do is work with what we have: a willingness to explore, a student budget and a plan of the top ten destinations that accommodates it. Here is our list of Top ten destinations to visit on a student budget.

10. Albania

Albania is a inexpensive alternative to Greece or Italy, which all feature stunning Mediterranean coastlines. You could check out the capital, Tirana, to see how Albanian culture and architecture has been influenced by their relationships with the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Rome. Hike Mount Dajti to get a bird’s-eye view of the city, movie style! Albania is also considered a great place to backpack on the Adriatic Sea. Unlike other European destinations, this country has student budget hostels that run between 9€-15€ a night and equally affordable food. For next to nothing, you can spend your afternoons snacking on Balkan burek (a tasty flaky pastry filled with cheese or meat and onions) and a cup of strong thick Turkish coffee. Nerd fact: 80% of cars in albania are Mercedes Benz. 

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9. Costa Rica

Maybe you’ve heard that Costa Rica is the most expensive destination in Central America, but with its epic biodiversity, live volcanoes and gorgeous shorelines, you just can’t skip it even if you wanted too. It will keep your budget on point by camping, couchsurfing or staying at a budget student hostel for just $10 a night. The trick is to eat at the “sodas,” or local Tico restaurants, where meals cost half of what they would at tourist spots. Only thing that you will have to carefully budget for is the activities, like the Corcovado National Park, where you can take an unforgettable hike through rain forests packed with 500 different tree species. Yes 500. Oh and Don’t forget your cameraNerd fact Since 1948 Costa Rica abolished its military and spends that money on education and culture.

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8. Peru

Peru has it’s must see, world-famous rainforests, ruins and beaches quite similar to our previous destinations and is a relatively cheap place to visit. It’s recommended to have a little Spanish under your belt, as most of the population does not speak English. Otherwise, don’t stress, this laid back country is kind to the lazy student. The capital, Lima, would be a smart place to start your adventure if you don’t have a game plan, but you may end up hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu or partying in the beach town of Máncora. Traveling to Peru will be an exciting set of memories. Nerd fact  Mining and fishing are the main sources of employment in Peru.

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7. Sri lanka

‘With gossamer fine sands, cloud-wrapped mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations and palm trees wafting in the breeze, Sri lanka is the picture perfect paradise’… Ok, cheers tourist brochure. You’d rather focus on feasting on mouth watering fish curry or  trekking through the jungle. You can stay in hotels (yes hotels not hostels, like royalty!) for under £30 a day. There are temples, monasteries and stupa speckled throughout the surrounding countryside offer a window into Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture. If you don’t fancy days on end temple traipsing, stick to the highlights: the Sri Maha Bodhiya (Bodhi Tree Temple) in Anuradhapura and the Sri Dhalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy, arguably the most sacred places on the entire island. Be warned, foreigners tend to pay higher entrance fees, although some tuk-tuk drivers might offer to sneak you in for free! Nerd fact Coconut is one of the main ingredients used in sri lankan food.

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6. Hungary

Budapest, the historic Hungarian capital on the Danube, is a definite must-see on anyone’s budget tour. While it’s not quite the cheap holiday destination it used to be when the budget airlines got there, prices here will still leave plenty of cash in your pocket. Indulge in fattening cakes, get tipsy on strong alcohol and sweat it out in the famous thermal spas. You can enjoy a sit-down dinners for under £5, beers for £1 and rooms for £10. Budapest is a just a beautiful bargain made to cater for the needs of students on a budget. Stop being lazy and take a hike in the northern hills, swim in the lake or sail out on the cool waters, before enjoying some locally produced and incredibly cheap wines from the vineyards dotted across nearby Badacsony Hill. Nerd fact  The rubik’s cube was invented in Hungary.

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5. Turkey

Turkey has become an increasingly popular destination for the student on a budget due to its spectacular landscapes and unique history as the bridge between Asia and Europe. Turkey’s commercial capital of Istanbul also served as the political center of both the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Why not start your journey here, where squeezing every cent out of the dollar is easy. You can visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Chora Church and Istanbul Old Town, but make sure you do not miss the Grand Bazaar, a market that dates back to 15th century. Packed with thousands of shops, it is the pulse of the city, and the perfect place to absorb Turkish culture and cuisine. Nerd fact  Turkey is the number one consumer of tea in the world.

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4. Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the friendliest places for students on a budget. Why?  It has literally thousands of islands for students to explore. When we say literally, we actually mean it to the core definition of the word, something between 13 and 18 thousand, depending on who you ask. If you are scratching your head about where to start, head to Sumatra, where you can inhale the morning breeze from the window of a cozy lodge, listen to the wild monkeys’ calls, or read a book by the waterfall. If you prefer the sound of beachside yoga, Sumba Island is for you. It’s only 400km away from Bali, with equally exciting snorkeling, surfing, and fishing.

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3. Thailand

Thailand is perfect for budget conscious student looking for a tropical land with a rich culture and obviously world-class cuisine. Students can enjoy Bangkok on as little as $20 a day. Test your strength at Thai Boxing, then fill up on the renowned street food and authentic Thai iced tea from the roadside stores. Wander around Buddhist temples and architectural masterpieces that are full of the country’s history. You can’t go wrong with a trip to Thailand on a student budget. Nerd fact In Thailand 55555 means hahahaha!

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2. India

Yes, India, one of the ultimate destinations for a student on a budget, allowing for extensive travel and food at a very low cost. Goa is known for it’s sandy beaches and Gokarna Temple while Mumbai for its delicious street stall kebabs. Maybe you just want to see Taj Mahal or be amazed by the acting scenes in Bollywood. You’ll have to leave luxuries like hot water pressure and air conditioning at home in exchange for miraculous sites and some of the best people-watching on the planet! Don’t worry the subcontinent has many hostels in all the major cities. Nerd fact Indian housewives hold 11% of the worlds Gold, that’s more than the reserve of USA, IMF SWITZERLAND and GERMANY put together!

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1. Nepal

Nepal is a classic, leading and all time best destination for students on a budget. Home of Mount Everest and the Garden of Dreams, this country shares a border with Tibet and India. Head to Birgunj, the nation’s commercial capital, to see the Durga Temple, clock tower, and Shankar Acharya Gate, where India meets Nepal. If you’re looking for something a bit more spiritual, try Lumbini, where Lord Buddha was born 2500 years ago. In the wake of the 2015 earthquake, Nepal worked quickly to repair their tourism infrastructure, and wallet-friendly country is once again open for business. Nepal, we love you! Nerd fact Nepal was once named the Weed capital.

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There you have it, a list of the top ten destinations on a student budget. We hope you’ve enjoyed the read! You can find more fun, playful and interesting blogs on Trust us to save you time and money! We have holidays coming soon!


Before starting my master degree of international sustainability management in Berlin and Paris, I support StuDocu as as communication and business intern in Amsterdam! In my free time, I simply adore spending time outside, biking and strolling around the city and parks. One Love!


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