This is a collaborative post with contributions, tips, advice, photography and personal experiences from a team of creators and travel couples from all over the world!
Would you like to be involved in our next collaborative post? Let us know!
Luke and I have come together with a team of couples in different corners of the globe to share with you not only our perception of what great travel is, but also their thoughts and personal experiences too.
The idea is to bring us all together as a community and combine our passion for travel, our mission to help others and our dream to positively inspire others to explore and adventure.
We want ROUND THE WORLD WITH US to be a place where couples can get involved, share their travels, join in on blog posts, and ultimately be a place for them to come to for planning their travels and meeting new people.
So grab a cup of tea, get your notebook or Google Maps at the ready, and take note from these wonderful, experienced, travel-crazy couples!
In this post they will be sharing their top locations for couples on a budget, which let’s be honest, is most (if not all) of us! I think it’s safe to say we all want to travel as far and wide as we can, so budgeting is definitely our main focus to make it more long-term.
So check out these budget-friendly locations from across the world and get them pinned on your maps!
Who will you be hearing from?
Luke & Tyler @thetwobohemians
Kelly & Luke @roundtheworldwithus
Bram & Manon @flipflopwanderers
George & Hanna @americanandthebrit
Elisa & Thomas @generationwanderlust
Lauren & Martin @brb_backpacking
Matt & Lorna @twosoulsonepath
Jamie & Ivana @wanderintwo
Anna & Daniel @schwabentraum
Grace & Adam @earthtoaqua
Jack & Becky @twotickets.toanywhere
Jasmin & Naveed @couple_around_the_world
Roisin & Bradley @roleyaroundtheworld
1. Southeast Asia
Instead of picking countries in particular, we choose a whole region! Southeast Asia is backpackers paradise. It’s hard to choose the cheapest when in reality, all countries are very similar. Your money goes a long way, but on the flip side, it’s very easy spend a lot of money. There’s hundreds of cheap food spots to choose from, but make sure you stay away from touristy areas with restaurants as these will be more expensive. You can also find Pad Thai stalls absolutely everywhere in Thailand, which is their local cuisine and is incredible!
In our opinion, the local Warungs (restaurants) in Indonesia are the best in Southeast Asia for food AND price! So don’t miss those. In terms of guest houses, they are mostly just as cheap as hostels but they give you a lot more privacy, which is a must when travelling as a couple. In terms of transport and getting around, travelling by bus or train in SE Asia is by far the best and cheapest, and they aren’t as bad as you think!
TOP TIP: Barter/haggle hard for taxis, tuk-tuks, tours, ANYTHING! Everything is rarely set in stone.
Well I think we all knew the region of Southeast Asia was going to be number 1… But let’s dive a little more into detail about the budget friendly locations you can find in Southeast Asia!
2. Koh Lanta, Thailand
Thailand in general is super duper cheap, but for those of you who have been around Southeast Asia know it’s not quite as cheap as Vietnam for example. However, Koh Lanta is a bit more off-grid and less travelled, so we found it a little cheaper compared to other places around Thailand like Phuket, Koh Tao and Krabi. It also makes a great place for couples on a budget because there are some stunning beaches to see, with long stretches of white sand, palm trees and loads of island/reggae vibe bars and restaurants right on the water – this was a perfect place for date night (every night)!
Not to mention the free things to do and see on the island, including the lovely Khlong Chak Waterfall (minus the small fee to park your bike). It’s just one of those islands where you can just roam around, take in the views and surroundings and feel so content with where you are.
If you’re on a budget, then Southeast Asia is a great part of the world to visit. There are many relatively cheap countries with cheap accommodation and cheap food, however one of our favourite countries in Southeast Asia is definitely the Philippines. White sandy beaches with the bluest water you will ever see, palm trees everywhere, and waterfalls with rope swings! It’s a real paradise and the people are so friendly too. For Asian standards, it is not the cheapest country to travel, but it isn’t expensive either, so definitely check it out!
Our top location for couples travelling on a budget would have to be Vietnam. We spent almost 2 months in total travelling from the South to the North of Vietnam and barely broke the bank.
Now we are not crazy party-goers by any means, but the way that we like to figure out the cost of each city is by the price of beer. You can easily get a bottle of beer in Vietnam for only 30,000 (Vietnamese Dong), which is equivalent to roughly $1 USD (80p). Our daily budget with accommodation, food activities and transportation came to just under $40 USD (£32) for the both of us per day!
What we love so much about Vietnam is the diversity of different cities – you can be on the beach one day and in the mountains the next. Vietnam also has some incredible food! We definitely ate our way through the country. With delicious soups, Banh Mi sandwiches and coconut coffee, we never went hungry. Overall, we would say that when it comes to travelling around Southeast Asia, Vietnam is definitely the perfect place for a couples travelling on a budget!
Vietnam is divided into North and South, both being very different from each other in regards to history, cost of living, climate and economy. Some people love the North, some love the South… read on below to find out why Elisa and Thomas love the North!
5. Northern Vietnam
Over the last couple of months we’ve been travelling through several countries in Southeast Asia. If we should choose one place we would recommend the Northern part of Vietnam, just because it’s so cheap and has so many different things to offer.
We stay in double rooms where we pay around $10 (£8) per night, have cheap and delicious food and you can also find some cheap tours if you explore outside of the main tourist attractions. For example, in Ninh Binh, absolutely everybody is doing the boat tour in Tam Coc, so one day we decided to drive about 25km outside of Tam Coc and do the Van Long boat tour instead. It was one of our best experiences ever – we were almost alone throughout the tour and we only paid $3 (£2.40) per person!
TOP TIP: Make sure you take the train to get from one location to another. It’s so much fun and quite cheap!
This is a tough one, choosing just one location! When I think “budget location” my mind goes straight to Southeast Asia. Of course depending on where you are coming from flights can be expensive, but the moment you arrive you will feel like a millionaire!
Vietnam is a close second but Laos has to be on the top of my list. It’s like a magical fairy-tale land, full of mystical waterfalls, lakes & breathtaking scenery. Best of all you can travel around for next to nothing! Cheap accommodation, cheap transport and most importantly, CHEAP FOOD (which is also unreal btw).
7. Koh Rong, Cambodia
Food, drink and accommodation! It’s all pretty cheap. But the best part of Koh Rong is it’s pure natural beauty. Pristine white sand beaches and crystal waters. A lot of destinations like this are over run with expensive resorts and honey moon hotels but in Koh Rong you can definitely experience a paradise island on a budget.
There’s one country that keeps calling us back and that’s Indonesia! Sure, it’s not THE cheapest option in South East Asia, but it’s up there.
We usually base ourselves in Bali which offers activities, food, drink, transport, and accommodation at a range of different levels – so you can splash out if you want to treat yourself, as well as budgeting. If you’re looking to do Bali on the cheap it’s relatively easy. You can find mopeds for 50K IDR (£2.60) for daily rental but it gets even cheaper if you rent long term – a 1 month rental can work out at only 20K IDR (£1) per day!
Eating at local Warungs is a great way to cut back on food costs, as you can get an entire plate of delicious Indonesian buffet for as little as 40K IDR (£2). While there is a variety of beautiful hotels and villas to choose from, we recommend staying at a guesthouse, as you can find a decent one for between 5-6M IDR (£260) per month!
There are loads of beautiful places to explore in Indonesia for free too, just jump on your moped and go!
9. Bali Islands, Vietnam & Slovenia
Since we were both students until recently, we have always paid great attention to our budget. Therefore, most of the countries we have visited so far are great destinations for couples on a budget! So we want to share with you a few destinations which are particularly “budget friendly”.
The destination that probably comes to most people’s mind is of course South East Asia, especially Vietnam and the smaller islands around Bali which are perfect to experience as much as possible with a small budget. In Europe we were totally enthusiastic about Slovenia. We were there last summer, experienced a lot, didn’t pay attention to our budget and we needed less than €300 (£260) per person for a week – for everything (accommodation, fuel, food, entertainment etc.).
But even in more “expensive” countries, for example Finland, we did not need more than €600 per person for one week (including flight, accommodation, food, entertainment etc.). We believe that most countries are very suitable for couples on a budget as long as you keep few things in mind, like cooking for yourself vs. eating in local restaurants, taking the cheaper transfer (even if it takes longer), sharing costs if possible (for example, a taxi from A to B if it is a longer distance), avoiding buying unnecessary stuff (especially in expensive touristic areas), or by checking different providers before booking something (flight or hotel).
No matter where you’re going, be sure to read a little bit about the destination and especially about the costs in advance and we’re sure that you’ll have a wonderful time even if your budget is low.
Well, we certainly think it’s safe to say that Southeast Asia in general is one of the top locations for couples on a budget! We are all in agreement that you can find rich culture, wonderful people and true adventure on this particular side of the world, all at a low cost (and we mean VERY low)!
Now, let’s move away from Asia and onto a couple of other budget friendly locations in other parts of the world…
10. Antalya, Turkey
We never really had any plans to visit Turkey but we decided to do our Scuba Instructor Course in Egypt back in August 2019 and as direct flights are still not up and running from the UK, we had to change over in Antalya. So, we decided to spend a couple of days there and by the end of the trip we wish we had booked a whole holiday exploring Turkey!
Food is incredibly cheap and not only that but there were some incredible vegan options in Antalya – make sure to visit ‘Rokka’! The city is deeply rooted in history (the region used to be ‘Troy’) and so the city is engrossed in incredible (free) architectural marvels! The city also has the best shisha bars we’ve ever been to if you’re in to that!
There are a plethora of day trips going to see some incredible ruins, but even if you wanted to go solo and book a taxi, it won’t cost you that much more – visiting the Ancient City of Termessos was one of the best day trips we’ve ever done (as seen in the photo). The incredible Duden Waterfall is free and also a must and is only a short taxi from the centre.
All of the taxis in the centre seemed to be charging the same price but public transport is also super easy and affordable.
In terms of hotels, we stayed in a luxury boutique hotel called Elegance East. It was literally 100 metres from Hadrian’s Gate and was by no means a bank breaker but was stunning, small and had an amazing pool. We even went scuba diving off the rugged cliff coast – whilst we wouldn’t recommend learning here (purely because the diversity of wildlife underwater isn’t astounding), the price was reasonable and the trip was fun!
Ultimately, Antalya was a massive pleasant surprise for us. From Antalya you can even travel to the famous Cappadocia in Central Turkey and then on to Istanbul, which is what we would have done had we had more time.
Other local trips we would have taken if we had more time would have been Koprulu National Park, Aspendos Ruins and the famous Pamukkale Thermal Springs, which can be squeezed into a one-day trip. Turkey gets a lot of bad press but ultimately it is an absolutely fantastic country!
11. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest! It’s one of our favourite European locations for a city break and one of Europe’s cheapest capitals! Everybody should experience a true city break in Europe at least once in their life and Budapest is the perfect place to do so.
It’s cheap to get to via flying (from the UK) or coach/train from most of mainland Europe. In the city, there are so many great, well priced, Airbnb’s, getting around is cheap (and easy) and there’s a good amount of cheap eats too. That’s without mentioning the fact that many of the cities top attractions are free to visit as well, like the amazing Fisherman’s Bastion (pictured). The last thing we love is the amount of cool, quirky and cheap ruin bars in the city. £1 glasses of prosecco, anybody?
12. Brussels, Belgium
I know what you’re thinking… European countries are expensive! Yes they can be but flights from the UK can be very cheap and often less than £100 return for 2 people!
There are lots of parks that are free to visit in Brussels, so you can just get a delicious waffle near Mont De Arts and watch the world go by. Another thing to do is to sample the yummy chocolate at many of the chocolate shops which was our favourite thing to do. Many of the shops are happy for you to try them for free!
13. On The Road/Van Life!
For us, nothing beats hitting the road and exploring our home in Western Australia. We’re pretty spoilt with camping spots, be it on the beach or in a forest, but we’ve often just parked up on the side of the road where it’s usually free!
“Wiki Camps” is a great app you can download so you can locate these spots as you go. So grab your camping chairs, tent or even a van to explore where ever you end up, at a very low cost!