Blog: Value for money WH countries

Since 2011, I keep track of how much money I spend in a country on each of my longer trips. The list now includes 34 “countries” (including the not fully recognized Kosovo and Taiwan). And although my travel style certainly isn’t the cheapest, I think the general insight can be of use to other World Heritage travellers as well as I have used a similar spending pattern in each country. This consists of conveniently located 3-4 star hotels/b&b’s, public transport in the luxury classes when available (and the occasional car rental when necessary), eating out in restaurants 1-2 times a day and daily activities requiring entrance fees and sometimes a guided tour.

So here are my findings:

The super cheap

Albania and its cousin Kosovo were the cheapest overall. This did not impact the pleasure of visiting: you really get value for your money in these two places. Cuba worked out well for me in 2012, but it may have gotten more expensive over the past years. I only stayed and ate at casas particulares and there was not much available to spend your money on.

The backpacker favourites

The next group contains all the usual backpacker-friendly suspects such as India, Bolivia and Myanmar. Taiwan is a very inexpensive country to travel in compared to its level of prosperity. Except for Serbia, I covered all these countries by public transport.

The mid-range

Costs in these countries are often similar to what I pay at home in the Netherlands, and in about half of the countries in this group I hired a car to get around. South Africa is inexpensive for sleeping & eating, but the necessary car rentals and a guided tour/safari once in a while adds up. Nicaragua is an odd one out: I feel it belongs more to the previous backpacker-friendly group, but for some psychological reason I ended up taking quite costly hotels there.

The absurdly expensive

There are three factors that made these trips very expensive: I took part in a group tour (Namibia, Guyana, Iraq), I visited countries with a general high cost of living (Canada, Australia) or I visited WHS with a very high cost to reach (Palau, Rwanda/Congo/Uganda).

What were the least and most expensive countries that you visited during your WH travels?

Published 24 March 2018

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Responses to Value for money WH countries
Peter Lööv (13 April 2018)

I finally ended up with my account for my trip to Sri Lanka. I stayed most of my time in homestays, and I really enjoyed that ! Most of the time I traveled with bus or train, but I sometimes took a private transport to save time. This country is easy to travel in due to many understand and speak English. I really had a great time here and finally my spending ended at 60 Euro/day. I had excellent living, plenty of food and spended more on travel than necessary.


Wojciech Fedoruk (25 March 2018)

Wow, two people marked India as mid range. This is one of the cheapest in the world - my expenses were not higher than EUR 30 per day. For me the cheapest are countries where you can travel by train overnight - except India, I spent slightly less 40 EUR per day in Russia. In both I travelled alone.

It is hard to compare most of other trips, as we travelled as a family of four. So the cost per person per day would be as low as EUR 90 even for Palau, while in fact it was one of the most expensive. Counting this way, even Israel fell below EUR 40, including flights.

So far, the most expensive was Canada and Palau. Midrange - Jordan, Cabo Verde. The cheapest was India, South Eastern Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia) but also Morocco.


Solivagant (25 March 2018)

Our "per person" daily local holiday costs last year for self drive trips were
S Korea - £36 (c41 Eur)
Cro/Serb/Kos/Bos etc - £38 (c44 Eur)
Pol/Cz/Sk/Hu etc - £48 (c55 Eur)
Thailand - £34 (c39 Eur)
All really very similar - and hardly surprising as Car Rental, petrol and hotels make up the majority of the local daily cost. Travelling as "a pair" of course reduces the per person cost of these enormously. We found S Korea really rather cheap - low distances, good value hotels.


Clyde (24 March 2018)

Cheap: Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Portugal, Myanmar, Cyprus, Macedonia, Morocco, Spain
Midrange : India, Costa Rica, Nepal, Seychelles, Italy, France, UAE, Turkey
Expensive : Australia, Canada, USA (cities), Polynesia, Maldives, New Caledonia, Norway,