There is nothing like backpacking across a country to help you understand its culture and sample its beauty. You get to see and experience things that conventional travel would miss while traveling along in the coach. However, many of the places you would associate with a good backpacking experience are becoming popular and conventional, leaving some travelers looking for a unique experience. Even in the most popular tourist destinations, there are little areas where you can still get the feeling of being at one with the country.
France and Spain
Although Spain has become a huge draw for tourists in recent years, there are still many areas that are perfect for the backpackers to explore. One option is to explore the pilgrim route of Camino de Santiago. The well-travelled Camino Frances starts in France at Saint Jean Pied de Port, and finishes at the tomb of Saint James in the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are hostels along the route for weary travelers to rest their heads. When you have completed this life changing trek, you will need a holiday to recover, so book early to avoid disappointment particularly if you are traveling in the height of the season.
If you are looking for delightful architecture, culture and Mediterranean views, then instead of traveling to Greece or Italy, you should head to Albania. A trip here will cost you far less than the tourist locations of other countries, but there are just as many beaches and museums to visit. The countryside is also picturesque and as good as anything you would find in more expensive countries. You can find cheap accommodation for as little as $20 per night, and you can eat the local food for around $5. Travelling to Albania is straightforward, you can reach it from most of the major hubs in Europe, or you can take one of the coaches that transverse their way across many of the European countries.
Nicaragua is a backpacker’s dream and is far less expensive than its neighbor Costa Rica. It gives you all the charm and beauty of Central America, without the tourist trade and the retirement homes that have sprung up elsewhere. Even the areas that have attracted the most tourists still offer dorm rooms from as little as $10 per night. If you move further out of the big villages and into the smaller areas, you could find even cheaper accommodation. Finding typical South American food is also easy and cheap, with meals costing no more than a few dollars. It has some awe-inspiring scenery and amazing wildlife that is perfect for those who want to see the country one step at a time.
For those who want some serious backpacking, Nepal is a place where you can certainly get your fill. There are miles of trails and some of the highest peaks in the world for you to explore. So much in fact, that you could come back here more than once and never see the same place twice. The best part is that the trails are peppered with lodges, temples, and houses. They offer cheap accommodation and local food, some of them with splendid views thrown in. If you decide to head into Nepal’s main city of Kathmandu, you can stay in the second cheapest hostel in the world. A night there will cost you a mere $2 per night, and of course, you have the main city to see and explore.
Backpacking in Malawi will not cost you a lot of money, except the flight of course. Because of the countries poor economy and the slow tourist trade, you can easily stay there for as little as $20 per day. You can get around the country using one of the crowded buses or take a taxi, they are usually cheap, and it saves walking for long distances in the heat of the sun. Finding a bed will set you back only a couple of dollars, and if you treat yourself to the local food instead of your supplies, you can eat for only $1. As well as amazing scenery and varied wildlife, you can also sample some of the entertainment. For a lot, less than the cost in other areas of the world, you can enjoy some world-class water skiing and other sporting activities.
A country steeped in tradition and culture, Vietnam is a great place to take a backpacking vacation. Many of the sights and activities are cheap or even free, and there are many to choose. When it comes to places to stay, you can find dorm style rooms for around $3 per night, and these often include breakfast as well. The country also has many street vendors that offer authentic dishes for under $2 per meal. With these sorts of prices, it is easy to see why Vietnam is a great place to holiday on a budget. It is also a wonderful place to explore with its traditional dwellings and farmland.
Another incredibly cheap place to visit, you can backpack your way around Ethiopia for as little as $15 a day. You can explore this vast country on foot, or take one of the public buses which will only cost $1 an hour. Far cheaper than public transport in many major cities. Food from one of the street vendors will only cost you around 50 cents, although there are other main restaurants as well. If you don’t mind sleeping a little roughly, you can find good beds for $3 a night. You can then spend time visiting some of the best areas of beauty in the world, and experiencing the local culture which is warm and welcoming.
If you are happy to pack your belongings into your rucksack and experience the world on foot, then you won’t be disappointed by these wonderful countries. You won’t have to spend a fortune, and you get to see the culture and sample the food up close and personal.