The World Economic Forum recently published its 2015 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, ranking 141 countries for the cheapest to the most expensive for travelers. Though they had several variables which they examined for each one, the most important factors to deciding who would get the prestigious honor of el cheapo amongst its peers were cost of flights, hotel/lodging accommodations, transportation and fuel costs and purchasing power parity, or essentially what your foreign currency will get you there.
There are some amazing bargains out there. However, you may end up paying for it later. Paying a lot actually, perhaps even with your life!
Here are the top ten cheapest countries in the world for travelers according to the World Economic Forum and why or why you shouldn’t book your ticket for going there.
Algeria is undoubtably a beautiful country with friendly people and of course, it’s extremely cheap by US and western European standards. However, it’s not always the most politically stable country or best place to do business. With the rise of Islamic fundamentalists movements in neighboring Libya and the kidnapping and killing of workers and visitors there, Algeria can be a risky place to go for tourists from the West. Though a bit costlier, try Morocco instead.
Pakistan is a great country to visit if you have family and a few bodyguards. The food is great and there’s a lot of history and culture there. However, if you have been watching the news for the past 15 years, you’ll known that it’s currently not the safest place for Americans, Britons or really anyone from western Europe. If you’re Indian, forget it. Better to keep away from this one unless you have a really good reason for going there.
I just recommended against going to Pakistan above, but number eight on the list, neighboring India, is actually the best for several reasons. One, it’s India, one of the greatest continuing civilizations in the history of mankind. It’s so different and amazingly awesome compared to most countries. Sure, there are a lot of problems but as a traveler taking some basic precautions, i.e. not drinking tap water, being careful when eating food cooked on the street, venturing into shady areas and just using common sense, you will be find. And because of its diversity in cultures, religions and languages, visiting India is like visiting 30 little countries all at once. If you’re an openminded traveler, you’ll never get bored here.
If you can’t the French Riviera is just a bit too pricey, try heading south across the Mediterranean to Tunisia. This tiny north African country is a favorite amongst Europeans for its groovy Mediterranean beaches and ancient Roman ruins. You’ll also have no trouble getting around if you speak French.
Your wallet may be able to take the prices, but will you be able to stand the humidity? For southeast Asia, Malaysia is extremely underrated. There’s a lot to do here such as visit nature reserves, see the country’s cool capital of Kuala Lumpur and visit the famous Batu caves. Rich or poor, Malaysia is a place that you need to visit.
5.) The Gambia
The Gambia, or simply Gambia, is one of the safer countries in western Africa. It’s also one of the cheapest. You can stay in a very swanky hotel for less than $70 a night. Not only are the people great, the beaches nice and the food is out of this world, they’re also cheap!
Yemen is a fascinating and beautiful country. Just don’t go there right now as you may not leave alive. There’s a bloody civil war going on in case you haven’t heard.
Breathtaking jungle scenery and wildlife, incredible beaches and the largest Buddhist temple in the world, Indonesia has everything but the high cost that one would expect for such wonders. It’s best to go from October to February though. Other times of the year are just too hot and humid.
No matter how expensive or cheap, Egypt will always be a top travel destination. Fortunately it’s the latter. See all of the glory of ancient Egypt as well as some of the most astounding Islamic architecture in the world. Just be a little careful though as the political situation, while more stable than a few years ago, can always flare up.
In the news lately for all the wrong reasons, Iran tops the list for being the overall cheapest travel destination. What many may also not know is that it is also one of the safest destinations. Yes, that’s not a misprint. Regardless of what the media may have you believe, the people of Iran are not inherently anti-western or even anti-American. They’re actually extremely welcoming towards visitors, including Americans, as Rick Steves found out recently.
And there you have, the top 10 cheapest places for travelers according to the World Economic Forum.
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