Top 8 Destinations to Visit on a Student Budget

Hardly anything can be as much inspiring and insightful as traveling in college. Yet unburdened with family obligations, a full-time job, and a mortgage, students can break free and fully enjoy the experience a trip abroad offers. And if you’re majoring in international relations or foreign languages, meeting new cultures, listening to the local dialects, and living this place’s life can be a precious experience for your academic success and a future career.

At the same time, traveling on a tight student budget can be tougher than you normally expect. Luckily, the world offers plenty of worthy destinations students can visit without breaking a bank. It will require some research and planning, but the result is definitely worth the effort. In this article, we prepared the 8 best travel destinations any smart student can afford.


When it comes to choosing a place to go, Ecuador might not be the very first destination that crosses your mind. However, it’s the lack of touristic popularity is why this place is so attractive for a poor as a church mouse student. Here, you can find amazing beaches, worth-to-see sights, let alone that it’s a perfect opportunity to boost your Spanish skills in a natural environment. Galapagos Islands are one of the main places of interest in Ecuador. So if you’re there, make sure to visit them as well.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

As the second oldest town of European colonists in America, the capital of Puerto Rico breathes with history. Here you will find some old architectural sights, a picturesque nature, and buoyant local life. For a US student, there’s hardly any better place to visit as you don’t need a passport to enter, while the flights are quite affordable and short. With many budget-friendly hostels around, students can get a place to stay for only $15 per night and enjoy fun local parties in the neighborhood.

Arenal Area, Costa Rica

Central America has many nice and affordable destinations for students. Arenal Area in Costa Rica is one of them. Due to its amazing nature, low prices, and adventure opportunities, the country lures more and more tourists each year. So if you’re going to head this way, learning something about the area won’t be odd to spot the best opportunities and avoid traps. In general, the place offers many student-friendly hostels and low-cost B&B rooms for every pocket. Also, you can enjoy traditional local cuisine quite cheaply. Just look for fast-casual restaurants called “sodas”.


Bolivia’s popularity as a traveling destination continues to grow. However, it’s yet a quite affordable place to visit for an average US student. While the flight ticket may cost you a pretty penny, once you’re there, you’ll realize that you can afford many things even on a tight student budget. Accommodation, food, drinks, and transportation are quite affordable there. Not without careful planning and budgeting, but $20-25 per day will be enough to have an enjoyable trip to Bolivia.


If you want to soak up in the sun and try delicious local cuisine somewhere in Europe, Albania is the best destination for a student who has to count every cent. With crystal-clear Mediterranean sea, the country has many picturesque beaches. And the fact that it’s the cheapest possible destination in Europe makes Albania a perfect place for students whose traveling budget is strictly limited.

Panama City, Florida

When it comes to choosing a cheap travel destination, you can hardly expect to see Florida – the most favorite place to visit during spring break – on that list. However, besides fantastic views, warm sun, and less crowded beaches, Panama City can also surprise you with rather cheap prices – of course, if you go there off-season. Early autumn is the best time to visit if you want to soak up in the sun among fewer people around. Besides, flight tickets, accommodation, and food become quite affordable during this period. If you put in a little effort, you can get a nice room right at the beach for some $55 per night.

New Orleans, Louisiana

With its endless party nights, rich history, amazing food, and unique culture, New Orleans is one of the most attractive places for college students who love having fun and trying something new. No wonder that staying in the city can cost you an arm and a leg. Luckily, there are a few quite cheap hostels near the French quarter that would offer decent accommodation even for the tightest budget. Just make sure you book the room well in advance, a place like that won’t be vacant long.


Due to its fantastic nature and low prices, Thailand has been one of the most favorite destinations among adult tourists and college students for years now. Besides, it’s a great place to stay through the winter enjoying the warm sun and plenty of delicious fruits. And if you like staying active, there are many opportunities for hiking, rafting, kayaking, and more.

Moreover, thanks to pandemics-caused opportunities for online studying and work, some even find a way to stay there longer than a few weeks: “As soon as my college allowed studying online and flights to Thailand were up and running again, I bought a ticket and moved to the land of eternal summer. So, I was studying remotely and earning my living by offering online review writing service and doing creative writing jobs. After a few months, I had to come back home to complete my studies. But once I graduate, I am planning to return to Thailand.”

However, if you’re looking for just a short trip during a fall break, sharing expenses with a friend can be a great way to save some on accommodation and food and enjoy good company.

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