What does Brexit mean for travellers?

What does Brexit mean for Brits travelling abroad?

What does Brexit mean for travellers?

So Britain has voted to leave the EU (you might have heard about it!) and nobody quite seems to know what happens next. On this page we’ll aim to briefly answer the question of what does Brexit mean for travellers?

Short-Term Consequences of Brexit for travellers

Freedom to Travel

Initially at least this isn’t likely to change anything in terms of visas or entry requirements for UK travellers. If you have trips booked over the next 12 months or are planning on travelling in the near future, you can relax. Britain first has to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to commence a 2 year negotiation period on exactly how it will leave the EU and even that can be extended. Therefore it is almost impossible for Britain to leave the European Union before 2019 and many experts have suggested it could take 5-10 years before Britain is actually out.

Therefore for the next 2-3 years at least, Brits can travel abroad as they do now and can move freely around the European Union countries, staying as long as they want and even working there if they so wish. There is no need to get a new passport or anything like this as Britain will remain a European Union country for the next few years.

Cost of Travel

The most serious short-term consequence of Brexit for UK travellers is the decrease in value of the British Pound. It crashed in the messy aftermath of the referendum and two weeks on is still trading considerably down against the Euro and particularly the US Dollar. £1 is now worth $1.30 (compared to around $1.45 in the weeks before the vote) and €1.17 (compared to €1.27 in the weeks before the vote).  When you consider 12 months ago £1 would get you around €1.40 and $1.55, you can see the economists are not talking out of their arses when they say there has been a huge fall in its value.

Although currency markets clearly can be quite volatile, for Brits travelling abroad in the near future this almost certainly means one thing. Your trip is going to cost more. In the Eurozone, you may find yourself spending 15-20% more than a comparable trip just one year ago. Travelling outside the EU is also likely to be more expensive as the British Pound has lost value on almost all currencies over the few weeks since the vote. A trip to the United States is also likely to be 15-2o% more expensive now and given many currencies around the world are either pegged to the US Dollar or closely linked to it, a strong dollar and weak pound is generally bad news for Brits travelling abroad.

Many budget airlines have also indicated their prices will go up as a result of the Brexit vote but there has been no real evidence of this so far and nor should there be until Britain actually leaves the EU. That said the depreciation of the Pound will make flights on European airlines like Ryanair or Vueling slightly more expensive as they calculate their fares in Euros and convert them to Pounds for British customers.

Working & Living in the EU

While Britain remains an EU member, which as mentioned previously it will do for the next few years at least, you are still free to go and work and live abroad in the EU. This means teaching English on the continent or taking jobs at summer camps or ski resorts is still very much possible in the immediate future.

Long-Term Consequences of Brexit for travellers

Freedom to Travel

One of the greatest misconceptions about this whole Brexit thing is that Brits are suddenly going to need visas just to go on short trips to Europe. That simply is not going to be the case. Even now you can visit almost every non-EU European country without any need for a visa (Russia being the most obvious exception). Places like Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and Macedonia are not in the EU and there is no need for a visa to visit them.

Will you have to go through passport control when you head to/from Europe? Yes but you already do! Britain is not in the Schengen Zone which allows borderless travel across much of Europe but not between the UK and the continent. The only change could be between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which currently has a special agreement which may need to change if and when Britain leaves the EU potentially leading to border checks in Ireland. Likewise were Scotland to vote to leave the UK but stay in the EU, border checks may come in on the England-Scotland border as it would become an EU border.

If and when Britain finally does leave the EU, you most likely won’t even have any longer waits at passport control. You may have noticed signs saying things like ‘EU citizens & Swiss Nationals’ at passport control and that may well just be extended to ‘& British nationals’ depending on the terms of Britain’s eventual exit.

Will I need a new passport if Britain leaves the EU?

You may also have noticed that your current passport contains very clear markings indicating that the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland is an EU member state. Most likely these will just be phased out with new passports issued without EU markings.

Working & Living in the EU

If Britain wants full access to the free market, it will almost certainly have to agree to open borders, one of the main reasons why 52% of people voted leave. If it does then it would mean EU citizens would remain free to come and work in the UK and Brits could still live and work or continue working in the EU.

If it doesn’t then the UK will most likely have to reach a new agreement with each individual member state, which clearly could take a while.  At the very least there are likely to be more bureaucratic obstacles in the way of Brits wanting to live and work abroad such as work permits and work visas. It’s highly likely that Brits will still be able to live and work in the EU particularly somewhere like Spain, which is pretty broke and has around 750,000 Brits already living there, something that helps generate money for the Spanish economy.

Cost of Travel

The long-term effect of Brexit on travellers is somewhat less clear. Certainly currency markets are very hard to predict but there is a good chance that the Pound will recover to some extent as the turmoil settles down and things become a bit clearer.

Many have speculated that the Brexit could lead other EU countries to hold referendums and potentially leave the EU, which may struggle to survive were another major power like France to leave. Events like that could send the Euro spiralling which would in theory make Europe cheaper again for Brits although regional instability isn’t likely to do wonders for the Pound either so it could lose ground on other currencies around the world.

This is all speculation to an extent so perhaps the most important thing for budget travellers would be to keep an eye on exchange rates and Brexit-related news and bear them in mind when budgeting for your next trip. Most of our travel budgets were published or updated a few months before the Brexit vote and although we will ultimately update them all again, you may be wise to use the US$ figure for now as your reference. Use xe.com to convert it to Pounds at the latest rate and calculate how much your trip might cost.

If you are worried about not having enough funds, you might be wise to put off booking trips too far in the future as the markets are still quite volatile and any further depreciation of the Pound could leave you with a big hole in your budget by the time your next adventure comes around.

The Cost of Flights

If Britain does ultimately leave the single market then it is highly likely that Brits will have to pay more for flights to the continent. EU free market rules encourage competition and have helped contribute to the emergence of dirt cheap fares to the continent.

Even the cost of flights further afield could potentially go up with some airlines suggesting they may opt for major European airports like Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Paris as the base for their inter-continental flights rather than UK airports meaning Brits may have fewer destinations they can fly direct to and would need more connecting flights.


This one is a bit of a double-edged sword. Brexit is likely to mean a return to the days of Brits bringing in Duty-Free goods from the EU but with more limits on what you can bring in. Currently you can bring in an almost unlimited quantity of goods from the continent but you have to pay duty on them. So Brexit will mean cheaper prices for things like alcohol and cigarettes when bought abroad but more restrictions on how much you can bring back into the country.

Roaming Charges

The EU recently agreed to scrap roaming charges making the cost of using your mobile across Europe considerably cheaper when it fully comes into effect in June 2017. When Britain finally leaves the EU, the UK government may well scrap that along with many other EU regulations making the cost of using your mobile across Europe more expensive again.


This article was published in July 2016.

Mexico Backpacking Budget

Mexico backpacking budget

(Map of Mexico from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Mexico on a Shoestring Budget

US$35 | 650 Mexican Pesos

Mexico is a large and generally fairly cheap country to travel in although there are a few notable exceptions. These are mostly the tourist resorts such as Cancun, where prices for almost everything are significantly higher than you’ll find in the rest of the country. If you avoid them then there is no reason why you can’t get by on something like $35/day and still have a really good time.

It is a country with lots of excellent local dishes and drinks so eating and drinking out is one of the highlights of a visit to Mexico and is generally very good value as even the fussiest of eaters won’t struggle to find something that grabs their fancy. Travelling around is reasonably priced if you can put up with long hours on buses but if you do want to visit the North as well as the South then you might want to allow for a bit more than this as it’s a lot of miles you will need to cover. Flying between destinations is considerably more expensive in Mexico with few budget airlines running domestic routes.

Accommodation though is very cheap particularly if you’re willing to stick to dorms and won’t take up a large chunk of this budget leaving you with plenty left over for other things.

See where Mexico ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in Central America

More Comfortable Mexico Backpacker Budget

US$45 | 850 Pesos

Adding $10 will give you a bit more freedom to take trips or try a few more different activities out. You afford to do quite a bit of partying even on our shoestring Mexico backpacking budget and an extra $10 could go towards that if you so wished although nights out aren’t particularly expensive if you avoid the swankier places and in the more traveller-orientated towns girls can often get free entry and free drinks in many nightspots.

If you want to see most of the country as opposed to sticking in one region for a longer period of time then US$45 might be a better budget particularly if you are restricted by time more than money.

Check out our backpacking route for Mexico, for a suggested itinerary.

Sample Prices in Mexico

Flight from Mexico City to Cancun (2 hours 15 mins) – from 1200 Pesos ($65)

Bus from Playa del Carmen to Chetumal (4 hours) – from 175 Pesos ($9.50)

Meal at an inexpensive local restaurant – 80 Pesos ($4.50)

Local beer at a non-touristy bar or restaurant – 20 Pesos ($1)

Dorm bed in Mexico City or San Cristobal – from 80 Pesos ($4.50)

Dorm bed in Playa del Carmen or Tulum – from 140 Pesos ($7.50)

Budget private double or twin room in Mexico City – from 170 Pesos ($9)

Entrance to Chichén Itzá – 200 Pesos (including tax) ($11)


Currency – Mexican Peso

£1 = 26.74 Pesos

€1 = 21.06 Pesos

US$1 = 18.56 Pesos

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

Some businesses in tourist destinations like Cancun may still accept US Dollars despite a law aimed at banishing the Dollar from the Mexican economy. However it is still advantageous to pay for things in Mexican Pesos and in most parts of the country Dollars are not accepted.

MFT Recommends

Be sure to visit Tulum which is one of the few places that both those interested in Mexico’s archaeological wonders and wonderful beaches will enjoy. The Hostal Chalupa is one of the best places to stay on a budget.

street art in mexico

street art in Oaxaca, Mexico (via Jen WlltonCC BY-NC 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Mexico recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016

Ireland Backpacking Budget

Ireland Backpacking Budget

(Map of Ireland from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

This article refers to the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland which is covered in our United Kingdom backpacking budget. That said prices are pretty similar in Northern Ireland to Southern Ireland although the currency is different.

Daily Travel Costs in Ireland on a Shoestring Budget

US$60 | 55 Euros

The cost of travel in Ireland like much of Europe depends on the strength of the Euro at the time you visit. It has fluctuated considerably over recent years and Ireland briefly became quite a bit cheaper than the UK for example but is evening up again now. Dublin in particular is known for being quite an expensive city to visit with the cost of the main attractions regularly around 20 Euros while the city’s famous pubs are by no means cheap so if you are someone who likes a drink then you might struggle to stick our suggested Ireland backpacking budget of 55 Euros.

However you can still have quite a lot of fun on that sort of budget with costs generally a fair bit lower outside of the capital. It’s a relatively small country and the cost of travelling around isn’t that much so that is one positive and in terms of overall costs in ranks probably as an average Western European country. Accommodation and food prices are certainly more reasonable than somewhere like Scandinavia or France and given the large number of visitors the country receives, Ireland is pretty well equipped to cater for budget travellers.

See where Ireland ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all European countries

More Comfortable Ireland Backpacker Budget

US$75 | 70 Euros

The Irish are known to like a drink and although the country has plenty to offer in terms of rural charm, unquestionably the pub culture is a big appeal for many visitors to the country. Budgeting for 70 Euros per day will give you a lot more freedom to immerse yourself in that and with some form of live music and lively pubs almost every night even in the smaller towns, you will find plenty of temptation. Certainly if you are only on a short trip to Ireland you might want to allow for this sort of budget which will allow you to pack a lot more in. If you don’t drink then you can certainly get by on less.

Sample Prices in Ireland

Train from Galway to Dublin (2 hours 20 minutes) – €25

Meal at an inexpensive pub or restaurant – €12

Pint of lager or Guinness – €5-6 (a bit less outside Dublin)

Dorm bed – from €15/night

Cheap private double or twin room – from €50/night

Entrance to the Guinness Storehouse – €20 (includes a free pint of Guinness)


Currency – Euros

£1 = €1.16

US$1 = €0.95

(All exchange rates are correct as of January 2017)

If you head north of the border, remember that British Pounds are used in Northern Ireland.

MFT Recommends

Dublin’s enormous Generator Hostel is one of the best places to stay in the Irish capital with budget beds, good conditions and a lively and pretty cheap bar that is nice for meeting other travellers.

ireland street art

street art in Dublin, Ireland (via Guiseppe MiloCC BY-NC 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Ireland recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016. Exchange rates were updated in January 2017.

Singapore Backpacking Budget

Singapore Backpacking Budget

(Map of Singapore from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Singapore on a Shoestring Budget

US$45 | 60 Singapore Dollars

Singapore has a reputation for being a very expensive place and that is true to an extent although it depends on what kind of trip you want to have. Certainly it is far more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia with most things costing at least double what you find in other countries in the region. Certainly alcohol is very expensive and if you’re visiting the city-state as part of a trip in SE Asia on a small budget, you’d be wise to save your partying for other places. Our suggested Singapore backpacking budget of $45/day will disappear in a couple of hours if you decide to go out to one of the many swanky clubs and bars but you can probably afford one night out if you are there for 3 or 4 days on this budget.

However Singapore does have one or two advantages for the budget traveller. The main one being that it is basically just a city and you won’t spend any money going from town to town like in other countries. Travelling around Singapore is relatively cheap and if you choose a hostel in a good location, you can see a lot of it on foot. Picking a hostel with self-catering facilities will also help cut your costs considerably as eating out two or three times a day will take up a big chunk of this budget.

One of the main attractions to Singapore is shopping though and there is an almost nonsensical amount of mega shopping malls to spend your money in. Our budget of $45/day is by no means unrealistic for your every day needs and a bit of sightseeing but clearly doesn’t allow for much shopping so you might want to set another $100 or more aside if you are looking to hit the malls.

See where Singapore ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all Southeast Asian countries

More Comfortable Singapore Backpacker Budget

US$70 | 95 Singapore Dollars

Singapore isn’t really designed for shoestring travellers and to really make the most of it and experience the best of its cuisine, nightlife and attractions you might want to set aside something more in the region of $70/day plus. Even the airport is full of tempting ways to spend your money but given you only need a few days to really experience Singapore perhaps it’s worth budgeting a bit higher and then saving up in places where it is easier to travel on a shoestring.

Sample Prices in Singapore

(all prices are in Singapore Dollars)

One way ticket on local transport – S$1.30-2

Meal in an inexpensive restaurant – S$12

Large beer in a bar/restaurant – S$8

Dorm bed – from S$15/night

Budget private double or twin room – from S$35/night

1 Day pass at Universal Studios – S$74


Currency – Singapore Dollar

£1 = 1.96 SGD

€1 = 1.54 SGD

US$1 = 1.36 SGD

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

There are lots of hostels in Singapore but most of the cheap ones are pretty bad. Coziee Lodge is one of the few that consistently gets good reviews and it’s not surprising with beds in 4 bed dorms going for as little as S$18 while standards of cleanliness are high and the location is a convenient one for exploring the city.

street art in Singapore

street art in Singapore (via Les HalnesCC BY 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Singapore recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.

Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for a summary of budget travel in the region.

Laos Backpacking Budget

Laos backpacking budget

(Map of Laos from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Laos on a Shoestring Budget

US$20 | 160,000 Laotian Kip

Laos has always been very good value and that is still the case although prices have increased slightly in recent years and it is perhaps a bit more expensive than Cambodia but still cheaper than Thailand. Travelling around the country is pretty slow and not always entirely comfortable but it is at least cheap. Accommodation and eating out is also great value although a few more expensive places are cropping up so you do have to be a bit selective in that sense now so to avoid the places that are clearly not geared towards budget travellers or locals.

Our Laos backpacking budget of $20/day will require a bit of discipline as there are lots of cool trips that you can do in the country not to mention ways to spend your money in the evening with small but often lively backpacker party scenes in several of the main towns.

See where Laos ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all Southeast Asian countries

More Comfortable Laos Backpacker Budget

US$30 | 240,000 Laotian Kip

The shoestring budget of $20 is very possible but when you are in a cheap country, the tendency is to not really keep tabs on your spending and daily costs can quickly mount up. In recent years the Lao government appears to be making an effort to attract wealthier tourists particularly from China and that has pushed the price of tours and trips up for everyone else so if you are planning to do a lot of that then $30/day would probably be more realistic.

Sample Prices in Laos

Bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (6 hours) – 100,000 Kip ($12)

Meal in a budget restaurant – $2

Large Beer Lao in a bar or restaurant – $1.20

Dorm bed – from $4/night

Budget private Double or Twin room in Vientiane – from $10/night

Tubing in Vang Vieng – 55,000 Kip ($7)


Currency – Laotian Kip (also known as Lao)

£1 = 11716 Kip

€1 = 9204 Kip

US$1 = 8106 Kip

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

Unlike neighbouring Cambodia, US Dollars aren’t used all that often with local currency preferred in almost all circumstances.

MFT Recommends

The overall standard of healthcare in Laos is very low and getting ill or injured can turn into a real nightmare and an expensive one so it is essential you have travel insurance. We recommend World Nomads who specialise in backpacking trips.

laos art

sketches in Luang Prabang, Laos (via shankar s.CC BY 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Laos recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.

Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for an overview of budget travel in the region.

Australia Backpacking Budget

Australia Backpacking Budget

(Map of Australia from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Australia on a Shoestring Budget

US$70 | 100 Australian Dollars

Although a very popular destination with young budget travellers, Australia is certainly not a budget travel destination. It’s at least as expensive and perhaps more costly than almost all of Europe and North America and our suggested Australia backpacking budget of 100 Dollars per day certainly reflects that. Certainly if you intend to cover large distances, which you will have to do if you want to see a large portion of the country, then transport costs are going to be high while food, drink and accommodation is in line with what you’d expect in any expensive developed country.

However Oz does have a few saving graces as far as the budget traveller is concerned. For one the relative ease of getting a short-term work visa and abundance of seasonal or short-term jobs makes it one of the few places where travellers can easily and legally make some money to support their travels. There are also a lot of places where you can get student/youth discounts and there are plenty of special deals on bus travel designed to help out those exploring the country but it’s still overall an expensive place to visit.

By staying in one place or one part of the country for a longer period of time and perhaps doing a bit of couchsurfing, whilst not going wild on the partying or activities then you can maybe get by on closer to US$50/day but it won’t be easy as there is a lot of cool stuff to do that will eat into your budget.

See where Australia ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable Australia Backpacker Budget

US$90 | 125 Australian Dollars

125 Australian Dollars is quite a lot of money to be spending every single day but if you want to really take advantage of the extreme sports and adventures that Australia has in store whilst also doing a far bit of socialising then it’s not an unrealistic budget particularly if you are doing a lot travelling around. If that’s you then consider ride-sharing to get from A to B by either using an app or checking noticeboards in hostels. It can often work out much cheaper than public transport.

Compare this to the cost of travel in New Zealand!

Sample Prices in Australia

Melbourne to Cairns (Hop-on Hop-off bus pass) – 550 Australian Dollars

Flight from Melbourne to Sydney (1 hour 20 mins) – 50 AUD with Jetstar + 35AUD for backpack

Dorm bed in basic hostel in Melbourne/Sydney – 20 AUD/night

Dorm bed at Byron Bay – 30 AUD/night

Cheap private twin/double room in a city  – 50 AUD/night

Meal in a relatively cheap restaurant – 18 AUD

Large local beer in a bar/restauarant – 7 AUD

Surfing lesson – around 60 AUD


Currency – Australian Dollars

£1 = 2.03 AUD

€1 = 1.55 AUD

US$1 = 1.39 AUD

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

Long-term travel in Australia is very difficult unless you have huge savings so consider getting a working holiday visa and doing some work whilst you are there to help fund your travels.

street art in australia

street art in Melbourne, Victoria (via Fernando de SousaCC BY-SA 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Australia recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.

Philippines Backpacking Budget

Philippines Backpacking Budget

(Map of Philippines from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in The Philippines on a Shoestring Budget

US$30 | 1400 Peso

The Philippines is perhaps marginally more expensive than most of mainland Southeast Asia but not by a considerable amount. There are certainly less backpackers here which can be both a good and bad thing depending on your perspective. One effect of that is there isn’t quite as much hostel style accommodation which can see you spend a bit more on that although the main destinations tend to have a few budget cheapies where you can find dorms with other backpackers.

Eating out is very cheap and certainly comparable to prices over on the mainland while beer and Filipino rum is also dirt cheap meaning you can certainly fit maybe a couple of nights out a week on this budget, perhaps more if you’re not doing many organised-type trips during the day.

However what really makes travel in the Philippines slightly more expensive than in say Vietnam or Laos is that there are 7,000 islands to choose from and getting from A to B is a bit more complicated and requires some planning in advance if you want to get the cheapest fares.

See where the Philippines ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all Southeast Asian countries

More Comfortable Philippines Backpacker Budget

US$40 | 1900 Pesos

If you are more of a fan of the ‘go with the flow’ kind of travel than rigid planning then you might want to allow for more like US$40 per day. You will need to take several boats and probably a few flights to really see the best the country has to offer and this kind of a budget gives you a bit more freedom to see more and book later on when you are more sure of your plans.

The Philippines does have some fantastic beach destinations but many cater more towards a mid-range budget than a shoestring one with the popular Boracay being a good example. A Philippines backpacking budget of $40/day will enable you to visit a few more of them and perhaps stay in a slightly better class of accommodation every now and then.

Sample Prices in The Philippines

Flight from Manila to Cebu (1 hour 15 mins) – about $25 + baggage (when booked a week + in advance)

Dorm bed in most destinations – from $6/night

Dorm bed in Boracay – from $10/night

Meal at a budget restaurant – $2.50

Large local beer in bar/restaurant – $1

Entrance Fee for Fort Santiago, Manila – 75 Pesos (about $1.50)

Compare prices with the cost of travel in Indonesia.


Currency – Philippine Peso

£1 = 69 Peso

€1 = 52 Peso

US$1 = 47 Peso

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

One or two places accept US Dollars but most will not.

MFT Recommends

Get some travel insurance! We suggest World Nomads who are experts at providing cover for backpacking trips.

Philippines street art

street art in Bonifacio Global City, Manila (via Daniel GoCC BY-NC 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to The Philippines recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This page was published in June 2016.

Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for a summary of budget travel in the region.

Sri Lanka Backpacking Budget

Sri Lanka Backpacking Budget

(Map of Sri Lanka from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Sri Lanka on a Shoestring Budget

US$25 | 3700 Sri Lankan Rupees

Most travellers in Sri Lanka have been or are going to go to India so it’s useful to compare it to the cost of travel in India. The general consensus seems to be that Sri Lanka is marginally more expensive than India but not by an enormous margin. One of the reasons for that is that Sri Lanka hasn’t traditionally been viewed as a big backpacker destination and as such doesn’t really have as much to cater for them. For example budget hostels with dorm beds are less plentiful so you may end up spending a slightly more on accommodation in Sri Lanka. The cost of other things is fairly similar although entrance fees to major sites do also tend to be higher. A realistic Sri Lanka backpacking budget might therefore be considered to be around $25.

See where Sri Lanka ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable Sri Lanka Backpacker Budget

US$35 | 5000 Sri Lankan Rupees

Sri Lanka does have a big tourist industry so there are lots of things that cost a little bit more that might get you tempted to stray from a shoestring budget. For $35 you can stay in better places on the nicer beaches and eat in some really very good restaurants. It will also allow you to visit more sites and temples, a few of which have ridiculously high entrance fees, which most tourists in the country won’t think twice about paying but budget travellers might find them to be a real nuisance.

Sample Prices in Sri Lanka

Train from Colombo to Kandy (4 hours) – $2 for 2nd class seat, $4 for 1st class AC seat

Dorm bed in budget hostel – from $5

Cheap private twin or double room – from $10

Meal in a budget restaurant – $2

3 course meal in a decent restaurant (mid-range) – $6

Large local beer in a bar/restaurant – $1.50

Entrance to the Sigiriya Rock – 4200 LKR ($28)


Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee

£1 = 216 Rupees

€1 = 165 Rupees

US$1 = 148 Rupees

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

Get some travel insurance! World Nomads specialise in providing cover for backpackers.

street art in Galle, Sri Lanka

street art in Galle, Sri Lanka (via KenC1983CC BY-ND 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Sri Lanka recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.

India Backpacking Budget

India backpacking budget

(Map of India from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in India on a Shoestring Budget

US$20 | 1350 Rupees

India is undeniably a cheap country to travel in and if you are really prepared to rough it out on the lower classes of trains and eat questionable food then $15 might be a more realistic shoestring budget. It’s worth baring in mind that many Indians live on just a few dollars a day but in the bigger cities, there are also plenty of things that cater for the burgeoning middle class, who have plenty of Rupees to spend.

$20 might be a more realistic India backpacking budget and will allow you to travel in one of the better classes on the country’s extensive rail network and eat in pretty good restaurants each night. Accommodation is very good value as a rule so there’s not much danger of you going over that budget if you’re sensible.

That said one or two of the major attractions can be relatively pricey, with foreigners charged as much as 20 times more than Indians in some cases so the costs can add up a little.

See where India ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable India Backpacker Budget

US$30 | 2000 Rupees

On $30 per day you can travel very comfortably indeed and if you have some cash saved up, you are likely to have a much more enjoyable trip on this kind of budget. You would find yourself suddenly able to stay in decent 2 or 3 star hotels, eat all your meals in good restaurants and be able to afford the odd flight to save time on the longer journeys.

You won’t have to worry so much about the cost of entering temples or forts eating into your budget and the fact you are eating in better places, should increase your chances of avoiding the dreaded Delhi belly but don’t count on it!

Sample Prices in India

Flight from Mumbai to Goa (1 hour) – $40

Train from Delhi to Agra (2 hours) – 412 Rupees in AC chair (roughly $6)

Train from Delhi to Mumbai (16 hours) – 2227 Rupees in AC 1st class ($33), 1537 Rupees in AC 2nd class ($23)

Meal in a budget restaurant – $2

3 course meal in a decent restaurant (mid-range) – $5

Large local beer in a bar/restaurant – $1.50

Dorm bed – from $2.50

Cheap private double or twin room – from $5

Admission to the Taj Mahal for foreigners – 1000 Rupees ($15)

Compare prices with some of India’s neighbours by checking out the cost of travel in Sri Lanka and the cost of travel in Nepal.


Currency – Indian Rupee

£1 = 98 Rupees

€1 = 75 Rupees

US$1 = 67 Rupees

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

Kick back at the funky and very cheap Bonfire Hostel in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

street art in Delhi

street art in Delhi, India (via Meena KadriCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to India recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.

Thailand Backpacking Budget

Thailand Backpacking Budget

(Map of Thailand from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Thailand on a Shoestring Budget

US$25 | 900 Thai Baht

How much money you need to travel in Thailand depends on who you speak to and how you travel. The main problem here is that large numbers of ‘travellers’ in Thailand are in reality on little more than an extended holiday and most spend well in excess of $25 per day, a large percentage of which goes on partying. Sure the party culture is big in Thailand and it’s hard to avoid unless you really find yourself off the beaten track. Even though alcohol is cheap, if you’re going out partying late every single night then you can’t expect to get by on so little.

However that is not to say it is not possible. As you will see from our sample prices below, you can still find some incredibly cheap accommodation and food. Our suggested Thailand backpacking budget of $25 per day will require a little discipline given temptation is all around but it should be enough to cover budget accommodation, eating out in local restaurants, street stalls or places that are obviously geared to backpackers and a bit of partying with the odd extra daytime activity thrown in. If you’re really sensible or are a non-drinker then you can probably get by on even less.

It is also worth noting there is a great deal of regional variation in prices. If you spend more time in the North, you will find it as cheap as anywhere in Southeast Asia or the world for that matter. Bangkok and the touristy South is more expensive.

See where Thailand ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in all Southeast Asian countries.

More Comfortable Thailand Backpacker Budget

US$40 | 1450 Thai Baht

These days $40 per day is becoming more the norm, particularly in the South of Thailand, which has islands that are now more like Ibiza than the secret paradise they once were. With US$40 per day, you can certainly afford to go out partying every night and will have a bit more for extra excursions and trips. It should be pointed out that if your intention is to do a diving course or something major of that ilk, you are still likely to need extra funds.

Sample Prices in Thailand

Flight from Krabi to Bangkok (1 hour 20 mins) – from $18 with Thai Lion Air including hold baggage

Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (about 12 hours) – $30 AC sleeper, $20 AC seat, $9 Non AC seat

Large Chang Beer in cheap restaurant/bar – 60-80 Baht (roughly $2)

Pad thai in street stall or cheap restaurant – 40-80 Baht ($1-2)

Dorm bed in Bangkok – from 150 Baht (roughly $4)

1 hour massage (traditional thai or oil) – 300-400 Baht ($8-11)

Basic beach bungalow in Koh Phangan – from 200 Baht (only away from the main backpacker beach)


Currency – Thai Baht

£1 = 52 THB

€1 = 40 THB

US$1 = 36 THB

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

The Aris Hostel, Bangkok, a stones throw from the Khao San Road, the world’s biggest backpacker hub.

street art in bangkok

street art in Bangkok, Thailand (via Cody YantisCC BY-NC 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Thailand recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016

Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for an overview of budget travel in the region.