Is it possible to travel the world on $10 a day? We asked The Broke Backpacker

The Broke Backpacker has been traveling to far-flung lands on an extreme budget for nearly a decade. We asked its team how to travel cheaply, and they shared top 10 tips. Keep reading to learn how to have an unforgettable experience while traveling the world on $10 a day.


Jul 01, 2023


ultra cheap travel

The Broke Backpacker is a decade-old travel blog covering adventures in far-flung lands on an extreme budget… We asked the team to share their top tips on how to travel cheaply, and here are the top 10 tips!

Keep reading to learn how to have an unforgettable experience while traveling the world on $10 a day.

Passionate about all things travel and adventure, The Broke Backpacker began its life as a tool in which to teach others how to explore the world on a very tight budget… 

How much did The Broke Backpacker spend?

Having traveled all over the world, the team admits that prices and living standards vary greatly. While travels in Europe were significantly more expensive, the founder’s biggest budget accomplishment was when he backpacked through Southeast Asia for almost a year on about $3,500 — roughly $10 a day.

He landed in Bangkok, Thailand with $3,500, and then went on to spend one month in Thailand, two months in Laos, two months in Vietnam, three months in Cambodia, two more weeks in Thailand, one month in Malaysia, and one month in Myanmar.

Unbelievably, there was still about $100 left in his wallet at the end… While this level of austerity is not for everyone, the spirit and philosophy of The Broke Backpacker is amazing and we were keen to share it with you, our aspiring adventure readership! still amazing and we wanted to share it with you. We asked The Broke Backpacker team to share their top tips on traveling Asia on the cheap…

Without further ado, here are The Broke Backpacker’s 10 ways to travel on $10 a day.

The Broke Backpacker's top budget travel tips

Tip 1: Be a voluntourist and do a work exchange

Tip 2: Stay in cheap places for longer

Tip 3: Visit countries not everyone is going to

Tip 4: Eat street food

Tip 5: Haggling

Tip 6: Make friends

Tip 7: Couchsurf

Tip 8: Hitchhike

Tip 9: Pick up the odd-job

Tip 10: Do your research!


Tip 1: Be a voluntourist and do a work exchange

Work exchanges are becoming a very popular way to travel these days. They're fun, immersive, and, crucially, often provide more gratification than a typical vacation.

Along their travels, The Broke Backpacker team used Worldpackers to work on a couple farms in exchange for accommodation and food. In Laos, one adventurer recounts how she helped an organic farm and then helped a local family harvest rice so that they would allow her to sleep there and she could pay for her food.

Worldpackers is one of the best websites that travelers can use to connect with volunteer programs. It is a relative newcomer to the industry, at least compared to other sites, yet is already gaining a massive following.

As well as being an extremely cheap form of traveling, The Broke Backpacker believes that experiences as a voluntourist are so much more authentic than traditional tourism options.

Tip 2: Stay in cheap places for longer

The ream revealed that one of the best ways to travel cheaply is by spending more time in cheap places… pretty much all of Southeast Asia is relatively budget-friendly.

But certain countries are cheaper than others. By staying in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Indonesia, we found that our money stretched much further, so he could stay for longer.

Additionally, The Broke Backpacker recommends that by cutting out any rush of travel and walking places instead of getting taxis, a lot of money can be saved over an extended period.

Tip 3: Visit countries not everyone is going to

According to the blog, the best way to travel cheaply is to get off the beaten track. With so many backpackers following the same route pattern, certain well-known spots become overpriced and unaffordable.

The best way of avoiding this is by visiting countries that travelers don't typically go to, such as India, Venezuela and Pakistan. The team revealed that not only are places like this so much cheaper, but they also satisfy one's appetite for adventure.

Read more about: 14 TOP cheapest countries to visit as a Worldpackers volunteer

Tip 4: Eat street food

One of The Broke Backpacker’s most important (and delicious) budget tips is eating street food. When traveling Southeast Asia, The Broke Backpacker basked in the everyday glories of the pad Thai vendors in Bangkok, to the opium pancakes of Myanmar. Such street foods taste like an enjoyable luxury and are sold for such an affordable price.

The team recommends that the best way of choosing the tastiest (and safest) street food is to look around and find the stall that most locals are lining up to eat from too.

Tip 5: Haggling

Haggling, or 'the art of bargaining persistently', is apparently always worth a shot in Asia. Although in some countries haggling might not be part of the culture, when backpacking in places like Southeast Asia you can save at least 20% on pretty much anything if you do it right.

When traveling around Southeast Asia, The Broke Backpacker saved hundreds of dollars by haggling on everything from "fried insects to a kayak hire."

Tip 6: Make friends

The Broke Backpacker believes that one way to make everything as cost-efficient as possible is by splitting costs between people. By traveling with at least one other person, your buying power practically doubles. This can come in handy when accommodation and other travel costs such as transportation are half as much as they would be traveling alone.

By opting to travel with a friend or stay at a popular hostel, The Broke Backpacker claims you're bound to "meet loads of other cool people who will be heading in the same direction as you!"

Tip 7: Couch surf

Alternatively, instead of making friends with travelers, the team recommends making friends with locals. During his time in Southeast Asia, the founder of the site paid for accommodation roughly a dozen times. Instead, he tried to "surf" at least four or five nights a week.

He adds that couch surfing is "a great way to make new friends, and to land on your feet with a social life somewhere totally new, because people always want to show you around."

The Broke Backpacker team agrees that couch surfing was easiest in countries where locals spoke good English, such as Thailand, because it made arranging hosts simple.

Tip 8: Hitchhike

In his travels around Southeast Asia, The Broke Backpacker saved a ton of money on transport and was able to meet so many people by hitching rides to his various travel destinations.

If you plan to hitchhike while traveling, the team recommends making sure that drivers know that you don't have money to pay before they take you anywhere. They also suggest writing down your destination on a piece of cardboard for passing drivers to see, and trying to flag down cars rather than buses. This is because, "in Southeast Asia, car drivers are way less likely to ask you for money. Minibuses and buses are often full of fare-paying passengers, so you won't be able to get a ride for free."

Tip 9: Pick up the odd-job

While backpacking around Asia, many of The Broke Backpacker team performed various travel jobs in order to secure some extra income and potential free food and accommodation. After working for various bars and party beaches in Vietnam, one happy team member noted that "you usually don't earn much — often just $5 a day — but you won't spend anything, either."

Tip 10: Do your research!

The Broke Backpacker was adamant that while traveling, you never should go to a new destination without spending at least ten minutes surfing the web for ways to do it on a budget. The best way of doing this, the team believes, is by consulting other travel blogs or couch surfing groups to ask people random questions and get up-to-date information.

For example, in Southeast Asia, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers often try to scam tourists. It's important to research exactly how much it should cost to get from point A to point B before going there. That way, you avoid being scammed.

Whether it's a couple months, a couple years, or just a standard work vacation, travel doesn't need to cost a lot of money. Using out-of-the-box, nontraditional ways to travel like The Broke Backpacker’s can lead to huge savings.

With a little creativity and patience, you can travel the world for $10 a day (or even less). It's possible if you follow The Broke Backpacker’s top tips!

Do you have any budget travel tips for your fellow Worldpackers? Let us know in the comments!

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