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  • The best independent travel destinations in the world



    Tours have their advantages, like less headaches when the time comes to look for accommodation, book travel tickets and make sure that you get safely to your destination and back.

    But independent travel also has its advantages, and it is getting more and more popular with travelers of all ages. You can stay at unusual and unusually nice hotels, or you can rough it, stay at a hostel, and mingle with locals – the beauty of independent travel is that you do exactly what you want, when you want.

    Of course, the cheapest the destination the better it is for the indie traveler, but the attractions and things you can do are also a huge factor. If you’re wondering which places are suited for your next indie expedition, here are some of the best independent travel destinations in the world.


    Laos is extremely poor, hardly industrialized, it probably has the richest and most fascinating cultures in Asia, and it is painfully beautiful. For the price you’d pay on a decent meal in a big western city, in Laos you can live comfortably for an entire day, accommodation included.

    An indie traveler on a tiny budget can happily explore Laos for weeks, since getting there is probably the most costly aspect of the trip. If your budget is not very tight, you can enjoy yourself at spas and crazy hot balloon rides.


    Indonesia, photo by John Yavuz Can

    Bali has been on the luxury travel circuit for ages, but the rest of Indonesia doesn’t get nearly as much coverage. Luckily for the indie traveler, Indonesia is actually very affordable, and downright a bargain if you don’t have too high standards regarding accommodation.

    Staying at hostels (even if you get a single or double room) and eating like the locals will allow you to eat, drink and sleep for about $20 per day.


    As a western European country, Portugal is not the cheapest of travel destinations, but it is certainly better than its more famous and popular neighbor Spain, and it is just as (if not more) interesting from a traveler’s point of view.

    There are many parts of Portugal that are ‘undiscovered’ in terms of tourism, so they make great destinations for wannabe explorers, while cities like Lisbon or Porto have famously great nightlife and cheap dining and accommodation galore.


    Nicaragua, photo by dalbera on Flickr

    Latin America has been one of the favorite targets of indie and backpacking travelers for decades, but Nicaragua is still far from popular with  mainstream tourist.

    Thanks to natural beauty, interesting culture and cuisine, and prices that considerably lower than in Costa Rica or Panama, Nicaragua makes a perfect stop on a Central and South American tour.


    Albania is still seen as a poor and unimportant cousin by many Balkan nations that are rising in the travel tops, but it’s enough to take a look at what Albania has to offer to see that it is an excellent choice of a destination. Albania has pristine beaches that have not yet been overrun with tourists, beautiful old churches, craggy mountains that invite hiking and vibrant cities where food, drink and accommodation are really cheap.


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    Comments on The best independent travel destinations in the world

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    South America independient wrote on February 22, 2012:

    Those sounds like really great destinations but still I think South America has a lot of amazing places to discover for independient travelers

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