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From India to Bolivia

Catriona Rowntree


From India to Bolivia

Australian travel royalty Catriona Rowntree shares her favourite budget-friendly holiday destinations from around the world.

Are you looking for a budget-friendly holiday destination that offers a beautiful cultural experience, stunning coastlines or something a little different? Travel presenter Catriona Rowntree has explored Australia and the world. Here she shares her favourite budget-friendly holiday destinations with My Weekly Preview readers.

Travelling within Mumbai is done cheapest by public transport. In a regular public transport bus (called a BEST bus), one can buy an all-day ticket for around 15 rupees and then travel within the city as many times as one wishes, within a day.
Some must-see sites include the iconic Taj Mahal – the Mughal Mausoleum and the Humayun’s Tomb.

Now is definitely the time to go to Greece. Mykonos, Santorini, and Chania in Crete are tourist favourites. You can book boutique hotel rooms for around $60 a night. Greece definitely needs the tourism support at the moment and is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe.
Greece also offers some of the best food in the entire world. Traditional tzatziki is a crowd favourite.

Malawi is a landlocked country in the African south-east. You can easily find meals for $1 and live off merely $10 a day. It’s bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, therefore making it an easy base to start exploring other countries in Africa.
There are plenty of lakes and national parks to explore, including the beautiful Lake Chilwa, which is home to an ecosystem of wetlands, swaps, fisheries and marshes.

Perfect beaches, friendly locals and surrounded by nature at its finest, what’s not to love? It’s dirt cheap with coffee at around 11 cents per cup, a meal $2.50 and hostels can work out to be around $9 per person.
It’s also home to Palawan, which offers beautiful waterfalls and beaches and is an amazing honeymoon destination. Palawan is home to Boracay Beach, a stunning location where you can scuba dive, parasail and kitesurf to your heart’s content.

The country is lush with lovely beaches and so much history. It’s home to the must-see Angkor Wat Temple. With beds for as little as $2 per night, and a meal even cheaper, it’s no surprise Cambodia has made its way on to every backpackers’ list. Even for luxury travel, it’s easy to find a five-star villa for a quarter of the price you would normally expect to pay.
If you’re keen to delve into Cambodia’s history, vist the confronting yet educational Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and is known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. It’s easy to find rooms for $5–$8 per night, and it’s even cheaper if you’re sharing.

Vietnam has cheap food and a beautiful landscape. You can easily live on $20 per day, which includes food, transport and accommodation. If you’re a bit tight in the budget, stick to the north as it’s cheaper than the south.
Some sights to check out include Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica – a beautiful, 19th century, European-style cathedral and the War Remnants Museum – containing exhibits relating to the Vietnam War.

Venezuela’s currency quickly collapsed in 2014. Accommodation prices dropped from $12 per night to around $5 per night. A meal at a decent restaurant is around $3 (that’s with a beer and tips included).
The beaches and national parks are a sight for sore eyes, including Morrocoy National Park where you can snorkel, fish and enjoy the picturesque scenery. Mochima National Park is a gorgeous location for honeymooners.

The Machu Picchu ruins are a popular sight for most travellers heading to South America. Besides Machu Picchu, there are many gorgeous Andean highland towns that are fascinating to explore. You can find meals for $5 and accommodation for $8 in some places. All in all, $20–$25 a day is quite a reasonable budget. If you’re an avid hiker, why not give the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu a go?

Nepal is still rebuilding from the 2015 earthquake and there is a lot this wonderful country has to offer. If you’re on a budget, you can get by on $20 per day.
Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions followed throughout Nepal, which are reflected in the temples and monasteries dotted throughout the country.
Hanuman Dhoka and Bhaktapur Durbar Square are two sites full of history, amazing culture and mind-blowing architecture.

Bolivia is a country in South America which has a gorgeously varied terrain. It has the Andes mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest – all in one.
It’s also home to the world’s largest salt lake flats.
The cost of eating out, sleeping at a budget hotel, and going for a night out in the town is affordable.
You can score a night at the famous salt hotel for $25 per night, or a budget hotel for $8 per night. The Witches’ Market in La Paz is well worth a visit – you can pick up a potion made by a local witch doctor.

You can hear Catriona on her Journeys to Come podcast every Saturday. For more on this, and her adventures, visit



Australian television presenter and travel royalty, Catriona Rowntree shares her tips and secrets for great holidays.

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