With the rand’s ongoing decline, that overseas holiday you’ve been dreaming of may seem a bit out of reach. But before you pack away your travel bags, consider these cheap travel destinations where your bucks will go a whole lot further.
Whether you’re going on a spiritual journey, cultural expedition or communing with nature, travelling to India is a life-changing experience. For all that, it’s also surprisingly cheap. Transport is very affordable, and local cuisine is cheap and plentiful. Steer clear of fancy hotels and touristy shopping centres. Instead, spend wisely on visiting must-see sites such as the Taj Mahal, Hindu Temples, the Ganges and more.
While backpacking through Mexico is a thrifty way to enjoy this vast country, you certainly don’t have to slum it to make your budget stretch. There are many affordable hotels in most cities and delicious tacos and tamalis are available for cheap on every street corner. Avoid touristy areas such as Cabo and Cancun, and head for less congested beaches such as Tulum and Mazatlan.
While prices in Argentina and Brazil are on the rise, Columbia remains a much more wallet-friendly destination. This vast country is as big as it is diverse, offering something for everyone. Historic Cartagena and bustling Bogota may be a little pricier, but still won’t break the bank. Be sure to visit an authentic coffee plantation, hike in the Andes and Amazon, or chill out in low-key Palomino.
The Balkans encompass a number of affordable destinations, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania. All of which offer fascinating culture, history and natural beauty of their own. Try to avoid the increasingly popular Croatian coastline, as the prices there have skyrocketed in recent years.
Europe is by no means a cheap destination. But Portugal stands out as one of its few frugal exceptions. Prices on food and accommodation are quite reasonable, and transport is also fair. Take a tram ride through picturesque Lisbon, explore the romantic canals of Aveiro and savour authentic liqueur in Porto.
You might actually find it a challenge to spend much during your travels in Vietnam. Everything from food and accommodation is unbelievably cheap, especially in smaller rural areas. Tours and activities in the most famous sites such as Ha Long Bay or the Mekong Delta are very affordable too.
Morocco is loud, busy, colourful and exhilarating. It also happens to be affordable if you travel smartly. Spicy tagines and refreshing mint tea can be bought at local markets for a song. Travel around by train and be firm with pushy guides and shop keepers. A visit to the hammam won’t set you back much, and most tours to Marrakesh, the Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains can be arranged for a fair price.
Hungary may not strictly be a cheap holiday destination, but it offers good value for money. Travellers on a mid-range budget can enjoy comfortable accommodation. Some museums and sites are free of charge. Hire a bike and explore Budapest. Gaze at the beautiful Danube. Visit quaint villages on the hillsides, and unwind at the famous thermal baths.
Cambodia is home to more than just the jaw-dropping Angkor Wat. Its beautiful beaches, islands, ancient cities and lush forests leave plenty more to be explored. Accommodation is particularly pocket friendly, while renting a bike is a far cheaper option taking tuk-tuks. Islands and big cities such as Phnom Penh can be a bit pricy, so try spending more time in smaller towns.
Cuba is teetering on the edge of capitalism, but there’s still time to experience its historic charm and socialist economy intact. There aren’t many malls or shops to spend money at, so you won’t be tempted to splurge. Stay at inexpensive yet charming casas particulares and save your cash for rum, cigars and salsa dancing.
Costs in Guatemala are similar to those in Thailand and Indonesia. Food is relatively affordable and public transport is the cheap way to go. There’s accommodation for every budget type. Watch the sunrise over the Mayan temples of Tikal. Gaze over the placid Atitlan Lake. Explore volcanoes, hidden caves and cascading pools.
Nepal is famed for its soaring Himalaya Mountains, epic scenery and ancient Buddhist culture. Travelling around the country can be done on a budget by sticking to the local (and very delicious food) – avoid Western-style meals. Buses are also quite cheap and mid-range accommodation is reasonable.
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