Best Value Destinations for This Year

Bang for your buck and pizzazz for you pound: here’s where to stretch this year’s travel budget untill it oozes contentment.


A lot of Star Wars scenes were shoot in Matmata – Tunisia

When it comes to Tunisia, the conversation has moved on from safety to recovery for tourism, and a renewed appreciation of why the country is such a compelling destination. Travel warnings have been dropped and travellers are once again tuning in to North Africa’s most compact package. This year prices will remain tempting to lure travellers back, and lower crowds will mean that those who do come will get a more rewarding experience whether they stay in cosmopolitan Tunis, head for Saharan Star Wars sets or explore the Roman remains that dot the north of the country.

Seasonal charters from European airports to Djerba can be an excellent-value gateway into Tunisia.

South Africa

The port of Cape Town – South Africa

Currency fluctuations mean that for certain Hers South Africa is more affordable than it has been for many years.Instead og just rejoicing in the undercooked rand, consider what South Africa offers value-seeking travellers at any time. How about fantastically accessible wildlife watching for all budgets, bargain public (and traveller-friendly) transport and free entry to many of the country’s museums? Most visitors will find something to please their budget, whether it’s a cheap-and-cheerful Cape Town seaside cafe or an affordable safari campsite.

Come in South Africa’s shoulder seasons (February, March, September and October) for the best combination of low crowds and comfortable weather.


Shanghai – China

For all the upscale new openings in China’s most famous coastal city, Shanghai remains reassuringly affordable for budget travellers. No-nonsense dorms start at -less than US$10, and the pleasing pricing continues through budget and mid¬ range hotels until you hit the less-than-friendly international big names and trendy boutique accommodation. It’s a similar story when eating out: characterful street-treats for a dollar, and big portions in popular restaurants for little more. Best of all, walking the city’s safe and buzzing streets is the best way to take the pulse of this fast-changing metropolis.

SmartShanghai is a great place to keep pace with new happenings in this ever-changing city.


A samoan beach fale (hut)

It feels like we’ve heard this one before: `Beautiful, undeveloped tropical paradise seeks underfunded travellers for discreet liaison. Applicants must enjoy no-nonsense budget buses and simple, idyllic beach hut accommodation (fales), owned by local families, who tend to throw in diriner. So as with so many places before it, we’d say get to Samoa soon. Best visited by jumping off from New Zealand or Australia, these islands are one of the best travel deals in the Pacific.

The markets of Apia, Samoa’s capital and largest town, offer a great introduction to everyday life. Maketi Fou, the biggest, is the place to come for souvenir hunting and Samoan street food.


Kuta Beach – Bali

While many budget-traveller favourites have grown up and got proper jobs running overpriced resorts, Bali never stopped delivering the goods. In fact, while backpacker-friendly beachside bungalows and other affordable digs still abound, with reasonable costs for food and transport thrown in. Bali is also pretty stonking value for mid-range adventurers who delight in air conditioning, distinctive Balinese style and a large range of quality places to stay. And of course, Balinese spa treatments are rightly famous, and cheaper than in many other places.

Bali’s international popularity is evidenced by the large number of winter flights from Russian cities — offering the unlikely combination of a snowy Trans-Siberian journey and a week on a Balinese beach.


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