September 27, 2023
Greatest journey on a finances: The world’s best-value locations

In a world of inflation, rising airline fares and rising journey demand, it is excessive time to rediscover some previous inexpensive favourites – and maybe some new ones too. Most are nearer to house, making them cheaper to get to.

Change charges may help however our picks are locations which have at all times provided good worth irrespective of the forex fluctuations. Then once more, good instances or unhealthy instances, who would not admire a discount?

In fact, inexpensive would not merely imply finances. Luxurious resorts will at all times value greater than mid-range ones, however they are often extra inexpensive in sure locations, even when past the finances of some travellers.

Portugal is the most cost effective Eurozone vacation spot however that does not imply it is as bargain-priced as many different European international locations. And a few seemingly beaut worth locations, similar to Bali, cost for lodging in US {dollars} which may make for a expensive journey if the mercurial Australian greenback is ailing.

Smart choices additionally have an effect on affordability. Chinese language-brand resorts go for half the worth of Western-brand ones in China and Western meals (and posh Chinese language meals) are costly. A bit of Chinese language-language information or adventurous spirit make China very inexpensive however for the common abroad vacationer it merely is not.

Additionally implicit within the concept of affordability is unquestionably worth: we wish one of the best expertise for our greenback, dong or dinar. No level in together with nations that do not ship as vacation locations irrespective of how low cost they could be.

Right here then is Traveller’s discount locations corridor of fame, with our decide of the 20 all-time most inexpensive and good-value for a vacation (with our greenback dazzler rankings out of 5 greenback indicators).


Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, South Korea. 
Cover story: all-time best value destinations by Brian Johnston
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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, South Korea. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN Serene temples compete with karaoke bars, neon-lit cities vie with mountain views, and historical past competes with Ok-pop in South Korea. Past Seoul lie fortress cities, seaside resorts, nationwide parks and confetti of islands. And it will get higher: transportation and meals is superb and inexpensive, and points of interest absurdly priced – the $1.10 entrance payment to World Heritage-listed Suwon Fortress was just lately abolished. A 74-hour Uncover Seoul Cross for $100 will get you entry to each main vacationer attraction. The common hotel-room worth is $120 for 2, in accordance with Finances Your Journey.

BEST BARGAINS October-November is off-season however autumn foliage luxurious. The Korail Cross prices about $50 a day if you are going to whizz round. Seoul is priciest (take into account staying in close by Ujeongbu), however as soon as past costs maintain falling. Pohang, Jeonju and Busan are notably inexpensive. One of the best-value resorts are boutique native institutions; keep away from large worldwide chains.

THE ONE SPLURGE Koreans are the world’s largest spenders on luxurious items. You will not should look far for fancy purses.




Bucharest, Romania - April 25, 2017: The Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania. SunOct6Romania - Palace of parliament Bucharest, Romania - Sue Williams
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The Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN If you happen to suppose Europe is dear then you have not been east of Vienna. You possibly can go virtually wherever in Jap Europe with a good pockets however Romania is great: renovated previous cities, beautiful castles, the Carpathian Mountains, venerable villages and an important motorway system (although some dodgy nation roads). The in depth prepare system supplies low cost if sluggish transport. ranks Romania 57th on the earth for value of dwelling, the bottom in Europe aside from Kosovo, Moldova and Russia.

BEST BARGAINS It hardly issues: even capital Bucharest will not pressure your finances. Nonetheless, Timișoara (which has excellent Artwork Nouveau structure) and fairly baroque Sibiu are visit-worthy locations thought-about amongst Europe’s least expensive by digital nomads. The seashores, vineyards and spa cities of the quick Black Coastline present a four-night keep in a four-star lodge together with plentiful day by day spa remedies for $500 an individual.

THE ONE SPLURGE Icons painted on glass are a specialty of the Maramures area in Transylvania; one of the best will set you again a number of hundred {dollars}.

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scenic panoramic top view of Bohey Dulang Island Semporna, Sabah. credit: istock
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Bohey Dulang Island Semporna, Sabah. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN If selection is the spice of life, then Malaysia gives rainforest adventures, fish-filled reefs, historic cities, and cultural variety. It has probably the greatest meals scenes on the planet and, with good hygiene, you may eat for an insignificant value in road markets. However at each degree of finances Malaysia is a discount: costs are greater than Indonesia or Thailand, however so are general requirements. You may e-book four-star resorts for as little as $150 and really swanky ones for $300. Malaysia Airways gives competitively priced airfares.

BEST BARGAINS If you are going to plunge into adrenaline actions with secure requirements, do it right here: half-day white-water rafting prices round $65 and guided jungle treks $30. Entry to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah is simply $10. In the meantime ignored Johore Bahru simply over the border from Singapore is present process a spectacular makeover.

THE ONE SPLURGE The Datai Langkawi is certainly one of Malaysia’s most well-known resorts and has excellent eating, however will value you $1000 an evening.

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Turunc is populer tourist destination in the Turkey.
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Turunc Bays in Marmaris, Turkey

Turunc Bays in Marmaris. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN The humanitarian disaster following final week’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria continues.
However when the time is correct travellers ought to give Turkey critical consideration. Istanbul Airport, and Istanbul itself, remains to be open to guests.The worn seduction of Istanbul with its fabulous Ottoman monuments, a turquoise Mediterranean coast with hip resorts and historical ruins, and Cappadocia’s humped landscapes and cave church buildings make Turkey a high journey vacation spot – and one of many friendliest. Turkey has at all times been inexpensive, and with its forex enormously devalued stays so regardless of inflation. Prices are 48 per cent decrease than in Italy or 21 per cent decrease than in Greece in accordance with Numbeo. Turkish Airways’ large community and aggressive pricing is a bonus.

BEST BARGAINS Turkish islands similar to Cunda (close to Lesbos) are extra low-key than Greek counterparts. Muğla area and close by Marmaris supply discount holidays, however beware high-season hordes of northern Europeans. The Black Coastline, principally visited by home vacationers, gives an fascinating different to the Med. September and particularly October have low season charges and the climate within the south stays mighty advantageous.

THE ONE SPLURGE Turkish carpets are irresistible. Pure silk carpets from Hereke shimmer like butterfly wings and break the bank.




African Landscape fit for an ad commercial.  Safari animals in the savannah. Kruger National Park, South Africa. satoct26cover
TRAVELLER 52 places for 2020 cover
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Kruger Nationwide Park. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN One of many world’s most lovely international locations, a vibrant tradition and thrilling wildlife encounters are causes South Africa is a favorite. Though lack of airline competitors makes getting there dear, you will be compensated by low costs if you arrive: $150 for a three- or four-star lodge (besides in Cape City), $50 for a three-course meal, $100 and infrequently much less for a bungy soar. About $250 an individual a day will get you a complete four-star vacation.

BEST BARGAINS If on safari, Kruger Nationwide Park permits for self-drive and has loads of finances lodging choices. State-owned lodges and cottages in South African nationwide parks are nice worth. Northernmost Limpopo Province has all South Africa’s scenic magnificence however few international vacationers, making it one the most cost effective locations. Cape City and close by Stellenbosch wine nation are the costliest, however you continue to will not be complaining.

THE ONE SPLURGE A fancy safari lodge in a non-public sport reserve is an indulgence and journey: price two nights regardless of the elephant-sized invoice.

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Fukuoka, Japan - November 13 2013: It is built over the grave of Sugawara no Michizane and is one of the main shrines dedicated to Tenjin, the deified form of Michizane. sunmar31japan Kyushu Japan rugby world cup ; text by Brian Johnston
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Fukuoka, Japan. Photograph: iStock

THE LOWDOWN This is a turn-up for the bookings. Japan has a fame for expense, however if you happen to keep away from elaborate kaiseki meals, luxurious resorts and notorious yubari melons you may keep, eat and get round extra cheaply than in Europe or America. You may take pleasure in a $20 lunch in super-posh Tokyo district Ginza – and there is not any tipping. Japan proves that inexpensive doesn’t suggest low cost however good worth, and the worth you get is limitless great experiences in a singular vacation spot.

BEST BARGAINS Overlook fancy and Western-brand resorts and verify into small enterprise and local-brand resorts similar to Welcome Inn, APA Motels and Toyoko Inn. Fukuoka, Kobe, Osaka and Sapporo are well-priced cities. Myoko Kogen is the best-priced large ski resort. If you are going to racket round, a Japan Rail Cross is the best choice. Bento containers from department-store meals halls are discount eats, particularly when lowered in worth at day’s finish.

THE ONE SPLURGE An upmarket ryokan or conventional inn is not only a keep however a cultural expertise and can embody a tasty multi-course night meal.

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sunjun19spotlight spotlight ; text by Julietta Jameson
(handout image supplied for use in Traveller, no credit, no syndication)
Tembo Beach Club and Resort - Bangrak Beach - Koh Samui - Thailand

Photograph: Tembo Seaside Membership and Resort Koh Samui

THE LOWDOWN Everyone knows you may eat on the street and keep in seashore huts for subsequent to nothing in Thailand, however certainly one of our favorite locations is inexpensive in any respect ranges. In 2022, UK comparability web site declared Bangkok the world’s least expensive luxury-travel vacation spot. In the meantime Finances Direct says our buying energy is 257 per cent greater in Thailand than at house. Properly price it, then, for luscious islands, lovely seashores, adventures in highlands, big-city pleasure and the at all times pleasant Thai smile.

BEST BARGAINS Koh Chang, Koh Samui and Koh Lanta are amongst competitively priced islands; mainland Krabi is an affordable island-gazing base. All the northeast of the nation is beneath the radar however stuffed with nationwide parks and tribal tradition: strive Nakhon Nayok province or the Isan area alongside the Mekong River.

THE ONE SPLURGE If you happen to bask in extremely taxed wine at luxurious resorts, you will pay the worth. A bottle of Bin 8 Penfolds at W Resort Bangkok is $155; it retails in Australia for $40.




InterContinental Phu Quoc
Sheriden Rhodes
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InterContinental Phu Quoc. Photograph: Equipped

THE LOWDOWN For meals alone Vietnam is a favorite. Add the transformations and heady vibe of an rising financial system, incense-laden temples, lakeside previous cities, lush highlands and mushrooming seashore resorts and you’ve got each purpose to go to. And Vietnam stays one of many least expensive journey locations in Asia, with direct finances flights from Australia an added saver. Anticipate to pay beneath two {dollars} for a beer or espresso, not rather more for a bowl of pho, $50 for a good lodge and $170 for an upmarket one. Nothing to complain about, besides the site visitors.

BEST BARGAINS Have a half-price honeymoon on tropical island Phu Quoc, or hit the sands at up-and-coming new resort vacation spot Quy Nhon in central Vietnam. Or overlook the seashore and head inland as an alternative to former colonial hill city Dalat or eco-destination Dien Bien Phu; for the second, principally home vacationers maintain costs low.

THE ONE SPLURGE The Mekong River is a journey freeway most simply navigated on a luxurious river cruise, which additionally takes in Cambodia; you will pay round $400 an individual a day.

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Supplied PR image for Traveller, check for reuse. Merusaka Nusa Dua, Bali (Luxury Escapes)

Photograph: Merusaka Nusa Dua

THE LOWDOWN Our lengthy love affair with Bali is anchored within the low value of holidaying there, however the island’s lush landscapes, sand, surf and gracious tradition are large added bonuses. Quantity means flight prices are low, and every little thing from resorts to restaurant eating, spa remedies to excursions stays fairly priced. Luxurious resorts common $350 an evening, and an upmarket meal could be $50, although wine is costly. Different elements of Indonesia are even cheaper, with Flores, Sumba and Lake Toba amongst up-and-coming hotspots.

BEST BARGAINS Northern Bali takes attending to (a three-hour drive from the airport) however resorts at Lovina and Pemuteran are priced accordingly. Moist-season rains, normally solely quick and abrupt, make October-April the cheaper season. Elsewhere, Bandung in West Java has cool-climate highland landscapes and Yogyakarta plentiful tradition; each have well-priced lodging. Java and Sumatra typically, not identified for seashores, are discount locations with astonishing landscapes.

THE ONE SPLURGE Songket, a standard brocaded, patterned silk interwoven with gold or silver thread, may cost a little you many hundred {dollars}.

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SunJan15CoverFiji by Ben Groundwater.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji.
credit: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort(handout photo supplied via PR Christine McCann for use in Traveller, no syndication)

Larger files available from Christine McCann

Photograph: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

THE LOWDOWN Quick(ish) flights, 300-plus tropical islands, beautiful lagoons and reefs and a rugged hinterland match for journey lure us to Fiji. The friendliness lures us again. Fiji is the one vacation spot that has extra Australians visiting than pre-pandemic, and with an extended common keep too. Return flights are fairly priced from $659 from Sydney and $799 from Melbourne with Fiji Airways. A day’s snorkelling tour prices round $100 – a fraction of the Queensland worth – and a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant is $30.

BEST BARGAINS Away from resort hubs, essential island Viti Levu has well-priced resorts –look alongside the southern Coral Coast and round journey capital Pacific Harbour. The Mamanuca Islands have finances resorts and, being near the mainland, the price of getting there’s low. February-March is least expensive: though the moist season, rain is normally quick and heavy.

THE ONE SPLURGE Go mad and skydive over Denarau Island’s beautiful emerald sea close to the airport, which can value F$830 ($540) for 60 seconds of freefall.

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Why this pleasant, fabulous vacation spot is so under-visited is a thriller, however the result’s seascapes of French Polynesian magnificence with out the eye-watering costs. A mid-range lodge prices round $150 an evening and an upmarket meal for 2 $60. Backpackers might get by on $40 a day. See philippines.journey


Lengthy-term travellers and digital nomads are more and more roosting in Bulgaria, the place the price of dwelling is half that of Australia and 40 per cent cheaper than in western Europe. Its cultural belongings, historical past, buzzing cities and beautiful mountain landscapes are very underestimated. See


Like neighbouring Cambodia, Laos is finances heaven for backpackers, though meals and petrol costs are greater than in Southeast Asian neighbours. For everybody else Laos can also be high worth, with many top-luxury resorts going for $350-500 an evening, and mains in elegant native eating places costing $10. See


One of many sizzling journey locations of the second is not as low cost because it as soon as was, with inflation operating at over 10 per cent (although forecast to fall this yr). Nonetheless, Georgia stays very competitively priced, and supplies splendid high-mountain surroundings, a really lengthy historical past and a number of the world’s oldest wines. See georgia.journey


Okay, whereas not fairly an all-time cheapie, Argentina has been wonderful worth since 2001 when the peso stopped being pegged one-to-one with the US greenback. It now sits at 185 pesos to the US greenback (and 280 pesos on the road). Its landscapes are excellent, and so is its distinctive tradition. See argentina.journey


For the Mediterranean way of life at round 45 per cent lower than Greece or Croatia – and much much less crowded too – this newly fashionable vacation hotspot is the place to be. It has an Adriatic shoreline, medieval castles, historical Greek and Roman ruins, and a sumptuously rugged inside. See egov-albania-al.on-line


If you happen to can keep away from swanky resorts, lodge eating places, stylish nightclubs and international liquor then that is absolutely probably the most famously inexpensive locations. Entrance to the Taj Mahal, one of many world’s biggest sights, prices simply $17. Take to unwashed wandering and you can keep perpetually. See


Three-course restaurant meals for 2 at $50, beers for $5 and the typical lodge worth hovering round $100 reveals why Mexico is the go-to getaway for different North Individuals. Getting there is not that low cost for Australians however a flamboyant tradition and nice meals are compensations. See


Keep away from the seaside vacationer resorts (why would not you) and Egypt has great-value lodging, transport and meals. Entrance tickets to gobsmacking temple complexes are beneath $10. The bang on your buck is colossal: this is likely one of the world’s nice journey locations. See egypt.journey


It is going to value you to get there however Cuba is extra inexpensive than many different Caribbean islands and has a wealth of sights and historical past, and a really vibrant tradition. If you happen to’re ready to make use of homestays you get an important native expertise for about $1000 every week for 2. See