Travelex, the foreign exchange multinational, published their yearly report on the list of destinations where you’ll be able to stretch £500 (currently around R9036) the furthest.
The company based their figures only on daily tourist expenses: 3 daily meals in a restaurant, 2 beers, 2 coffees, 4 soft drinks and 2 public transport trips. Accommodation costs have not been included in the study, but in general countries with lower day to day costs usually have lower accommodation costs as well.
10. Portugal, 17 days
Portugal has over the last couple of years been seen as Western Europe’s bargain destination. The country has a lot to offer tourists including beautiful scenery, interesting museums and historical sites, outstanding cuisine, and world class wines. TAAG airlines, which recently introduced flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Lisbon via Luanda, has made travelling to Portugal affordable and easily accessible.
9. South Africa, 18 days
We made the list! With the big five, UNESCO World Heritage sites, one of the seven wonders of the world, and the Cradle of Humankind all situated in our backyard, it’s unbelievable that we’re still such a cheap destination. Next time you’re thinking of a holiday in Mauritius or Europe, why not consider a wallet friendly trip through South Africa?
8. Turkey, 22 days
Whether it’s the multicultural Istanbul, the ancient Roman ruins dating back to 200 B.C., the whitewashed beaches of the Turkish Riviera or the steaming water pools of Pamukkale, Turkey certainly has something for everyone. Lucky for us, Turkish Airlines offers flights from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to Istanbul on a daily basis, at great prices.
6 & 7. Poland & Hungary, 22 days
Poland’s two main attractions, Warsaw and Krakow, are both visited primarily for historical and architectural reasons. Krakow is the gateways to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the biggest and most infamous concentration camp of the Nazi era, while Warsaw is visited for both it’s historical and architectural attractions. Most of Hungary’s tourism is focused around historic Budapest, with its unique culture, scenery, history and cuisine.
4 & 5. Bulgaria & Czech Republic, 23 days
Bulgaria and the Czech Republic both have a similar history which is rooted in communism and the Soviet Union. The nightlife, scenery, culture, and cuisine is also similar, in fact it’s also similar to what you get in Poland and Hungary, all 4 countries where once part of the Soviet Union, behind the iron curtain. Prague has for years been named as Europe’s hottest destinations for budget conscience travellers. The various gulf carriers provide flights to both Sofia and Prague on a daily basis.
3. Jamaica, 25 days
We were just as surprised as you to see a Caribbean tourist centre on this list. Jamaica does not provide the architectural and historical attractions that some of the other countries on this list do, but it’s hard to beat its nightlife and beaches. The only problem is that Jamaica is on the other side of the world. It’s going to take you a day or two to get there, but you won’t regret it once you sink your feet into one of Jamaica’s white sandy beaches, while sipping on an ice cold cocktail, which is reasonably priced!
2. Mexico, 26 days
Mexico’s Mayan ruins, and unspoiled beaches are their biggest attractions. The best known ruins are at Chichen Itza. The party capital of Mexico and arguably the whole of the Americas is Cancun. One can’t go to Mexico without discovering the secrets of the ancient Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza, or after partying until the sun comes up on the beaches of Cancun.
1. Thailand, 44 days
Your money will last almost twice as long in Thailand as it does anywhere else in the world. As with most of the countries on this list, Thailand provides travellers a long list of beaches, big and bustling cities, jungles and mountains to discover and explore. Thailand has for years been a popular destination among young travellers, honeymooners and families, which has resulted in many airlines operating flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to Thailand.