Tips for enjoying an affordable holiday. Picture: Supplied
Tips for enjoying an affordable holiday. Picture: Supplied

Affordable vacation destinations for South Africans

By Mpho Rantao Time of article published Jul 28, 2018

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To help you get the best of both worlds a fun holiday that doesn’t empty your walled you need to choose the right destination, look for a spot where currency conversions work in your favor and steer clear of places too full of tourists. 

Read on for some destinations to consider today.


If you don’t mind traveling a bit of a distance, Asia is a great destination when it comes to affordability.

Wat Arun Temple, in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: Supplied

Thailand is a popular spot with backpackers and others on a budget because it’s not only easy on the wallet but also has a raft of great attractions and activities to enjoy. You could spend R&R time at some of the country’s many beaches or try different types of fresh Asian cuisine around the nation. For the history and cultural buffs, perhaps a visit to the Buddhist Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok could work, or get lost in the tiny lanes of Chinatown.

Vietnam is another destination to put on your list. Here you’ll find stunning countryside, such as beaches, rivers and other waterways, paddy fields, limestone karsts and more. There are numerous ancient temples to put on your itinerary plus many local stalls selling tasty street food.

Malaysia is popular with those on a budget, too. There are bustling cities to roam around; laid-back islands where you can feel like you’ve stepped back in time; and picturesque green highlands to explore. Malaysia is also well known for having some of the top night markets in all of Asia.

Central America

If you’re looking for low-cost destinations that don’t require such long-distance travel, then turn to Central America.

The Costa Rican Tropical Rain Forest. Picture: Supplied

Costa Rica is a prime location. Around this country you’ll find all sorts of wonderful spots to dive, snorkel and swim, or you can work up a sweat by hiking through some of Costa Rica’s many rainforests. This option provides not only excellent opportunities to see local wildlife but also the ability to watch some of the country’s legendary sunsets from up high. 

When on a budget, Guatemala is another top vacation spot. Here, you’ll notice a fascinating mix of modern cities, tiny villages and colonial towns, many of which still showcase ancient traditions followed by locals. 


Of course, a trip to Europe is on most travelers’ must lists, so you’re probably curious about affordable options in this part of the world. While much of Europe is quite expensive, there are areas where you can get around more cheaply.

Greece has more value-based pricing than many other countries in Western Europe due to its ongoing economic difficulties. It is advisable to stay clear of the tourist-heavy spots such as Santorini or Mykonos, though, as they’re quite costly. Instead, make your way to Hydra, where you can set your palate alight by trying out wonderfully authentic souvlaki. 

Another good European destination to consider is Portugal. The Algarve region in the south is particularly delightful. In this sun-drenched location, you can taste locally-made wines and eat and drink in the more than 100 different bars, nightclubs and restaurants in the area. 

The Carvoeiro coast, in the Algarve region, Portugal. Picture: Sul Informacao

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