Do you love to travel? Do you love getting great travel deals (who doesn’t)? If you’re thinking about going on an adventure, this year, you might want to check out Lonely Planet’s List of Best Valued Destinations for 2016. We’ve highlighted 5 below but click here to see their entire list.
If you’ve just got off the ferry from Stockholm or Helsinki then Estoniacan feel like the promised land. Why? That chunk of change in your pocket you’ve had since last leaving the eurozone will buy you a round of drinks. Upsizing from a hostel to hotel might seem like a good – and affordable – idea. Best of all, what you get in exchange for your hard-earned cash is experiencing a gloriously distinctive slice of Europe, where Eastern and Nordic influences mix together.
2. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Vietnam
The Price of Travel’s Index (priceoftravel.com), ranking 31 Asian cities by price, confirms what many travellers have known for a while –Vietnam’s cities are tops for budget options. Both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (third and second in the list respectively) are in that most magical of price brackets for the budget traveller: US$20 per day or less for food, lodging and sights. Finding these prices will take you firmly into the territory of living like a local, which is another vote in favour of making a super-cheap city trip at some point this year.
3. East Africa
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has, unfortunately for other areas of the continent, had a knock-on effect in terms of bookings for 2015. So listen up: London, Madrid and Paris are hundreds of miles closer to the outbreak in West Africa than East Africa’s tourism heartland. Africa is a massive continent (the United States would fit in the Sahara Desert) so you’ll be doing yourself and tourism in East Africa a favour if you take advantage of the cracking deals on offer to Kenya,Uganda, Tanzania and the rest of the region. And in the process experience some of the world’s great wonders, from gorilla encounters to Rift Valley scenery to squeaky-sanded beaches.
4. New Mexico
Looking for a beautiful, affordable, active, foodie corner of America’s southwest? Look no further. New Mexico powers your budget further. Dry, sunny weather is a near constant. Albuquerque’s Breaking Badsights can be explored for the price of a trolley ride and washed down with a cheap eat from a hole-in-the-wall taqueria. Elsewhere, the winter sports are good and cheap and the outdoors is outstanding (and free): hiking in Alpine forests, petroglyph sites to track down and free wild hot springs. Given the richness of attractions all found within one state, New Mexico offers value from a time as well as monetary perspective.
5. Bosnia and Hercegovina
All it takes to make Europe’s big hitters feel very pricey is for a few currency fluctuations to work against you. Thankfully there are still a few places where regardless of where you come from you’ll feel like you’re getting a good deal. Bosnia and Hercegovina is one of those. Inexpensive accommodation, meals and intercity transport combined with historic cities (Sarajevo and Mostar) and affordable adrenaline pursuits (rafting on the Una River and skiing) reward both the impecunious and those seeking a less well-travelled Europe.