Fear that a vacation is beyond your budget? Stop counting pennies and start planning! You can visit Europe, Asia, Central America or the United States this year without facing a personal financial crisis. Here are 8 affordable destinations for your globetrotting pleasure. See the world, and return home with money in your wallet – the ultimate holiday souvenir!
Lonely Planet travel guides chose Spain as one of most affordable holiday destinations. News reports may be filled with stories about the country’s financial woes, but travellers are finding that the situation is a boon to vacation plans. Falling costs connected to hotels, attractions and shopping are making Spain an affordable, must-see vacation target for North Americans.
Similar to Spain, Greece’s financial hardship is benefitting tourists seeking a bargain. “I just found a flight to Athens, and hotel for two people in April for $2,821 (including taxes) for a week,” says Dianne Jackson, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for “A few years ago that would have been the cost of your airfare alone.” According to Jackson, hotels in financially strapped countries are more willing to offer deals to potential visitors. “Travel is a perishable product for airlines and hotels,” she says. “Once a date with empty rooms or seats passes, they can never sell them again.” The fear of being stuck with unsold rooms or airline seats gives the savvy traveller the financial edge.
Our Canuck buck continues to flirt with parity to the American dollar, so many Canadians should look south of the border for holiday deals in . “It’s a great time to travel to the US,” says Jackson. “Airlines have started to become more flexible with their fare options, and many US cities are promoting to Canadians with special ‘Canadian Offers’.” Jackson cites Dallas as one of the American cities that is trying to encourage Canadians to come visit. The ‘Big D’ offers great shopping, bustling nightlife and plenty of cultural and sport activities.
According to Budget Travel magazine, the Turkish Riviera is a beautiful European destination that comes without an excessive price tag. Hotel rates have dropped by nearly 25 per cent in the past year, and as a result, it’s become a must-visit playground for money savvy travellers. The city of Antalya located along Turkey’s south-western coast offers the best of everything: Mediterranean beaches, ancient ruins, shopping and several all-inclusive 5-star waterfront resorts with budget-pleasing rates of $100 a night.
Washington, D. C.
The U.S. capital is one of Jackson’s top budget picks for . “Combine D.C. with Virginia Beach, and make this a city/beach stay,” she says. You’ll get more bang for your buck, and enjoy the best of both worlds when you marry these two close destinations together. Washington D.C. is a hot spot for history and current affairs buffs. See the White House up close, explore the unparalled collections within the Smithsonian museums, and stand in the shadows of the inspiring memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. When you need a respite from city sightseeing, head to the fresh coastal air of Virginia Beach to relax and unwind by the sea.
Cuba, The Dominican Republic and Mexico
Jackson cites these three southern favourites as her top 3 bargain holidays. “These destinations have quality hotels that offer all the amenities including world class dining options. Dollar for dollar, if you want a beach destination these three places will be the pick of the litter for great resorts, beaches, and prices,” she says. Why are these three popular destinations still easily affordable? “Bargain places tend to be about supply and demand – the more capacity (air and hotels) the better the price,” says Jackson.
Bargain travellers should look beyond dry land for a holiday that checks all the money-saving boxes. “Cruises have huge value, offering many destinations with one price and the ease of unpacking just once,” says Jackson. “I like to recommend Portugal in the Algarve region. It has great prices and you can enjoy the Mediterranean food, wine and culture at a very reasonable price.” Need more proof? Comparing a 7-day stay on Mexico’s Caribbean coast with a 7-day Caribbean cruise, Jackson calculated that the cruise would cost $1,384 less than the landlocked vacation option. That’s hard to beat!
Welcome to Derry/Londonderry, the UK’s City of Culture for . Music, literature and drama take centre stage in this affordable destination. Brushing away its long-troubled past, Northern Ireland is now a peaceful, intriguing travel spot. Budget Travel magazine reports that Derry/Londonderry has invested over $25 million dollars into the local tourism industry, and travellers are the first to benefit. Since autumn , more flights take off between London and Belfast than ever before – and they’re cheaper, too. By adding more flights, Easy Jet and Aer Lingus have upped the competition stakes with British Airways, leading to lower airfares for deal-seeking travellers.