The Ultimate Guide to Affordable Holiday Destinations
With post-pandemic price rises, staffing issues, and increasing energy and petrol costs, there’s no doubt that we’re experiencing a perfect storm of travel hurdles right now. The media keeps talking about ‘UK travel chaos’, and at Flight Centre, our experts have been working hard to keep this at bay for our customers. We’ve even got some handy tips to avoid it here – as well as protecting yourself from lost luggage.
But we’ve been working on something even more crucial. Our ‘Travel Saving Experts’ (as we like to call them), have been searching for the very best deals, the most affordable destinations, and generally looking at how we can add value to your travels this year, into 2023, and beyond.
What are the cheapest places to travel right now?
So what destinations are still cheap, we hear you cry! Whether it’s favourable exchange rates or a lower cost of living, we’ve narrowed down some of the most affordable destinations by travel type below, including a few of our favourites:
Affordable beach holidays
Sun, sea, sand, simple. These destinations have all of this in spades (and buckets)…
Dubbed one of 2022’s cheapest destinations, Turkey has maintained good value for years, thanks – in part – to a fairly affordable cost of living and the low value of the lira. So, unless you’re buying a rubber ring with a hyper-inflated price on the beach, souvenirs, drinks and meals (especially delicious Turkish pancakes), are a bargain here.
You’re probably not about to bag a brilliant Santorini or Mykonos deal this year, but the lesser-known Greek isles still offer fantastic value for money. Hidden gems like Lefkada and Skiathos come highly recommended by those in-the-know, and crucially boast 22 and 65 squeaky-soft beaches respectively.
Mauritius is one of our top beach destinations for a good deal, particularly as there’s almost always FREE room and board basis upgrades available. So you can sit back, listen to the gentle lapping of the waves, and know exactly where your next meal or snack is coming from…
Cheapest family holiday destinations
Food and activities to keep the whole clan entertained; here are our top family destinations that are kind to everyone – including your bank balance:
With its mammoth malls, luxury resorts and entertainment galore, Abu Dhabi is a great option for families. It’s gentle on the wallet too, thanks to a number of reduced board upgrades available, exclusively through some of our favourite hotels. Chat with your expert for the latest offers.
Dominican Republic, Caribbean
As far as the Caribbean goes, there are some great all-inclusive deals available for families looking for a hassle-free holiday with guaranteed good weather and warm seas. Most Dom Rep resorts have food and drink options available 24/7, as well as entertainment for all ages.
One of the biggest challenges about having a family is those fussy eaters! But that doesn’t really matter when you don’t have to pay for the kids to eat! Staying at the Hilton Ras Al-Khamiah for example, we’ve got an amazing deal where your little ones stay and eat for free, so you can all make the most of that all-inclusive offering.
Good for your wallet and your wanderlust – check out our top budget-friendly adventure spots:
With the pound to rand looking pretty sweet right now, it’s the perfect time to embark on that South Africa safari adventure. Low-cost accommodation, dining and experiences are all on offer here, making it the perfect spot for seeking out the Big Five without the hefty price tag.
Vietnam is renowned for being a cheap destination to eat, stay and get around. Best of all, our experts know this country inside-out, so can source the best deals, recommendations and stays to match your travel style and budget.
You don’t need to stay in hostels and B&Bs in India to grab a bargain – even the luxury spots can be found for a great price. The overall cost of living is low here too, so you can immerse yourself in the most delicious eats, cultural experiences and authentic travel without dipping too far into your holiday savings pot.
Long-haul destinations that won’t cost the earth
Far-flung doesn’t always equal spenny! Save money in-destination or with added extras in these three long-haul hotspots:
New York, USA
New York has never been the cheapest of destinations, but what it lacks in affordability, it more than makes up for in added extras. From free walks through Central Park, the High Line and Little Island, to riding the Staten Island Ferry and hanging out in Grand Central Terminal or the New York Public Library, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Big Apple without spending a dime. Best of all, we often throw in some experiences or breakfast into our itineraries too – just check out the Riu Plaza here.
Whether it’s a discounted stay, a reduced-price upgrade, or a few extra meals thrown in, there are plenty of ways to save money in Thailand – especially if you’re heading to paradisical Phuket. It’s cheap to eat out here too (especially if you love street food), and to get around. Tuk-tuks, here we come!
One of the most biodiverse places on the planet, it’s amazing to think that Costa Rica is so affordable. After all, you can experience the very best of its nature offering for free. Whether you’re sitting on the Pacific Coast beaches, pulling up on the roadside en route to Arenal, or venturing into the jungle surrounds of Manuel Antonio, always keep your eyes peeled for sloths, hummingbirds, capuchin monkeys, and a plethora of birdlife. There’s an abundance of wildlife around every corner, and that won’t cost you a thing to see!
Where can I get the best flight deals from the UK?
With costs on the rise, it can be tempting to head straight to flight search engines like Skyscanner for the cheapest deals. In reality though, these AI-run metas don’t always have access to:
- Sale pricing
- Last-minute deals
- Exclusive offers
Not only that, but sometimes the pricing you see on the price comparison list doesn’t match what the provider serves up when you click through. A very frustrating experience indeed!
Crucially though, these search engines struggle with the complex, so if you need help with an open-jaw or multi-stop flight, you’re unlikely to find it here. That’s where our Airfare Experts come in. They’ve got decades of experience in the industry, and can not only find the best-value deals, but also tailor-make your flight itinerary to suit your exact needs – including all those pesky hidden extras (baggage, seat selection and extra legroom, we’re looking at you!).
How else can I add value to my UK holiday?
Obviously, the dream right now is to save cash. But where you can’t claw back the pennies, how about looking at where you got some extra freebies instead? We’re talking about added value holidays – everything from FREE room and board basis upgrades, to car hire or experiences thrown in. Thankfully, we’ve negotiated a range of exclusive deals with our holiday partners, and have managed to wangle some cheeky treats for your next getaway, including:
- Upgrade from B&B to full board for only £115pp at Centara Villas Phuket
- A FREE dinner at the Katathani Phuket
- Kids stay and eat FREE at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah
*deals valid at time of publishing (11/8/22) and subject to change.
Ready to embark on your next affordable adventure? Feeling travel savvy? Check out our latest deals here and below, or chat with an expert on 0208 127 4273 to start planning your budget-friendly holiday today!
Wake up to incredible views over the world-famous Manhattan skyline at this elegant hotel. Set over 29 floors, rooms and suites here are spacious and stylishly
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In that sweet spot where the jungle meets the sea, you’ll find Centara Villas Phuket: a haven of exquisite accommodation and all the little luxuries you could wish
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