For Souks & Street Food: Morocco
Just one hour by boat from Spain, Morocco is a tantalizingly close slice of northern Africa. It’s a land of misty mountain ranges, rolling Saharan dunes and ancient, culture-steeped cities. Accommodation, food and drink are cheap – even splashing out on a stylish riad comes in at around £80 a night for two people. In fact, the best of Morocco doesn’t cost much at all: getting lost in Fez’s maze-like medina; soaking up the full-throttle magic of Marrakech’s Jemaa el Fna; haggling over rugs in city souks; or gorging on fragrantly spiced street food. Go in balmy late autumn and you’ll spend even less.
For Temples & Jungles: Northern Thailand
No wonder Thailand is beloved by backpackers. It’s a wonderfully cheap place to travel, where just a few pounds gets you a fresh, zingy street-food banquet. Steer clear of Bangkok and southern Thailand’s tourist magnets – head to more affordable, lesser-visited northern Thailand instead. It’s an unforgettable region: tropical jungles blanket the interior; hill-tribe villages nestle into remote mountains; and its cities are studded with temples. Culture-rich Chiang Mai has earned the title of ‘capital of the north’, while Chiang Rai’s Wat Rong Khun is one of Thailand’s best temples.
For East & West: Turkey
Turkey’s status outside the European Union means there’s no need to worry about holiday disruption when Brexit hits. The continued weakness of the Turkish lira, combined with low prices for things on the ground, means it’s cheap too. Packed with diversity and infused with soul, Turkey will leave a lasting impression. Hot air balloon over the otherworldly pinnacles of Cappadocia; skip between Europe and Asia in intoxicating Istanbul; dig your toes into golden sands; or eat to your heart’s content – a sticky, flaky baklava should become a daily ritual.
For Skiing & Sands: Bulgaria
Yes, you would have got slightly more for your money if you’d travelled to Bulgaria last year, but the country is still a cheap destination that’s just a short hop away. With low prices for local items, your holiday money will still go far. And Bulgaria really has it all: miles of sun-warmed sands greet the Black Sea; ski trails criss-cross Bansko; capital Sofia blends hedonistic nightlife with ornate, gold-domed churches; and no fewer than seven mountain ranges create a hiker’s paradise.
For Wildlife & Wine: South Africa
The wonderful pre-Brexit exchange rates may be over, but South Africa still makes for an affordable holiday. Go out of peak season (November-March) and you’ll save even more. Even if an exclusively remote safari lodge is off the table, you can still visit Kruger National Park and tick off the ‘big five’. Safari aside, lap up South Africa’s stunning diversity – from wave-lashed coastlines to misty peaks – and immerse yourself in the excitement: hike up Table Mountain; enjoy Cape Town’s food scene; drive the Garden Route; or enjoy a wine tour.
For Culture & Coastline: Tunisia
Since the FCO lifted its travel ban on Tunisia last year, visitors have flocked back. Those travelling from the UK will have found it an affordable trip too – Brits visiting this summer enjoyed 4% more Tunisian dinars for their pounds than last summer. What to spend your money on? For many, Tunisia is about escaping to the sand-fringed coastline or soaking up Tunis’ culture. For others, it’s enjoying an intoxicating blend of history and dramatic landscapes: the Roman remains of Carthage; the vast Amphitheatre of El Jem; the rolling, sugary dunes of the Sahara; or the country’s rugged hiking trails.
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