Jet off in the colder months and, should you enjoy a great deal, you may well find yourself touching down in one of the winter sun strongholds looking most affordable for 2022: Mauritius, Cape Verde, Jamaica or Turkey. Then there are those places that have long offered a bargain: the nature-soaked West African paradise of the Gambia, say, or Bolivia’s blend of salt flats and Amazon jungle. As for Britain itself, you’ll be wanting to head towards a beachside Norman castle in the northeast.
Main photo: Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (Getty Images)
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This autumn, travel-money specialist Eurochange analysed our pound’s strength against various countries’ currencies compared to the start of the year. Easily the biggest leap concerned Turkish lira; against it, sterling had risen by a whopping 23 per cent — amounting to an extra £189 of currency per £1,000. The obvious places to splash such bonus cash in Turkey are buzzy, beach-speckled Turquoise Coast resorts such as Marmaris and Bodrum.
Where to stay Thirty minutes outside Bodrum is the airy LUX* Bodrum Resort & Residences with a private beach and sea-view rooms for a good price.
The Post Office’s Travel Money department produces an annual City Costs Barometer charting the best-value European centres. In 2021’s edition, Lisbon soared to fourth place courtesy of a 7.9 per cent fall in prices; the average cost of two nights’ accommodation is now estimated at £73. Aiding the Portuguese capital’s status as easily Western Europe’s wallet-friendliest option are the existence of numerous bars serving filling petiscos (small plates) including octopus salad.
Where to stay The century-old York House has vintage Portuguese tiles and a courtyard with hammocks.
Discover the best things to do in Lisbon
Mainland Africa’s smallest country packs plenty in. Spellbinding sandy beaches are the Gambia’s most famous attribute, with Cape Point the most Instagram-worthy, but there’s plenty more to relish: bird, hippo and chimp-watching River Gambia National Park cruises, leopard-lined wetlands and mysterious stone circles. Nevertheless, and despite some excellent beachfront hotels, winter sun packages to this West African country are absurdly cheap. With the shared GMT time zone, you needn’t even worry about jet lag.
Where to stay At the lively, luxurious Palm Beach Resort on a package including flights from Gatwick or Manchester for £550pp.
The Post Office also releases an annual Holiday Money Index revealing day-to-day holiday prices in leading winter-sun destinations. Offering great value at present is the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, whose rupee has plummeted by almost 14 per cent against the pound. Compared to its Indian Ocean rivals, the Maldives and Seychelles, Mauritius has a wider holiday offering. You’ll find wondrous white-sand beaches and brilliant diving, yes, but also monkey-watching, temples, botanical gardens and gorge-hiking.
Where to stay Just north of Grand Baie at the all-inclusive Pereybere Hotel & Spa.
Discover the best beaches in Mauritius
Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay (Alamy)
While analysing such everyday holiday costs as cups of coffee, beer or three-course evening meals, the Post Office additionally observed Jamaica’s dollar slumping by 12 per cent against our pound. That was in the north-coast hub of Montego Bay, a base for beach-goers, snorkellers and rainforest explorers. The reggae-loving Caribbean island promises waterfalls galore, with tours starting from £25. Even Jamaican rum is inexpensive at the airport duty-free.
Where to stay In Negril, famous for its sunsets, at the boutiquey Rooms On The Beach hotel. Flight-inclusive packages cost under £750pp.
Sightseeing trips are shockingly cheap in this landlocked country. Multiday jeep tours to the epic Salar de Uyuni, salt flats turned by rains into a surreal mirror from January to April, can be priced as low as £125. Voyages on large Lake Titicaca taking in Incan island nunneries are often around £15, while Amazon jungle lodges are more affordable than anywhere else in South America. In fact, the only expensive thing about Bolivia is getting there in the first place.
How to do it Delivering all the highlights, Exodus’s two-week escorted tour sorts logistics and covers transport and most meals.
According to currency-card provider FairFX, our pound had enjoyed the greatest recent growth versus Hong Kong’s dollar. The semi-autonomous city’s vast array of accommodation also allows for budget-conscious stays in league with an abundance of sizzling stalls. Street foods such as skewered curry fish balls, eggettes or stinky tofu are wonderfully affordable, and let you steer well clear of heavily priced Michelin establishments. Taxis in Hong Kong are also pleasingly cheap compared with Europe or North America.
Where to stay Hotels here can be pricier, but not at Kowloon’s Hotel Icon that comes with a large outdoor pool and an Angsana Spa.
Discover the best things to do in Hong Kong
Everyone knows that Eastern Europe is cheap, yet even by those standards Albania is absurd. At a perfectly decent bistro here, couples can eat three courses of traditional food (try tave kosi, baked chicken or lamb in yoghurt), throw in a bottle of wine, and still struggle to spend a tenner. The same goes for entrance fees for the castle of national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg or sunbeds on the Albanian Riviera amid Himare’s blissful, sandy shores.
Where to stay Luxury stays generally cost a pittance too. The five-star Adriatik Hotel has a spa, pool, private beach and tennis courts.
Large portions of Southeast Asia thrill frugal travellers, including Cambodia, Vietnam and the original backpacker destination, Thailand. But landlocked Laos is best of all. Because everything else is so cheap, it’s possible to stay in opulent French colonial-era hotels and still live on £100-125 per day. A massage might cost £7; guided trips to waterfalls or Buddhist monasteries could be £3. Motorbikes are often only a few pounds to rent and refreshing bottles of Beer Lao prove just as economical.
Where to stay Deluxe rooms at the Souphattra Hotel — a French-colonial mansion in the serene Mekong River city of Luang Prabang — start from £49 per night, including breakfast.
Another of Eurochange’s tips was the tropical Atlantic archipelago of Cape Verde, 350 miles west of Senegal. A similar time zone, ultra-reliable sun and direct six-hour charter flights have long established the islands of Sal and Boa Vista as European-tourist faves. All-inclusive beachside resorts help too, as decidedly do winter whale-watching and barren, rust-red interiors ripe for quad-bike tours. Best of all, British pounds buy many more escudos than they did a year ago.
How to do it Spend a week at Sal’s adults-only Robinson Cabo Verde, where stand-up paddleboarding is available off the beach.
Discover the best things to do in Cape Verde
Which UK seaside town brings the best value right now? After considering almost 100 contenders earlier this year, a member survey by consumer body Which? gave its blessing to Northumberland’s most memorable resort. Dramatically overlooked by its namesake Norman castle, Bamburgh earned full marks for the quality of its sandy beach, for its tourist attractions — also encompassing a golf course — and, unsurprisingly, for that scenery. On days out, visitors can go dolphin watching in the Farne Islands or cross the causeway to mystical Lindisfarne.
Where to stay Three miles south in Seahouses, the harbour-facing Bamburgh Castle Inn gives its guests a small discount on admission costs at its titular fortress.
Source : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/advice/best-value-destinations-for-20223123