Bang for your buck destinations

Australia is notoriously expensive, both as a travel destination and a place to live. Hey, we enjoy world-class health services, good public transport and we’re relatively safe and secure to walk the streets, day or night. These things come at a cost, and other countries aren’t so lucky.

But other countries can provide a destination where your Aussie dollar goes a lot further than a week in an Australia.

Foreign exchange company Travelex, recently researched the destinations where £500 (around A$890) would last the longest.

It based its figures on daily out-of-pocket tourist expenses, including three restaurant meals, four soft drinks, two beers, two coffees, and two trips on public transport. The spending does  not include accommodation costs, although countries with a low cost of living generally offer lower accommodation rates, too.

They may cost a little extra to get there, but these seven destinations will give you big bang for your buck once you hit the ground.

7. Poland
Poland is famous for its medieval architecture and history, specifically WWII and Cold War history. Travellers with A$890 can spend 22 days visiting the Polish hotspots of Krakow and Warsaw, or skiing, hiking and mountain climbing in the mountains. But get in soon, because the new government may change the generally tourist-friendly nature of this European wonder.

6. Hungary
Same goes for Hungary, where 22 days wandering through the capital Budapest and revelling in unique culture, history, scenery, and cuisine will only set you back around A$900. Enjoy a pilsner at a ruin pub or garden club, relax in the famed thermal spas or simply admire the gothic architecture.

5. Czech Republic
Seems Eastern Europe is tops for budget travellers, because along with Poland and Hungary, the Czech Republic (or Czechia as it is now known) and Bulgaria also offer great value for money. You can spend 23 days in Czechia, enjoying the history, culture, nightlife and cuisine in a setting that borders on fairy tale.

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4. Bulgaria
Home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, Bulgaria is a European destination that is often overlooked by tourists – which is one of the better reasons to travel there. With a rich Slavic culture that features folk music, religious and traditional art; cuisine with Greek and Turkish influences; enviable beaches and resorts and a highly regarded wine scene, Bulgaria is starting to earn a reputation as a bucket-list destination – and A$890 will see you through 23 days.

3. Jamaica
Easily accessible from the US, this Caribbean hotspot (pardon the pun) is a small but lively destination that boasts beautiful beaches, tasty food and a high-spirited nightlife. Every day is a festival in Jamaica and in 25 days you’ll spend very little on a dream Caribbean getaway.

2. Mexico
From brilliant beaches to ancient pre-Columbian ruins, Mexico is home to a thriving arts and cultural scene, fabulous food, great beaches and a plethora of luxury, affordable resorts that can be enjoyed for much less than weekly rent in Australia. Less than A$900 will get you 26 days in this Central American sensation.

(amendment: Author changed South American to Central American sensation)

1. Thailand
Fewer than 10 hours from Australia and for less than $900, you can spend a whopping 44 days enjoying the tropical climate sitting on a Thai beach. Airfares are super cheap, and five-star accommodation in Thailand also comes at a steal. Thai food is a favourite for many and its cosmopolitan cities are balanced by traditional villages and cultural sites dotted around the country. The fact that your money lasts almost twice as long as the next country on the list should have you packing your bags.

Read more at The Daily Telegraph

Have you been to any of these destinations? Was it good value for money? Do you know of any others that give you good bang for your buck?

Related articles:
Top 10 affordable destinations
World’s cheapest destinations
Top destinations for solo travellers

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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