For most travellers, cost plays a major role in the choice of destination. So which countries represent the best value for Australian travellers on the ground?
Analyzing daily holiday staples such as coffee, water, wine and beer, local meals and return airport transfers, but not accommodation, Travel Money Oz conducted a study comparing the ground costs for popular short and long haul holiday spots.
The study factored in the cost of a cheap lunch daily, restaurant dinner daily, pint of beer per day and return taxi trip to the airport over a five day period.
In its resultant cost index, it found Malaysia to be the best value destination overall, at $145 per person per day, with the UK the most expensive, at $630 per person.
Costing just $148 per day, Thailand also represented great value as did Bali, at $162. Other destinations came in at $244 for South Africa, $360 for Canada, $425 for Singapore, $453 for New Zealand, $510 for France, and $565 for the US.
“As you can see, generally beach lovers can have a week in Thailand or Bali for under $170 while Malaysia is another very affordable destination at around the $150 mark for a week making it a great end destination, or long-haul stopover spot,” Mrs Spencer said.
“In terms of long haul – UK, Paris and USA are all over the $500 week mark, but South Africa stands out as the cheapest long haul destination in our cost index with a week setting you back just under $250,” Travel Money Group general manager Kelly Spencer said.
Talking to Traveltalk this week at Africa’s Travel Indaba in South Africa, South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona said there was “something for every wallet” in SA, a fact some travellers mightn’t be aware of.
“For a while… South Africa was seen as a 5-star destination. Yeah, we’ve got plenty of five-stars, but we’ve got some four-star and some three-stars.”
Key to stretching your dollar further, according to Ms Spencer, is doing research prior to travel, and keeping an eye on currency fluctuations leading up to departure.
“Many travellers book their flight months in advance but leave their currency days before departure meaning they have to take what they can get, she said.
“We know exchange rates can fluctuate a lot, so it’s worthwhile keeping an eye on the exchange rate so you can purchase in advance while the exchange rate is in your favour.”