The time has come for us all to start staying up longer on these gradual lighter evenings, and for us to start dusting off our summer wardrobe, ready for the next sunny adventure. The question is, where is good to go, now that the value of the pound has decreased and now that the world has gone slightly more mad?! Here’s my top 5 destinations of 2017, where your money is sure to stretch further than you think.
This Southeast Asian beauty of a country has had a turbulent modern history, but over the last few years has become increasingly popular with backpackers and more seasoned travellers alike. With hotels and boutiques ranging anywhere from 2 pound to 12 pound per night, your money really does go a long way in Cambodia. With the capital Phnom Penh being famous for its tragic Khmer history and the second city Siem Reap famous for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat, the country is drenched in rich culture and history that never fails to impress any visitor.
Don’t miss: Sihanoukville- 3 hours south of Phnom Penh by car or by short flight from Siem Reap, the 5 stunning stretches of sand offer both laid back beach vibes right through to foam parties til dawn.
Although the Pound to Euro is not in any way at its current greatest, Portugal is so incredibly inexpensive that you’ll be stunned at just how far your money goes. With the average monthly salary of a Lisboan being around 700 British pounds and a local beer costing 1 euro 50, it is easy to see just how far our money can actually go in this southern European country. Not only does the beautiful sun set over the atlantic beaches in the 35 degree summer months and mild winters, but the cobbled city lanes offer stunning side street cafes serving up some of the most underrated cuisine in the world.
Don’t miss: Sintra- 25km outside of the capital of Lisbon. With its rippling mountains, glittering palaces & UNESCO World Heritage Site status, it really is the real life land only heard of in fairy tales.
From the rugged Andes mountains to the bright city lights of one of the most exciting cities on the planet- Buenos Aires- Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, yet not one that instantly springs to mind when thinking of a cheap holiday. In the capital, however, you can get by on as little as 40 pound per day, particularly by avoiding the main tourist hotspots such as the Recoleta district, brimming with late night bars and pricey accommodation. Argentina is also home to one of the most spectacular natural sites on the planet; Iguazu Falls. The falls lie between both Brazil & Argentina, making the rainforest setting almost as awe-inspiring as the chain of 3km of jaw-dropping waterfalls.
Don’t miss: Patagonia, home to the most southerly city on Earth, and globally significant for its protection of marine mammals. From penguins to elephant seals & from Orcas to Albatross, Patagonia is one of the only places on Earth you truly feel hasn’t been touched.
Unspoiled & undeveloped, despite growing rapidly in tourist numbers in the last few years, Vietnam is still an extremely cheap travel destination. With local beer costing as little as 50p and decent accommodation as little as 10 pound per night, Vietnam is a South East Asian delight that is hard to ignore. Hanoi is the capital in the north, and it still retains much of its French Colonial architecture from its French Indochina days. Along the central coast, the traditional village of Hoi An is a welcome break from city exploration, with its long sandy beaches and rice paddy fields immersing you in varying sides of Vietnamese culture. In the South, Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is most famous for the stunning waterways of the Mekong Delta and the terrible history of the Vietnam War at the Cu Chi Tunnels; proving how diverse & culturally rich this fascinating country really is.
Don’t miss: Con Dao Island- just a one hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City is this tropical island full of hidden caves & white stretches of secluded beaches fringed with a lush, thick jungle interior.
Although the pound to lira hasn’t fluctuated much over the last year, the state of the country has changed dramatically. The news has reported many tragedies over the last few months, with many tourists wanting to stay away. In fact, the foreign office hasn’t advised against travel to many of the coastal resorts that usually see millions of tourists flocking there, every year. This now means that very cheap deals can be found, for as little as 153 pound for a 7 day half board deal to Antalya. Turkey is brimming with things to see and do; from the cavernous landscape of Cappadocia to the East meets West mosque-laden skyline of Istanbul, and from the whitewashed houses in the rippling hills of Bodrum to the mud baths of Kalkan, there really is something for all ages. With local meals costing as little as 2 pounds per person and a flight time of only 4 hours, Turkey is an almost unrivalled destination for both a summer and winter sun getaway.
Don’t miss: Pammukale, meaning ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, is a mineral rich thermal waterfall cascading down a terraced hillside in Denizli Province, South west Turkey.
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