Make The Most Of The Rand: 12 Destinations

Don’t let the weak exchange rate stand in your way, we list incredible destinations where you’ll get the most for your money. For each destination there’s a list of travel costs for the back-to-basics traveler as well as some more comfortable mid-range options. In countries like Bali, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand and India ultimate luxury is much more affordable than if you were to stay in a 5 star hotel in San Francisco or London. Airbnb is another great money-saver, rent a room for very little, shop where the locals do and sample delicious street food to save extra bucks.

1. India

Meet India’s many contradictions from snow-capped mountains in the North to palm-lined beaches in Goa, ancient and futuristic cities bursting with life, sacred cows in the streets and a world-class tech industry.

taj lake palace

Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace on Facebook

Exchange Rate

R1 = just under 5 rupees

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Mumbai, from around R6000

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R180;  Midrange: from R870

Food

Budget: R90; Midrange: R460

Water

R6 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R36; Midrange: R178

Inter city transport

Budget: R124; Midrange: R609

Alcohol

Budget: R40; Midrange: R204

Sound good? Find out more here.

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lose yourself in cobbled streets, pause for breath at steep miradouros, catch a tram, pass beautiful old buildings by the sea then stop in for a traditional flaky pastry and espresso.

lisbon street car

Courtesy of Goexplo.com

Exchange Rate

€1 = just under R15

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Lisbon, from around R8000

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R245;  Midrange: from R530 (Airbnb)

Food

Budget: R170; Midrange: from R415

Water

R7.50 (1.5 litre bottle)

Inner city transport

Budget: R69; Midrange: R184

Inter city transport

Budget: R152; Midrange: R387

Alcohol

Budget: R73; Midrange: R172

To find awesome flights check here.

3. Istanbul

Where Asia meets Europe, a city of enticing food, bustling quarters, sweet mint tea and Prince’s islands

Mosques_in_Istanbul_at_dusk

Mosques in Istanbul courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Exchange Rate: R10 gets you 2.21 turkish liras
Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Istanbul, from R6000

To find great flights deals check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R185;  Midrange: from R420

Food

Budget: R64; Midrange: R154

Water

R6 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R28; Midrange: R65

Alcohol

Budget: R33; Midrange: R90

4. Cuba

Music in the streets, shuttered windows, old cars rusting by the sea

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Old Taxis courtesy of Gerry Balding on Flickr

Exchange Rate

R1 equals 0.076 CUC, but best to use dollars, R13.16 is equal to $1.

Flights:

The flights to Havana are quite pricey as it’s quite a distance, but once you’re there you won’t be breaking the bank. Return flights from R24 000.

To find awesome flights check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R122;  Midrange: from R325 (Airbnb)

Food

Budget: R45; Midrange: R100

Water

R11 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R35; Midrange: R85

Inter city transport

Budget: R70; Midrange: R170

Alcohol

Budget: R42; Midrange: R110

5. Sri Lanka

Untouched hill forests, balmy sea towns and unforgettable food markets

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Buddhists in Ruwanweliseya Dagoba courtesy of Sergio Carbajo on Flickr

Exchange Rate

R1 is equal to 10.69 Sri Lankan Rupees

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Colombo, from around R8400. Check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R63; Midrange: from R190

Food

Budget: R54; Midrange: R131

Water

R7.41 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R45; Midrange: R60

Inter city transport

Budget: R375; Midrange: R150

Alcohol

Budget: R140; Midrange: R60

6. Thailand

Pristine tropical waters, coconut drinks and spicy papaya salads

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Colliding Waves by Marc-Olivier on Flickr

Exchange Rate

R1 is equal to 2.69 Thai Baht

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Bangkok, R8000.

To find awesome flights check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R130;  Midrange: from R360

Food

Budget: R56; Midrange: R141

Water

R5.90 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R25; Midrange: R70

Inter city transport

Budget: R90; Midrange: R240

Alcohol

Budget: R25; Midrange: R62

7. Madagascar

Lemurs, mythical baobabs, volcanos and adventures waiting to happen

Madagascar

Sunset at Avenue of the Baobabs by Tee la Rosa on Flickr

Exchange Rate: R1 is equal to 249.663 Malagasy Ariary
Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Antananarivo, from around R7000.

To find awesome flights check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R86;  Midrange: R196

Food

Budget: R46; Midrange: R105

Water

R13.56 for a 1 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R17; Midrange: R37

Inter city transport

Budget: R60; Midrange: R130

Alcohol

Budget: R11; Midrange: R25

8. Brazil

Samba in the streets, drink on the beach (it’s legal!) and take the cable car up Rio’s answer to Table Mountain – Sugarloaf mountain.

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Escadaria Selarón, Rio de Janiero courtesy of Flickr

Exchange Rate

R10 is equal to 2.89 Brazilian Reals

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Rio, from R13 000 and Sao Paulo return R11 400. Check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R140;  Midrange: R400

Food

Budget: R65; Midrange: R155

Water

R8.54 for a 1.5 litre bottle of water

Inner city transport

Budget: R27; Midrange: R70

Inter city transport

Budget: R96; Midrange: R262

Alcohol

Budget: R19; Midrange: R45

9. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Follow the minatour into Stone Town, sink your feet into fine sand, while watching dhows spear the sunset.

zanzibar
Exchange Rate

R1 is equal to just over 166 Tanzanian shillings

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam, from R5200. Check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R186;  Midrange: R461

Food

Budget: R78; Midrange: R186

Water

R10 for a 1.5 litre bottle of water

Inner city transport

Budget: R40; Midrange: R112

Inter city transport

Budget: R130; Midrange: R318

Alcohol

Budget: R30; Midrange: R70

10. Vietnam

Experience ethereal Halong Bay by boat then take on fiesty Hanoi on two wheels.

Halong-Bay1
Exchange Rate

R1 is equal to about 1696 Vietnamese Dong

Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Hanoi, from R7400. Check here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R249;  Luxury: R738

Food

Budget: R119; Luxury: R265

Water

R6.33 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R62; Luxury: R175

Inter city transport

Budget: R194; Luxury: R600

Alcohol

Budget: R55; Luxury: R145

11. Ethiopia

Ancient churches built into sheer rock in mythical Gondar and tasty Ethiopian dishes

Gondar_Fasiladas_Bath_Timket

Gondar Fasiladas Bath Timket on Wikimedia Commons

Exchange Rate

R10 is equal to 15.96 Ethiopian Birr
Flights

Return flights, Johannesburg to Addis Ababa, from R7200 return. Check here.

Good to Know:

Ethiopian Airlines will begin direct flights from Addis Ababa to Durban as of mid-December 2015.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Midrange: R113

Food

Budget: R28; Midrange: R61

Water

R14.50 for a 1.5 litre bottle

Inner city transport

Budget: R8; Midrange: R21

Inter city transport

Budget: R90; Midrange: R220

Alcohol

Budget: R22; Midrange: R56

12. Bali

Luxury villas for a song, disappear into a surfer and yoga-lover’s paradise

bali beo's house

Surf Bungalow, Bali courtesy of Flickr

Exchange Rate R1 is equal to 1029.84 Indonesian Rupiahs

Flights

Johannesburg to Denpasar return from R9500. You can also fly via Hong Kong. Find out more here.

Average costs per day:

Accommodation

Budget: R120;  Midrange: R342 ; Luxury: R1100

Food

Budget: R59; Midrange: R144; Luxury: R344

Water

R6.43 for a 1.5 litre bottle of water

Inner city transport

Budget: R19 ; Midrange: R53; Luxury: R166

Inter city transport

Budget: R49; Midrange: R156; Luxury: R585

Alcohol

Budget: R23; Midrange: R55; Luxury: R134

Source: www.budgetyourtrip.com and www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/

Our Readers Comments

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this post! I felt so frustrated because I really want to travel but thought it would be financial suicide with our weak Rand! But this post is extremely helpful and makes me see that it is possible to travel across the globe!

    Nihaad – the little blog of STUFF

    • Hi Nihaad,

      Really happy to hear our blog helped. Yes there are some amazing places to explore around the world, even if one is traveling with Rands 🙂

      That should not stop anyone 🙂

      Go forth and explore

  2. Hi, small correction coming from Europe 😉 R1 is not just under €15,-. It is the other way around. R1 is similar to around €0,10 and €1 is worth just under R15. Just wanted to let you know 🙂

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for spotting this and letting us know 🙂 Much appreciated.

      We have now corrected it on our side 🙂

  3. I thought Brazil was pricey according to some people..good to know that its quite reasonable as well as Portugal..

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