If you’ve given up all hope of finding cheap holiday destinations from South Africa, then worry not as we’ve gone in search of rand-friendly overseas destinations where you won’t be doing multiplications in your head all holiday. Whether you’re looking for a holiday in Europe, Asia or Africa, Travelstart is here to fire up that wanderlust.
Old world charm in Budapest, Hungary
Europe doesn’t have to equal expensive. Beautiful Budapest’s cobbled streets and old-world charm make the Schengen visa well worth it. Also, there’s none of this R160.00 for a glass of wine business, a local 500-millilitre draught beer costs R24.50 and a cappuccino R23.00. Not bad at all.
Plus you can wander the streets discovering architectural gems, including one of the largest synagogues in the world and one of the oldest ever underground railway systems. You’re looking at about R8,900 for a return flight from Johannesburg booked 6 months in advance. As far as affordable holiday destinations in Europe s go, Budapest is definitely a winner.
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Temples, jungles and incredible food in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a rich and textured country teeming with wild animals, hill-top temples and arguably the best food in the world – an inexpensive street food meal costs R33.00, a soda costs R10.00 and a local beer R25.00. A return ticket to this affordable holiday destination costs around R9,000 from Johannesburg. Sound tempting?
Find cheap flights to Colombo!
The Paris of the East in Bucharest, Romania
The “Paris of the East” offers travellers a new experience of Europe. Inexpensive street food and a fascinating 21st-century art scene, 17th and 18th-century Byzantine churches tucked away on narrow streets, plus the gorgeous Cișmigiu Gardens will delight and inspire.
Approximately R980.00 for the visa (60 euros) and around R9,950 return for a flight booked 6 months in advance from Johannesburg. R27.50 for a 500-millilitre local beer and R30.50 for a cappuccino. Art lovers should visit the Zorzini Gallery, the H’art Gallery, and Anaid and the Galateca gallery.
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Seafood and fine sand beaches in Zanzibar
With regular Mango flights available, you’ll find getting to Zanzibar sweet and simple. Expect from R4,200 return and often you can get great last minute deals to this cheap holiday destination, right on our doorstep. Local beers cost R32.00 for a draught and a cappuccino is a bit pricier at R30.50. Stick to the tasty local curries and your holiday will be cheap, cheerful and rand-stress-free.
Find your Mango flight to Zanzibar and compare and book more cheap flights!
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Peaceful stone islands & Mediterranean dreams in Greece
From R8,700 for return flights from Johannesburg to Athens makes idyllic Greece a cheap holiday destination highlight. Beers and cappuccinos are pricier (more than double) but Airbnb and cooking at home is comparative to the cost of living in South Africa. Greece can be very affordable if you do it the right way.
Find cheap flights to Greece!
Crumbling castles and coastline in Croatia
Not one of those typical, cheap places to travel, at around the 10-grand mark for return tickets, you might consider Croatia to be rather pricey. But R24.00 a cappuccino and R40.00 a beer is livable if you take into account the wildly beautiful coastline, unreal blue water and crumbling castles of Game of Thrones fame. This is an outdoor-lovers dream destination and fortunately, swimming and hiking are free.
Also have a look at these:
- 5 Croatian islands waiting to be discovered by adventure seekers
- Planning a Croatia holiday? Here’s what you need to know before you go!
An affordable island paradise awaits in Thailand
Happily, there are excellent and highly affordable holiday packages to Thailand and also endless routes you can discover on your own. Diving on Koh Tao, for instance, is an affordable drawcard on a lesser-known island-destination.
R30.50 will get you a local beer or some authentic street food like spicy papaya salad or a delicious Thai green curry with rice. From R7,900 for return flights from Johannesburg make this the perfect cheap holiday destination for South Africans.
Find cheap flights to Bangkok!
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A city by the sea in Lisbon
Are the cost of flights to California getting hair-raising? Lose yourself in Europe’s ‘San Francisco’. Wander charming cobbled streets, pause for breath at steep miradouros, hop on a tram and marvel at beautiful old buildings, then stop in for a flaky pastry and traditional espresso. Anticipate R25.00 a cappuccino and R33.00 a local beer. Estimate from R7,000 for return flights from Johannesburg.
Find cheap flights to Lisbon!
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Cultural experience in Cambodia
Visit Angkor Wat at dawn and be captivated by the unbelievably intricate stonework and other-worldly sculptures. Cambodia has been through so much yet the warm people and the buzzing scene in Phnom Penh will uplift you and the untouched islands in the South are a real treat.
R60.00 for a meal, R12.00 for a local draught, cappuccinos are pricier at R33.50. Around R10,300 upwards for return flights from Johannesburg. One of those well-known, cheap places to travel in Asia, Cambodia promises to be a memorable cultural experience!
Remote mountains to fast-paced cities in Vietnam
Experience magical Halong Bay on a traditional Vietnamese junk then take on zest-filled Hanoi on two wheels. Sound good? Around R10,300 upwards return for flights from Johannesburg, Vietnam is a popular cheap holiday destination amongst South Africans. It’s an incredible R13.00 for a draught of local beer! You can eat a meal in an inexpensive restaurant for R32.00and cappuccinos go for R23.00 a cup.
Find cheap flights to Vietnam!
Find out more about Vietnam:
- How to Apply for your Vietnam Visa
- Vietnam Travel Tips for Northern Vietnam
- Eat Your Way Around Vietnam
Marble palaces to thriving markets in India
Both ancient and futuristic, India is bursting with life. Sacred cows in the streets and a world-class tech industry collide in a sensory delight for the visitor. Visit India from R6,400 return if booked half a year in advance (Johannesburg to Mumbai return). Budget R31.50a cappuccino, R37.00 a local beer and R62.00 for an inexpensive meal, making this an ideal affordable holiday destination.
Find cheap flights to India!
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Where two continents meet in Istanbul
Istanbul is where two mighty continents meet, a city of enticing food, long-standing culture and bustling quarters just waiting to be discovered. Food is pricier in Istanbul, and since the majority of the population doesn’t drink alcohol, tea is the cheapest and most delicious beverage. A cappuccino costs R31.00 and a soda R11.00.
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Be moved in Myanmar
With gold-spired stupa topped mountains, restorative Inle lake and bejewelled pagodas by the sea, Myanmar is fast becoming flooded with visitors. A little pricier from around R11,000 a ticket, Myanmar is a tremendously exciting travel destination.
Once you’re there it’s a very affordable holiday destination and it is also worth looking into flying to Bangkok then taking a local flight across to Yangon. R15.00 will get you a local draught, though cappuccinos are scarce in this part of the world so better to sit down to a fried pastry and sweet tea on the street for next to nothing.
Find cheap flights to Myanmar!
Land of elephants and temples in Laos
The country once known as the land of a million elephants is now a land of quiet temples, steep green hills and the lazy Mekong river. Laos survived terrible bombing by the US during the Vietnam war but is now beginning to prosper thanks to Chinese investment, infrastructure and a steady stream of impressed international visitors.
Laos’ 4000 islands are home to the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, while French-influenced Luang Prabang is an indo-chine dream. Mountain bikers will fall in love instantly as will archaeological buffs. Only R21.50 for a local draught and R37.00 for a cappuccino. R25.00 will get you a meal at an inexpensive restaurant.
Find cheap flights to Laos!
Island dreams in Bali, Indonesia
A surfer’s paradise dotted with beach houses, you can afford to stay for a little more than a song, Bali is a fabulous bargain destination. Budget around R9,100 upwards return from Johannesburg if you book 6 months in advance. R30.50 for a domestic beer, R30.00 for a cappuccino and an incredible R24.00 for a meal! Bali is by far one of the best-loved of the cheap holiday destinations on offer.
Find cheap flights to Bali!
- For a Simpler Life Head to Bali
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Pristine beaches to explore in Mauritius
Everyone knows Mauritius is synonymous with pristine white sand beaches, hammocks and leafy palm trees, however, island adventurers and sports enthusiasts are also in for the holiday of a lifetime.
From R7,500 for a return flight from Johannesburg, the drinks on the island are a bit pricier at R38.00 for a local beer and R35.50 for a cappuccino, so it’s worth looking at all-inclusive flight and hotel packages to get the most bang for your buck at this affordable holiday destination .
- An Active Holiday in Mauritius: The Side You Didn’t Expect From This Island Beauty
- Don’t Miss These Diving Spots in Mauritius
Rescue turtles in Watamu, Kenya
Travel writer Dawn Jorgensen was lucky enough to experience magical Watamu, near Malindi in Kenya. Read about her once-in-a-lifetime experience rescuing injured sea turtles while on holiday. Around R13,700 return flight from Johannesburg to Malindi, for the adventure of a lifetime. R31.50 a local beer and R36.50 a cappuccino.
Find cheap flights to Kenya!
Sightseeing in visa-free Dublin
Dublin is a top choice for South Africans as it is visa-free for 90 days (just make sure you have a return flight) and there are so many outdoor activities you can get up to – from free yoga in the park to exploring Trinity College grounds and hiking in the wilderness nearby. Use Airbnb to make your money go as far as possible. The euro is scary but at R7,000 upwards a return flight, Dublin is doable on a budget, just don’t order too many R90.00 pints.
Find cheap flights to Dublin!
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Dynamic scenes in Maputo, Mozambique
Maputo is undergoing a revival. Always festive, the heart-thumping music scene is a draw as are the young designers and entrepreneurs that are making waves in Maputo. Return flights from R3,800 – or lower if you’re lucky – Maputo, like Jozi and Nairobi has that certain pizazz. R15.00 for a beer, R25.00 for a cappuccino.
Find cheap flights to Maputo!
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Desert jewels in Namibia
The Skeleton Coast is one of the most haunting natural phenomena in the world. Flights from Cape Town to Windhoek can be found for as low as R4,000 return, depending on how far in advance you book. R15.00 for a beer and R20.00 for a cappuccino. Namibia is one of those affordable holiday destinations every South African should visit.
Bucket-list adventure in Victoria Falls, Zambia
The smoke that thunders is a bucket-list must. Enjoy return flights to majestic Victoria Falls from Johannesburg from as little as R5,300. Beers aren’t bad either at around R15.00 upwards for a local beer like Mosi-oa-tunya and R36.50 for a cappuccino.
Please note: Prices on this page are to be used as a guide only and were available at the time of publication, based on return flights from Johannesburg (unless otherwise stated) for 6 months in advance. Airline ticket prices are subject to change as per the airline. For the latest prices always refer to travelstart.co.za and remember to book in advance.
All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing [Updated November 2019] and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.