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10 dream holidays you can actually afford

Itching for a holiday but light on cash? We’ve got the scoop on affordable flights and destinations to get you in the mood for travel.

Our list contains 10 destinations that take you beyond Bali:

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Samoa

Samoa is the island paradise you need, without the huge price tag. Imagine waking up in an open-sided beach hut (your very own fale), with nothing but a mosquito net separating you from a pristine white-sand beach and gently crashing waves – for just $35, including dinner and breakfast!

Explore lava flows and the incredibly instagrammable To Sua Ocean Trench, swim with giant clams or attend a spectacular fire-twirling show.

With a national speed limit of 40km/hr life moves slowly in Samoa – and you’ll want it to.

Laos

Cheap flights and cheap travel costs coupled with phenomenal scenery make Laos the budget traveller’s dream. A decade ago Laos, and particularly Vang Vieng, had a party-goers reputation, but that has settled down now to match the relaxing pace of the rest of the country.

Laos is highly affordable on a backpacker’s budget and is less overrun by tourists than other south east Asian destinations. You can get there from Perth, Sydney or Melbourne for under $500.

 Fiji

Your dreams of lying on a beach in paradise may not be far away. Return flights to Fiji from under $500 are available from Australia, making it cheap to reach this iconic island destination.

In under four hours from Sydney, you could be stepping off the plane in Nadi, ready to relax, explore or adventure to your heart’s content. Family resorts, beachside getaways and more ways to enjoy the ocean than you can imagine are at your beck and call.

India

Everyone should see India at least once in their lives. With plenty of cheap flights available throughout the year, there’s no reason not to see the Taj Mahal up close, duck and weave through the busy streets of New Delhi or to lay on the beaches of Goa.

And, of course, the food in India is a treat. Enjoy delicious street food and aromatic Masala chai for a steal wherever you go, meaning you’ll have plenty of money left over for activities and soaking up the culture.

New Zealand

You don’t have to take a long-haul flight to reach your perfect holiday destination. New Zealand is often overlooked as it’s on our doorstep but it’s a treasure trove of natural beauty. Whether you want to see its snow-capped mountain ranges, lush rolling hills, untouched beaches or natural hot springs, there are plenty of holidays possible across the Tasman.

Hungary

Heading to Europe? Although the flights can be pricey, you’ll want to explore as much of the continent as you can when you arrive.  

A trip to Europe isn’t complete without a trip to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Straddling the Danube, its fascinating history, stunning architecture and famous thermal baths make this city is a must see.

Hostel accommodation is available for around $10, and a daily budget of around $20-$40 should give you the full Budapest experience.

Japan

Although Japan is certainly not a cheap country to travel around, if you’re canny you can find return flights to Japan for under $500. Its unique culture and natural beauty make Japan a bucket list staple for many travellers, so if you’re making that trip keep an eye out for cheap flights that regularly pop up on our deals club.

Malaysia

Malaysia is the dream ticket with cheap flights and cheap travel costs. Return flights are regularly available for under $400 and mid-range hotels start at around $35 per night.

Explore metropolitan Kuala Lumpur or immerse yourself in colonial George Town on the island of Penang, snorkel white sand beaches in the Perhentian Islands or explore untouched rainforests.

Hawaii

If Hawaii has been sitting at the top of your to-do list for a long time, it may be time to tick it off as flights from Sydney to Honolulu can go for as little as $500.

You could be sipping cocktails at a luau, surfing the beaches of Oahu, dining on Hawaiian pizzas and hiking stunning volcanic mountain ranges before you know it.

Thailand

It’s not hard to see why Thailand is one of Australia’s favourite tourist destinations. With return flights from just $300 and resort-style accommodation available from around $20 per night, Thailand is one of the most affordable options on offer.

Many Australians start where the direct flights take them – to bustling capital Bangkok or the resort-laden island of Phuket, but a second flight (or a local bus) can take you to see the wonders of Chiang Mai, Koh Tao and Pai very quickly.

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