With less than half of the year left, the time to snap up a cheap holiday bargain for 2019 is quickly running out. If you’re looking to travel this but haven’t worked out where yet, we’ve found ten of the cheapest places for you to go.
Our research below shows the average cost of a return flight from Sydney Airport, the price of for a night in a three-star hotel, a local beer and a three-course meal out, as well as the cost for one of the city’s most popular attractions.
1. Krabi, Thailand
Flights: from $381
Accommodation: from $25
Price of beer: $3.75
Average cost of dinner for two: $22.55
Cost of activities: $13 (entry to Tiger Cave Temple)
Found in southern Thailand, Krabi is fast-growing in popularity as a tourist destination, especially among the climbing community.
The immense limestone towers that climbers love to scale are also the subject of many photos, especially at sunrise and sunset. Aside from these monoliths, Krabi has much of the traditional Thai charm to enjoy in its temples and restaurants, as well as easy access to the beautiful Phi Phi islands.
2. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Flights: from $382
Accommodation: from $26
Price of beer: $0.73
Average cost of dinner for two: $24.50
Cost of activities: $14 (half-day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels)
Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital of Vietnam, is the country’s largest city with its biggest airport.
Visitors from Australia will see a city in transition. You’ll be able to plan your holiday as you see fit — staying in luxury hotels or cosy hostels, eating at high-end restaurants or at street stalls and see modern shopping malls alongside ancient wonders.
HCMC’s history is wild and varied. You’ll see temples dating back thousands of years and gruesome reminders of the more recent American War wherever you go.
3. Langkawi, Malaysia
Flights: from $388
Accommodation: from $36
Price of beer: $2.44
Average cost of dinner for two: $34.45
Cost of activities: $13 (entry to Langkawi Wildlife Park)
Malaysia is often overlooked by people looking for a relaxing, tropical getaway, but once you start to research Langkawi, you’ll begin to get a fuller picture of the country.
Located in the north, near the Thai border, Langkawi is perfect for nature-lovers. Laze on the idyllic beaches, explore the mangrove forests, hike through the rainforest, gaze at the waterfalls or book a snorkelling trip with the local turtles.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Flights: from $402
Accommodation: from $38
Price of beer: $1.10
Average cost of dinner for two: $46.79
Cost of activities: $17 (private walking tour: Prague Castle and surrounds)
Away from Southeast Asia, and flights to the European city of Prague are not only incredibly cheap but they take you to one of the most popular places in the continent.
With a mix of incredible architecture, a cheap cost of living and unique customs, the Czech Republic is the perfect place to start a European tour.
5. Taipei, China
Flights: from $402
Accommodation: from $24
Price of beer: $4.39
Average cost of dinner for two: $31.93
Cost of activities: $25 (private street food tour)
The Chinese island of Taiwan is a melting pot of cultures. With the unique mix of Chinese and Taiwanese life most prominent, visitors will also notice nods to Japanese, Southeast Asian and, more recently, American lifestyles too.
Taipei is loved for many reasons. Explore the ancient temples, visit the weird attractions (like the museum of puppets) and try out all the local delicacies, either in traditional restaurants or at night markets.
6. Guilin, China
Flights: from $447
Accommodation: from $31
Price of beer: $2.85
Average cost of dinner for two: $24.78
Cost of activities: $27 (entry to Ronghu Art Museum with tea ceremony)
Guilin, in southern China, is an area that looks like it came straight from a fairy tale. Whether you want to visit the rice terraces, Elephant Trunk Hill, Moon Hill or the out-of-this-world Reed Flute Cave, there are plenty of options for natural wonders with a difference.
For the days when you don’t want to plan day trips, in the city itself, you can see pagodas, the Daxu old town and a wildlife park starring pandas.
7. Kathmandu, Nepal
Flights: from $645
Accommodation: from $15
Price of beer: $3.87
Average cost of dinner for two: $19.33
Cost of activities: $13 (entry to historic Durbar Square)
Like it’s Indian neighbour, Nepal is a country full of bustle. From its busy streets to its thriving markets, it’s never far to go to find someone to speak to.
Kathmandu is often visited on the way to Mount Everest, but there’s plenty to enjoy in the Nepalese capital too. Take a rickshaw ride from temple to temple, explore the tourist-friendly Thamel area and make sure to sample as much of the local cuisine as you can.
8. Athens, Greece
Flights: from $737
Accommodation: from $44
Price of beer: $6.35
Average cost of dinner for two: $37.80
Cost of activities: $22 (skip-the-line admission to Acropolis)
Greece is the home of many things: of democracy, of philosophy and of Western civilisation. In the capital, Athens, you can see the effect of these things as you wander around the museums and ancient architecture.
Athens is also a great transit point for those looking to explore some of the hundreds of Greek islands. Not sure which to go to? Read our complete guide to 20 beautiful Greek islands.
9. Santiago, Chile
Flights: from $1,001
Accommodation: from $56
Price of beer: $2.15
Average cost of dinner for two: $62.10
Cost of activities: $27 (private city tour with airport/hotel pickup)
For people travelling from Australia, Santiago is currently the only destination in South America that offers a direct flight.
As the fifth largest city in the continent, Santiago is a busy place — and it’s home to almost half of Chile’s population. It’s a city with grand architecture, a never-ending night scene and a huge difference in vibe as you explore each neighbourhood.
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Flights: from $1,047
Accommodation: from $31
Price of beer: $3.35
Average cost of dinner for two: $33.47
Cost of activities: $21 (small group tour of River Plate’s stadium)
Add an extra flight from Santiago (or go via Auckland) and you could find yourself in Buenos Aires, the capital of both Argentina and tango.
Buenos Aires mixes Latin culture with European ideas to give a fresh take on each. Walk along the wide roads, admire the grand buildings and find some of the best wine bars on the continent. Like many European cities, diners head out around 9pm and head to bars and clubs in the early hours of the morning.
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