Morocco rand-friendly holidays  travel ideas magazine

If you can’t afford to travel on your South African rands, you might have to remain here. Or even better, Romania! It’s one of our Top 10 Rand-friendly overseas holiday destinations, so read on to find out more about where to go if you’re not feeling too flush.


Romania rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

Howling wolves, vampires, castles and cheap local beer! Sounds like you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime when visiting Romania. And because it’s not the most popular European destination, prices remain reasonable.

One of the lesser-known facts about Romania is that it is primarily known for its winemaking. There are about 187,000 hectares of vine plantations there (and the wine is very affordable) so many of your days can be filled with sipping your Feteasca Neagra while strolling through the vineyards.

There are also free walking tours in almost every city, for more info, email: Romanian food is an interesting mix of Oriental, Austrian and French. Try to eat street food when you can, it’s affordable and a great experience.

This country is renowned for being very safe and hitch-hiking is still a popular mode of transport. So, stick out your thumb and start exploring (but don’t blame us if you get hacked to death en route!).


Poland rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

There is a term “agroturystyka” which can be translated to “rural accommodation”. This is fairly popular in Poland and a great way to save a buck and meet local families who will, no doubt, dish up a traditional home-cooked meal and will let you in on all the secrets of travelling through Poland on a budget.

In Poland’s charming capital city, Krakow, you’ll be able to find apartments in its Old Town starting at around R250 per night. It’s possible to go out for the day with about R220 in your pocket – if you stick to eating in milk bars (Polish version of a caffetaria) and visit the many free tourist attractions such as St. Florian’s Gate.


Portugal rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

Surprisingly, Portugal is actually one of the cheapest countries to visit in western Europe, and she has a lot to offer all types of holidaymaker. From volcanic caves, beautiful beaches, an intriguing history and fascinating cities, Portugal is a winner for the budget conscious traveller.

There’s an excellent and inexpensive public transport system so try to stay away from renting a car if you can. Lisbon and surrounds is a good starting point but there are also some great little gems like São Vicente where you can find accommodation from R200 per night!

And to round it all off, the food is delicious and well priced – especially if you eat where the locals eat. Poland has many beautiful forests and lakes, so buying some local food and picnicking at places like Planty is also a great and affordable day out.


India rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

It’s colourful, calm and chaotic. And not costly. India is by far one of the cheapest destinations to travel to from South Africa, and if you thought the Rand was weak, you should see the Indian Rupee! For about R950 per person per day, you can travel fairly luxuriously, enjoying boutique hotels, first-class train rides and wonderful meals that probably won’t give you deli belly.

Accommodation prices are, of course, lower in the off-season, the monsoon season and from May to August – but probably best to go when you won’t die of heat or in a flood.

In general, if you eat at local restaurants you would get breakfast (omlette or similar) and a cup of tea or coffee for around R20 per person. The food in bigger cities and touristic places can be a little costly.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

They’re a pain in our side when it comes to cricket, but at least they can offer us a nice affordable holiday! The first two things you’ll probably hear about Sri Lanka are their spectacular beaches and even more spectacular food!

You can have a decent meal for around R20 (like a traditional Sri Lankan roti called a kotthu) and a coke will set you back about R8. All while sitting on a free beach!

Accommodation is slightly more expensive than neighbouring India but you can still manage a decent holiday on about R850 per person per day (food, bed and travelling!).


Mauritius rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

It’s all about timing when it comes to affordable Mauritus: it’s a family holiday destination so everything triples in price around school holidays.

May and October would be a good time to visit if you want to avoid inflated prices. January and February is cyclone season, so prices often drop even more then but be careful because you don’t want to spend your entire holiday inside cursing mother nature.

Self-catering villas are an easy way to save a few pennies. You might not have all the resort facilities of restaurants, water sports and kids’ clubs, but the room rate is a lot less.

There are however some villa properties like Anahita on the east coast of Mauritius that offer the cost saving of self-catering villa rentals, with the added benefit of access to the resort facilities at a neighbouring luxury resort.

Bicycles are a very popular and affordable way of exploring Mauritius!


Bali rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

Do dragons exist? Of course not. Well, unless you go to Bali!  On the island of Komodo, you can come face to face with a Komodo Dragon (actually don’t get too close as on their dietry preferences it actually lists ‘humans’).

Flights to Bali range from between R7000 – R10 000 and if you just make sure to veer away from the bigger resorts you can enjoy an idyllic and very affordable break.

Public transport isn’t really a thing in Bali but just remember 3 things when getting around: for a short ride hire a Bluebird taxi (very reputable and reasonably priced), for longer trips across the island or day trips hire a driver for the day (try to share the costs with fellow travellers), and for a bit of exploring hire a scooter for a day.

Some decent budget-friendly guesthouses – operated by local villagers – are available in areas like Sanur and Ubud. There are an abundance of free places to visit, like beaches, mountains, temples and royal palaces.

Turkey (Istanbul)

Turkey rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

Political unrest and security concerns have dampened demand for the city of Turkey in recent times, making it another affordable option. Shopping at the Grand Bazaar will get you a trolley load of treasures for next to nothing (depending on your bargaining skills).

The Istanbul Museum Pass is an economical way to gain discounted entry into the main 12 museums such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The Istanbul Card will save you a lot when using public transport too (a single ticket to get on the metro or bus will cost you almost double – so rather get the card).

The caffetaria style restaurants (esnaf) are the cheapest and sometimes most delicious places to eat, so keep an eye out for the busier ones where the locals eat.

And after a day of exciting chaos, head off to Beşiktaş neighbourhood’s Yıldız Park for some peace, quiet and people watching.


Morocco rand-friendly holidays travel ideas magazine

Staying in a ‘riad’ in Morocco (a traditional Moroccan home) is a wonderful experience and whilst they do look incredibly luxurious and pricey, you can find many budget riads to stay in. Riad Dar Nimbus in Marrakesh is one of the more reasonably priced ones but you can get cheaper.

You can get a room in this three-star riad and spa for around R900 per room per night, including breakfast. Many hotels offer up to 50% off if you book well in advance so keep that in mind.

Entrance to a traditional hammam (Turkish bath) will cost you around R150 per person and the public transport is great for getting across the country.

That said, you can also easily get around the cities by walking. The narrow, winding and busy streets make cars a no-go so it’s very foot-friendly in most parts. Alcohol is not cheap but the food is, as long as you avoid tourist areas like the Grand and Petit Socco.

One place you should definately try in Marrakesh is Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant. It’s a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged women and you can get a great meal for about R90.

Some free tourist sights include walking around the medinas, souks, tanneries and squares such as Djemaa el Fna in Marrakesh which offers a fascinating insight into the country’s culture. Opt for self-catering apartments, book well in advance and eat where the locals eat!

So remember, travel at off-peak times, learn about the country you’re visiting’s public transport to save on travel costs (for example, find out about their bus timetables from the airport to your first port of call).

Our Rand-friendly overseas holiday destinations are a huge help for people looking to travel on a budget. Researching a country before you go is half the fun, so do your homework and you’ll be able to enjoy an inexpensive, cheerful and rand-friendly holiday!

Story by Christy Hawthorne

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