Summer is well and truly over and most of us are already dreaming of our next opportunity to get away.
There’s no such time as the now to take the bull by the horns and start planning the trip of a lifetime.
Strapped for cash? No problem; Lonely Planet have come up with the definitive guide to great value destinations.
Travel to Nepal and take in the ?? and ??, while actually helping the local communities.
The country is bouncing back from an earthquake and your custom will give the welcoming Nepalese people a much-needed financial injection.
According to Lonely Planet, Nepal ‘remains a fabulous choice for budget-conscious travellers, who can access the best of its world-famous trekking routes and underrated wildlife for well south of US$50 a day.’
Namibia’s star-scattered skies, abundant wildlife and sweeping deserts make the country a sight to behold and a welcome challenge for hardy travellers.
Furthermore, ‘Namibia’s dollar, pegged to the South African rand, has been depreciating in value against many currencies for a few years’ so now is a great time to visit for the bank balance.
Nestled into the Portuguese coast lies Porto, a town with more charm and heritage than you can shake a stick at.
With vintage trams carrying you up into the hills, past vividly tiled rustic houses, to small vineyards and clutches of museums, this untapped European idyll is still relatively cheap.
If that’s not enough, the city has a mouth-watering signature sandwich called the Francesinha, filled with steak, ham, sausage, melted cheese and tomato sauce, which is said to be enough to quash your hunger for a whole day. That’s economy of food, right there.
Venice is a surprising addition to this list. Italy’s beautiful floating city is well-known for breaking the bank.
But with the good reputation of billeting sites such as AirBnB, such astronomical prices are no more.
On a personal note, I wouldn’t recommend going in summer. The canals do actually function as the city’s sewage works and when the temperature rises things get a little pungent.
Just beyond Budapest, Hungary’s second-largest city, Debrechen has been hiding in plain site from tourists. The flourishing city is thriving with contemporary culture, particularly in the summer festival season.
But this is what marks it as a great holiday destination:
What really sets Debrecen apart is its location on the edge of Hungary’s puszta (eastern plains). The haunt of Hungarian cowboys and home to Hortobágy National Park, the region still dominates romantic visions of traditional Hungary.
When you think of Belize, Central America, your mind may conjour images of luxury private villas, lobster for lunch and champagne on tap. You’d be right, but there’s a lot more to this small Caribbean coastal country.
Belize’s proximity to Mexico has ensured a lively and exceptionally good-value street-food scene, making budget meals effortless, meaning you can spend your hard-earned cash on trekking through Mayan villages, snorkelling and soaking up sun on sandy beaches.
Lonely Planet dubs Morocco absolutely unmissable, saying:
Stable, accessible and kaleidoscopic Morocco offers a low-cost, intense hit of the exotic. There simply isn’t anywhere this close to (and easy to visit from) Western Europe that remains so thrillingly at odds with that continent.
The fragrant, exotic Raids offer shade and tranquillity away from the bustling markets and souks.
Russia has been making headlines recently for political upheaval and the supposedly impending world war, but now is actually a great time to explore the country – which otherwise would stay a bit of a mystery to a lot of us.
If the city’s not for you, forget the neo-classic architecture and sprawling squares of Moscow and St. Petersburg and head out into the wilderness on the Trans Siberian Railway.
I guarantee, political unrest will be the last thing on your mind when you’re faced with majestic mountains and snow-peaked ranges.
You’d think there isn’t a destination along the Great Ocean Road that hasn’t been touched by gap years students, shooting prices sky-high.
You’d be sort of wrong. The Bellarine Peninsula – literally, the poor man’s Mornington Peninsula – is just that. Lonely Planet recommends you spend a few nights there to take a break from Melbourne’s fast-paced zeitgeist.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the mid-west offers a year-round lakeside autumnal idyll, boasting over 300 waterfalls, relaxing hikes and friendly, picturesque towns.
This really is the place to get away from it all head to Mackinac Island, which is so quaint, it doesn’t even allow cars.
Happy travels, folks!