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Top destinations on a budget

Fiona James
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Phuket in Thailand. Image: Georgia Muir
Thailand is inexpensive and has plenty to offer. Depending on the season, you could score a stay right near the beach for about the same cost as an average main meal in New Zealand.
Fiona James

Maybe you signed up for an achingly long university course. Perhaps you're starting to regret that you ever got a mortgage. Or maybe the kids' schooling has ignited a small fire in your wallet. If you're starting to think the word "holiday" exists only in mythology books, this one's for you.

There are some brilliant deals around right now. Some destinations are so cheap that the old plastic piggy bank you've been keeping since you were five will probably get you half way there. Change adds up, you know.

Bali bargains
You can live like royalty in Bali for next to nothing — and don't think you'll have to scrimp on the extras. Want a massage? Only $10 or $15 should buy you a good hour. Perhaps you feel like splashing out one night? Even top-class restaurants like La Lucciola and Sarong in Seminyak don't cost as much as their equivalents back home. For those going budget all the way, a few dollars should get you a decent feed in many places.

Feasible Fiji
Why not pitch a tent in paradise? There are several great camping spots in Fiji that are literally cheaper than chips. Who needs a hotel when you can have your very own strip of sand under the stars? Try Yau Kolo Campground and Beergarden on the island of Vanua Levu. Touting itself as a "paradise for pennies", you really can't go wrong. With warm weather all year round, Fiji is a beautiful destination no matter when you want to travel. Just be sure to choose designated camp areas so you don't upset the locals.

Low-cost long-haul
If you want to go further afield, Aerolineas Argentinas often has cheap deals to Buenos Aires. Rather than booking a hotel, have you thought about vacation rentals? You can rent out a whole apartment or just a room. It's often cheaper than a hotel and you'll save on eating costs if you cook your own food. Check out Airbnb — an online marketplace for rentals.

Cut-price campers
Ever planned out what you thought would be the trip of a lifetime only to find you completely missed the mark? You can avoid this with a campervan holiday, giving you all the freedom and flexibility in the world. In New Zealand, you can hire a campervan complete with toilet and shower for as little as $34 a day.

There's no better way to enjoy the natural splendour of this country than in your own portable home away from home. Other people travel across the world for this — but all you need is a driver's licence and a sense of adventure. To get started, head to Campervan Hire New Zealand.

Priceless Phuket
Thailand is inexpensive and has plenty to offer. Depending on the season, you could score a stay right near the beach for about the same cost as an average main meal in New Zealand. Try Phuket's Malai house. In Thailand, the locals are used to negotiation — so if you like to do a bit of haggling you'll do very well.

Where are you favourite budget destinations? Have your say below.


User comments
Good Day, I would loke to know how much it would cost a family of 5 to stay at a fair priced hotel or holiday place in Bali or Thailand ? say december time for 5-7 days ? Warm regards Linda

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