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Man, Sri Lanka, Tangalle

Top 5 bargain alternatives to your favourite destinations

Worried about prices going up? Find out what under-the-radar places you should visit to save £100s

Published by
Raph Giacardi·01/03/2023

Inflation isn’t exactly new. We’ve been hearing about it for a while now. But if you’re as obsessed with travelling as we are, the findings of the recent survey by Which? on the cost of holidays would have made for a depressing read:

  • Summer package holiday prices up 19% in one year

  • Prices to some destinations, including Greece, up by as much as 30%

  • Airfares and hotel rates also on the up

Saying this, as travel nerds who spend their time looking for deals, we think there’s great value out there and ways to holiday without breaking the bank. All you have to do is look beyond the obvious to find maximum bang for your buck.

When prices go up in established tourist hotspots, we often see lesser-known, cheaper destinations emerge. Why do you think places like Croatia and Montenegro became hot after the 2008 financial crisis?

To save you from having to look for the next holiday hotspots, we’ve reviewed some of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations and picked our top alternatives to save you money.

Best for: Year-round sunshine

If you like the Canaries, give Cape Verde a go.

Why? Like the Canaries, Cape Verde is a small Atlantic archipelago off the coast of Africa. Its weather is similar to that of the Spanish winter-sun favourite, including year-round sunshine and daytime temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s.

How much you can save: We found a 5-star holiday including flights, checked luggage, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation, from £685 per person for travel in May. An equivalent holiday to the Canaries would set you back at least £890 per person (33% more)

Check out our favourite Cape Verde deal.

Best for: Short-haul fly-and-flop

If you like the Greek islands, give Tunisia a go.

Why? Tunisia has always been a popular holiday destination for our French neighbours – but it never made it into the mainstream here. Its Southern Mediterranean weather makes it an ideal beach holiday destination from March–November – and prices can be insanely cheap. Plus, flight times from the UK are about an hour shorter than most Greek islands.

How much you can save: All-inclusive packages at decently reviewed hotels start as low as £280 per person. Similar packages to the Greek islands can cost anywhere from 36-129% more.

Check out our favourite Tunisia deal.

Best for: Long-haul beach escape

If you like the Caribbean, give Senegal a go.

Why? The West African country is starting to make a name for itself as a winter-sun destination. But that’s not painting the full picture – Senegal is great pretty much year-round. Yes, you should be aware of the rainy season (May-October), but most of the rainfalls are in August and September.

How much you can save: You can find all-inclusive holidays at 4-star resorts start from less than £900 per person, including flights, checked luggage, transfers, accommodation, and meals, snacks and drinks. Look to the Caribbean and you could be paying up to £1000 more per person for a similar holiday.

Check out our favourite Senegal deal.

Best for: No-thrills bargain break

If you like the Costa del Sol, give Sunny Beach in Bulgaria a go.

Why? Loud, bold, with a long beachside promenade and plenty of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops… no, this is not Benidorm, but Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. If you’re after wild beauty, this is not the place for you, but if you want a fun holiday at a bargain price, join the queue.

How much you can save: We’ve found a 5-star half-board holiday at a highly rated hotel from about £380 per person. Holidays of a similar standard on the Costa del Sol can cost around £600 per person.

Check out our favourite Sunny Beach deal.

Best for: Beach paradise

If you like Maldives, give Sri Lanka a go.

Why? It’s not been a great few years for Sri Lanka – but the country’s economy is in dire need of tourism money and the collapse of its currency makes the Indian-Ocean nation great value for visitors. And its beautiful palm-fringed white-sand beaches and turquoise waters make it an attractive alternative to the Maldives or the Seychelles.

How much you can save: A 2-week 4-star holiday to Sri Lanka starts at around £1150 per person – you could be paying twice as much for a holiday to the Maldives or the Seychelles. Plus, as already mentioned, the weak local currency means your pound will stretch further once there.

Check out our favourite Sri Lanka deal.

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