6 of the most affordable places to go in 2019

Everyone likes to see their hard-earned cash going as far as possible, and by savvily choosing a holiday destination based on its affordability, you're giving yourself a great head start when it comes to finding that budget-friendly break.

The most affordable places to go in 2019 © Experience Kissimmee - Flickr Creative Commons
The most affordable places to go in 2019 © Experience Kissimmee - Flickr Creative Commons

To help you in this cost-conscious quest, the Post Office Travel Money has once more released its annual Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer report, revealing good news about some of our favourite places to go on holiday.

  1. Cancun, Mexico
  2. Orlando, Florida, USA
  3. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
  4. Marmaris, Turkey
  5. Cape Town, South Africa
  6. Tokyo, Japan

In a nutshell...

The report shows that, for the second year in a row, holidaymakers are likely to fork out less money on daily essentials in popular beach and city destinations.

By comparing the average cost of eight everyday items, such as alcoholic drinks and suncream, across 42 destinations, the report found that 19 places were cheaper than in previous years.

Here, we look at six of the most affordable places to go from this year's report, comparing the price of a beer in each (a good, solid indicator, we feel!) and sharing the most important aspect of when to go for the very best weather.

1. Cancun, Mexico

  • Best time to go: March
  • Flight time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT -5

The platinum beaches and warm, clear waters of Cancun's Caribbean coast have long drawn sun-seeking holidaymakers, and its popularity has ensured variety in terms of flight and holiday deals to the Yucatan over the years.

Cancun sits comfortably at the top of the Americas and Caribbean category of this report. Interestingly, it isn't the cheapest place to buy your beer with fourth-place Tobago owning that at £1.63. The average in Cancun (£2.23) however, is preferable when compared with the hefty £5.23 in its Caribbean cohort of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The azure waters surrounding Cancun, Mexico © Arthur - Fotolia.com
The azure waters surrounding Cancun, Mexico © Arthur - Fotolia.com

If the price of a beer doesn't tempt you to Mexico's leading beach resort, then perhaps the unrivalled facilities and wonderful weather will.

Do as much or as little as you like, from snorkelling and diving to inspecting Mayan ruins at the likes of Tulum. Then there are the eco-parks of Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Xplor, which guarantee to keep adventurous minds and bodies busy.

Weather in Cancun

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

2. Orlando, USA

  • Best time to go: March & April
  • Flight time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT -5

Owing to its position in the upper echelons of theme-park society, Orlando is rarely considered a cheap place to holiday. However, if you watch how and where you spend your money, this report proves it can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

Sticking with our beer comparison, like Cancun, it's not the cheapest place to buy your booze: a bottle of hoppy goodness will set you back £4.00 in Orlando - close to the £4.02 mark in Vancouver, Canada, and £4.62 in Santiago, Chile.

Saving for a trip to Orlando? Book your park tickets in advance with the likes of FloridaTix to cut the cost of entry and scoop any benefits such as queue-jump and meal deals.

Without a doubt, the way to make a holiday to Orlando financially viable is to look beyond expensive resorts and theme parks for meals and drinks. That's not to say you can't still experience big hitters such as Universal Studios and Walt Disney World; it's just a question of doing your research and perhaps self-catering where possible.

Weather in Orlando

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall

3. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

  • Best time to go: July
  • Flight time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: UK time +2

The aptly-named retreat of Sunny Beach in eastern Bulgaria takes the lead again as the most affordable place to emerge from the report - not just in Europe but worldwide.

This sliver of golden sand along the western shore of the Black Sea has long attracted domestic tourists and those from neighbouring nations. In recent years, however, its affordability has turned the heads of UK holidaymakers, which is perhaps why its place in the report is less surprising than others.

The beautiful shores of Blue Flag-winning Sunny Beach, Bulgaria © Happyna - Wikimedia Commons
The beautiful shores of Blue Flag-winning Sunny Beach, Bulgaria © Happyna - Wikimedia Commons

You can expect all the usual beach resort facilities, from water sports and serviced beaches to an ample selection of accommodation. The weather is particularly good in summer with hot, sunny days, and all-round wallet-friendly goods - with beer averaging out at £0.59, it's easy to see why it's such a crowd pleaser.

Weather in Sunny Beach

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

4. Marmaris, Turkey

The resorts dotted along Turkey's famed Mediterranean coast have been at the mercy of political instability in recent years. But it's time to put Turkey back on the map - and not just because it's an incredibly affordable place to go!

The report, which places historic Marmaris second in its Europe category, indicates that, yet again, the price of a beer is not always the marker of an affordable destination: sitting at £2.41, it's certainly not the cheapest for a bottle of beer in the group.

However the collective basket total for all goods surveyed makes for pleasing reading, totalling £45.23 compared with £96.06 for equivalent items in holiday-hotspot Corfu, Greece.

Add to this the many attractions (think national parks, beautiful beaches, water parks and ancient sites), range of holiday deals and offers to the region, and its stand out weather that lasts longer than almost anywhere else within such easy reach of the UK, and you quickly see why Marmaris has all the ingredients for a great value holiday this summer.

Weather in Marmaris

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

5. Cape Town, South Africa

The seaside city of Cape Town in South Africa fared especially well in the report, coming top of 15 places surveyed across Africa, Asia and Oceania.

This put it ahead of continental companion Mombasa, Kenya, which came fourth, and miles ahead of pricey Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, which came in at thirteenth and fourteenth respectively - a beer setting you back around £9.00 on average in Dubai versus £1.43 in Cape Town.

Dining al fresco in Franschhoek, Cape Town, South Africa - photo courtesy of South African Tourism
Dining al fresco in Franschhoek, Cape Town, South Africa - photo courtesy of South African Tourism

Cape Town charms all who visit with its eclectic city break offering. You can see historic sights such as Robben Island, sample everything from fine to hipster dining and scale Table Mountain in the morning.

All before you head off to explore the rugged coastline and national parks, count the penguins at Boulders Beach, and sip fine wine in nearby vineyards - there's truly a little bit of everything for everyone.

Weather in Cape Town

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

6. Tokyo, Japan

  • Best time to go: May
  • Flight time: 11 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT +9

Possibly one of the more surprising entries is Tokyo, which is not a place often considered to be especially budget-friendly.

In fact, this colourful capital appears more affordable than the likes of Hoi An in Vietnam, where beer, wine and suncream are all more than double the price of the average found in Tokyo.

It also pips the likes of Bali, Indonesia, and Phuket, Thailand to the post - two beachy places often revered for their affordability. While you can buy a beer in Bali for £1.91 and Phuket for £1.94, in Tokyo this average drops to £0.76 - *packs bags immediately*.

Going to the Rugby World Cup in 2019? Don't miss our dedicated climate and travel guide to the Japan Rugby World Cup.

As for visiting Tokyo, there's a cohesive mingling of tradition and modernity that just seems to work: the city's temples, shrines, museums and galleries offer oodles of culture, while the neon lights, high-fashion shops, skyscrapers and Instagram-worthy cafés dole out cosmopolitan vibes like no other.

Weather in Tokyo

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

Top 6 in the Americas & Caribbean

  1. Mexico - Cancun: £74.00
  2. USA - Orlando: £75.49
  3. St Lucia - Rodney Bay: £80.09
  4. Tobago: £103.81
  5. Canada - Vancouver: £104.41
  6. USA - New York: £106.79

Top 6 in Europe

  1. Bulgaria - Sunny Beach: £36.03
  2. Turkey - Marmaris: £45.23
  3. Portugal - Algarve: £50.11
  4. Spain - Costa del Sol: £54.12
  5. Czech Republic - Prague: £56.88
  6. Cyprus - Paphos: £65.17

Top 6 in Africa, Asia & Oceania

  1. South Africa - Cape Town: £50.23
  2. Japan - Tokyo: £55.55
  3. Kenya - Mombasa: £55.87
  4. Indonesia - Bali: £69.49
  5. Vietnam - Hoi An: £69.52
  6. Thailand - Phuket: £82.53

The above listings are taken from the Post Office Travel Money's 2019 Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer report, which was published in March 2019.

Ready to put these findings to the test? Browse the very latest deals on holidays, flights, accommodation, car hire and more with leading travel providers to getaway for less in 2019.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton
Posted on Monday 11th March 2019 in: Beach Family Money saving tips Summer Winter sun

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