On A Budget: The Cheapest Countries To Travel To From South Africa

4.32min read

Published 4 January 2022


Cheapest Countries to Travel to From South Africa

You’ve been couped indoors waiting to dust off your passport and start travelling again. But where to? What are the cheapest countries to travel to from South Africa and what do they offer? We’ve gone in search of the most affordable holiday destinations where you will be able to give your wallet a break, the next time you pack your bags. 

Overall Cheapest Countries to Visit

What is the cheapest country to visit from South Africa?

1. Thailand

Of all the most cost-effective holiday destinations, Thailand remains top. Here, visitors are spoilt for choice, at absurdly low prices which suits the South African pocket perfectly. This fascinating destination boasts a rich variety of experiences; sunny beach days, island hopping, lots of cultures, water sports like; diving, fabulous food, wellness retreats and even golfing.


Temples over a murky pond with water lilies and blue skies


2. Zanzibar

Be swept away on a tide of tranquillity in the blissful tropical paradise of Zanzibar. Lounge on pristine beaches, watch as white-sailed dhow boats make their lazy way across calm Indian Ocean waters. Food lovers can savour the many aromatic spices and cuisines that the island is famous for around the world. Make your way to the charming whitewashed houses, quaint shops, buzzing bazaars, ancient mosques and busy squares of the capital's old quarter in Stone Town. This historic World Heritage Site enchants visitors with memorable sights, sounds, fragrances and experiences in one place. Zanzibar is the quintessential holiday spot that is nearby and one of the most incredibly cheap countries to visit  for 7 nights with transport, accommodation as well as breakfast and dinner daily. Pack your wallet away, Zanzibar has you covered in all aspects of your dream holiday. 


Clear blue water on a white sand beach with a large over water villa


3. Bali

It is an easy decision to make the island paradise of Bali your next holiday destination with its cerulean waters, tempting beaches, lush landscapes and sacred temples. It’s no surprise that Bali is also known as the “Island of the Gods”. Bali’s temples and palaces have long been on South Africa travellers to-do lists due to their value for money. Whether you are looking for a party or simply a spot to relax, Bali has something for everyone.


Large body of water with a boat, mountain, building and greenery

Please note that at the time of publishing this blog, Bali is not yet open to South African Travellers

4. Turkey

For South Africans, Turkey is one of the most affordable countries to visit from South Africa that packs a punch when it comes to someplace unusual. This rand-friendly holiday destination has a lot to offer. Want to visit two continents in one holiday? Well, Istanbul sits on both! It’s rich with culture, is a culinary delight and is full of exciting day and nightlife activities. With the efficient transport system that can take you wherever you want, Istanbul is a wonderful feast for the senses. 


Birds eye view of Turkey with infrastructure separated by a blue body of water and a bridge

Most Affordable Holidays for South African Tourists

What are the most affordable holiday destinations for South African tourists?

When it comes to affordable countries to visit from South Africa it’s also good to look at the prices of expenses like; drinks, meals and excursions when you are visiting. Thailand is a great option in this sense as eating out and experiencing the tourist sites is relatively inexpensive. You can easily have a seafood dinner for two for under R300.00 and eating freshly prepared fruit and other street food is extremely cheap!

What is the cheapest country in Europe to visit?

If you think Europe is way too expensive, think again. Although our rand may be weak and yes, we cannot compare it to the Euro, BUT there are still some European destinations that won’t break the bank.

If you want to visit Europe on a budget, then nothing beats Portugal!


It is one of Western Europe’s most affordable countries and though it seems super exotic and Mediterranean, it’s not as expensive as Italy and Spain. Lisbon and Porto both offer a great city break, but Porto is comparatively a bit cheaper than Lisbon, in terms of both accommodation and food. Porto is similar to Cape Town with vineyards aplenty and a bustling local food scene and coffee obsession.

It’s hard to believe that you could be spending a week overlooking a river, sipping port and other wines and sampling local cheeses while watching life go by. Make sure you try the local pastries (especially pasteis de nata) and freshly squeezed orange juice, which is available at every corner. There are often relatively cheap flight deals available to Portugal and the big bonus is that the flight isn’t really all that long, and an even bigger bonus is there’s no appreciable time zone jump so jet lag doesn’t come into play at all.  


How do you describe India in simple terms?  Well, it’s impossible!  When you step off the plane your senses are almost immediate assaulted - in the best way possible!  There’s something intoxicating about the energy of the country; from the craziness of trying to cross roads between swerving buses, motorbikes and taxis to the sounds of street sellers shouting out their wares, the smells of curries and chapatis (a.k.a rotis or flat bread) wafting through the air and the ever-present children running rampant through the busy streets.  India is a different kind of magical.   It is simultaneously glitzy and gritty, down to earth yet completely over the top but most of all, it’s a destination for the dedicated traveller rather than as a tourist.

Of course tourist areas like Goa are typically more expensive than somewhere like Mumbai or Delhi, but India is on the whole a fairly affordable destination.

Another great option is Croatia for a beautiful and budget friendly Europe escape. Croatia is one of the most exciting travel destinations out there and offers some reasonable holiday packages from South Africa. The dramatic Dalmatian Coast promises supreme beach holidays, while Croatia’s delightful cities like Split and Dubrovnik will please culture and history buffs. With some 1,000 outlying islands in the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a popular yacht destination.

Why not visit Hungary? The life here is laidback and enviable, with superb food, excellent museums, and a vibrant atmosphere. Hungary is also renowned for its picture-perfect scenery, with undulating hills, lakes, farmlands and vineyards. It boasts plenty of history, too, making it a stunning place to explore.  


What is the most affordable place to visit nearby?

If you wish to stay a little closer to home, Namibia is a destination that offers something for everyone that can easily be enjoyed on a budget. The Namib desert creates an opportunity for desert adventure activities like 4×4 or quad bike tours, sandboarding as well as fishing, boating and coastal tours. In recent years South Africans are sharing the excitement about travelling to the neighbouring country and Namibia has seen an uptake in visitors from SA partly because of the proximity and similar exchange rate. 

No matter if you want to travel near or far we have some of the best budget holiday destinations right here for you to choose from.

Hand-Picked Budget Holidays

With the economy being what it is at the moment, we are all trying to get away to good cheap vacation spots. Read below to see what we have on our radars for 2022.

For a cheap and cheerful beach holiday that’s easy on the pocket, why not opt for a self-catering beach break with family or friends? Self-catering has grown extremely popular with the South African market in Mauritius due to the ease of accessibility, perfect weather conditions and a wide variety of accommodations available. Nothing could be better than getting some freshly caught seafood, cooking up a feast and tucking in as the sun dips behind the waves.

Cruising has a lot to offer the budget traveller and for good reason. You will have all your accommodation, meals and excursions seen to without having to worry about a thing! Take the Coast to Coast cruise as an example, here you get 4 nights’ accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard, gratuities and port charges &  taxes all in one glorious holiday package. That’s less than R1200.00 a day for ALL meals and accommodation! 

For a holiday for the more adventurous traveller, touring offers unmatched value. Imagine exploring fascinating India or magnificent Morocco for 7 nights. Touring really is a great rand friendly option if you wish to see a lot in a short time frame. With exciting itineraries on offer your tour will include; transport, accommodation, selected meals and a wide variety of sightseeing. Touring remains a great way to experience a destination without any hidden costs.  

Where Will You Go?

No matter where you choose to visit, there are many ways to tighten your belt without having to skimp on your holiday enjoyment. Whether it’s a self-catering holiday at the beach or a bus trip to an exotic destination, there is something for everyone with our rand friendly holiday deals.

Take a look at our recommendations below for even more ways to save on your next trip [Five ways to travel “on the cheap”

If you are ready to pack your bags, dust off your passport and experience our experience, get speaking to one of our Travel Experts and see how you can book your affordable vacation TODAY!

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