We’re here to help guide you towards some of the best value travel destinations out there for 2013. There’s no excuse for skipping valuable holiday time!
Dominican Republic, Caribbean
There’s something quite magical about a Caribbean holiday that just screams luxury. Forget the hefty price tag though with the Dominican Republic which actually has very reasonable prices indeed! Temperatures never dip below 25C degrees, the beaches are vast and the history is intriguing. Keen golfers can get a round in at one of the 20 golf courses in the Dominican Republic. The capital city of Santo Domingo is bursting with ancient Spanish architecture and culture from the Spanish rule in the 16th century. Visit the decorative Alcazar de Colon Palace which was built in 1510 by Christopher Columbus. Catch the Puerto Plata Cultural Festival which is a lively colourful affair each June. The locals love to party.
Budget Tip – Opting for an all-inclusive break to Dominican Republic is excellent value and ensures that all your food and drink is already paid for.
Canary Islands, Spain
Year round sun? Tick! Plenty of action and adventure to be had? Tick! The ‘big 3’ Canary islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are a firm favourite on the holiday circuit and for good reason! They offer fantastic choice and value all year round whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family or even on a solo jaunt.
Lanzarote is an island of contrasts with powder white beaches on the coast and stark lunar-like landscapes on the interior. Visit the volcanic Timanfaya Park, admire the multitude of Cesar Manrique monuments and catch some surf in the north of the island.
Calling all party animals! Tenerife is perfect for that budget girls or guys holiday away. The hotels are plentiful and cheap; after all tourism started here decades ago so they’ve had plenty of opportunity to get it right! Enjoy the miles of walking trails, cultural treasures and watersports by day and enjoy the lively nightclubs and bars of Playa de las Americas and los Cristianos by night.
Gran Canaria is often dubbed ‘a miniature continent’ and you’ll be surprised by how much there is to do and what great value it is too! There are 500 beaches and a vast cycling network to explore by day and by night, the main resort areas of Puerto Rico and Playa del Ingles offer plenty of restaurants and bars.
Budget Tip – Avoid the peak school holiday dates when prices increase sharply.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Get in quick that’s all I can say! With the 2016 Olympic Games looming and the FIFA 2014 Football World Cup just around the corner this could be your last chance for a few years! Now is the perfect time to visit as you can watch the rebirth of this great city as it gears up to host the 2 biggest sporting events on earth. Plus accommodations prices are at their best now, Visitors are greeted with a host of famous names and sights such as Copacabana beach and Ipanema Beach where the beautiful locals hang out all day, and most of the night too. Then of course there’s the must-see landmarks of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Christ The Redeemer Statue, Corcovado Mountain and of course the ultimate party; Rio Carnival.
Budget Tip – The beaches and green spaces such as the Floresta de Tijuca, Parque de Flamengo and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas all offer a free day out.
Visitor numbers to Nepal actually fell for the first time last year so now is a good time to take advantage of the preferential accommodation and tour rates on offer. And 2013 is a particularly special year to visit too as 29th May marks the 60th anniversary of the very first Everest ascent. You too can tread the steps of legendary explorers Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary and tackle Everest. Hire a local expert guide to take you to the ‘top of the world’ (or as close as you can get anyway!)
Budget Tip – Hire climbing and walking gear cheaper locally and avoid hefty aircraft baggage costs.
Nestled at the foot of the Atlas Mountains on the Atlantic coast, the city of Agadir has much to offer travellers. There’s plenty of watersports on offer, interesting history and an array of trekking opportunities, not least up the mighty Atlas range. Browse the art gallery at Musee Municipal de Agadir, wander the former medieval fishing village and spend some time in the cooling shade of the Massa Nature Reserve. Agadir has quite a grown-up European feel to it; the Islamic customs have largely contained the party animals to Marrakesh and Rabat. This makes Agadir a laidback paradise and appeals to families and couples looking for a great value getaway.
Budget Tip – Enjoy local cuisine at the traditional eateries which costs less than western fare.
Thanks to Schiphol Airport, accessing the Netherlands is incredibly easy and cost effective. A European airport superhub, Amsterdam is bursting to share its culture this year, and boy does it have a lot going on! The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and has a packed programme of events. The famous Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh celebrates his 160th birthday this year and the city’s museums and art galleries will be showcasing his most works including Sunflowers, The Starry Night and Café terrace at Night. Oh and the Artis Zoo’s celebrates its 175th anniversary and the UNESCO recognised Canal Ring turns 400 too this year. Phew! Expect plenty of exhibits, festivals and events.
Budget Tip – Take a train from Schiphol into the center of Amsterdam which is cheaper than taxis and faster than buses and get into the local spirit by hiring a cycle for the duration of your stay.