The Top 9 “Best” Travel Destinations For 2017

With more cheap flights now available than ever before, you can jet off somewhere exotic and still manage to stick to a small budget. Whether you want a long-haul summer holiday or a short Easter break, here are ten destinations where you’ll get the most bang you get for your travel buck.
1. Vietnam
Now a well-established stop on the Southeast Asia trail, it’s still possible to find beds for £3.50 a night in the country’s largest city, bustling Ho Chi Minh. Try the friendly Long Hostel, off tourist centre Pham Ngu Lao Street, and you can get your own room with breakfast for a fiver! With hearty bowls of delicious phở – chicken or beef noodle soup – for 60p and a pint of local beer costing no more than 30p, experience some of Vietnam’s rich culture and history for pennies.
What’s the best place to visit in Vietnam?
Hoi An, an old UNESCO World Heritage port on the river, set with beautiful Chinese merchant’s houses. See the hop-on, hop-off tourist buses to get there from Hanoi or HCMC. Check out our guide for more amazing places to visit in Vietnam.
What’s the best beach?
Mui Ne, three and a half hours by train from Ho Chi Minh.
Top things to do in Vietnam?
Take a motorbike ride. Hire an official ‘Easy Rider’ driver to experience Vietnam’s central highlands, or if you’re super-confident, rent your own wheels from $10 per day (less if you rent for longer) and take a section of the old Viet Cong supply route, the Ho Chi Minh highway, that runs between HCMC and Hanoi.
Hoi An, boats on the river, Vietnam
2. Bali, Indonesia
With the British pound growing stronger against the Indonesian rupiah, Bali is a great value long-haul option. It’s just one of Indonesia’s stunning islands, packed with glittering temples, walkable volcanoes and a surfer’s paradise around the sugary coastline. You’ll also find private accommodation from £5 a night, as well as affordable ‘genuine fake’ designer goods for the tightest traveller’s budget in the local markets.
What’s the best place to visit in Bali?
Cultural centre Ubud, for art on every street corner, and the best place to see traditional Balinese dancing (shows most evenings at Ubud Palace, 7.30pm).
What’s the best beach?
Uluwatu beach, for sand, surf and a stunning temple perched right on the cliffs.
Top things to do in Bali?
Surf. If you’re a newbie, try Kuta for cheap board rentals, lessons and a backpacker’s party heaven. Go further south on the Bukit peninsula to find quieter spots for improvers, like Balangan.
Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, island, Indonesia
3. Bulgaria
With cheap flights from the UK to Bulgaria’s Black Sea, this popular holiday destination offers plenty of bargains. Sunny Beach pretty much does what it says on the label, a seaside resort made for relaxing and working on your tan without spending more than £20 a day. And yes, the drink is budget-priced, too – less than £1 for local draught beer.
What’s the best place to visit in Bulgaria?
Sofia, for its eclectic collection of churches and national symbol, Aleksander Nevski Cathedral.
What’s the best beach?
Cacao Beach, in the Sunny Beach Resort, famous for its lively summer DJ sets.
Top things to do in Bulgaria?
Ski. Yep along with hitting the beach, you can ski in the summer here (well, spring). Bulgaria is great budget ski destination, and its mountain resort, Bansko, operates a generous ski season lasting from December until mid-May.
Sandy beach in Bulgaria
4. Hungary
Budapest sits in all its Gothic and Neo-Classical glory on the Danube river, rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With its medieval castles, leafy parks and warm, peppery goulash, it’s easy to love. The fact that you can easily get by on £25 a day is another reason to spend some time in Hungary’s capital.
What’s the best place to visit in Hungary?
Exhausted Budapest? Take a cruise up the Danube to see the magnificent Catholic basilica at Esztergom (5 hours, Mahart boat departs at 9am from Budapest).
What’s the best beach?
What Hungary lacks in coast, it makes up for with Lake Balaton, a beautiful inland resort with 197 kilometres of freshwater shores and pine forested landscape.
Top things to do in Hungary?
Try the natural hot springs. Don’t miss the turn-of-the-century Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Pest (the area on the east bank of the river, opposite Buda Castle) for the grandest bath you’re likely to have. Find more bathing recommendations here, with our guide to the top thermal baths in Budapest.
Panorama of Budapest, Hungary, with the chain bridge and the Parliament
5. Goa, India
Popular with many backpackers and travellers on a budget, it’s possible to explore this colourful country and live like a Raj. Get to Goa and hunt for bargains in the flea markets, swim with turtles and try your hand at kitesurfing. You can do all this for about £4 a day, including food and a sunset cocktail on one of the many beautiful beaches this region has to offer. Stay at Evershine Guesthouse for cheap private rooms and a 10 minute drive to Anjuna Beach.
What’s the best place to visit in Goa?
Panaji, for browsing the bookshops and spotting lingering Portuguese influences in the Old Latin Quarter.
What’s the best beach?
Mandrem Beach, for doing absolutely nothing in the sunshine.
Top things to do in Goa?
Meditate. Popular as a yoga retreat destination, Goa is the place to go if you need a timeout, a detox, or just a couple of weeks practising your ‘downward dog’ to the sound of the waves.
6. Turkey
Fancy a slice of the Mediterranean but want to save a few pennies at the same time? Why not try southwest Turkey? With a Riviera to rival France, the Pamphylia region is home to reasonably priced rooms (share a motel or guesthouse double for £15), traditional döner kebabs and plenty of Roman and Greek ruins to explore for free.
What’s the best place to visit in Turkey?
Antalya, the capital of the Turkish Riviera and a good place to find a chicken döner for around £1.
What’s the best beach?
The east beach at Side (pronounced see-day), 30 minutes along the coast road from Antalya, for quiet contemplation next to an ancient archaeological site.
Top things to do in Turkey?
Explore the history. Straddling Asia and Europe, Turkey’s culture is a fascinating one. Don’t miss a trip to Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque (domestic flights from Antalya take just over one hour) while you’re here.
7. Cambodia
The cost of living in Cambodia is low, but it’s also home to one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat. You can rent a bicycle for as little as $2 a day and cycle out to this staggering temple complex for the 4am sunrise (and a cheap pancake breakfast). A stay in Siem Reap, the nearest city to Angkor, is a steal, with dorm beds going for $5 (£3) a night! Take a closer look at Southeast Asia’s trendiest destination, with these seven incredible sights in Cambodia.
What’s the best place to visit in Cambodia?
Siem Reap, a city of two sides – the brash but fun Pub Street for all your nights out, and the relaxed area south of the river (for actually getting some sleep).
What’s the best beach?
Otres Beach on Cambodia’s southern coast is a lovely, unspoiled contrast to tacky Sihanoukville, 5 kilometres away.
Top things to do in Cambodia?
Try the food. From deep-fried tarantulas to the more appealing coconut curry, amok, Cambodia’s food will surprise and delight – and it won’t break your budget, either.
Angkor Wat, temple, Cambodia
8. Latvia
Looking for a city break with a budget twist? Riga, Latvia, is fast becoming a popular weekend getaway thanks to an Old Town just as lovely as Prague, with pastel-coloured buildings straight out of an Eastern European fairytale. Pick up a bargain in Riga Central Market or splurge on a husky dog sledding adventure. It’s easy to spend less than £50 for the entire trip, excluding flights, in Latvia’s capital city. Read our recommendations for the best bars, pubs and clubs in Riga.
What’s the best place to visit in Latvia?
Sigulda, for the landscape of Switzerland at much less expense, and the medieval turrets of Turaida castle, less than an hour northwest of Riga.
What’s the best beach?
Majori, in resort town Jurmala, for clean, bucket-and-spade sands and Livu Aquapark.
Top things to do in Riga?
Go out on the town. Riga’s nightlife is thriving, whether you want beer and folk music or modern day clubbing on a budget.
9. Honduras
The cost of a flight to Central America’s second biggest country may set you back a fair bit, but once you land in Honduras the cost of luxury is much cheaper than in neighbouring Costa Rica. With new resorts springing up, many parts of Honduras retain a rural charm, which means it’s still relatively cheap. Get in now for low-cost diving trips, bargain cocktails and lots of palm tree-lined beaches to laze on at no cost at all.
What’s the best place to visit in Honduras?
Tegucigalpa city, capital of urban cool, set amidst a rolling green valley.
What’s the best beach?
West Bay Beach, on the island of Roatan, dazzles with surf as clear as glass and plenty of snorkelling sites.
Top things to do in Honduras?
Go underwater. Scuba dive here and may find yourself swimming with whale sharks and octopi – you can get a budget bungalow and diving trips organised onsite at Las Rocas Resort And Dive Center at West Bay.

By Catherine McGloin