The Best Value Destinations of 2016

If you're not flush with cash this year, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't visit your dream destination. 

Sure, some places, like the UK or Europe, will most likely remain on the luxe end of the scale. 

However, there are ways to ensure you're getting more more bang for your buck - and they don't involve staying in dorms and eating two-minute noodles! 

Tara Sena-Becker from STA Australia offers some insider tips for getting the most out of places you have always wanted to see.

If you're planning your trip in advance, she suggests keeping an eye out for great deals, as many hot spots have offers up for grabs throughout the year.

She also suggests hitting destinations that are rich in culture and experiences, but are able to be explored within a budget.  

Here are some destinations that can offer a lot of value for your money in 2016: 

1. England

The UK isn't typically considered a budget destination. However, if you keep an eye on deals, many core Australian airlines offer flights to London, Tara advises. "You can save hundreds if you buy your ticket at the right time," Tara suggests. However, in 2016, you may want to consider visiting the cities outside London for some great experiences at a great price. For example, take in a football match in Manchester, or get to know The Beatles in Liverpool. STA offers a great Beatles tour for just $29. 

2. Bali

There are plenty of reasons why Bali is one of Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destinations, but high on the list is the fact that the ‘Island of the Gods’ represents great value. The local food is delicious, dining out is inexpensive, the scenery is idyllic and it’s easy to live like royalty without forking out thousands, which means that our love for Bali is likely to continue unabated for some time to come.

3. Cuba

Cuba is only set to become more and more populated with tourists, and prices are already on the rise. Most embargoes have been lifted and with three major USA carriers expected to offer direct services from Australia to Havana, Cuba is going to become a ‘hot’ destination for Aussies very soon. An insider’s tip: “Stay ahead of the tourists and experience this spectacular and passionate country now before it becomes too touristy and expensive. The island practically buzzes with energy and you should do likewise – get moving!”

4. Japan

It seems Australians can’t get enough of this land where modern meets tradition. “We have seen strong growth in Japan, especially Tokyo, in the last six months, and we expect this trend will continue in 2016,” Tara says. Japan’s unique culture is best exemplified by its capital, Tokyo, with its mix of buzzing retail precincts alongside tranquil gardens and palaces. With major airlines like Qantas, Jetstar and Singapore all offering direct flights from Australia to Tokyo, keep an eye out for deals floating around over the coming year. 

5. Greece

With countless islands, ancient architecture and rich culture, Greece remains a top-tier travel destination for Australians. The cost of holidaying in Greece is now considerably lower than it used to be, and Athens is also a relatively cheap entry point in to Europe. For art and history enthusiasts, take advantage of 50 per cent discounts during the off-peak season.

6. Thailand

Aussies have a long-standing love affair with Thailand and remains one of the cheapest destinations for us. The price of accommodation, transport, shopping and entertainment all still offer incredible value – and who can say no to the delicious, yet affordable, authentic Thai food?

7. Brazil

With Amazonian rainforests, white sandy beaches and unbelievably good nightlife, Brazil is made for incredible getaways. In 2016 the nation Brazil will play host for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Sure, it won't be cheap - but it's sure to be good value. If you're into international sporting events, this may be the best time to go! Tara also notes it is the perfect time to consider a holiday package to Brazil the Australian dollar has made huge gains against the Brazilian Real. 

8. Spain

Spain - a passionate country known for its vibrant festivals - is an unbeatable option if you are looking for a European vacation, but on a budget. The large country is extremely diverse, offering mountains, beaches, and deserts, but is less expensive than its neighbour, France. The climate is optimal for travelling all year around. With its affordable tapas culture, wining and dining is certain to become an integral part of your daily itinerary. If you’re a serious foodie, be sure to visit San Sebastian – the home of “pintxos” (the Basque version of Tapas) for some truly unforgettable culinary delights.

9. New Zealand

One of five destinations named in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Destinations on the Rise for 2016, New Zealand is a adventurer's paradise. If you are looking for a memorable overseas experience without spending a fortune, it might be your best bet. Whether you have a hankering for skiing, mountain climbing, wine tasting, or just relaxing, the favourable exchange rate makes all these experiences fairly affordable in New Zealand. And being one of our closest neighbours, you can find cheap flights all year round.

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