Even the wealthiest of travellers will undoubtedly have noticed a steep price increase in vacations this year. After years of closures, tumultuous political situations and soaring inflation, most holiday spots have risen in price for summer 2023. Helping travellers make the most of their money, while still being able to enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, the annual UK-based Post Office Travel Money Holiday Money Report has revealed the cheapest holiday destinations for 2023. The report surveyed 40 destinations worldwide to compare the prices of 12-holiday essentials, including dining out, drinks and other essentials travellers may buy when on vacation, and the results are pleasantly surprising, with the top destination recently crowned the ‘greatest country in the world’ for tourists and digital nomads.
The annual list of 15 destinations included 11 recurring spots and four new additions, with holiday hotspots in Europe, Asia and Africa featured. Europe is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the GCC during summertime, and travellers are still able to enjoy affordable vacations, despite sweeping price hikes across the continent. Spain’s Costa del Sol, Paphos in Cyprus, the Greek island of Corfu and Funchal in the western Portuguese island of Madeira all featured on the barometer, a contrast to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik – which was the most expensive destination surveyed – followed by Seychelles and Barbados. The cheapest holiday destination in the Euro-zone was revealed as Portugal’s Algarve, but costs are still a third higher than in 2022. The cheapest destination in Europe itself was Sunny Beach on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, a popular vacation spot for teenagers.
Closer to home, Egypt’s popular Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh took a top spot on the barometer, proving to be a fantastic summer destination for those wanting to go overboard with spending while still enjoying the beautiful scenery, beaches, food and resorts. Last year’s most affordable holiday destination – Marmaris – still held strong but dropped from first to second place. The Mediterranean resort town on the Turkish Riviera ranks high for affordability, primarily due to being high by inflation and a devaluing in currency following May’s re-election. The Turkish Riviera is one of the most beautiful and underrated spots in the Mediterranean, home to the glamorous Bodrum coast and Antalya.
Perhaps unsuprisingly, Asia proved to be the most affordable spot to enjoy a vacation from the GCC in 2023. Vietnam, Bali, Japan and Sri Lanka all moved up spots on the annual list after various travel restrictions kept many of them closed periodically over the Covid-19 Pandemic. Perhaps surprisingly, Tokyo, Japan, featured on the list, a city known for its world-leading culinary scene and having the most Michelin stars in the world.
But the top spot of the cheapest holiday destination in 2023 went to the stunning city of Cape Town in South Africa – where a 7.5% drop in costs sees the 12-holiday essentials come to just AED240 (GBP51.44). South Africa was recently named the ‘greatest holiday destination in the world’. It came out on top as the best destination for digital nomads to work remotely from, thanks to its beautiful landscape and affordability, amongst other factors.
The cheapest holiday destination for 2023
- Cape Town, South Africa ^ – AED241
- Marmaris, Turkey ˅ – AED270
- Sunny Beach, Bulgaria ˅ – AED277
- Mombasa, Kenya ^ – AED281
- Algarve, Portugal ˅ – AED285
- Hoi An, Vietnam (new) – AED286
- Kuta, Bali (new) – AED325
- Tokyo, Japan (new) – AED340
- Colombo, Sri Lanka ˅ – AED348
- Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (new) – AED349
- Costa del Sol, Spain ˅ – AED352
- Paphos, Cyprus ˅ – AED371
- Corfu, Greece ^ – AED388
- Funchal, Madeira ^ – AED388
- Phuket, Thailand ˅ – AED406
The most expensive holiday destinations for 2023
Along with showing the cheapest holiday destinations for 2023, the report also showed the most expensive destination to holiday to this year. The five destinations all had dramatic price increases, apart from one, which, although rating amongst the most expensive, is actually cheaper than in 2022. All destinations were in Europe, with Ibiza in the Spanish Balearic Isles taking the spot for most expensive destinations. Italy’s southern, sun-baked region of Puglia also featured on the list, but prices have actually seen a 10% decrease since 2022. Here are the most expensive holiday destinations surveyed by The Post Office for 2023.
- Ibiza, Balearic Isles (up 15.7%) – AED1,027
- Porec, Croatia (up 13.1%) – AED833
- Lanzarote, Canary Islands (up 19.2%) – AED814
- Crete, Greece (up 5.5%) – AED813
- Puglia, Italy (down by 10.3%) – AED794