Top 5 Value Destinations Where Your Loonie Will Go Further

Fluctuating currencies have left many travellers wondering where to go next. Canadians are no different. Even with our loonie's steep plunge on the international market, a recent Expedia survey confirms that our desire to travel is still strong with 64 per cent of Canadians planning to roam the world in 2016. However, for three-quarters of the respondents, travel plans are going to be affected, particularly in regards to the chosen destination. Half will be modifying the frequency of travel throughout the year while 42 per cent, the length of their trip.

The question remains. Should Canadians stay home and only visit domestic attractions? It's certainly one option, but it's not the only one. Many long-time favourites across the globe continue to offer great value against our currency while others have become popular budget-friendly destinations. Here are five popular value destinations for Canadian travellers right now.

5 budget-friendly, some might even say cheap, places to visit

Turkey

When Turkey is mentioned, most people think of Istanbul’s colourful streets or honeycombed Cappadocia where hot-air ballooning has become famous, but it’s actually easy to veer off the Turkish beaten path. With impressive ruins, stunning mosques, historical centres and warm hammams nestled between mountains or lining the waterfront, the country’s diversity is impressive. You can ski or hike during the day and soak in the sea in the evening, a great combination for a relaxing yet breathtaking adventure. Did I mention you’ll be able to stretch your dollars far against the low lira all while witnessing history at its finest?

If this isn’t enough to convince you, people are so friendly and happy to welcome you into their culture, and Turkey’s food scene will leave you asking for more!


South Africa

Although plane tickets to Africa are never cheap, South Africa has been receiving a lot of press as a great budget-friendly destination. It’s also quite easy to fly to from Canada, with only one stopover from most large cities. Cape Town is always a favourite with its bustling street life and diverse culture. Use it as a base to explore the surrounding remote beaches or world-famous vineyards or even head out to view some of Africa’s best wildlife. Kruger National Park is THE place to be for animal lovers! Be sure not to miss the sunsets from within the park, as they are known to be spectacular. After all, how can a country with over 300 sunny days per year not be a must-see destination?



Photos of Kruger National Park all taken by flowcomm (flickr)

Southeast Asia

You’ve likely heard that countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines have been known to offer a great bang for your buck. This hasn’t changed. Not only are these lands a culturally rich paradise, but landscapes change from one kilometre to another at such a pace you are bound to fall in love! Rice fields give way to mountains and even deserts before you hit the sea and lush islands close by. It’s virtually impossible to get bored of Southeast Asia, especially when you consider you’ll be staying in air-conditioned bungalows with jaw-dropping vistas for a dozen dollars per night in certain villages.


Eastern Europe

Forget Paris and its expensive cafés or London’s painful pound… Head East for a taste of the old continent you are bound to enjoy. The cost of life in Eastern Europe will enable you to splurge on great food and artistic souvenirs while strolling past historical gems you’ve seen only in magazines. Romanian Bucharest, Bulgaria’s Sofia and Serbia’s Belgrade are bargain favourites with lively urban centres that will keep your camera busy!

Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest

Bucharest Photo: fusion-of-horizons (flickr)

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia Photo: Bruno Girin (flickr)

Belgrade Fortress

Belgrade Photo: Magnus (flickr)

Colombia

Having suffered a bad reputation these past years, Colombia is now emerging as one of the world’s top destinations. Go now before it changes, as its evolving quickly. You’ll be able to enjoy the local culture and impressive landscapes without emptying your savings, a great quality of this South American country. It’s also not rare to uncover discounted flights from Canada to Bogotá or Cartagena, which gives you even more reason to make your way to this welcoming nation. Locals will gladly show you around or point you in the direction of its best attractions!


Photos of Cartagena all taken by Nick Harris (flickr)

No matter the destination you’re considering, Expedia’s study suggests that economy airline ticket prices are decreasing, which is great news for anyone’s budget! Indeed, our dollar might not stretch as far, but if you combine great bang-for-your-buck destinations with the potential savings effective planning will create, your trip is bound to be memorable and cost effective.

Wherever your travels take you this year, don’t forget to secure travel insurance before you leave for safe and hassle-free travels!