Travel Top 10s

The Lowest Cost Long Haul Holiday Destinations

Let’s be honest, there’s a reason why these kids don’t take life-changing gap years to County Durham. That’s because the further away from home you are, the more likely you are to see something new and to discover a different way of life. Our planet is huge and we shouldn’t feel confined to a small section of it just because we can’t afford the air fare. In fact, travelling to what feels like another world isn’t as pricey as you may think. We’re here to show you that you don’t have to win the lottery to hit the travel jackpot.

1 Goa

This pint-sized part of India doesn't scrimp on any of the continent's beauty, but it is a bit more Westerner-friendly than most regions. By that we mean that there's not much of a stigma with alcohol. Unlike some places in India the Goans enjoy their own fiery spirits which are usually made from a coconut base. You'll no doubt sample these on one of Goa's immaculate beaches, which shouldn't be too hard to find. Goa is literally head-to-toe in beach, as its golden sands spread across the Arabian Sea. Best of all, holidays in Goa are much kinder to your wallet than any other resort in India.

2 Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is no doubt the most affordable Caribbean resort. That's not because it offers any less, quite the contrary! The Dom Rep has some of the region's most diversity as you'll find everything from a parade of beaches and deserts, to mountains and historically intriguing architecture. Your accommodation is mostly likely to be beach-based as the Dom Rep showcases hundreds of kilometres of coastlines.

3 Cancun

Cancun is your other opportunity for a slice of affordable Caribbean paradise. On the one hand you have the all inclusive hotels that this Mexican resort is so famed for, and on the other you have unexplored caves and unspoiled beaches. How you negotiate the two is entirely up to you. Then you have the city of Cancun itself, which is awash with incredible taco joints which'll make every Mexican dish back home seem desperately disappointing in comparison.

4 Thailand

It's nigh-on impossible to pen down Thailand's diversity in one listicle slot. Nevertheless, it's a slot worth saying that no matter where in Thailand you end up, it's very likely that it'll be love at first sight. Its beachier resorts like Krabi and Phuket are still inexpensive to get to and stay in, and they offer world-class vistas of talcum powder-like sand and periwinkle waters. There are two long coastlines, so you're bound to bump into some postcard-worthy beaches along the way!

5 Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka comes with a myriad of charms, its eight UNESCO heritage sites being just one layer of them. Its beaches are another. Great surfing waves gallop onto its fluffy shore while tropical vegetation accompanies most of the sights you will see. There are also several national parks in which you can get up close with cheetahs, leopards, and what Sri Lanka is most famous for - elephants. On the other side of things, Colombo city offers a rollicking assortment of jazz clubs, boutique stores and cool drinking spots.

6 Cuba

Cuba certainly hasn't been disturbed by the onslaught of selfies and unicorn-coloured coffees and Taylor Swift. In fact, not much has interfered with Cuba's beauty and charm since its swashbuckling pirate days. So much of Cuba - its cigars, cars and cocktails - have become so iconic because they are so unchanged and integral to this destination. That really means that it must be experienced for itself. You'll not only see everything that Cuba is now world-famous for, but arcs of white-sand beaches and very smiley locals, too.

7 Florida

Florida's no secret, we know that. Its pick 'n' mix box of entertainment districts, shopping malls, alluring swamps and world-class theme parks make this one a no-brainer. However, there's no harm in reminding you that this is a pretty reliable long-haul choice. In this travel landscape, where one minute resorts are overflowing and the next they're left desolate, Florida always seems to remain a constant. It consistently lives up to and improves its status of Theme Park Capital Of The World, and you'll always know what to expect from a Florida holiday. Fun, sun and overeating.

8 Vietnam

Vietnam is beautiful. It's really as simple as that. It's so beautiful that it renders natural splendours into something fantastical. The water and the mist and the craggy limestone peaks of Halong Bay appear like something from a CGI film. The jungle-clad mountains don't resemble Earth, but a far superior planet. The pristine coastlines are fit for even a 90s Peter Andre music video (that, like the others is a compliment to Vietnam). What's more, it's becoming increasingly accessible with airfares lowering and more and more cheap resorts popping up.

9 Toronto

North America's fourth largest city is home to the CN Tower, oodles of maple syrup and Justin Bieber. This is Toronto - one of the most multicultural cities on the planet, meaning that you'll have a wealth of different cuisines, cultures and people to discover. It practically buzzes with the energy of a city which thrives on compassion. You'll be smiled to on the street, doors will be opened for you and you'll get top-notch service wherever you go. If you'd rather take a break from everyone, you can head for one of its Islands, where you can enjoy the view of the city with the lulling quiet of the surrounding water.

10 New York

What image comes to mind when you think of New York? Autumn leaves falling down on Harry and Sally? Friends drinking coffee in Central Perk? Ghosts mucking everything up in Ghostbusters?! No matter what springs to mind, the words 'New York City' are bound to bring up something. So, with a city that needs no introductions, why don't you finally introduce yourself to it! Going to New York for the first time is like seeing a really famous movie star in the flesh and you can't quite believe that everything you've seen on TV is standing right there before you. Best of all, it's not as expensive as you'd think. A big portion of the city can even be fit into a long weekend break.

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