Best 2024 budget-friendly holiday destinations

We know that times are tough at the minute. With the cost of living increasing, everyone is tightening their belts in lots of different ways, some people are considering whether they really need a subscription to Netflix, Disney + and Sky all at the same time, whilst others are making somewhat tougher decisions, like how to reduce electricity usage in their homes (if this is you, please read this article afterwards for some quick tips on saving energy at home).

But despite this, according to The Mirror, 59% of people are looking to be just as adventurous as before with their holiday plans, and 28% won’t compromise on their holiday experiences, even if this means some extra budgeting is needed to accommodate this. So, despite everything going on in the world, people clearly still deem a holiday as essential.

aeroplane flying overhead through slightly cloudy blue sky

However, The Guardian has suggested that the type of holiday Brits embark on may change in terms of the holiday type, length, destination, and ultimately, cost. In fact, the all-inclusive is back and more popular than ever with research suggesting that 1/3 of UK holidaymakers will cut their costs by seeking both all-inclusive and cheaper packages

In this article, we highlight some of the best holiday destinations for 2024, where you can enjoy some sun while saving yourself some money.

two boys putting up a small yellow umbrella on a sandy beach

Turkey

When we think of the best value all-inclusive beach holiday, what’s the first country that typically comes to mind? Spain? Well, think again… because the Turkish delight is making a comeback with our #1 destination for 2024 being Turkey (Türkiye).

Turkey has been among the favourite destinations for holiday-goers from the UK in recent years, with 2.5 million Brits visiting Turkey in 2019 alone. It’s no surprise that Turkey has had this huge boost in tourism from the UK, you only have to look at the exchange rate. In 2018, the British Pound hit its highest historical point against the Turkish Lira with an exchange rate of 1GBP = 8.5TRY – meaning £500 would get you ₺4,250, sounds good right? Well, how about the fact that the exchange rate has continued to increase year after year and in November 2022 reached a height of 1GBP = 22.2TRY – meaning your £500 in spending money which was getting you ₺4,250, is now getting you ₺11,100!

turkish rooftops with birds flying overhead

But it’s not all about the money. With beautiful beaches spread across the turquoise coastline, average summer temperatures of 27.5°C (82°F) and average winter temperatures as high as 10°C (50°F), it’s no wonder that this destination is growing in popularity by so much and putting up a test for the likes of Spain.

If you need to be convinced any further about Turkey, what about all of the landmarks that it has? You’ve got plenty of stunning natural landmarks including Lake Van, the Blue Lagoon, the Fairy Chimneys and the Burning Flames of Chimaera! Or, if you’re looking for something less-natural but equally as beautiful, you’ve got Hagia Sophia, the Myra Ruins, Topkapi Palace and the Troy Horse! If landmarks aren’t your thing, but food is (yes, this is a thing) then obviously you have to try the Iskender Kebap (Alexander kebab), one of North Western Turkey’s most famous meat-based-dishes, also known as ‘The King of Turkish Kebabs’! We know Turkey is very well known for its kebabs, but what about a vegetarian option? Well, how about Imam Bayildi? An eggplant stuffed with onion, tomatoes and garlic then simmered in olive oil (if that doesn’t already sound amazing, look up the pictures – you won’t be disappointed). After you’ve had your mains, what about dessert? Obviously, Turkey has Turkish Delight which is hit or miss for some, but you simply cannot go wrong with Baklava – the absolute king when it comes to Turkish cuisine.

You can find our dedicated Turkey travel insurance page here.

the blue mosque with the sun setting behind

Portugal

Travel from London to Portugal in just 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s about the length of a game of football at the UEFA Euro 2024 Cup, what with all of the additional stoppage time! A lot of people think of Portugal as an expensive holiday destination, but that is no longer the case. A report published recently by Post Office highlights Lisbon, Portugal, as the second-best city in Europe regarding best overall value – coming in at £218.03 for a weekend away (this was calculated based on drinks, dinners out, accommodation and transport) beaten only by Athens, Greece (continue reading for more information on that later!).

yellow tram driving through the streets of portugal

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal is Albufeira, aka ‘The Gateway to the Algarve’ which has long been considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Portugal. Albufeira is well-known for its pretty old town which has an abundance of local restaurants along the seafront, allowing you to pick and choose how much you’d like to spend on food with prices varying from €10 to €50 per person. If restaurants aren’t your thing but partying is, you’ve also got The Strip where you can experience some of the best nightlife in Europe, so why not head to ‘Wild & Co’ which is open until 4am almost every day of the week! Portugal’s Algarve has also become famous for its golf in recent years (hard to believe that as recently as 1966, golf was almost non-existent here) with over 25 golf clubs and 42 individual golf courses. It’s also where you can find the #1 ranked golf course in Portugal, Monte Rei (North), one of only a few Jack Nicklaus signature courses in Europe. With Portugal offering so much, it’s a great holiday destination for families, party-goers and golfers!

You can find our dedicated Portugal travel insurance page here.

colourful buildings at the harbour with boats

Mauritius

Looking for something that’s a little further afield than our other destinations in this blog? Somewhere with more luxurious beaches and hotels than anywhere else, whilst also keeping costs low? How about Mauritius? A recent report published by Post Office showed that there have been dramatic shifts in the prices of some East African holiday destinations since 2019 with the average cost of a family meal in nearby Seychelles costing just over £150, in comparison to Mauritius which costs 50% less, coming in at just over £75. So, if you’ve got the budget, why not spend that bit extra and head outside of Europe for a week away? Mauritius has got white sandy beaches, over 300 amazing Hindu temples, and plenty of opportunities for watching monkeys go about their day. Oh, and it even has average temperatures of around 26°C (79°F) in January and an average sea temperature of around 28°C (82°F). Why battle with the miserable English winter when you could be getting yourself a lovely winter tan?

The only downside of heading to Mauritius from the UK is the extensive flight time, clocking in at around 12 hours in total. However, this is a direct flight so all you have to do is get on the plane and then you can put your feet up and watch 30 episodes of Modern Family before touching down at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. To find the cheapest prices possible, your best bet is to travel to Mauritius during July or August, as this is their winter season and is therefore cooler than the rest of the year at around 24°C (75°F) – imagine having temperatures like that in the winter! You also have the added benefits of fewer mosquitoes, less rain and lower humidity.

Do you want us to create a dedicated Mauritius travel insurance page? Get in touch and let us know here. Or, for more information about travelling to the continent, you can find our dedicated travel insurance page for Africa here.

green mountain extending into the turquoise ocean with a cloudy blue sky

Greece

Another beautiful holiday destination to get some sun whilst saving some pennies is Greece – think of it like Mauritius but much closer to home! Corfu has it all, beautiful beaches, cool turquoise waters, a well-serviced airport, and even the channel of love! If you’ve ever seen the popular TV series The Durrells, it really is just as lovely and fun as they make it look! If you’re not overly fussed about the views and are more looking for the nightlife, Zante is a great party island with 24/7 boat parties and over 120 bars and clubs on the strip! Zante can work out cheaper than other party destinations such as Ayia Napa, but there’s always the possibility to grab yourself a last-minute deal and save a few pennies.

I know we’ve focused on partying here, but if partying is not your thing, the quieter Greek islands make a perfect escape for the whole family. What about having a look at Kasos (definitely not to be confused with Kavos!), Leipsoi, Irakleia or Lemnos – these are all way less touristy than your typical Greek holiday destinations but are all still equally as beautiful.

greek historical ruins with blue sky in background

We couldn’t possibly write about Greece without talking about the food, from baked moussaka to taramasalata and gyros (the most popular Greek dish), they’ve got you covered for your savoury options. If you’re looking for something a little bit sweeter, you’ve got amygdalota (Greek macaroons) and galaktoboureko. Also, don’t even get us started on the Baklava, they’ve got honey and rosewater baklava, baklava strudel with orange syrup, white chocolate baklava and baklava with honey syrup – is there some kind of Baklava-based competition going on between Greece and Turkey? Because if there is, we want to be one of the judges! Fun fact, central Greece usually has baklava made with almonds, Eastern Greece with walnuts and Northern Greece with pistachios, so if you’re ever unsure of where you are in Greece, just have a try of the baklava and you’ll know exactly where you are!

You can find our dedicated Greece travel insurance page here.

lit up white apartments on a hillside in greece by the sea

Spain

Spain!? We know, we know, we just spent an entire paragraph comparing Spain to Turkey and discussing how similar the two are in almost every way, except for cost. However, the British public love Spain, and Spain loves the British public (when it comes to the tourism that we bring in, rather than our familiarity with the Spanish language outside of the word “hola”). Although Spain might not be as cheap as Turkey, the country still has lots to offer and provides great value. Plus, it’s the British public’s one true love when it comes to holidaying abroad, so how could we possibly have a list without it? Spain’s got the weather, the beaches and the all-inclusives that we all know and love. And with return flights usually very cheap (if you book in advance), you really can’t go wrong! Yes, sometimes you can get flights to and from Spain at the same price as a medium Hawaiian pizza from Domino’s – so, which would you rather? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

stairs leading up through a street with the spanish flag colours on

The best time of the year for visiting Spain is during Spring, which is March to May, or during Autumn, which is September to November. By going away at this time of the year, you’ll bag yourself those cheaper flights mentioned above, good weather (not too hot), cheaper accommodation and fewer crowds (just imagine that waterpark all to yourself, almost).

You can find our dedicated Spain travel insurance page here.

barcelona town centre with beautiful buildings

On a final note, we know that with the cost-of-living crisis looming over us, some might be considering saving some extra money on their holiday by ditching their travel insurance. We just want to say that we think that’s not a sensible idea, and with cover from as little as £6.32¹, it’s a small price to pay to have you covered for your upcoming trip. Our travel insurance has got you covered for lots of things that could go wrong on any trip abroad. With up to £10 million in medical expenses cover² (this is very important because medical bills can go into six-figure sums in some extreme cases), up to £7,500 in cancellation cover³, protection against lost or stolen luggage, and cover for trip delays (which is especially important given some of the delays that passengers have been facing with staffing issues and strikes, according to this article), you can travel with peace of mind knowing that Holidaysafe has got your back.

You can find out more about the cover that we offer by taking a look at our cover levels, our benefits of travel insurance or by getting a quote.

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If you’ve enjoyed this blog and are looking to read another very popular Holidaysafe blog, why not have a look at our blog about 10 of the Most Romantic Holiday Destinations for Couples?

¹ Pricing based on a 35-year-old travelling to ‘Europe excluding Spain’ for three days, if the policy is taken out within 93 days of travelling on a Holidaysafe Standard Single Trip policy. Prices correct as of 01/12/2023
§ Up to £10 million emergency medical expenses cover available on Holidaysafe Premier Plus and Platinum policies
§ Up to £7,500 cancellation cover available on Holidaysafe Premier Plus and Platinum policies
Ɨ Please note, Holidaysafe’s online price automatically includes a 15% online discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This is discounted from our core policy price before you add any additional cost of optional extensions or additional medical premium.