• Posted:Tuesday, December 2, 2014
  • Comments: 1

12 of the Cheapest Places to Get the Best Winter Sun

12 of the Cheapest Places to Get the Best Winter Sun

Winter is here and for many of us the sun is a faint and distant memory. Luckily there are plenty of places around the world that promise winter sun at budget costs. Whether you’re looking for a city or beach break, these destinations will give you a sun-kissed look that’ll make your friends jealous.

1. Luxor, Egypt

Luxor for Winter Sun

Known as the ancient city of Thebes, Luxor has a fascinating history and a ton of culture. Tourism has suffered at intervals over the years but the people here are re-building the city again which has lots to offer. Try bartering at some of the many markets for beautiful Egyptian arts and crafts.

Average costs:

Stay: Boomerang Hotel from $8.16 pppn

Meal: $4.20 0.5L beer: $1.68

Public transport ticket: $0.21

2. Rotorua, New Zealand

New Zealand for Winter Sun

Located on the North Island, this city is known for its beautiful, crystal clear lakes. So, if water sports are your thing, this destination is a must. Also, don’t miss the explosive geothermal springs that dot the area. Despite its remote beauty, the air, rail and road links are excellent, so it’s also a good base for visiting other places nearby.

Average costs

Stay: Crash Palace from $15.79 pppn 

Meal: $11.84 0.5L

Beer: $3.48

Public transport ticket: $1.77

3. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth for Winter Sun

Situated at the south centre of South Africa, PE, as it is also known, was one of the venues for the 2010 football World Cup, which saw a significant money pumped into the area. It boasts a casino, beaches and is a great place to go whale watching, as well as being the end point of the ‘Garden Route’ which stretches from the east of the country.

Average costs

Stay: Lungile Lodge beachfront backpackers from $7.59 pppn

Meal: $6.69 0.5L

Beer: $1.96

Public transport ticket: $0.89

4. Las Vegas, America

Las Vegas for Winter Sun

This may seem strange to have in a ‘cheapest’ list but you can go here on a budget. People say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. With a moniker like that, you’ve surely got to experience it yourself, right? While you will want to have at least one flutter in a casino, you can also visit museums, parks and see lots of Elvises in one place!

Average costs

Stay: AAE Casino Wild West Las Vegas from $12.22 pppn

Meal: $10.00 0.5L

Beer: $3.00

Public transport ticket: $2.00

5. Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City for Winter Sun

This city has had its fair share of negative publicity, but, as most travellers find out whenever they visit a place that’s been dragged through the mud, it’s actually an awesome place. It’s already a popular tourist destination, known as big financial centre, it also has amazing architecture to take your breath away and food to die for. Make sure to check out the ‘Floating Gardens’ of Xochimilco.

Average costs

Stay: Bed & Breakfast Mexico Hostel from $8.54

Meal: $5.14 0.5L

Beer: $1.84

Public transport ticket: $0.37

6. Athens, Greece

Athens for Winter

The first city to host the Olympic Games and one of the oldest cities in the world, this is a place steeped in history. By night Athens is a hub for nightlife, particularly the Psirri area. Make sure you also try some of the local delicacies including Moussaka and the aniseed flavoured drink, Ouzo.

Average costs

Stay: Zorbas Hotel from $9.21 pppn

Meal: $8.74 0.5L

Beer: $5.00

Public transport ticket: $1.75

7. Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui for Winter Sun

Located just off the east coast of the popular Asian country, Koh Samui offers sun, sea, sand and parties galore. While you can totally relax here and get massages by day, you can also drink and dance until the sun comes up. Rinse. Repeat.

Average costs

Stay: Samui Hostel from $6.42 pppn

Meal: $1.22 0.5L

Beer: $1.68

Public transport ticket: $0.61

8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio for Winter Sun

The destination for many sporting events and one of the venues for the 2016 Olympics, ‘Rio’ is a place everyone must see. If you happen to be there around the 31st December, get down to Copacabana beach and join the other 2,000,000 party-goers to see in the New Year.

Average costs

Stay: Rio Forest Hostel from $10.12 pppn

Meal: $7.72 0.5L

Beer: $2.32

Public transport ticket: $1.16

9. La Paz and Pena, Bolivia

La Paz for Winter Sun

Lying towards the west of South America, La Paz has a European feel but still maintains its own Hispanic culture. A bustling city with trips on offer to nearby Pena where you can experience traditional Andean music.

Average costs

Stay: The Adventure Brew Hostel from $7.53 pppn

Meal: $2.17 0.5L beer: $1.62

Public transport ticket: $0.29

10. Cairns, Australia

Cairns for Winter Sun

With an always plentiful supply of tourists and travellers, there are lots of activities to choose from around Cairns. The most popular attraction has to be Great Barrier Reef, with the city being one of the most popular launch pads to see this incredible natural wonder. Even if you don't fancy swimming, you can still see the reef through a glass bottomed boat.

Average costs

Stay: Asylum Cairns from $11.96 pppn

Meal: $10.00 0.5L

Beer: $4.80

Public transport ticket: $4.10


11. Goa, India

Goa for Winter Sun

If you are in need of some tranquillity and peace, then Goa is a go-er… oh, come on, it wasn’t that bad! Colour, food and Konkani cinema are also popular interests for visitors. Alternatively, it is also a place where the New Year is also celebrated and the Goan Carnival attracts many visitors.

Average costs

Stay: Vanilla Guesthouse from $8.54 pppn

Eat: $2.44

Drink: $0.97

Public transport ticket: $0.38

12. Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

Kuta for Winter Sun

This is on the south of the island of Bali and a popular area for beach-goers. While the Bali island is very much preserved in terms of culture and wildlife, this is an idyllic destination where you can throw off your back pack and take in the splendour all around.

Average costs

Stay: Warung Coco from $10.68 pppn

Meal: $1.64

0.5L beer: $1.64

Public transport ticket: $0.25

Have any suggestions of your own for awesome winter sun? Share them in the comments…

Siobhan Maguire is a budding journalist studying at the University of Salford in Manchester. A well-seasoned traveller, she blogs at A Girl Gets on a Bus, and you can follow her on Twitter here.

Thanks to prilfish, Donnie Nunley, Beau Giles, Brian Snelson, Thomas Hawk, Threthny, Titanas, Martin Wippel, rafaelsoares, Camille Auble, Prince Roy and Donald Man

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  • Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014
That's it, I'm going to Bali!
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