Lonely Planet Writer

New research reveals the best value long-haul destinations in the world

New research has revealed the best value long-haul destinations in the world, with Cape Town coming out on top.

Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town, South Africa. Image by Adam Rozanski/500px

The survey, conducted by the UK Post Office and holiday specialist Travelbag, looked at 34 resorts and cities around the world. The researchers examined local prices for ten typical tourist buys which included three-course meals, drinks, sun cream and coffee to determine where travellers could get the best value for money for their daily expenses. A 30% rise in prices in Bali – with an increase of up to 50% just on eating out – means that Cape Town has now been rated as the best value long-haul destination. Meanwhile, despite not having a budget-friendly reputation, a fall in prices in Tokyo to below 2015 levels means it is now very close to the popular Indonesian destination in terms of tourist value.

Costs are rising in Bali.
Costs are rising in Bali. Image by fiftymm99/Getty Images

Jumierah Beach, Dubai was named the most expensive long-haul destination for the second year in a row. Costs here were estimated at four times the price of the same items in Cape Town. The top ten best value long-haul destinations in the survey are as follows:

1 – Cape Town, South Africa

2 – Bali, Indonesia

3 – Tokyo, Japan

4 – Mombasa, Kenya

5 – Colombo, Sri Lanka

6 – Cancun, Mexico

7 – Phuket, Thailand

8 – Lima, Peru

9 – Orlando, USA

10 – Grand Baie, Mauritius

Tourist costs are up an average of 25% across all the destinations but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still bargains to be had. However, UK travellers must also factor in the falling value of the British pound.

Crowds of people walking among illuminated neon signs on the streets of Tokyo, Japan.
Crowds of people walking among illuminated neon signs on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Image by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “more than ever before, it will pay dividends to do some holiday homework before booking to find out where meals and drinks are cheapest. Costs may be higher in long-haul holiday resorts this year for UK travellers, but the good news is that local price cuts in many of the most popular ones will help to lessen the impact of the weaker pound.” The survey does not take into account the price of flights or accommodation, but with these expenses generally paid for before leaving, choosing one of these best value long-haul destinations can help ensure you have fewer financial surprises when you get there.