Paradise on the cheap
15 picture-perfect holidays that won't break the bank
Holger Leue_Lonely Planet
There are far nicer ways to have a cheap holiday and still feel like you're in paradise, rather than making do in a slightly milder version of hell. A recent survey by the Post Office has identified Portugal as one of the best value destinations overall for Brits - we say head for the country's sub-tropical island Madeira or beach city Lisbon.
The survey also identifies other countries like Malaysia and Thailand as more expensive - sorry, we don't agree. They may have higher inflation than before, but cheap street snacks and budget boutique stays will always make them good value. Most of the places we've picked - from bamboo huts in Kerala to cheap steak houses in Buenos Aires - will require a slightly budget-breaking air ticket, but most major airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic run sales in January, and intermittently throughout the year.
We've also added an idea of daily spend, based on accommodation and food costs - you'll be surprised at how affordable most places are. So swap drizzle and grey skies for hot sun and sandy beaches, with our pick of gorgeous getaways that won't pauper your pocket.
Tim Leffel is a travel expert who is author of the books The World's Cheapest Destinations and Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune. He also writes a blog on the subject.