But before writing it off completely, take a moment to reframe your idea of where to go.
Opting for underrated destinations can cut a huge swathe off your travel costs, according to Time Out.
“Visiting somewhere you’ve never considered such as a country’s less-raved-about cities or rural locations can help you not only beat the crowds but save as much as 77 per cent on your costs while you are there and boost local economies that don’t often get their fair share of tourism,” said James Manning, Time Out’s travel editor.
Time Out recommends trying these underrated, up-and-coming destinations:
1 Swap the increasingly popular coast of Croatia for the Albania Riviera.
If you’re looking to skip the crowds and save money, try Dhërmi, a small town on the Albania Riviera and set to become a new festival hotspot.
Albania vs. Croatia savings: as much as 60 per cent on the cost of a meal plus up to 77 per cent on the cost of a local beer (all figures from Numbeo.com cost of living data.)
2 The Amalfi Coast is stunning but so is the lesser-known Pontine Coast south of Rome.
Choosing a less-visited coastline rather than the ever-popular classics can help save money and also enjoy a more relaxed and exclusive experience.
Pontine vs Amalfi Coast savings: The cost of a local meal can be as much as 50 per cent less.
3 For a city break, pick the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, instead of Amsterdam.
“The cost of eating and drinking (in Sarajevo) is amongst some of the lowest you will find in Europe, giving you the option to eat in higher-end restaurants and still save money,” said James.
4 While in Barcelona, hop over to Girona for the day
“It is less than an hour away by train and has incredible mediaeval streets and a vibey-yet-affordable food scene – plus the satisfaction of visiting somewhere that’s still off the mainstream tourist map,” said James.
5 Try Guadalajara, Mexico’s second city, which is cheaper than Mexico City but just as cool.
6 People will always love Paris, but should also start a love affair with Marseille.
This offers a city and beach break all in one; with historic streets, multicultural food, “an incredibly cool arts scene,” and boat trips and Calanque hikes on your doorstep.”
Time Out’s travel tips for getting the most travel for your money this year include:
Exploring unsung destinations
Opting for winter over summer travel
Making the most of cost savings of package holidays
Booking home stays to save on accommodation costs and meals out
Swapping flying for overland adventures
Planning well ahead instead of booking at short notice
For more travel tips visit: www.timeout.com/news/how-to-save-money-beat-the-crowds-and-travel-better-in-2023-011123