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Where to travel with a stronger rand in 2018

The recent changes to our government and the subsequent stronger rand against the dollar means tourists are paying a little more to enjoy our country. It also means that the list of affordable holiday destinations just got a little more accessible than local cities on domestic flights South Africa. A lower fuel price could also mean cheaper flights.
Where to travel with a stronger rand in 2018

Just after Valentine’s Day this year, it was reported that the rand was at its strongest against the dollar in over two years.

This is good news for South African’s planning and budgeting for a trip overseas in 2018.

According to a report published in IOL on SA travel stats, South Africans are still favouring the UK as their international destination.

“The United Kingdom has long since been a favourite travel destination of South Africans and this shows no signs of waning. At a steady 29%, the UK is the most searched-for destination by South Africans – more than double that of its closest competitor, the United States at 14%.

For those travelling on a strict budget, a stronger rand doesn’t mean a trip to the UK is suddenly an affordable option. A single pound sterling is still going to cost you in the region of R17.

Explore these instead

If you are willing to travel beyond the obvious tourist destinations, you can still experience the trip of a lifetime in countries where the rand is stronger than the local currency and not necessarily return under a pile of debt:


While South Africans generally equate holidays with fun in the sun, a trip to Iceland is a treat if you are a nature lover and seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list. Their breathtaking natural scenery is also some of the best in the world. This is by no means a cheap trip option as cost of living is high but with one rand getting you around eight Icelandic krona, it’s cheaper than many other European destinations.


The number of South Africans choosing Thailand as a holiday destination has been steadily rising over the years. The diversity of Thailand’s exquisite beaches, shopping, interesting culinary delights and cheap beer, and the R1 to 2.61 Baht means it’s far lighter on the pocket than many other beach holiday destinations.


For eye-wateringly beautiful scenery, relatively cheap accommodation and great beer and food choices, Czechoslovakia is a top European holiday choice where one rand will get you around R1.70 krouna.


Budapest is often listed as one of the top ten places to visit in the world. With its beautiful 13th century architecture and some of the world’s most famous Christmas markets, you can explore the city and shop to your heart's content with an exchange rate that pockets you around 20 forent to the rand.


South African’s still require a visa to visit Japan, but once there, the exchange rate is currently around 9 yen to the rand. This makes exploring the striking mix of ultra-modern with centuries-old traditions of Japan a great cultural experience that is relatively light on the pocket. It’s certainly not a cheap holiday as some necessities, such as rail travel are costly, but it is cheaper than US or UK to visit, with maybe even a greater diversity of sights and sounds.

A stronger rand opens our travel choices from booking only domestic flights in South Africa to visit local holiday destinations to include international flights to exotic locations, but remember that a simple currency conversion alone doesn’t necessarily mean your holiday will be cheap. Do some research into each country, consider visiting in low season and stay in areas that are not high tourist spots where the cost of living might be cheaper and explore the areas less travelled without worrying about how to pay for it.


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8 Mar 2018 12:22