It has been a tough year for the South African economy. With Ramaphoria not quite translating into investor and business confidence, petrol prices soaring, and then as we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Statistics SA reported a GDP contraction – making it two consecutive quarters – meaning we had slipped into a recession.

Global matters also weighed heavy on our frailties as emerging economies like Turkey and Venezuela went bust, Trump and Jinping went on a tit-for-tat sparring match over their countries’ trade agreement, and all of this coming together to create a perfect storm to drag the rand down to an all-time low.

With all this happening, it feels like the right time to get out, take a break and travel. But, is it possible when the rand seems to be struggling against all major currencies? Where do you go on holiday as a young professional?

Beyond the US and Europe

“Most of Europe and the US are out,” says Thulani Kunene, Investec’s currency trader.

He seems to be on the money with the current intermational exchange rate, which doesn’t always favour South African wanting to travel abroad.

According to The Economist magazine’s, you can use the Big Mac Index*, to work out how much more you’re likely to pay for the basics.

“Try local destinations, countries closer to home where the currency is the same, like Namibia, or countries like Thailand where the rand is stronger than the local currency,” advises Thulani.  Choosing to travel to such destinations might give you the perfect opportunity to post that #wanderlust #travelgram pic while staying within your budget.

Get your wanderlust going

Here is a list of some of the countries where South Africans can go this summer without breaking the bank.

Rand-friendly countries with a visa-free entry

  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Philippines
  • Thailand

Rand-friendly with a visa

  • Egypt
  • India
  • Russia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Ready to travel?

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*Introduced in 1986, the Big Mac Index is loosely used to convey country-by-country consumer purchasing power. An interesting way to understand and compare the cost of living in various countries.

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