Festive season is fast approaching and as most South Africans start thinking about their holiday plans, local and global events continue to weaken the rand, making international travel difficult.
We have come up with a plan that will get you that much-deserved getaway – without breaking the bank.
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 rand/dollar exchange rate around R14.80, the rand/pound at R19.40 and the rand/euro at R17.06. According to The Economist magazine’s Big Mac Index*, it means you are likely to buy a burger for R78.44 (US), R65.12 (UK) and R75.48 (euro) respectively, instead of the R35.50 you spend on average here at home.
“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
Rand-friendly with a visa
- Sri Lanka
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.