Image Credit: Getty Images

Dubai: With the current economic environment, it’s normal for consumers to cut corners in order to stretch the household budget and save as much as they can. But it doesn’t mean holidaying to some place exotic or faraway has to take the back seat.

Travel specialists in the UAE are seeing a growing number of residents who are expressing a lot of interest to explore places without breaking the bank.

“A lot of people have become budget conscious on how much they want to spend on their holiday. [Their] budget [however} depends on the country they wish to travel,” Mariyam Kapasi, senior holiday consultant at Dubai Leisure Holidays, told Gulf News.

The good news is that there are plenty of wallet-friendly options out there that are waiting to discover. Some of them can cost a lot cheaper than the air ticket you buy when you go back home for your annual vacation.

According to travel consultants, some places as far as Sri Lanka in Asia or Madrid and Barcelona, Spain in Europe can be explored for less than Dh3,000. The price already includes the airfare, hotel accommodation and sightseeing costs.

The key to avoid creating a hole in the bank account is to do a lot of research and price comparison. “It is a misconception to believe that holidaying needs huge budgets. A lot can be planned within individual financial resources,” said Digvijay Pratap, co-founder and managing director of HolidayMe.com.

“Having planned and sold many vacations across continents, we assure prospective customers that budget constraints need not be the reason anymore for cancelling holidays.”

In terms of what places that are in demand these days, Geet Bhalla, co-founder and CEO of HolidayME.com, said UAE residents are now exploring areas that used to be unheard of.

“We have noticed that new-age travellers are not as interested in the tried and tested sun, sea and sand holidays like their previous generations. They are spending less time in major gateway cities and are instead exploring more remote destinations, staying in hostels or boutiques instead of luxury hotels and choosing cheaper modes of transport to travel,” he said.

Kapasi said some of the destinations that are hugely popular among UAE travellers these days include Georgia, Armenia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Maldives, which is still in demand among honeymooners from the Middle East market.

HolidayMe has compiled a list of examples of vacation destinations that promise to offer budget-friendly prices:

Georgia – Dh 1,600

Armenia – Dh 1,500

Azerbaijan – Dh1,800

Madrid/Barcelona – Dh2,800

Egypt – Dh1,900

Amman – Dh 2,200

Thailand – Dh 2,200

Malaysia – Dh2,300

Bali – Dh 2,500

Sri Lanka – Dh1,900

Maldives – Dh 2,500

*Prices include flights, hotels, transfers, sightseeing but are for off season and indicative/subject to availability at the time of booking

*Rates quoted are per passenger in a twin-sharing room inclusive of breakfast