It pays to know exactly how much your hard-earned cash will get you on holiday, whether you’re on a budget or throwing caution (and wads of notes) to the wind.
These are the best destinations where you can either blow the budget or make it last.
Where to stay
Blow the budget: If money is no object (or you’re dreaming), follow Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Rihanna to the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland – it’s the world’s most expensive hotel stay. For £40,000 a night you get 12 bedrooms, each with a marble-clad bathroom, one of the three biggest Bang & Olufsen TV screens in the world, a Steinway grand piano, a collection of ancient books and pieces of art, and views across Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc from your panoramic terrace. Oddly, the website also boasts about the free wifi. Stay a week, or just buy a house.
On a budget: For a bargain in a country renowned for hotel prices that melt your wallet (£100 per night will get you a paltry one-star hotel in New York or Boston), try Le Richelieu in the French Quarter, New Orleans. For less than £100 per night you get a king-size bed, swimming pool, free wifi and an environment that amplifies its atmospheric French Quarter location, rather than cutting you off from it. Built in 1845, you couldn’t be anywhere other than New Orleans in this hotel, making it a vastly better and cheaper option than bland, branded hotels.
Blow the budget: You might find yourself going hungry in Norway if you don’t have a generous wad of cash to line your stomach with. You’re doing well if you find a restaurant selling bottles of wine for under £27, while a main meal in an average upmarket restaurant will set you back the same again. A meal and drinks at YlaJali, one of Norway’s finest restaurants, costs about £216. You’ll get a dining experience of several courses served over at least three hours. In fact, according to Ylajali, eating here is like reading a novel, “with a prologue, four chapters, and an epilogue.”
On a budget: The best place in the world for a great night out that doesn’t give your wallet a hangover is Vietnam. According to TripAdvisor’s TripIndex 2015, the average cost of dinner for two plus a bottle of wine is £29.34 in Hanoi, and it’s only £2.65 for a two-mile round trip in a taxi. Beer is cheap too; an average of £1.15 for an international branded 33cl beer in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the 2015 GoEuro Beer Price Index. For a ludicrously cheap yet authentic night out, head for Hanoi’s Beer Corner to peoplewatch, chat with locals, and drink the local Hue Beer for less than 50p a pint.
Attractions & activities
Blow the budget: If you’re going to New York City, do it properly. Don’t just window-shop Fifth Avenue, the world’s most expensive shopping street; hire a personal shopper to help you spend even more money! You’ll get perfectly fitting clothes and someone to carry your bags. Likewise, swap a classic yellow taxi for a private luxury SUV tour, or drive yourself around New York in a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Then, see the Manhattan skyline city from a different perspective by chartering a private sailing yacht.
On a budget: While London isn’t exactly known as a cheap city, it does come loaded with free world-class museums and galleries. Come face to face with a T-Rex at the Natural History Museum. Drool over beautiful objects at Victoria and Albert Museum. Feast your eyes on works of art by da Vinci, Renoir and Van Gogh at the National Gallery, and modern artists such as Picasso, Rothko and Warhol at the Tate Modern. There are plenty of free parks to explore too. Go deer-spotting in Richmond Park, and watch London’s most opinionated orators at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.