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The Editorial Team
Experts in personal finance, insurance and utilities
3 JULY 2024
5 min read
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Popular holiday destination dupes

From Paris to New York, our bucket lists are often full of famous destinations we dream of visiting. Unfortunately, as popularity increases, the cost to visit often does too. 

But there's a growing travel trend that may help you jet off on your dream holiday without breaking the bank: destination dupes. These are budget-friendly alternatives to popular tourist spots that offer a similar experience but at a more affordable price.

In light of this, we looked into some popular holiday destinations around the world, analysing factors like the average price for accommodation, dining, and entertainment costs to identify which of these places are the most expensive to visit. We then conducted desk research to identify some more affordable alternatives that are similar, but with a lower price tag, revealing how much you could save by travelling to a ‘destination dupe’.

The most expensive popular holiday destinations

1. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Providenciales in Turks and Caicos boasts pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, but its appeal comes at a cost. According to our research, Providenciales ranks as the most expensive holiday destination, with an average daily cost of £443 per person.

Hotel costs are the biggest culprit, with the nightly hotel rate for two people averaging a staggering £587 (£294 per person if you divide the cost between two). Entertainment costs (which include admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing activities) are fairly high too, at an average of £84 per day. 

Factor in the cost of dining, where a meal for two sets you back £95 on average, and costs quickly add up. And that’s not even accounting for the cost of flights, which can also be very expensive.

Dupe: Roatan, Honduras

If you’re looking for a similar experience, but with a lower price tag, we found that Roatan, an island in Honduras, is a great destination dupe. By holidaying here instead of Providenciales, travellers could save an average of £333 per day, when considering the same factors such as hotel and dining costs. This is a huge 75% saving and makes Roatan the most affordable dupe on our list.

Roatan, like Providenciales, offers similar impressive natural beauty, with crystal-clear waters and powdery, white sand beaches. If you enjoy scuba diving or snorkelling, the island is the perfect place, with Time Magazine previously referring to this as a quieter barrier reef.

2. Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo in Monaco comes in second, with average daily costs adding up to £426 per person. This isn’t too surprising, considering Monaco is known to be one of the wealthiest places in the world.

It’s home to some of the most expensive hotels on the list, with nightly rates averaging £590 – even higher than in Providenciales. Drinks are pricier here than in Providenciales too, with beer averaging a hefty £7.72 and a cocktail costing around £16. On the plus side, entertainment costs are slightly lower, adding up to £61 per day on average. 

Dupe: Split, Croatia

While you may not find any Formula One cars in Croatia, the coastal city of Split could be a great alternative to Monte Carlo. The city offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the extravagance of Monte Carlo, while still offering beautiful coastal scenery. Based on our calculations, you could save around 52% by holidaying in Split. One of the major areas tourists can save is with the cost of food and drink: a beer here averages £3 (versus nearly £8) and a meal out for two is estimated at just over £50. 

3. Maui, United States

In third place is Maui. Our research found that this idyllic Hawaiian island could cost visitors an average of £405 per person each day, with accommodation costs once again the biggest factor. Hotel prices are more expensive in Maui than any other location we looked at, with one night’s stay averaging £624. 

Activities are generally slightly more affordable in Maui, though, with entertainment costs around £30 per day. However, if you factor in the cost of flights (which our research didn’t include), the price to visit is still likely to be very high. 

Dupe: Funchal, Madeira (Portugal)

Frequently dubbed the ‘Hawaii of Europe’, Portugal’s island of Madeira is a great alternative for Maui. Travellers could save an average of £264 per day when visiting the island’s capital, Funchal, which is a saving of 65%. Madeira is known for its lush greenery, black sandy beaches, and plenty of cliffs and mountains to explore – much like Hawaii. Beer is priced extremely low at just over £2, on average, and daily entertainment costs are estimated at £13 - less than half compared to Maui.

Affordable dupes for popular destinations

From Seychelles to Iceland, there are many popular places on people’s bucket lists. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, these can be quite expensive to visit. So, to help spark some inspiration for a more budget-friendly getaway, we carried out desk research to identify some more affordable alternatives to the 15 most expensive popular holiday destinations. Below we reveal which present travellers with the biggest potential savings.

As previously mentioned, Roatan offers the biggest potential savings, with an impressive 75%. This is followed by Tenerife, a holiday dupe for Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, with average savings of 67%.

While Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is a popular holiday destination among celebrities; if you’re looking for a similar experience at a lower price point, Tenerife could be a great alternative. Boasting volcanic landscapes and beautiful beaches, it’s a potentially great alternative for those seeking a tropical paradise on a more affordable budget. Plus, as Tenerife is much closer to the UK than Cabo, flights are likely to be less expensive too. This provides another area for potential savings.

Take a look at some of our other ‘dupe’ destinations, to help inspire your next getaway:

Popular destination Total daily cost (per person) Dupe destination Total daily cost (per person) Potential daily savings % savings
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos £443 Roatan, Honduras £109 £334 75%
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico £258 Tenerife, Canary Islands £86 £172 67%
Maui, US £405 Funchal, Madeira (Portugal) £141 £264 65%
Honolulu, US £232 Phuket, Thailand £81 £151 65%
Rome, Italy £240 Krakow, Poland £103 £137 57%
Monte Carlo, Monaco £426 Split, Croatia £205 £222 52%
New York, US £342 Montreal, Canada £171 £171 50%
Ibiza, Spain £324 Budva, Montenegro £167 £157 48%
Zurich, Switzerland £218 Ljubljana, Slovenia £120 £98 45%
Paris, France £194 Budapest, Hungary £109 £85 44%
Santorini, Greece £272 Paros, Greece £183 £89 33%
Milan, Italy £201 Valencia, Spain £136 £65 32%
Madrid, Spain £188 Lisbon, Portugal £136 £52 28%
Amsterdam, Netherlands £181 Bruges, Belgium £147 £34 19%
Reykjavik, Iceland £283 Banff, Canada £250 £33 12%

Tips to help you budget for a holiday

Finding budget-friendly alternatives to more expensive holiday destinations could be a good way to make travelling a bit more affordable. Here are some other ideas to consider to stretch your holiday budget further, which may help you to explore your dream destinations.

1. Set a realistic budget

Before researching flights and hotels, determine how much you can comfortably set aside for your trip. Consider fixed costs like transportation and accommodation, as well as expenses like food and activities.

2. Track your spending

There are many budgeting apps and tools available to help you monitor your daily spending. Tracking your outgoings for a month or two can give you a clearer picture of where you may be able to cut back to free up funds for your holiday.

3. Explore alternative accommodation

Hotels aren't the only option when travelling. Hostels, guest houses, and short-term rentals like Airbnb can sometimes offer significant savings, especially if you're travelling with a group. Be sure to research reputable platforms and prioritise safety.

4. Consider more affordable ways to spend money while abroad

Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees can be a good way to avoid extra charges when paying overseas. However, it's important to only use this method if you are able to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

5. Make the most of free activities

Many destinations offer plenty of free or low-cost activities. Explore local parks, museums with free admission days, or walking tours. Pack a picnic lunch for scenic spots instead of always dining out. Researching these options before your holiday can help you create a fulfilling itinerary without spending too much.

6. Don’t book a holiday you can’t afford

While going on holiday is an exciting time to look forward to, it’s important to make sure you don’t book a holiday you can’t afford. True adventure lies not in the price tag, but in the memories made and the moments cherished.


To identify the most expensive popular holiday destinations, Compare the Market pulled together a seedlist of some popular travel destinations around the world. The destinations were then ranked according to total average spend per person per day, based on the following metrics:

Please note, these calculations are estimates and may change, depending on the travel style of each person. These calculations serve for information purposes only.

To reveal alternative ‘dupe destinations’ that are more affordable, we carried out desk research to identify alternative destinations for the 15 priciest holiday destinations, then used the same metrics to calculate the average daily cost per person. We then ranked dupe destinations based on the potential savings percentage. 

The latest available data was used and was accurate at the time of the research in May 2024.