4 rand-friendly destinations for South Africans to visit
07 September 2023Last Updated:27 September 2023
Picnic on idyllic beach

For South Africans travelling abroad, prices tend to be eye-watering. Buying a bottle of water in Melbourne, for example, could set you back about R100. You'd pay roughly half of that in North America and Europe, which is better, but still quite a hefty price tag for someone earning rands. If you don’t want to spend your holiday gasping at the price of essentials – or ordering one starter for the whole family to share at lunchtime – try these rand-friendly destinations instead.


Currency: Turkish lira
Do I need a visa? Yes, but fortunately you can apply online
Best time to visit: April to May and September to November

If city life is your thing, you can’t miss Istanbul, a metropolis filled with culture and cosmopolitanism. You’ll definitely want to take a tour of its open-air museums, particularly Galata Tower, which offers a panoramic view of the entire city. And don’t worry about pinching your pennies come mealtimes – Turkey is home to some of the best and most affordable food in the world. Book a street-food tour to fill up on next-level doner kebabs, and don't forget the Turkish delight.

If you’ve ever followed a travel influencer on Instagram, you’ll probably have seen a picture of hot air balloons rising over beautiful Cappadocia, located in the country's south-central region. If you’d like to take to the skies this way, it’s best to book online well in advance (preferably using a Shyft virtual card for safety and convenience).


Currency: Czech koruna or crown
Do I need a visa? Yes, a Schengen visa
Best time to visit: March to May and September to November

As far as food goes, almost all restaurants in Prague, Czech’s capital, have lunch specials, and the average price is 150 CZK for a main course and (sometimes) soup. For activities and sightseeing, Prague is a picturesque city with a rich history. You can skip the urban bustle by booking a guided tour to explore the hidden world beneath the cobblestone streets of Old Town (featuring dungeons that haven't changed since the 12th century). The city also has one of the best public transport systems, so getting around is convenient, safe and affordable.


Currency: baht
Do I need a visa? Nope
Best time to visit: November to February (March and April are good for the beach, but too hot in the cities)

Thailand is a perennial favourite among South Africans thanks to its affordability, culture, delicious cuisine and beautiful beaches. The country is affectionately known as ‘the land of smiles’, which ostensibly refers to its friendly populace but could also refer to all the South African tourists enjoying luxurious experiences at extremely affordable prices.

Thailand offers diverse attractions, whether you go north for lush mountainscapes and ancient temples; explore the hive-like energy of Bangkok; or sun yourself on a tropical island down south. Wherever you go, you have to savour the delicious street food, and treat yourself to at least one Thai massage.


Currency: Philippine peso
Do I need a visa? Nope
Best time to visit: December to February

Filipinos are some of the friendliest people on the planet, so don't be surprised if you're making a reel and someone jumps in front of the camera to shout, ‘Welcome to the Philippines!’.  

If you’re in the capital, Manila, there are many ways to get around, but one of the most enjoyable is in a jeepney. These colourfully decorated minibuses are actually converted vintage American Jeeps, and riding in them is a fun experience that won’t cost you much per jaunt. If you're feeling more adventurous, hop aboard a tricycle. It’s a tight fit but boy, what an experience!

Does my Shyft card work in these countries?

You may be thinking that because your Shyft multicurrency card is loaded with USD, EUR, GBP, AUD or ZAR, you can’t use it at that beach bar in Thailand. You can! The card will adapt to the local currency, the same way your everyday South African credit card would. Why use a Shyft multicurrency card then, instead of your normal card? Because you can buy and save the world’s strongest currencies with Shyft in the lead-up to your trip. This potentially gives you more buying power than you would have had if your travel nest egg had remained in depreciating rands.

Ready for take-off? Travel with ease with Shyft. 
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