Cape Town - In life, there are some combinations that do not go together and sadly the words "luxury" and "budget" is a prime example.
There are times when a budget holiday just doesn't cut it. Sometimes you need to pay top dollar - especially when it's your honeymoon, a trip to propose, certain hallmark anniversary getaways, a celebratory retirement vacation are all luxury holidays that require a measure of splurging.
If your holiday dreams are bigger than your budgets, the question is, are there any ways to enjoy the highlife for less?
The answer is YES! We here at Traveller24 obviously see travel as a necessity - and we've got you covered with some of the best islands you can check out without breaking the bank.
ALSO SEE: Easy, off-peak island escapes for South Africans
Island of Mozambique
Recognised as a World Heritage Site in 1991, in this island off the north coast of the mainland, you'll encounter dhows shifting silently through shallow seas, bruised colonial buildings withering elegantly in the tropical heat, and the voices of a church choir competing with the muezzin’s call to prayer.
The island is one of the historical highlights of Africa, a fragrant melange of African, Portuguese, Swahili, French and Goan flavours left to mellow in the iridescent waters of the Indian Ocean for centuries.
SEE: Get lit for Mozambique with these traveller tips
The Bazaruto Archipelago has clear, turquoise waters filled with colourful fish, and offers diving, snorkelling and birding. It makes a fine upmarket holiday if you’re looking for the quintessential Indian Ocean getaway.
The archipelago consists of five main islands: Bazaruto, Benguera (also spelled Benguerra, and formerly known as Santo António), Magaruque (Santa Isabel), Santa Carolina (Paradise Island or Ilha do Paraíso) and tiny Bangué.
SEE: #AfriTravel: Here's what a R34m Mozambique island adventure entails
Ibo, is best known for the Quirimbas islands, is a one-of-a-kind place that rivals Mozambique Island as one of the nation's historical highlights. Its quiet streets are lined with dilapidated villas and crumbling, moss-covered buildings, and they echo with the footsteps of bygone centuries. Architecturally Ibo is relatively open, with wide streets rather than narrow medieval lanes.
Although its ambiance is strangely insulated, the population of around 3 000 is concentrated on the island's northern tip. The best time to visit is during a clear, moonlit night when the old colonial houses take on a haunting, almost surreal aspect.
SEE: SA travellers eyeing budget-friendly cruises to Mozambique and Mediterranean - survey
Known for its beautiful beaches, natural coral reefs and freshwater lagoons, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius makes for the perfect beach vacation.
From moon-like landscapes at the foot of a volcano to clear blue lagoons, this tropical French Island offers the traveller a unique concentrate of emotions and experiences.
Reunion Island is one of the very few destinations that allows you to experience the most wonderful adventures. In just a single journey you can discover a huge diversity of landscapes and cultures. Reunion gives you the possibility to tour the world in only a few days.
SEE: Reunion: Adrenaline island
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and offers a variety of exciting and fun activities that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.
The island is situated off the coast of Southeast Africa and is home to one of the most beautiful landscapes and diverse ecosystems and wildlife on the planet. The sheer amount of flora and fauna found on the island makes for breathtaking views, once in a lifetime experience and a holiday filled with adventure.
SEE: Madagascar: The wild one
For Maldives, think bright blue skies, all-year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling - a dreamy getaway with endless cocktails!
You can enjoy some of the best diving spot in the world on this postcard paradise island.
It has breathtakingly beautiful scenery, pearly-white beaches and its a hot spot for honeymooners who just want to relax, chill out and indulge in this unique destination.
SEE: The Maldives = Beach therapy
A remote little island that lies off the east coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean – it is the lesser-known tropical island escape. As the smallest of the Mascarene Islands, it is surrounded by a lush marine life.
This blissfully isolated, tiny volcanic outcrop is surrounded by a massive turquoise lagoon and is a stunning mountainous gem that barely feels connected to its big sister, Mauritius, let alone the wider world.
SEE: #FindYourEscape: 5 Reasons why you CAN afford to take an overseas holiday
The Seychelles ranks as one of the world’s top island destinations. From the flowers in the gardens that surround each house to the palms and other flora making up the jungle-clad hillsides, to the craggy mountain peaks that tower over the shores, the beauty of Seychelles goes far beyond a beach photograph.
With its gorgeous beaches and exquisite waters, this Indian Ocean Island archipelago is a draw card for travellers.
SEE: Seychelles: Why it's good for the soul
Zanzibar attracts visitors in search of glorious white sand beaches, warm turquoise sea, fantastic diving and rich cultural heritage.
The island is home to Stone Town, an intriguing old city of narrow, winding alleyways and stone coral buildings, which is full of atmosphere and immensely beautiful. You are expected to spend your time diving, snorkelling, swimming and exploring the beaches.
SEE: #AfriTravel: Find your escape at all new Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge
The Republic of Indonesia is made up of a series of islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. It is one of the world’s largest archipelagos, and one of the largest predominantly Moslem countries.
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs.
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Thailand is an island that doesn’t stop at just bustling Bangkok markets and a hammock on the beach.