A day of sun, surf and sand shouldn't break the bank, and holidaying in Vietnam is the best way to ensure that remains the case in 2018. As they did last year as well, three of the Asian country's beaches have topped Travelbird's annual Beach Price Index, which ranked 327 beaches from over 70 nations based on their affordability.
Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An was dubbed the least expensive place to take a dip for the second year running, with hitting the waves costing AU$20.20 (or €13.44). City Beach in Nha Trang (AU$22,83) and Long Beach in Phu Quoc (AU$25.29) took out the next two spots, with beaches in India (Benaulim Beach, Palolem Beach, Mandrem Beach, Cavelossim Beach, Agonda Beach and Radhanagar Beach) and Egypt (El Gouna, Sunken City and Marsa Nayzak) rounding out the top 12. Germany and Mexico are the only other countries to make the top 20, courtesy of Hamburg's Falkensteiner Ufer and Oaxaca's Zipolite.
Travelbird bases their rankings on the cost of five beach essentials: sunscreen (SPF30, 200ml), water (500ml), beer (an average between domestic beer prices, and the cost of Heineken, Budweiser, Becks, Guinness and Fosters at local prices), ice cream (pre-packaged and branded), lunch (for one person, including a meal, drink and dessert) and any applicable facility fees (entrance, lounger, chair, hammock, umbrella). If just more than an Aussie lobster sounds cheap for all of that, then spending more than AU$123 will sound mighty hefty, with New Caledonia's Anse Vata in Noumea nearing that mark at the other end of the scale.
Don't go thinking that Australia's abundance of coastline means the country fares much better in the cheap beach stakes, however. Even the least expensive — The Basin on Rottnest Island — hits the $61.37 mark. In fact, all Aussie beaches rank in the 150 costliest spots to sunbathe and splash around, with Manly Beach in Sydney the ninth costliest at $97.86, and Perth's Cottesloe Beach taking 12th spot at $95.15. Others on the list include Blinky Beach on Lorde Howe Island, Bondi in Sydney, Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia, Mindil Beach in Darwin, and 75 Mile Beach, Whitehaven Beach and Palm Cove in Queensland.
As for New Zealand spots to sunbathe and splash around, four make the poll. Over in New Zealand, Piha in Auckland is the most affordable, followed by Orewa, Karekare then Hahei in Waikato.