as for cheap hotels i have always booked thru http://www.hotelpricefinder.com/
for ideas on travel, i have just returned from cape town. its a superb city and one of the best i have visited. there is so much to see and do and the people are very friendly, eating out is cheap as the pound to the rand is very favourable just now (hotels are not expensive, i paid £320 for 10 nights b/b in a lovely appt. with my own kitchen in a very upmarket part of town as a single traveller). on many of the travel forums they have said be careful when going to south africa, there is many troubles to avoid, cape town, the murder capital of the world, getting robbed on the street, car jacking etc.. etc... but if your careful and not wonder into some of the bad areas, townships or hike up tabel mountain alone (weather changes quickly and you could get into difficulty if you should have an accident) stick to the main areas of cape town as there are loads of safety police on every corner.
lastly i walked quite a bit around the city on my own and felt 100% safe all of the time. i will be returning to cape town next year for a month for the world cup and can't wait.
unfortunatly the only down side is that they are in the middle of their winter in july, but you could find cheaper flights at this time of year. saying that you won't find the cheap flights compared to the no frills airlines that fly to europe.
if you are thinking of europe why not visit germany cologne (koln) it is an unusual destination and germanwings http://www.germanwings.com/index.en.shtml are a no frills airline that depart from edinburgh and stanstead and are very reasonable. koln is a superb city and has much to see.