As January sets in Britons could be looking for a bit of winter sun and a break from the colder weather. However, the post-Christmas slump can be a difficult time for finances. Luckily, there are some sunny destinations where Britons can expect to see their travel money go further.
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Research by Post Office Travel Money shows that UK holidaymakers will see their travel money stretching up to 11 percent further than last December in 10 of the 12 destinations surveyed.
Furthermore, the data revealed the best hotspots for tourists on European and long-haul holidays.
Of the destinations included in the survey, Cyprus was voted the cheapest of 12 winter sun favourites.
According to Post Office Travel Money: “Not only has sterling risen 6.6 percent year-on-year against the euro to make resort costs cheaper, but package prices are also low.
“In early January this means a seven-night holiday in Paphos, including flights, three-star B&B accommodation, drinks and evening meals, will cost £482 per person.”
The Canary Islands came in second and third places in the survey, although prices were over ten percent higher than in Cyprus.
Tenerife took second place at £538 and Lanzarote was only marginally more expensive at £553.
For tourists jetting off on long-haul travel, there are still plenty of budget-friendly destinations.
Post Office Travel Money compared the same holiday costs in nine long haul holiday resorts and found that Orlando (£868) was the cheapest option for a New Year getaway.
According to the research: “After sterling’s gains since its summer low, the US dollar is now worth 6.3 percent less against the pound year-on-year, while local meal and drinks prices remain at 2018 levels.”
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Meanwhile, Dubai was also highlighted as the cheapest long-haul beach resort, estimated at £1,081 per person for a week’s holiday.
Much like Orlando, the time of year is largely to thank, with January the cheapest month for travel.
However, the report did point out that prices for meals and drinks in Dubai were the most expensive out of all of the destinations included in the comparison.
The experts suggest opting for all-inclusive hotel stays when visiting the Emirate.
Although Mauritius and Jamaica lead the way for the long haul destinations where sterling will go the furthest, they were also found to be the most expensive destinations, meaning the savings are less noticeable.
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One destination whose currency remains stronger against sterling – by 4.1 percent year-on-year – is Thailand.
Sri Lanka (£1,138) was also moderately-priced among the long haul resorts surveyed by the Post Office, with sterling stretching 4.8 percent.
Prices in Cancun were slightly higher (£1,174) because sterling is 1.3 percent weaker against Mexico’s peso than last December.
Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Sterling is now much stronger than in the summer and that spells good news for holidaymakers. Compared with a year ago, UK tourists visiting almost every country worldwide can expect to get more foreign cash for their pounds and in Europe, this currently equates to £31 extra for every £500 changed into euros.
“However, our latest research makes it clear that there are big price variations between long and short-haul holiday destinations so it is a good idea to do some homework before booking to check for the best value packages and the lowest resort costs.
He added: “For holidaymakers planning trips abroad later in 2020, our advice is to keep a close eye on sterling rate movements and load holiday money onto a Post Office Travel Money Card at times when rates are best.”
For travellers who are concerned about the unpredictable exchange rates, there are still options.
Keeping an eye on impending political developments is a good way of getting an idea of which direction the pound will move in against relevant currencies.
However, when rates are high it is recommended holidaymakers lock it in by opting for a travel money card.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of international money specialist Equals said: “The safest way to guarantee an exchange rate you’re happy with is to lock-in the rate on a prepaid card when the pound is doing well.
“It also means you avoid losing money when you return from your trip and have to change any leftover cash back into pounds if the exchange rate has worsened.”
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