Making your money go as far as possible is often one of the fundamentals of holiday planning. And with the sterling doing well against the euro and low fuel prices at the moment, if you’re planning a trip then Europe is a particularly good idea! Holidaymakers changing £500 can get around €67.50 (£52) more than they would have a year ago - a tidy sum that’ll do nicely to cover an enjoyable meal for two!
Europe, being right on our doorstep, offers so many breathtaking attractions, from the rugged highlands of Greece to the beautiful Italian Riviera or the cultural grandeur of the eastern capitals like Budapest and Bratislava. And by choosing to travel off-season you’ll often find cheaper airfares, more budget rooms, less queues and meet more Europeans than tourists.
Long-haul destinations may not be as advantageous since the pound has weakened against a number of other currencies but there are always places where playing the currency game can bring significant dividends. We should say, at this point, that all figures and comparisons were correct at the time of writing. Below, the Flexicover Team compares some popular holiday destinations!
Barbados vs Jamaica
Both of these Caribbean islands boast fantastic beaches and ample opportunity for relaxation. From white sandy beaches, coconut tree-lined coasts, great resorts and delicious food, each would make a wonderful choice for a holiday this year. But the pound has fallen nearly 7% against the Barbadian dollar over the last year making it more expensive by comparison. Caribbean destinations, generally, have seen price increases in the last year but Barbadian rises have been around 40% compared to Jamaica at 19%. So head to the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ for an interesting blend of cultures, history and stunning scenery!
Dominican Republic vs Mexico
For another look at the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a great place with glorious beaches coupled with scenic mangrove lagoons, mountain peaks and inland waterfalls. But the rise of luxury hotels opening is attracting higher spending tourists, leading to price hikes across the board. Mexican destinations, like Cancun, however, are currently around 40% cheaper than they were in 2009! With 22km of turquoise beaches, vibrant nightlife, day trips to Tulum to explore Mayan history, this really could be a more appealing option for much the same kind of holiday. Either way, you’re bound to have a great time with opportunities for both mind and body to enjoy!
Dubai vs Egypt
Whilst the glitz and glamour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Dubai is a real favourite for Britons. With its fantastic weather, great shopping, world-renowned restaurants and jaw-dropping luxurious hotels, it’s understandable why. Nevertheless, the cost of holiday items in the popular Jumeirah Beach area has increased 62% on last year with the average cost of a 1.5l bottle of mineral water around £2.80. And with the pound currently weak against the Emirati dirham, this may not be good news. If you’re looking for a similar trip in the area, albeit not quite so ostentatious, consider Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea in Egypt instead. It has outstanding weather for most of the year, direct flights from the UK, world-class diving, child-friendly resorts and the average cost of the same bottle of water is under 50p!
Thailand vs Indonesia
Phuket is Thailand’s most popular beach resort with its white sandy beaches, great luxury hotels, myriad water sports and a vibrant island culture. However, the sterling has fallen sharply against the Thai baht over the last year, by around 7%. For a more cost-effective island option try Bali in Indonesia. Whilst its prices have increased since last year, they haven’t risen by as much as Thailand. Floating in the turquoise waters of the Java and Flores Seas, you can spend a couple of days in the central hub of Ubud, exploring temples, watching traditional ketchak dances and bargaining in the market. Then head to the beach in Seminyak for pure relaxation and total 4S bliss - sun, sea, sand and spa!
Turkey vs Greece
Nestled on the cusp of the Aegean and Mediterranean, Marmaris offers something for everyone on a breakaway. Haggle in the local bazaars, swim through underwater caves, relax by a pool or sightsee at the Netsel Marina. But with the current bullish pound, it may be a good idea to delay a trip to Turkey and head to Greece and the labyrinthine island of Crete. The largest of the Greek islands offers some fantastic hotels, delicious food, 1050km of coastline and four millennia of history! Resort costs are also reported at around 26% lower than last year, making this a particular attractive destination for your summer holiday!
Wherever your travels take you and whatever deals you manage to get, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.