Post Office Travel Money advises where to get ‘more bang for your buck’
Cyprus and Canaries top the chart for best value New Year holiday bargains
Orlando is the cheapest long haul destination – despite the strong dollar
Bali is the survey’s lowest-priced long haul beach resort and the only place where sterling will stretch further than a year ago
An overload of too much turkey and wintery weather is the annual trigger for thousands of people to escape the Christmas blues by booking a bargain New Year break. According to new research by Post Office Travel Money, sun seekers will find the best winter sun bargains in a trio of European islands. It found that Cyprus, Lanzarote and Tenerife were cheapest by far in a survey of 12 winter sun resorts, while the lowest-priced long haul destinations – Orlando and Bali – were hundreds of pounds pricier.
By combining the cost of a one-week holiday package (based on two sharing a room) at the beginning of January with the weekly cost for an evening meal including wine plus coffee and beers, the price in Paphos, Cyprus was just under £382 per person – at least 17 per cent cheaper than in Lanzarote (£461.86) and Tenerife (£469.48).
Further afield, Post Office Travel Money compared costs in nine long haul resorts and found Orlando (£651.31pp) to be the cheapest option for a New Year getaway, despite the continuing strength of the US dollar against sterling. Although a week in the world’s theme park capital was 70 per cent more expensive than in Paphos, the Post Office says this is mainly because of the cost of a transatlantic air fare. When compared with its long haul competitors, Orlando was less than half the price of Montego Bay, Jamaica (£1,346.89) and Grand Baie, Mauritius (£1,600.35), the two most expensive destinations.
Bali emerges as the cheapest long haul beach resort at £785.82 per person for a week’s holiday. Its cost of living total (£176.82) was second lowest among the 12 resorts surveyed and 6.9 per cent less than in Paphos, while its currency, the Indonesian rupiah, is also slightly weaker against the pound than a year ago. UK visitors will get around one per cent more cash to spend than a year ago, compared with over seven per cent less in Kenya. Although Mombasa was rated as having the cheapest cost of living (£149.73), the higher package price meant that Kenya’s overall total of £1,141.73 per person was 45 per cent more than in Bali.
Cancun in Mexico is another bargain for UK tourists at around £829 per person and a cheaper choice than either of the Caribbean resorts surveyed. While cheaper than Jamaica, Rodney Bay, St Lucia (£1,180.26) was still 42 per cent more expensive than Cancun.
Although the cost of a holiday package to Dubai was the second-cheapest after Orlando for a long haul resort at £590 per person, the high price of meals and drinks in Jumeirah Beach – £471.80 for one week – made it 35 per cent most expensive than Bali at £1,061.80.
In the Far East, a week’s holiday in Phuket totalled £1,075.35 combining a package deal and local meal and drinks costs. This made the Thai resort over a third pricier than its Far East competitor Bali.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Sterling’s continuing volatility means it is more vital than ever for holidaymakers to be aware just how much the cost of their winter sun trip can escalate once the cost of meals and drinks is added to the package price. The clear message for bargain-hunters is to do their holiday homework to find the destination that will give them the best overall value once all these elements are combined.
“In places like Dubai where meal and drinks prices are high, booking all-inclusive packages will keep their costs down.”
The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, offering euro on demand at over 9,000 branches and US dollars at over 3,500 branches. They can also be ordered online at postoffice.co.uk for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches, for next day collection at any branch or for home delivery. 1,600 larger Post Office Branches stock 30 leading currencies while up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 branches or online at postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.