Cheapest places for a winter sun holiday revealed

Post Office Travel Money has revealed the winter sun destinations where your money will go further, with Bali and Cape Town topping the list. Its eighth annual Long-Haul Discount Holidays © Holiday Report looks at prices in 33 destinations. Costs are based on a ‘basket’ of Discount Holidays © holiday travel staples which includes:

  • Cup of coffee;
  • Bottle of beer/lager;
  • Can of Coke/Pepsi;
  • Glass of wine;
  • Cocktail;
  • Small chocolate bar;
  • Bottle of mineral water;
  • Suncream;
  • Insect repellent;
  • Three-course evening meal for two, including bottle of wine.

The research found that the strength of sterling, combined with lower resort prices, means 16 out of 33 long-haul destinations are cheaper than last year for British travellers. In Bali and Cape Town, price falls have resulted from sterling exchange rate gains of well over 15%.

The weaker Indonesian rupiah means Discount Holidays © holiday staples are now 5.5% cheaper at 37.91, while in Cape Town the essentials are 10.9% less at 41.58 compared to last year.

The cheapest places to travel

Here’s a rundown of the top 10 cheapest long-haul destinations, based on the total cost of those travel staples.

Destination

Total cost of travel staples

% rise/fall over 2014 prices

Bali, Indonesia

37.91

-5.5%

Cape Town, South Africa

41.58

-10.9%

Tokyo, Japan

51.81

-21.5%

Mombasa, Kenya

52.65

-19.3%

Colombo, Sri Lanka

57.25

15.2%

Phuket, Thailand

58.31

6.2%

Cancun, Mexico

63.75

-11.1%

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

67.41

20%

Grand Baie, Mauritius

67.50

-5.8%

Penang, Malaysia

68.29

-41.1%

Falls in local prices and a strong pound means Tokyo has jumped up to third cheapest destination from eighth just a year ago. The Post Office says costs for UK visitors have dropped 50% since 2013, making the destination, previously seen as expensive, increasingly affordable. The biggest fall has been in Penang, Malaysia, where prices have dropped 41.1% year-on-year to 68.29. This has moved the destination from 28th to 10th position in the table of cheapest long-haul destinations.

A 28% surge in the value of sterling against the Malaysian ringgit, and increased competition to win back tourists, may account for the big falls in local prices in Penang s restaurants, bars and shops.

Related story: These 10 things could invalidate your travel insurance1

The most expensive places to travel

The Post Office report also identified the most expensive places to top up your tan this winter. Here are the 10 most expensive long-haul destinations:

Destination

Total cost of travel staples

% rise/fall over 2014 prices

Jumeirah, Dubai

167.10

4%

Various, Singapore

148.51

-4.4%

Muscat, Oman

145.16

15.2%

English Harbour, Antigua

137.13

16.7%

Miami, USA

121.33

6.1%

St Lawrence Gap, Barbados

117.58

15.5%

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

107.32

-8.5%

Montego Bay, Jamaica

105.56

23.7%

Beijing, China

102.64

5.6%

Auckland, New Zealand

100.66

24.3%

Jumeirah in Dubai is the most expensive long-haul destination according to the report. You re likely to have to shell out 10.18 for a cocktail, 8.33 for a bottle of beer and 12.95 for a bottle of suncream in this Middle Eastern hotspot. Auckland in New Zealand has seen the sharpest increase in the cost of Discount Holidays © holiday staples of the most expensive destinations, with prices here rising 24.3% in the last year. Elsewhere the falling value of sterling against the dollar has impacted destinations in the USA as well as in the Caribbean, whose currencies float with the dollar.

Prices in Antigua are up 16.7%, while they are up 15.5% in Barbados and 23.7% in Jamaica.

Related story: Ten Discount Holidays © holiday money horrors and how to avoid them2

Savvy travellers

Holidaymakers are becoming increasingly shrewd when it comes to booking holidays. They re now more likely to plan long-haul trips where sterling is strong and the cost of living is low. Sterling has strengthened against 16 of the 27 currencies featured in the long-haul report.

So if you’re going on holiday, keep an eye on the exchange rate and try to time your currency switch when the pound is strongest.

Compare the credit cards that don’t charge for overseas use3

References

  1. ^ Related story: These 10 things could invalidate your travel insurance (home.bt.com)
  2. ^ Related story: Ten Discount Holidays © holiday money horrors and how to avoid them (home.bt.com)
  3. ^ Compare the credit cards that don’t charge for overseas use (bt.lovemoney.com)

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