Kate Simon: How to make your holiday cash go that bit further - News & Advice - Travel - The Independent

Kate Simon: How to make your holiday cash go that bit further

Travel view

Do you want to know where you can make your holiday cash go further this year? Help is at hand in the shape of the latest Holiday Money Report, published last week by the Post Office.

This useful annual summary of how currencies have fared against sterling, and which sold the best across the Post Office counter, is a mine of information, from the biggest supplier of foreign exchange in the UK.

With sterling strengthening against the euro and other European currencies, it's no surprise to learn British holidaymakers are on course to get more for their money in Europe than in long-haul destinations. But by also looking at how prices in resort differ year on year, the report offers a rounded view of what impact a destination will have on our purse, courtesy of its Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer (check out postoffice.co.uk/ holidaycosts2011).

This analyses the prices of eight typical holiday purchases – from a cup of coffee to a three-course meal for two with wine – across a number of countries, this year extended to 36. The bills are totted up and then compared with the previous year to see where you can expect to pay more or less.

This year Portugal grabs top slot. The price of the shopping list was slashed by half, year on year, to £32.84. Spain came second with an 18 per cent drop. Both are reeling from a couple of poor years, caused by the strength of the euro against the pound and high in-resort costs. Now, these destinations have taken the axe to prices in an attempt to win back their British fan base.

According to the report, resort discounting has become the flavour of the month, with Cyprus, Greece, Malta and France registering in-resort price falls. Turkey is also learning its lesson for putting up prices by as much as 44 per cent on the back of its increased popularity in recent years. Costs here fell by 20 per cent in the past year.

But if you're thinking of travelling further afield, beware of price rises of up to 39 per cent in Barbados, 32 per cent in Egypt and 30 per cent in Florida.

To save your pennies, consider Sri Lanka, the best long-haul performer on the barometer. Latin American currencies are a good bet, too, helped by new flights into Cancun and Costa Rica. You'll find the best buy in this region, with competitively priced packages and low costs on the ground for meals and drinks, down Mexico way.

***

Should we care about the the withdrawal of Government backing for the star system for accommodation? Possibly not. The method, which I'm told was dreamt up by a hotel inspector inspired by the stars on a bottle of Hennessy brandy, has lost its authority – while a few serious bodies award stars, plenty of accommodation businesses categorise themselves.

But are sites such as TripAdvisor really a more reliable alternative? To my mind, they're still far too open to abuse from grumpy guests and unscrupulous rivals.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week