New research: the 10 cheapest places for a New Year holiday

New research: the 10 cheapest places for a New Year holiday

The stronger pound is gifting British holidaymakers up to 28 per cent more travel cash this year.

New research by Post Office Travel Money and a leading travel brand reveals that sterling will go furthest of all on long-haul trips to Bali or South Africa because their currencies have slumped by more than 20 per cent.

However, Egypt will be the best bet for bargain-hunters in January at almost a third of the price. Not only is the pound more than 12 per cent stronger against the Egyptian pound than last year, but Red Sea resort holidays are much cheaper than other winter sunspots. The reason for the unparalleled value is that tour operators are offering great deals to attract UK tourists to Egypt now that it is off the FCO list and back on the holiday radar.

Post Office Travel Money surveyed package-holiday prices, resort-meal costs and exchange rates in 10 winter-sun destinations.

It found that Sharm el-Sheikh cost less than half as much as in mid-haul competitor Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach – £399 compared with £983. And sterling’s strength gives tourists £55 more Egyptian pounds on a £500 exchange transaction, which compares favourably with only £3 more in UAE dirham.

At £719 per person, Orlando is also great value for UK holidaymakers. A seven-night holiday with evening meals in the theme-park city costs £180 less than a week on the beach in Playa del Carmen (Mexico), which is priced at £899 per person.

Both these resort areas – with Negril (Jamaica) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) – emerge as better value than the three Far Eastern destinations surveyed. Penang (Malaysia) was most expensive of the 10 winter sun destinations at £1,314 per person for the one-week holiday with evening meals, costing 83 per cent more than Orlando. Phuket (Thailand) was three times as expensive as Sharm el-Sheikh (£1,196).

The Indonesian island of Bali was marginally cheaper, priced at £1,172 per person for the one-week holiday. It was the lowest-priced of the three Far East destinations surveyed – with the added benefit of a weak rupiah which gives UK tourists more than £108 more spending money for every £500 exchanged compared with a year ago. Only Cape Town comes close to offering as much extra cash – around £91 more for £500 changed into South African rand.

 

Destination

7-night Travelbag holiday plus 7 evening meals*

How much the £ buys

Dec 13 vs. Dec 12

How much £500 buys

Dec 13 vs. Dec 12

Egypt: Sharm el-Sheikh

£399

+12.5%

+£55.42

USA: Orlando

£719

+0.8%

+£3.81

Mexico: Playa del Carmen

£899

+0.8%

+£4.07

Dubai: Jumeirah

£983

+0.6%

+£3.11

Jamaica: Negril

£1,074

+14.5%

+£63.16

Dominican Republic: Punta Cana

£1,129

+7.7%

+£35.69

South Africa: Cape Town

£1,167

+22.3%

+£91.03

Indonesia: Bali

£1,172

+27.6%

+£108.28

Thailand: Phuket

£1,196

+7.3%

+£33.82

Malaysia: Penang

£1,314

+7.7%

+£35.86

* January package prices were provided by Travelbag (0845 543 6615 travelbag.co.uk), based on the lowest available holiday from London, departing January 1-8 2014. All packages were accurate at the time of research and are based on two adults sharing, including accommodation, return flights and transfers (except USA, excluding transfers). Evening meal prices were taken from the Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer, except for Dominican Republic, Egypt and Mexico, where all-inclusive package prices are quoted.

(Featured image: Alan Cleaver)

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