Jhe first year of unrestricted travel lasted two years, but just as we were starting to dig up those dusty suitcases, the biggest cost-of-living crisis in a generation hit.
But don’t despair. It’s still possible to get a lot this year if you do your homework. Exchange rates are particularly volatile at the moment, but the British pound is doing well against some currencies, including the Turkish lira, Hungarian forint and Croatian kuna. In these countries, you will get more for your money than two years ago.
Sweden may be expensive on the ground, but the pound has risen in value against the krone over the past year – so now is the perfect time to book this Stockholm city. Pause.
And while there may be rising inflation in the UK, it’s not the same in some resorts around the world. According to Post Office Travel Money’s Global Holiday Cost Barometer – which measures eight assorted tourist expenditures, from sunscreen to a three-course dinner for two – tourists will get an average of 25% more bang for their buck at the resort. Mauritius in Grand Bay compared to two years ago and 17% more in Corfu, Greece.
● Affordable city breaks in Europe
● The best all-inclusive hotels in Turkey
Avoiding the most expensive resorts and towns altogether is an obvious way to put your money to work. The cost of a G&T won’t be the same at a Croatian chichi beach club as it is in the cool (and underrated) capital of Zagreb. Based on all of these factors, we’ve rounded up some friendly vacation options where you can escape the economic gloom.
The country has worked tirelessly to attract tourists after the challenges of the past two years. There is now a certificate for Covid-safe hotels and restaurants, as well as compulsory vaccination for tourism workers – as well as no entry restrictions. And the pound has soared against the Turkish lira, meaning you’ll get more than double this year what you did in 2019. According to the Post’s Global Holiday Cost Barometer, in the resort from Marmaris on the Turkish Riviera, prices are 43%. cheaper than in 2019. Jet2 also believes that it will be a great year: it has already increased its volume of flights to resorts such as Marmaris, Bodrum and Antalya.
take me there Seven nights all-inclusive at Green Nature Resort and Spa in Marmaris from £589 pp including flights (onthebeach.co.uk)
Visit Andrassy Castle in Tiszadob, Hungary
It has always been a cheap destination for tourists – in Budapest you can get a five star hotel for hundreds of pounds less than an equivalent in Paris, Barcelona or Madrid. Recent exchange rates mean you’ll get around a fifth more bang for your buck now than before the pandemic – in other words, it looks like a good time for a spa weekend in Budapest. In the summer months, however, it’s best to get out of the capital on a cycling holiday in northern Hungary to the underrated wine regions of Tokaj and Eger and visit medieval castles teetering on the hilltops.
take me there Eight nights full board from £2,200 pp. Fly to Budapest (cycling-tours-in-hungary.com)
Snorkeling in the Red Sea
While we get the head of the Queen, the Egyptian pounds are preceded by ruined sphinxes and pharaoh warrior Ramses III, and there will be quite a bit more in your wallet this summer – rates have tipped in our favor by 2% . The country is buzzing right now, with the new Grand Egyptian Museum and the recent film directed by Kenneth Branagh Death on the Nile film providing additional reasons to visit. It’s also awash with offers during the summer months, when you’ll want to decamp to the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, for some of the world’s best scuba diving and a three-course meal for two for just £15.
take me there Seven nights all-inclusive at the Grand Palace, Hurghada, from £852 pp including flights (redseaholidays.co.uk)
Masurian Lake District, Poland
For some reason, Poland doesn’t get the credit it deserves as a destination, losing out to its sunnier, more beachy Mediterranean cousins. Working in its favor this year is a better exchange rate – you’ll get 12% more compared to 2019. The newly renovated airport in Olsztyn, the capital of the Masurian Lake District in the northeast, is the gateway to a region filled with a fascinating patchwork of 2,000 lakes and dense forest. The best way to see it? By water, of course, on an eight-day bike and boat trip that takes you to visit farmers’ markets and rickety wooden houses, staying on a small 20-cabin boat.
take me there Seven-night half-board from £888 pp, departs July 9 (france-bike.com). Fly to Warsaw
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India
MANUAL ROMARIS/GETTY IMAGES
There’s a reason backpackers fall in love with India. Many magnificent palaces and fortresses are free to visit, train travel is cheap and a great way to see the scenery, and you can eat at any mid-range restaurant for a fraction of the price in Europe. On this great-value, 15-night small-group tour for travelers aged 18-39, you’ll pack your bags in Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur, staying in small desert villages and towns with guides offering insight along the way. Flights in July are just £500 return.
take me there 15 nights room only including selected meals from £439 pp, departs July 23 (gadventures.com). Fly to Delhi
Surfing in Costa Rica
6. Costa Rica
Demand has never been higher for a Costa Rica vacation – Skyscanner reporting that searches for flights this year are even surpassing 2019 levels. increase over Costa Rican colon: giving you 11% more than you would have before the pandemic. Prices at one of the most popular resorts, Tamarindo on the Pacific coast, have also fallen by a third in two years, with a surfboard costing around £5 for a day’s hire.
take me there Seven nights B&B at the Wyndham Esplendor Tamarindo from £821 pp including flights, departs June 8 (tui.co.uk)
Harmony Suites Grand Resort in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Not only is the exchange rate moving in your favor (you get about 4% more than in 2019), but to attract visitors, prices in the resort town of Sunny Beach on the Black Sea coast have been reduced by 25% on average. Stay in an apartment at Harmony Suites Grand Resort, less than a mile from the beach. The complex’s playground and shaded swimming pool will delight families.
take me there Seven-night self-catering accommodation from £338 pp including flights (balkanholidays.co.uk)
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