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Low costs are key to happy holidays

Many travellers base their choice of holiday destination on the cost of everyday spending, although most substantially exceed their planned budgets.

Family on beach holiday

The typical Brit exceeds their holiday spending budget by 44% according to new research.

A survey carried out by Post Office Travel Money has found that while the average tourist plans to spend £552 on the likes of food, drink and sea-front donkey rides, typical living expenses while away are in fact £794.

Day-to-day expenses important

The Post Office also found that many travellers took everyday costs into account when deciding on a holiday destination.

More than a quarter of those questioned said that they had chosen the location of their most recent foreign trip because they had visited previously and found it offered good value for money.

A further fifth of respondents said they had deliberately opted for a resort where living costs were low.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: "Our new research shows the extent to which value is a determining factor in destination choice.

Where is sterling strongest?

"Holidaymakers can best arm themselves with information that will help them to make informed decisions about value by monitoring exchange rates to see where sterling has strengthened most this year."

The firm also questioned travellers about what they thought were the best and worst-value destinations.

Turkey emerged as a clear winner: 87% of those who had visited the country previously said they had found it to be good value, as opposed to 13% who thought prices were too dear.

Mainland Spain and Greece rated highly as well, with 83% of visitors to both countries saying living expenses were reasonable.

Many destinations rated 'good value'

Sorrento in ItalyPortugal, the Spanish islands, the USA, Croatia, Egypt and Bulgaria also received positive reports.

The worst performers were Italy – only 58% said their trip to the country was good value – as well as Dubai (52%) and, in last place, France (50%).

The Post Office said that a recent study had identified the resort of Sorrento (pictured right) on Italy’s Amalfi Coast as the most expensive in Europe.

Day-to-day costs appear to play a major role in tourists’ decisions about whether to return to a particular destination.

Low prices mean likely to return

Almost two-thirds of those asked said they would be likely to return to Turkey due to its low prices.

But only 29% of previous visitors said they would go back to Dubai, while just a third planned a repeat visit to France.

Sammy-Lea Samways, head of travel at, warned that holidaymakers concerned about the financial implications of their trips should make sure they had adequate travel insurance in place.

"Insurance doesn't have to be one of your major holiday expenses, however travelling without it could be," Samways said.

Protection need not be expensive

"One of the most important features of travel insurance is the medical cover, as medical treatment abroad can be very expensive.

"According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, an overnight hospital stay in Spain to treat an allergic reaction could cost £3,000, while treating a broken leg in the USA can be around £40,000."

Samways pointed out that a travel policy for a family of four for a three-day break in Europe can cost less than £6.

"The right protection will allow you to relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing that you're covered should the worst happen."

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Chris Torney

Chris Torney

Chris is the former personal finance editor at the Daily Express. He's been a journalist for more than 10 years and contributes to a wide range of finance and business titles.Read more from Chris