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Which holiday destinations currently offer the best value?

Rolls of euro notesThe continuing strength of sterling against the euro means that resorts in the eurozone look like a good bet for those heading overseas this summer.

In recent weeks, the pound has risen to near four-year highs against the euro as concerns over bailout funding for the region’s struggling economies and banks has exacerbated the crisis on the Continent.

The pound did drop a little against the majority of major currencies following the announcement of a sharper-than-expected decline in the inflation rate on 24 July, but still remains strong.

Recent findings from currency specialist Moneycorp show that over the past year, the pound has risen 9.7 per cent against the euro.

However, the Moneycorp research also shows that the pound has risen by as much as 21.4 per cent against other European currencies.

This means that while popular resorts in Mediterranean favourites such as Spain, Portugal and Greece continue to offer good value, those looking for the very best value should also consider other Continental hotspots outside the eurozone.

Look beyond the eurozone

If you’re planning a holiday, now is a good time to consider other European destinations, as findings from Moneycorp show the pound has risen by as much as 21.4 per cent against the Hungarian forint in the past 12 months – meaning that travellers get an extra £107 for every £500 spent compared to the same time last year.

Equally, while Hungary takes top spot, according to the report, other good value destinations include Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Croatia.

“The strength of the pound will be welcome news for those looking for a bargain summer trip, and especially those willing to travel beyond the eurozone in Europe,” says Olann Kerrison from Moneycorp. “Cities in Eastern Europe such as Budapest, Prague and Dubrovnik offer a great return on currency, meaning your holiday money can go even further.”

Looking further afield

If you’re looking to head farther afield, destinations such as Brazil and South Africa also have a lot to offer British holidaymakers right now, as the pound is strong against both currencies, according to Moneycorp.

Its research shows the pound has risen 23 per cent against the Brazilian real and 18.4 per cent against the South African rand, compared with 12 months ago.

Check resort costs

While exchange rates are an important consideration, you do need to do your sums when choosing a destination, remembering to factor in both package prices and resort costs, as separate new findings from the Post Office show people’s perceptions can often be misguided.

The Post Office found that while Spain’s costas and Turkey were perceived to offer the best value, Portugal and Bulgaria were actually cheaper.

By combining the lowest available price for a week’s flight-inclusive holiday for two with the daily cost of eating out and drinks, it found that couples can save more than a third by swapping Croatia (priced at £1,361) for Portugal instead, where the comparative cost was £904, or Bulgaria, where the comparative cost was £955.

“We always advise people to take all holiday costs into account when choosing a destination,” says Andrew Brown from the Post Office. “In tough times, it is hard to stay loyal when there are big savings to be made by swapping to a destination that is significantly cheaper.”

Do your research

Finally, you need to remember that while there are plenty of destinations which offer great value right now given the strength of the pound, there are still lots of places where the pound is not packing such a hefty punch.

The key for those who have yet to book their break, is to keep a close eye on exchange rates – as well as resort and flight costs – to see where you will get the most for your money this summer.

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Esther Shaw

Esther Shaw

Esther Shaw is a regular contributor to and is the former deputy money editor at The Independent and Independent on Sunday. Before that, she worked as a money and City reporter on The Daily Express and Sunday Express.
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