Best Value Holiday Destinations
Choosing your holiday destination can reduce your holiday price dramatically, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Yes, you may find a great deal in a 5 star hotel, but keep in mind to eat and drink in the hotel will make a rather large dent in your holiday spending money. With times being tough, people are looking for more for their money, and with weather like this, they need to get a break in the sun. So I’ve put together a list of the best value for money destinations in Europe.
Spain has been and continues to be one of Europe’s best value for money, in fact the UK Post Office compiled a Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer which shows Spain as being the cheapest destination in terms of the cost of items when there. The main attraction about Spain is it offers a range of accommodation to suit all budgets in resorts along the Costa del Sol, where resort prices are 40% lower now than they were 4/5 years ago. Marbella is lined with four and five star hotels, while smaller resorts like Estepona or Nerja, offer good value for money, quieter surrounds and are popular with families. A popular spot for those interested in watersports is Tarifa, a charming town at the tip of Gibraltar. Alternatively, head to the resorts between Barcelona and Valencia and you’ll get great value for money.
Portugal is another excellent destination offering value for money, the Algarve being the main destination. A stretch of 150kms coastline fringed with long sandy beaches, crumbling red cliffs, family-friendly resorts and plenty of activities to keep the young ones occupied. The Algarve is to Portugal, what the Costa del Sol is to Spain, a beachside holiday destination catering for all budgets; luxury resorts with swish hotels and plush villas replete with private swimming pools, golf courses and fine restaurants in Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo or more affordable resorts such as Praia da Rocha and Alvor offering an excellent range of reasonably priced accommodation, good beaches and plenty of family-focused activities.
The resorts in central Algarve are geared towards families, with most package deals bringing you to this area. Children won’t get bored with unending watersports available, from surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking to motor-boating and water parks. For the grown-ups the area has a surplus of golf courses, Faro is renowned for shopping and for the adventurous you can take quad-bikes up into the mountains along dirt tracks and countryside roads. The further west you go along the coastline, the less developed and the quieter resorts, such as Praia du Luz and over to Cape Vincent.
Greece is another popular option having being through the mill this year and there are good package deals to be had or travelling over you will get good accommodation options at low cost. However, bear in mind that the main destinations are the islands where tourism is their main source of income and they are not bringing prices down dramatically during their peak tourist period as they need to bring in an income. However, in general, eating out in Greece and accommodation is cheaper than most European cities.
France for families, cost plays a huge factor in booking their holidays and it does tend to work out cheaper to book a package holiday. A family will spend, on average, €2000 on a weeks holiday abroad, and this is before spending a penny while there. So in search of cheaper options, camping has become more popular throughout Europe and the facilities of camp-sites have improved dramatically. France is the most popular camping destination and it has the highest number of campsites in Europe. The campsites have a range of accommodation, from caravans, safari tents to tee-pees, luxury villas and wood cabins. The campsites are geared towards families, many located on beaches, with their own pools, children’s clubs, crèches and adult entertainment, allowing the adults to get a break too. Obviously if you’re camping this allows you to self-cater and France has excellent shopping markets with reasonably priced produce and alcohol tends to be a lot cheaper too.
Turkey has a coastline fringed with stunning beaches, cheap accommodation and resorts offering all levels of accommodation. While, Bodrum is the main package holiday destination, you might want to try the quieter places like Marmaris, a real gem with long stretches of pearly white beaches. Similarly, Bulgaria is fast becoming a popular destination for both families and individuals with stunning beaches and the forested national parks attracting hikers and recreational tourists. The Black Sea Coastline offers holidaymakers all levels of accommodation, the northern part of the coast being the most popular – Golden Sands, Riviera and Sunny Day Resort and families will love Albena.
Once you’ve decided on where to go, be smart with your cash and keep in mind the below tips.
- Using a credit card abroad is often the best way to spend money, however, you must be very careful what card you bring. There are certain cards that will offer a 0% charge on worldwide purchases, such as Halifax Clarity or Nationwide Flex Account. You could get such a card specifically for going abroad, just make sure to repay in full on return as interest on purchases can be high.
- Changing your money before you go is what most people prefer to do and the best option. The Post Office does not charge commission and they buy back at no cost either. However, their rates may be slightly higher than some of the banks. Whatever you do, don’t change your money in the airport as this will be the highest rate you will find.
- If you’ve got a good overseas credit card and you are asked to pay in Euros or Pounds, say Euros as it will be your bank that does the exchange rather than the vendor.
- Be sure to find out what your cash withdrawal fee abroad is, as it could be high and this will rack up costs on top of your exchange rates.
- To find out the best rates go onto www.TravelMoneymax.com and they have a free service which will find the best online bureaux de change rates.