WITH budgets squeezed, finding the best value winter sun has never been more important.
We still want our dose of sunshine but every holiday pound has to work harder.
As sterling went into free fall against the dollar this week, the Post Office carried out exclusive research for Sun Travel to show just where you can go for the best value long haul this winter.
The research compiled in partnership with Travelbag compared the price of holiday essentials from three-course meals to drinks and sun cream in resort to the prices in 2019 — pre pandemic.
Sterling’s slide means prices are going to be more expensive in 80 per cent of popular holiday destinations compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019, the last time a similar report was compiled.
But, in Vietnam which topped the list of the best value resorts, the total of the shopping basket of ten holiday essentials is down 10 per cent to £67.78.
Cape Town (£68.49) was narrowly beaten by Vietnam while Mombasa, Kenya comes in at £77.41.
Costs for items in the holiday barometer basket rose by 15 per cent in Bali and by 38 per cent in Tokyo, despite a 16 per cent fall in the value of the Japanese yen against sterling since October 2019.
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Three new countries made the top ten long haul best value, Phuket, Thailand; Rio, Brazil and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
At £94, prices in Phuket have plummeted by 20 per cent due to a combination of local price falls and a nine per cent drop in the Thai baht’s value against sterling.
Montego Bay, where the barometer basket costs £111, six per cent less than in 2019, due to a lower local prices.
Of course, flying long haul may mean higher prices for airline tickets and lengthy flights.
LOCK IN PRICES
For those looking to mitigate the cost of those long haul flights, there are some options closer to home.
In all cases, looking at all-inclusive resorts and booking with an ATOL-protected tour operator or travel agent will mean you can lock in prices and help you plan and to protect you should things get worse.
Right now, the pound is only worth 3.7per cent less to the euro, so traditional Canary Islands destinations including Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are more expensive but booking early and going all-inclusive is helpful.
New for this winter with TUI are holidays to the West African country of Senegal, promising idyllic beaches and soft adventure at very attractive low prices and temperatures averaging 28C in December and 26C in January.
With new hotels in costal resorts there’s also the chance to experience some great adventure from bush safaris and Delta river cruises to overnight expeditions into the Lompoul Desert.
While perhaps not as hot, southern Spain, Cyprus and Portugal will also be temperate and ideal for golf enthusiasts and city break fans.
Turkey and the Balearic Islands remain warm into October, too.
Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera is back with larger programmes going into Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada than pre-pandemic and good-quality 5* hotels offering decent all-inclusive product.
But the Pound is still worth six per cent less than it was in 2021.
Dubai also offers guaranteed sun but look for deals that include meals, as prices can be steep and sterling is worth 20 per cent less than it was a year ago.
North African coastal resorts are also good for short flying times and reasonably mild winter temperatures.
Think Morocco or Tunisia — both of which have valued hotels for a short break.
And Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, is another good bet for guaranteed warm temperatures and huge wide, sandy beaches.
So while the Pound has taken a bashing, there are still opportunities to enjoy a winter holiday without breaking the bank.
FANCY escaping the doom and gloom? Here’s our pick of the winter sun deals.
- MOROCCO: Seven nights’ full board at the Argana Hotel in Agadir is from £185pp including flights from Gatwick on January 3. See loveholidays.com.
- TURKEY: Seven nights’ all- inclusive at the 3H Aes Club Hotel in Dalaman is from £368pp including Gatwick flights on October 11, 22kg baggage and transfers. See tui.co.uk.
- IBIZA: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 3H Invisa Hotel Ereso is from £459pp including East Midlands flights on October 10, 22kg baggage and transfers. See jet2holidays.com.
- SENEGAL: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the RIU Pointe Sarene is from £778pp including flights from Gatwick on January 9 and transfers. See tui.co.uk.
- BALI: Ten nights’ B&B in Bali and Lombok including six nights at the 5H Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa and three nights at the 5H Sheraton Senggigi Hotel is from £1,639pp including flights from London on select dates in March, 2023. Call 0207 001 4112 or visit travelbag.co.uk.