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Cheap breaks abroad: do they actually exist?

lanzarote 211043 640We aren’t going anywhere this Easter. I did think about taking the boy on a road trip around the UK – the furthest north he’s ever been is Cambridge – but he didn’t fancy it. I think he’s worried they don’t have wi-fi north of the Watford Gap.

However I’m hoping we can get away in the summer. Being skinted this means we are saving up for it at the moment. Also, we want somewhere that’s not too expensive – but not naff.

According to M&S Bank, we should opt for Lanzarote. This is the most affordable place for a week long holiday at Easter for a family of four costing £3,604. That figure includes flights, accommodation, all meals and one activity. The second-best deal is Portugal at £3,653 and France at £3,713.

I’m not keen on the idea of Lanzarote – volcanic beaches, too hot and the Canaries are possibly a bit Brits abroad, I think. Portugal is an option: Lisbon is wonderful and I quite fancy the beach resorts nearby. Were I not the only driver then I’d love a trip to France – we live quite near one of the Channel ports so we could avoid the hell of Gatwick. Where we probably will go, however, is the fourth cheapest place at Easter according to M&S: Malta. We’ve got friends going there over the summer and if we overlap for a few days that means the boy will have someone to hang out with. The downsides of Malta are the limited number of beaches and the crowds.

However, what all these destinations have in common is that they are in the Eurozone. And the sterling-euro exchange rate isn’t great at the moment: currently £1 gets you just over one euro. Last year we avoided Euroland and went to Croatia, but I think even if a European country isn’t in the euro its currency tends to reflect its moves. So we might as well go to a euro currency country. But there are good ways to ensure we get the best deal we can on the exchange rate: so no using bureaux de change at the airport or taking out money with any old debit card while away. Jane’s blog here has lots of great information. For other holiday money tips see our guides here.

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Thursday, 13 December 2018