January is such an awful month: so now is the perfect time to consider this year’s holiday. For me it’s probably just dreaming. At the moment a day trip to Bognor is about all we could manage. But things could improve chez skinted. And what’s wrong with dreaming, after all?
While now is meant to be a good time to book a summer holiday, I waited until June last year to sort ours out and I seemed to get a reasonable deal. And I picked a cheap place to go – Croatia – partly because it was outside the euro. No-one can predict how currencies will fluctuate but if sterling stays weak against the euro then the Eurozone will remain pricey. But there are more expensive places. Friends of ours have just come back from Switzerland and found it wallet-meltingly pricey. A banana split at a not-flash café cost the Swiss franc equivalent of £16. No, it wasn’t covered in gold leaf but squirty cream.
And then there are the notoriously expensive Nordic countries. There’s a fascinating website (www.numbeo.com) if you want to compare costs overseas. It says the cost of living in Norway are 50% above those of the UK. A kilo of bananas weighs in at the krone equivalent of £2 a kilo (76p a kilo at Tesco in the UK) so I’m sure a banana split would be amazingly costly in Oslo. I’d hate having to go on holiday and not being able to afford to eat when I get there. So I’d always make currency a big part of the equation.
Of course the saving in currency is worthless if it costs an arm and a leg to get there. Research from Post Office Money says that Japan is the second cheapest place for UK holidaymaker thanks to currency movements. But it’s an expensive place to get to (as well as a long flight). The cheapest place is apparently Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, although it looks a bit like a Balkan Blackpool which doesn’t appeal to me. In Euroland, the survey says the Algarve is good value as is Croatia. France and Italy are the most expensive for UK holidaymakers looking at Euro breaks.
Short of staying in the UK – which I might well do, although I’m scarred from too many rainy UK holidays as a child – I’m not sure where we will go this year. Where’s cheap to get to and cheap when you get there? Any thoughts?
See our SMM guide to travel money here.