This year's best value city breaks

PraguePA

Remember when we all used to be up for a city break at a moment's notice? When the credit card was our best friend, the passport lived by the door ready for the whim to whisk us away for the weekend.

Now, by contrast, we're thinking very carefully whether we can afford the petrol for a weekend by the coast, and whether we can ever justify going overseas ever again. However, a new study shows that we don't need to be defeatist. It has revealed the best value city breaks that could mean it's time to dust off the old passport again.
Best value breaks
M&S Money has calculated the best value city breaks in terms of both travel time and cost. It is working on the basis that if you want to spend money on time away the last thing you want to do is spend half the weekend on an aeroplane.

Its top tip for a bargain weekend away with a travel time under four hours is Dublin. A break will apparently set you back £482.56, which is just 4.14% up from last year. If you are willing to travel between 4 and 6 hours (including check in time), then it says the best value destination is Prague, where a weekend away will cost £591.20, up just 0.9% from last year - which is actually a saving once you take inflation into account.

Finally, if you can commit more than six hours in flight, travel and check in time, the best value break is apparently Istanbul, where a weekend will cost you £683.95, a spectacular 8.35% drop from this time last year. This was actually the only price drop in the table, which makes it an even more intriguing bargain destination.

Top ten cheapest

If you don't care one jot how much time you travel for and you just want a cheap break, then the researchers also came up with the cheapest destinations overall. Their top 10 was:

Dublin
Nice
Prague
Athens
Brussels
Amsterdam
Majorca
Istanbul
Tenerife
Paris

Top 10 for living costs

And if you fancy staying a bit longer, and care more about the cost of everything once you get there than the price of the flights themselves, then the top 10 is:

Prague
Tenerife
Faro
Majorca
Athens
Las Vegas
Orlando
Dublin
Istanbul
Cairo

You can now officially claim to be going on a bargain break to sin city, or a short budget-conscious holiday to Egypt. Who could refuse?

So what do you think? Will you be getting the credit card out and planning a trip, or will you hang on for Greece to drop out of the Eurozone and transform the world of affordable destinations? Let us know in the comments.
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