Greece travellers 'must take cash'

Greek debt crisis

Holidaymakers heading to Greece are being urged to make sure they have sufficient cash in euros to get them through their trip amid fears over a possible "Grexit".

Around two million Britons make tourist trips to Greece every year - but travel and money experts said that visitors should not panic over speculation that Greece could exit the eurozone.

Meanwhile, concerns have also been raised over the potential impact of such an exit on UK savers' pensions and Isas as the shockwaves are felt by the markets. One economist said shares could fall by at least 10% if Greece leaves the euro.

Greece's central bank has warned that the country could face an exit from the euro bloc and even the EU if it fails to reach a deal with bailout creditors by the end of the month.

Bob Atkinson, a travel expert at website, said tourists should take steps to ensure they are not left stranded without access to money.

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He said: "If you're going to Greece, our recommendation is to have at least four to five days' worth of euros cash on you for the entire time you are there."

He said holidaymakers should also consider taking a small amount of sterling, and that they should keep their money in small notes in case they have difficulty getting change.

"The important thing is to have a cash flow," he said, adding that travel insurance policies often only cover a small amount of cash and travellers should therefore try to store their money in a hotel safety deposit box.

Holidaymakers who are worried about industrial unrest could also consider making sure that strikes are covered in their travel insurance policy, he said. This would need to have been taken out before a strike is announced.

Bookmaker William Hill has now closed the book on a Grexit happening this year.

Andrew Brown, a spokesman for Post Office Travel Money, said: "UK holidaymakers planning trips to Greece shouldn't panic if the country leaves the eurozone.

"If this happened it would take around 18 months for the Greek drachma to be reintroduced."

He also said that holidaymakers should "take enough cash in euros to see them through their holiday".

A spokeswoman for Atba, which represents travel agents and tour operators, also pointed out that if Greece were to exit the euro, the switch to a new currency would take time.

She said: "Euros would likely be accepted in the interim. Holidaymakers heading out to Greece this summer are advised to take some cash in euros with them as well as other payment methods (credit/debit cards) so that they are covered for all situations.

"We would also advise them, as we would with any destination, to take out travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday to provide protection should they need to cancel.

"We do not anticipate that there will be any need for tour operators to re-book their customers to a different destination. At present we have no indication that holidaymakers will be disrupted however, as with all destination matters, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with our members on any developments."

Fears have also been raised that UK savers could see the value of their pensions and Isas tumble if Greece leaves the euro.

Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said shares could fall by at least 10% if Greece left the euro.

But he said that the impact of this for people in the UK with a long-term investment such as a pension was likely to be "relatively short-lived" as it would be overtaken by other influences such as the health of the economy.

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Greece travellers 'must take cash'

Kayak has identified the ten holiday destinations that have seen the biggest price cuts since last year. Doha takes tenth place.

The air fare to Doha has fallen 15% since summer 2014. Right now you’ll pay an average of £366 for a flight. The only thing to beware of is the temptation to shop. It has some of the most impressive luxury themed shopping malls on the planet, so you need to take a will of iron with you when you go.

Flights are currently 16% lower than they were last summer, and at the moment you can get a flight for an average of just £239 per head.

In July this will rise by £40 and in August by another £45, but by September will be back down to a fraction over £250.

This Canary Island may offer year-round sun, but in the last 12 months, the average price of a flight there has fallen 17%.

June offers the best deals this summer, with an average cost of £143 per person. Unsurprisingly for such a family-friendly destination, the price rises steeply in July to an average of £247, and then again in August to £270.

The island also tends to have some very competitive all-inclusive deals, so it’s worth checking what’s on offer before committing to a flight and separate hotel.

Prices of flights have fallen an impressive 19% since summer last year, and currently will set you back an average of just £138 a head. In the summer this will peak at £164, but if you can wait unit September, it will drop back to £132.

Many people are drawn to the city by the Mozart concerts - a vast number of which are put on to entertain the tourists. If you’re planning to take in some musical tourism, a far better bet is a concert at the Mozarteum Art University - which charges a fraction of the price.

The average flight price has fallen 19% since last summer. At the moment it's just £80, and while the price peaks at £134 in July, it drops back to £114 in August, as many tourists are put off by the heat.

The average price of flights has fallen an impressive 23% since last summer, and in June cost £421 per head. This rises to a fairly eye-watering £507 in July, but falls below £500 again by August.

The city itself is busy and exciting, but most people use it as a starting point to explore the beauty of Zanzibar. From swimming with dolphins to taking a jeep safari, there’s plenty on your doorstep.

The average air fare has plummeted 30% since last summer, so in June you can get there for an average of £106. Prices climb over the summer, but in August still only reach £273 each.

Once you are out there, the cost of living is also particularly affordable - especially if you are a seasoned haggler.

The average cost of flights to this part of the Azores has fallen 34% since last summer, and peak at an average of just £230 in the middle of August.

You get to fly to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, explore pristine landscapes and natural wonders, try the incredible food, and stay in quiet local spots on a shoestring.


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