With the pound plunging: the best value destination for half term revealed

Sarah Coles
The most famous mosque of turkish city Instanbul - Blue mosque in Sultanakhmet area
The most famous mosque of turkish city Instanbul - Blue mosque in Sultanakhmet area

The collapse of the pound means European trips cost Brits 20.5% more than they did this time last year. Plenty of people who booked their holiday well in advance are in for a frugal time - filling their pockets with a picnic lunch from the breakfast buffet, and gazing longingly at people eating out in restaurants.
Those who are looking for a last-minute bargain booking, on the other hand, have the opportunity to pick a destination where their pound still goes a long way. A new study has revealed the best and the worst - and the overall winner is Istanbul.

Currency specialists Caxton FX weighed up the cost of five holiday favourites in 20 popular city break destinations: a glass of wine, a day travel card, a Big Mac, a pass for a national museum, and a half-hour taxi trip.

Istanbul's bargains included a glass of wine for £2.10, a day travel card for £3.94, a free pass for the national museum, and a half hour taxi ride for £11.30.

The cheapest 10
1. Istanbul
2. Marrakesh
3. Budapest
4. Prague
5. Dublin
6. London
7. Brussels
8. Rome
9. Paris
10. Barcelona

It found that the cheapest place to drink wine is Budapest - where it costs £2.07 a glass. Other good value glasses are in Rome where a tipple can cost you £3.51 and Prague where it's £3.32 a glass. The most expensive place to have a drink is Zurich where it will set you back £8.20 a glass.

Currently, Marrakesh is the best place for a bargain burger, where a Big Mac is priced at just £1.90; Oslo is the costliest at £6.49.

Most expensive

At pricey end of the spectrum, Oslo is the most expensive destination. The basket of goods used by the study cost six times more than it did in Istanbul. Among the shocking costs were a glass of wine for £7.44, a Big Mac for £6.94, and a half-hour taxi ride for £89.25.

The 10 most expensive
1. Oslo
2. Zurich
3. Venice
4. Madrid
5. New York
6. Stockholm
7. Copenhagen
8. Amsterdam
9. Vienna
10. Berlin

Sterling has fallen a whopping 21% against the US dollar, and 20.5% against the euro since October half-term last year. The pound has also suffered against currencies from European countries outside the Eurozone including the Scandinavian region like Norway, Denmark and Stockholm, as well as Switzerland, making these already expensive jaunts even pricier.

What can you do?

If you're yet to book, it may make sense to look for deals in the cheaper destinations. Otherwise, wherever you travel, you can help your money go further by taking the time to shop around. Ideally you will start shopping for your currency plenty of time in advance, so you can consider internet operators - who often offer great exchange rates.

At the very least, however, it pays to check up and down the high street as rates vary a great deal. And whatever you do, don't leave getting your currency to the moment you arrive in the airport - or you could be in for a nasty surprise.