The cheapest holiday destinations in 2013

Costa Del SolSpain and Sri Lanka have come out joint top as the cheapest destinations this year in the seventh annual Post Office Holiday Money Report.

The price of eight items, including a three-course meal for two, sun cream and a cup of coffee, came in at £36.14 for both, well under half what you'd pay in the most expensive destinations.

While you're likely to spend around the same amount in each country, as flights are a lot cheaper to Spain it is the top destination for bargain hunters.

Price cuts in the Costas helped Spain win the top spot, while Sri Lanka made the grade because the Sterling exchange rate is now 16% stronger than a year ago.

On the other end of the scale, Seoul is the most expensive location with the same basket of goods coming in at £146.93, followed by Darwin at £145.28 and Auckland at £127.67.

Top bargain resorts
To compare prices of resorts around the world, the Post Office looked at the cost of the following eight items:

  • Cup of coffee
  • Bottle of beer
  • Bottle/can of Coca-Cola/Pepsi
  • Glass of wine
  • 1.5l bottle of water
  • Suncream (200ml)
  • Pack of 20 Marlboro Lights cigarettes
  • Three-course evening meal for two, with a bottle of house wine

The 10 cheapest holiday resorts


Total price of eight holiday items

Spain: Costa del Sol


Sri Lanka: South West


Czech Republic: Prague


Indonesia: Bali


Vietnam: Hoi An


Bulgaria: Sunny Beach


Portugal: Algave


Mexico: Cancun


Hungary: Budapest


Turkey: Marmaris


The 10 most expensive holiday resorts


Total price of eight holiday items

St Lucia: Rodney Bay


Jamaica: Various locations


Singaopore: Central


Mauritius: Grand Baie


Dubai: Jumeirah Beach


Canada: Calgary


China: Beijing


New Zealand: Auckland


Australia: Darwin


South Korea: Seoul


The results show a big difference between those countries at either end of the scale. For example, it would cost an extra £110 for the same group of items if you were in Seoul instead of Spain.

But you also need to take into account transport. Flight costs to long-haul destinations will always be more expensive so therefore European countries will be cheaper.

However, when looking at Eurozone countries, there's quite a difference in prices. Spain, for example, has seen a fall of 50% in eating out in the past five years.

In Greece it's now 40% cheaper for a hotel room and 18% cheaper to stay at a resort. However, in Sorrento in Italy, prices rose 6% making the country 50% more expensive than Greece.

The hot list of 2013
The Post Office has also picked out ten destinations which it predicts will be very popular this year. Turkey has returned to this list for the first since time since 2008 after food prices in Marmaris fell 22%.

Sales of the Croatian currency Kuna have doubled in five years, as it becomes a more popular holiday destination. Sales have also shot up for Peso as more tourists flock to Mexico - it's become one of the fastest growing currencies of the past decade, according to Post Office sales.

Vietnam is also included with sales of the Vietnamese Dong shooting up by 51% in the past year as a reaction to the introduction of direct flights from the UK.

The hot list of countries is as follows:
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Eastern European cities
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Vietnam

How to get the cheapest holiday money
If you're already planning your summer break, or perhaps escaping the cold in search of winter sun, it's important to avoid getting ripped-off when you exchange money.

There are numerous places to do this, but the prices vary wildly. Our article on how to avoid getting ripped-off when exchanging money explains in detail the best way to get your foreign currency.

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