Stronger pound makes travel cheaper


hotel swimming pool with sunny...

Stronger sterling is giving UK tourists up to 28% more spending money on holiday, according to a Post Office Travel Money survey.

Best-value destination for a seven-day new year break is Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, with Orlando in Florida also offering good deals.

Bali and South Africa are other hotspots where the pound has strengthened against the local currency.

Post Office Travel Money surveyed one-week winter sun package prices from holiday company Travelbag, plus seven meals in the resort based on the lowest available holiday from London, departing January 1-8 2014.

A Sharm el-Sheikh break was just £399, while Orlando was £719 and Playa del Carmen in Mexico was £899 and Dubai was £983.

Most expensive of the resorts surveyed was Penang in Malaysia where the package costs as much £1,314.

Paul Havenhand, Post Office head of travel, said: "Egypt's Red Sea resorts have always been a good value option but it's not just Sharm el-Sheikh where sun-seekers will find their pounds stretch further.

"Sterling currently buys more holiday cash in all 10 of our January hotspots, with the biggest benefits to be found in Cape Town and Bali.

"Holidaymakers can make sure they get the best value by doing their holiday homework before booking to see how the overall costs stack up. "

Rianne Ojeh of Travelbag said: "Package prices in early January are significantly more competitive than over the festive period."

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,000 holidaymakers by foreign exchange specialist Travelex showed that an increasing number of would-be post-Christmas travellers are interested in health-and-fitness breaks.

Those hoping for a new year trip are most likely to take in the UK, with Spain the most popular overseas destination followed by France and Italy.

Travel agent On the Beach reported that the top overseas beach spot for next year is the Canary Islands followed by mainland Spain and Balearic Islands, which include Majorca and Minorca.

The next most popular beach spots are Portugal, Turkey and the Greek Islands, with bookings for Easter, which is much later in 2014 than in 2013, rising year-on-year.

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