If you're looking for a cheap holiday this summer, Spain and Portugal will be your best bet, according to a new Post Office Travel Money survey.
Despite the pound falling in value against the euro this year, holidaymakers planning trips to a European hotspot may find their holiday cash stretches further than expected because prices have plummeted in many popular resorts.
Spain and the Algarve have come out as the cheapest destinations in this year's Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer, which compared the cost of 10 holiday essentials across different European resorts.
Although sterling is worth 4.5 per cent less than in April 2012, this year's Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer reveals that prices are down by up to 20 per cent in Spain and almost 15 per cent in the Algarve.
The cheapest destination in the annual Post Office Travel Money barometer came out as Albufeira in Portugal, with the 10 essentials, including bottled water, sun cream and meals costing (£46.34).
In second cheapest position came Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol, Spain, (£46.50) with its 10 holiday items costing just 16p more than in the Algarve.
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£47.32) fell to fourth place in the table because of a 3.4 per cent rise in local resort prices but remains within 98p of top-placed Albufeira in the Algarve.
Fierce competition to attract back UK holidaymakers put a gap of £8 to £9 between the top four resorts and fifth-placed Majorca (£55.46), where prices have fallen 8.8 per cent in a year.
In the US, even though sterling is 4.1 per cent weaker than last year against the dollar, holidaymakers heading to Orlando, Florida, will find prices much lower in the theme park capital.
Ten typical holiday purchases surveyed for the Holiday Costs Barometer - a three-course meal, cup of coffee, bottle of beer, glass of wine, soft drink, bottled water, suncream, insect repellent, cigarettes and newspaper – cost 21.2 per cent less than in 2012 (£58.16).
You'll also be quids in if you choose the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh because prices are over 17 per cent lower than a year ago (£62.83).
Egypt's mid-haul competitor Dubai - which came out as the most expensive destination on the list (£103.23) - was 64 per cent more expensive.
Prices have also fallen, by 5.2 per cent, in Split (£70.84), a strong incentive for the increasing numbers of UK holidaymakers now choosing Croatia.
Although resort prices have fallen by around six per cent in Corfu, Greece (£64.45), the barometer basket was 8.7 per cent cheaper in Marmaris, Turkey (£58.84). However, people who choose to holiday in Bodrum, another popular Turkish resort, will find themselves paying over 53 per cent more for the same holiday items (£90.15).
Similarly, visitors to the Balearic island of Menorca (£88.22) can expect to pay 59 per cent more than in neighbouring Majorca (£55.46). The high cost of eating out – over double the price of a three-course meal with drinks in Majorca – accounted for most of the difference.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money told Aol Travel: "The pound may be worth less in Europe than a year ago but fierce competition means that lower prices in several of the resorts we surveyed can easily offset the falling value of sterling. Taking some time to check out resort costs and add them to package prices to find the best overall deal will pay dividends this summer. This really is the year to do some 'sterling' work before booking a holiday: be prepared to swap destination or switch to a cheaper resort within the same country."
At the pricier end of the scale, costs were uniformly high in Italy. Tuscany (£94.92) and Sorrento (£101.79) were the most expensive European resorts surveyed for the barometer - over twice the price of the four best value destinations.
In the UK, neither Blackpool (£65.96) nor Bournemouth (£78.01) made it into the top half of the barometer. However, bargain-hunters staying in the UK this year will find the North Country favourite 15 per cent cheaper than the south coast resort.
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