Travel companies are saying there has never been a better time to travel to Greece as the economic crisis is forcing holiday firms and airlines to cut prices by up to 70 per cent.
For those who have already booked a trip, many travel agents are encouraging British tourists to stick to their holiday plans and make the most of their holiday in Greece during its financial crisis, while showing solidarity for the hardworking hoteliers and business owners in the country.
Greek crisis: Should I take extra cash to Greece?
Earlier this week, travel firm Responsible Travel criticised the UK government for discouraging travel to Greece and released its own version of Foreign Office travel advice.
The company says images of empty supermarket shelves have been taken out of context and are concentrated largely in Athens, away from popular tourist areas. The advice also says that credit and debit cards are likely to work but tourists should carry enough cash for their stay.
Meanwhile, Matthew Lawson at online travel agent Loveholidays.com says: "We are encouraging all our customers to continue with their holiday planning, and not to rule out Greece when settling on a destination. The strength of Greece is in its tourism, so we feel a responsibility to show our solidarity for the hardworking hoteliers and business owners. If you do plan on visiting Greece, just make sure you are fully prepared with enough cash and any medicine you may need."
Want to make the most of the situation in Greece? Ensure you're prepared with these top tips:
1. Take plenty of euros
With the nation's banks currently in shut down, you really don't want to leave yourself out of pocket. Take euros with you to cover any expenses and ensure peace of mind while away. By taking your own cash, you will also be injecting money directly into the Greek economy. Be sure to keep your cash safe – although most travel insurance companies have increased their cover for stolen money to accommodate for this.
2. Support local business
Offer your support for small businesses in Greece and eat, drink and shop local. What might be a small purchase to you could mean so much more to someone else. The flea market at Monastiraki in Athens is a favourite among holidaymakers, and where better to try authentic Greek cuisine than in one of its local restaurants? Not only will you be pumping money into the economy, but you'll fly home knowing you've enjoyed a truly immersive holiday experience.
3. Save on a longer holiday
Although the price of flights is significantly cheaper this summer, hotel and villa bookings are where you will make the biggest savings. Extending a week holiday to ten days or a fortnight won't leave you out of pocket and you'll get even more precious time in the sun.
4. Take your own medicine
There is a lot of talk around pharmacies running low on supplies, so make sure you stock up on pharmaceuticals before flying, especially if you suffer from any existing medical conditions. Although hotels are legally required to keep a first-aid kit, it's better to be safe than sorry, so stock up on any medical essentials.
5. Switch up your destination
Popular destinations such as Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu won't struggle to attract tourism this summer, so why not visit one of Greece's lesser known islands? You'll make an even bigger saving while helping out the local economy where it is needed most - plus you can discover secret beaches and traditional villages without the crowds. Greece has plenty of hidden gems to choose from such as Chios, Hydra and Syros, with prices slashed by over half in these destinations.
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