From Turkey to Thailand, the destinations where Britons’ pounds will stretch the furthest have been revealed.
The list of 10 destinations was compiled by Which? Travel, which compared the average flight and hotel prices, the strength of the pound, and the cost of food and drink across a variety of short-haul and long-haul destinations.
Commenting on the findings, Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘We’ve found there are fantastic locations in Europe and beyond where you can make your pound go further, whether you’re looking for a city break or simply to fly and flop. There are some great savings to be made by picking the right spot – our research found just £10 could purchase as many as 22 bottles of local beer in Bulgaria, or 16 cups of coffee in Turkey.’ Scroll down for the lowdown on each destination…
Bulgaria. Return flight: £117 (1,010 kg CO2). Hotel: £60
The destinations where the pound will stretch the furthest have been revealed by Which? Travel, and Bulgaria is one of the 10 hotspots to make it onto the list. Above is the country’s Unesco-listed town of Nessebar
Which? says that in Bulgaria ‘you’ll find terracotta-tiled rooftops and sandy beaches reminiscent of Croatia, but reachable at a fraction of the price’.
It notes that a three-to-four-star hotel in the popular resort of Sunny Beach is just £60 per night and a three-course meal and wine for two is priced at less than £20.
Throughout the country, refreshments are good value, according to Which?, with a coffee priced at 60p, a large bottle of water at 40p and a couple of cold beers costing less than £1.
The watchdog also recommends learning about the 3,000-year history of the Unesco-listed town of Nessebar to the south and discovering the ‘magnificent’ architecture of Sofia, the capital, which sits at the base of the country’s Vitosha Mountain.
Turkey. Return Flight: £209 (1,201 kg CO2). Hotel: £70
Turkey offers great value, Which? reveals. A three-course meal comes in at just £7.50 a head in the popular beach resort of Marmaris (pictured)
When it comes to wining and dining, Turkey is the cheapest destination overall on the list, Which? reveals.
‘A three-course meal comes in at just £7.50 a head in the popular beach resort of Marmaris, while a round of drinks is less than £5,’ it says.
The watchdog continues: ‘Mass inflation means the pound’s strength against the lira has increased by 80 per cent since 2018, so make the most of a shopping spree in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.’
Which? also recommends stopping by Izmir on the Aegean coast, a city with lots of historic sites to visit and plenty of beaches, restaurants, and hotels to choose from.
Portugal. Return flight: £119 (776 kg CO2). Hotel: £91
Three and four-star hotels across Portugal are priced at less than £100 per night on average. Above is the coastal capital, Lisbon
Which? reveals: ‘Sterling’s value against the euro has plummeted since Brexit, but Portugal is one Eurozone destination where your cash will work harder, depending on where you go.’
It notes that in the popular Algarve region, dinner for two is priced at around £20, and three and four-star hotels across the country are still less than £100 per night on average.
Highlights include sampling port in Porto, roving around the coastal city of Albufeira, or taking a tram ride through Lisbon. ‘Wherever you choose, watch the sun go down with a cold bottle of Sagres or a glass of vinho – both are just £1, on average,’ the watchdog adds.
Spain. Return flight: £130 (677 kg CO2). Hotel: £112
Which? says you could ‘wake up and open your shutters to the sight of La Sagrada Familia for roughly £112 per night’ in Barcelona (above)
In Spain, a cafe con leche will set you back just £1.19 – half the price it would cost in Greece, Which? reveals.
And it points out that in Barcelona ‘you could wake up and open your shutters to the sight of La Sagrada Familia for roughly £112 per night’.
However, it notes that not everywhere in Spain is cheap, with dining out in the Canaries or Balearics costing an extra £8 more than it would on the mainland.
Hungary. Return flight: £97 (603 kg CO2). Hotel: £77
Flights to Hungary are a bargain at less than £50 each way. Above is a thermal pool in Budapest
Hungary is the third cheapest destination in the list and the second best for exchange rates, Which? reveals. Bargain flights, for less than £50 each way, are a bonus.
The watchdog says: ‘Grab a three-course dinner and a bottle of wine with your travel companion for £55 in Budapest – not bad for a capital city – while a nightcap along the main Vaci utca strip will set you back £5.’
For a beach break outside the city, Which? suggests paying a visit to the freshwater Lake Balaton to the west of the country.
Thailand. Return Flight: £607 (5,480 kg CO2). Hotel: £78
Thailand can be enjoyed on a ‘shoestring budget’, says Which?. Above is Koh Samui island, one of the spots it recommends visiting
Which? says that Thailand is one of the cheapest long-haul destinations to fly to on the list, and it notes that you can ‘easily live on a shoestring budget’ while you’re there.
‘Just £5 will typically buy you a pad Thai and a couple of Chang beers at simple restaurants and street food carts,’ it says, adding that more value awaits when you leave behind tourist havens such as Phuket, where a three-course meal with wine is around £25 per person.
Which? endorses exploring the country by train – it’s an affordable way to get around and sleeper services will save on the price of a night’s accommodation. Koh Samui island, famed for its beaches, is one of the destinations it recommends visiting.
South Africa. Return Flight: £607 (5,570 kg CO2). Hotel: £78
On a visit to South Africa, Which? recommends investing your money into ‘once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences’ such as safaris in the Kruger National Park (above) or Sabi Sands
‘South Africa might not be the cheapest place to get to, but once you’re there you won’t have to dig too deep into your wallet,’ says Which? Travel.
For example, you’ll pay around £20 per person for a three-course meal with a bottle of wine in Cape Town and £1.55 for a coffee, Which? reveals.
The watchdog recommends investing your money into ‘once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences’ such as safaris in the Kruger National Park or Sabi Sands.
Florida, USA. Return flight: £466 (3,360 kg CO2). Hotel: £179
Florida is a ‘more affordable US option at a time when the pound has slumped against the dollar’, Which? says. While you’re there, tour the Everglades (above) on an airboat
‘Florida isn’t all eye-watering Disney prices,’ Which? declares.
It notes that items and attractions can be more expensive in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but that generally the Sunshine State ‘is a more affordable US option at a time when the pound has slumped against the dollar’.
Which? says that a cup of coffee averages £1.87 in Orlando and a three-course dinner for two with a bottle of wine costs around £44 – which is around the same as you would pay in Spain.
The watchdog’s travel tips? Tour the Everglades on an airboat or keep your eyes peeled for wild dolphins off Daytona Beach.
Mauritius. Return flight: £695 (5,229 kg CO2). Hotel: £16
You’ll get value for money on a visit to Mauritius – the pound’s strength against the Mauritian rupee has increased since 2016
‘It isn’t the cheapest to fly to in comparison with our other destinations, but once you’re there, eating and drinking is fairly reasonable,’ Which? says of Mauritius, adding that the pound’s strength against the Mauritian rupee has increased since 2016.
It notes: ‘A couple of coffees while souvenir shopping around Grand Baie Bazaar will still give you change from £5 and a slap-up crab curry with a starter and dessert comes in at around £25 per person.’
Which? suggests going hiking in the Black River Gorges National Park, taking a catamaran tour of the Northern Islets, or simply lying back on the beach – Le Morne, Grand Baie and Flic en Flac are all popular sandy hotspots.
Costa Rica. Return flight: £569 (4,464 kg CO2). Hotel: £153
Costa Rica is cheaper to fly to than Mexico or Argentina. Gaze into the ‘milky blue crater lakes’ of Irazu, the country’s largest active volcano, while you’re there
Which? says that Costa Rica’s ‘unrivalled’ exchange rate makes it an excellent value long-haul destination.
The watchdog notes that it’s cheaper to fly to than Mexico or Argentina and your money stretches further while you’re there – ‘in the coastal resort of Tamarindo, a three-course dinner for two comes in at just over £50, on average (compared with almost £60 in Mexico) and you’ll pay less than £5 for a couple of local beers’, it says.
When you get there, Which? recommends ‘gazing into the milky blue crater lakes’ of Irazu, the country’s largest active volcano, or soaking up the culture in the capital of San Jose.
- Prices correct at the time of writing.