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Holidaymakers need ‘careful planning’ to find bargain destinations – report

UK holidaymakers keen to avoid steep price rises are being forced to choose their destination carefully, new figures show.

Falls in the value of sterling against many other currencies and rises in resort prices mean the cost of typical tourist items are higher in four out of five popular resorts and cities compared with a year ago, according to Post Office Travel Money.

The annual Holiday Money Report, which surveyed 40 destinations, found that UK holidaymakers are paying more for expenses such as meals, snacks, drinks, suncream and insect repellent in locations such as the Costa del Sol, Spain; Marmaris, Turkey; Orlando, USA; and Phuket, Thailand.

But prices have fallen year-on-year in six of the 10 cheapest destinations.

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Cape Town in South Africa has the lowest prices for UK visitors, driven by the rand’s near-16% fall against sterling in recent months and competitive pricing in bars and restaurants.

A three-course evening meal for two, including a bottle of house wine, typically costs just £35.80 in the coastal city.

Portugal’s Algarve is the cheapest of nine eurozone destinations surveyed despite prices rising by a third year-on-year.

The Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh is also in the best value top 10 on the back of a fall in the Egyptian pound’s value.

Even with a 19.2% drop in the value of the Turkish lira, inflation and a 55% rise in the minimum wage at the nation’s bars and restaurants mean prices for UK visitors to Marmaris have more than doubled since last year.

Ed Dutton, portfolio director for financial services at the Post Office, said: “Despite the volatility of sterling, it is still possible to bag a bargain with careful planning.

“Check exchange rate movements and the cost of holiday essentials before booking to see where you might get more holiday cash for your pounds but be aware that sterling gains can be cancelled out by big resort price rises, as the increase in Turkey proves.

“It will pay to be flexible when deciding on a holiday destination.

“The Egyptian pound and South African rand have been losing ground against sterling recently, while Latin American currencies like the Mexican peso and Costa Rican colon have been surging in value.”

The report was produced in partnership with online travel agent Travel Republic, whose managing director Antonio Fellino said: “Britons are considering their options more carefully and really looking hard at how they get great value from the package they book and the destination they’re travelling to.

“It’s not surprising that places like Egypt and Turkey are seeing a significant increase in popularity this year.”

– Here are the cheapest destinations for eight items commonly bought by tourists:

Cup of filter coffee: Algarve, Portugal (81p)
Bottle of local beer: Cape Town, South Africa (£1.62)
Bottle or can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (93p)
Glass of wine at a cafe or bar: Algarve, Portugal (£1.81)
Mineral water (1.5 litres): Marmaris, Turkey (15p)
Suncream (200ml): Tokyo, Japan (£4.34)
Insect repellent (50ml): Kuta, Bali (64p)
Three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine: Cape Town, South Africa (£35.80)

– Here are the most expensive destinations for eight items commonly bought by tourists:

Cup of filter coffee: Mahe, Seychelles (£4.55)
Bottle of local beer: Jumeirah Beach, Dubai (£8.99)
Bottle or can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Mahe, Seychelles (£3.85)
Glass of wine at a cafe or bar: New York, USA (£11.41)
Mineral water (1.5 litres): Rodney Bay, St Lucia (£4.95)
Suncream (200ml): Tamarindo, Costa Rica (£21.84)
Insect repellent (50ml): Reykjavik, Iceland (£17.16)
Three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine: Reykjavik, Iceland (£135.87)