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Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 16/09/2019
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The latest annual Post Office Travel Money Long Haul Holiday Report, in partnership with long haul specialist, Travelbag, has revealed the sometimes shocking local prices charged for 10 common expenses for travellers. Detailing the 30 most popular long haul destinations, the data compares cities as diverse as Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Delhi and Orlando in terms of the average price a traveller would expect to pay for a cup of filter coffee, a bottle of local lager and sun cream, among others – and the results can be surprising.

Bearing in mind the Sterling’s continuing weakness against currencies such as the US Dollar or Euro, it’s apparent that while a quarter of all the destinations surveyed showed price falls, the remaining three-quarters have increased in cost compared to last year. The bottom line being that when it comes to winter sun holidays, your pound isn’t going as far as it used to.

The best value long haul travel destinations

Tokyo, Cape Town and Bali offer the best value, but prices have fallen significantly in Antigua, which now stands 28% cheaper than last year, and Dubai, where costs are down 9%. However, prices have still risen in all three of the top destinations, with Tokyo regaining the top spot from last year’s chart leader, Cape Town.

Far East favourites Vietnam and Malaysia feature in the best value top 10, but Thailand has fallen down the barometer table as prices rose 21% in Phuket.

The differences between the cost of items in destination at the opposite ends of the chart are enough to give consumers pause for thought. For example, in Tokyo a simple can or bottle of Coca-Cola will set you back just £0.73 on average. Compare that however to Mahe in the Seychelles, where the same drink will cost you an eye-watering £4.30. It’s a similar story with the cost of a three-course evening meal with a bottle of house wine. Whereas this expense costs an average of just £35.30 in Cape Town, it rockets to £125.04 on average in St. James, Barbados.

It’s a similar story when it comes to alcohol. A glass of wine or a bottle of the local beer on average is just £0.81 in Tokyo, while that same glass of wine will cost £12.74 in Abu Dhabi and a beer £9.27 on average in Dubai.

Get the best deal on travel insurance and currency

Of course, many people are happy to pay a bit more while on holiday, however, when it comes to their personal protection, or making sure they get the best deal when changing currency, holidaymakers can be surprisingly uninformed.

Considering that the cost of medical expenses if you fall ill or are injured abroad can easily run into tens of thousands, many people will still feel that travel insurance is a simply another way for insurance companies to make money, rather than an essential personal protection while on holiday. The same applies to getting the best exchange rates. With the pounds recent fall in value, it’s more important than ever that holidaymakers are making the most of their travel money.

Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money said: “The rising prices revealed by this year’s report in many destinations highlight the importance of careful planning and research. Even though sterling is weaker than last year against every long haul holiday currency, holidaymakers can still save themselves a lot of money and make a big difference to the overall cost of winter sun trips by doing their holiday homework before booking to find out where meals, drinks and other staples are going to cost the least.

“Carefully financial planning could also shave pounds off the cost of a long haul trip. Get holiday spending money in advance of travel because leaving it late and changing money at the airport or topping up overseas means wasting hard-earned cash on poor exchange rates or ATM charges. Consider putting cash on a Post Office Travel Money Card, which is available in 13 currencies and avoids paying the transaction charges incurred by debit cards and most credit cards in shops and restaurants abroad.”


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