Millions of us are set to leave the UK this summer in search of culture, relaxation and of course, some summer sun. There are hundreds of bargains to be had if you know where to look and which destinations offer the best value for money.
Luckily for you we’ve rounded our picks of destinations abroad that offer fantastic value for money, based on both the cost of getting there as well as expenses during your stay.
The Pound is at it’s highest rate against the US Dollar since May 2011, up by 13% compared to just back in July 2013. This all means you get more bang for your buck across the pond, which is already regarded as being fairly in-expensive when it comes to fuel costs, food and accommodation.
The state of Florida, located on the east coast of North America, has always been a mecca for Brits due to it’s abundance of sandy beaches and guaranteed beautiful weather during the summer months (we’re a fickle bunch!). There’s also a massive amount to do, from trips to Disneyworld to partying on Miami South Beach.
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Over the last ten years, Egypt has become one of our favourite destinations due to the warm weather and the relatively short flight times of just over five hours. With political unrest causing tourist rates to drop over the previous few years, there’s never been a cheaper time to go as hotels vie for our business.
This has also been helped by low-cost carrier easyJet launching a direct service from London to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheik. Yes, easyJet now flies further than Spain!
Once there, you’ll find excursions to be dirt cheap compared to the equivalent in Europe and most holiday bookings will include half-board as a minimum (giving you the chance to sneak away some bread rolls at breakfast). As a guide price, expect to pay around £550 for seven nights all-inclusive at a five star resort. If you’re after a bargain you can usually pick up a late deal for a week in three star accommodation for just over £300.
If you want the beach, check out popular tourist destinations including Sharm El Sheik and Hurghada as you can still take a day-trip to Cairo if you’re keen to see the pyramids.
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Morocco is under four hours by plane from London, making it little further than a flight to Southern Europe. It’s an enchanted land, steeped in history and is a great destination for either a short city break or a lounge in the sun.
If you’re only looking to go for a few days, Marrakesh provides a great glimpse into Moroccan life from just over £300 for four nights. The main square comes alive in the evening, with snake charmers, market food and local music. Restaurants are dotted around it so you can enjoy the view from a roof terrace and meals are reasonably priced at £5 - £15. Any longer than four days and you’ll start to get bored, so don’t be wooed by extending your stay for just a few extra pounds.
If you’re after some time by the beach, Agadir is a coastal town with direct flights from the UK. Expect to pay around £500 for seven nights all-inclusive at a four star resort.
You’ll also find that most travel insurance providers group Morocco within European policies, helping to cut down the cost of your travel extras as you won’t have to take out the more expensive world-wide cover.
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Portugal has always been a family favourite due to it’s abundance of beaches and the proximity of major tourist destinations to airports. The Algarve is one of the most popular regions, situated under an hour’s drive from Faro airport and millions of us flock there each year.
As well as countless hotels and resorts, you’ll also find a huge selection of self-catering villas across the region that can help to cut the cost of your holiday drastically. Many are located within walking distance of the beach and come fully equipped with the latest mod-cons plus access to a private pool.
For the party-goers amongst you, check out Albufeira, which is one of the largest towns in the region, quickly establishing itself as a major party town on the coast.
Expect to pay around £350 per person on average for flights plus the villa if you travel out of peak-season (July – September) based on six people sharing.
GET THE DEAL – 7 nights self-catering (Vilamoura, Algarve) from £169pp at lowcostholidays