Will the half-term break cost less?

By | Category: Travel rumblings


perplexed © Dan Sperrin

Research from M&S Bank suggests that holidays abroad this coming half-term will be cheaper than last year. Before you jump up and down for joy, the bank says that this is primarily due to exchange rates.
Four out of five of the most affordable destinations are in the Eurozone. Since the rate of exchange in October 2011 was around about €1.16 to £1 and today it is about €1.24 to £1 you might expect an overall holiday to be cheaper in the Eurozone by about 6.7% over last year. But it isn’t. Only Corfu, according to the bank, exceeds that and prices to go there are just over 8% cheaper than last year.
But what do they mean by being cheaper than last year? Are we talking about just the price of the holiday and the cost of the money that you exchange or does it include the little “necessities” that you might buy such as a cup of coffee and a meal out? They have included dinners and one activity but that’s it. But the prices of the flights and accommodation are sourced from just three sites so may not be representative of what you can buy.
Once again, here is a case where, on the face of it, there seems to be good news. When you look more closely it looks a bit muddy. And possibly misleading because for those who haven’t yet booked, prices may go up or down as tour operators and airlines look at what they still have to sell. And when you get to your destination, souvenirs and gifts that you might want to buy may have gone up as well.
What you can be sure is that the tax the government grabs from you in APD has increased. In April it went up by 8% which represents just £1 if you are flying to Europe but £7 extra taking the price to £92 if you are flying to Australia or New Zealand.
You only know whether you half-term treat is cheaper or more expensive than last year after you’ve been. And do you really care? You still probably choose a destination for a holiday because you want to go there. Not because it will be £10 cheaper than somewhere you didn’t really want to go to anyway!

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