More Brits heading overseas this summer


60% of us are heading overseas this summer because last year’s much hyped ‘staycation’ trend didn’t really satisfy the sun worshippers among us. However, there is one large problem limiting our holiday dreams – money. The recession has meant that we don’t want to whack everything on a credit card and worry about paying for it later. This year, we want to know we can afford to go away. So how to do we get round this rather large obstacle?

Firstly, destination is key. The Euro to Pound exchange rate is pretty diabolical right now. In fact, it is almost at parity and with much of Europe actually being more expensive than the UK anyway, this isn’t going to make your money go as far as it needs to. Therefore, look outside of the Euro zone. This could mean the US because the Pound to Dollar rate is looking fairly healthy. Or even go a little further a field and look at long-haul deals to Asia and Africa. You might pay a bit more for a flight, but you’ll hardly spend a penny once you have arrived. However, to really rein in that spending, try a holiday in Eastern Europe.

Bulgaria for example has a fantastically beautiful coastline: jutting peninsulas, miles of white-sand beaches, rocky headlands, azure water and thick green forests. Inland there are lakes, rivers and mountains and throughout this eastern gem are enthralling cities such as the capital Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv. You can combine lazy days on the beach with balmy evenings strolling through UNESCO World Heritage ‘Old Towns’.

Another way to cut costs is to book a package deal. You used to be able to save money by booking all the components – hotel, flight, car hire etc – yourself, but that is no longer necessarily the case. Tour ops can negotiate quite favourable deals on car hire and transfers as they work in bulk, they often run their own flights and hotels or they have allocation to fill in both, this means the overall cost to the consumer is less.

Finally, if you can, i.e. if you don’t have kids, book a package in ‘shoulder season’. This is just outside of the main peak seasons and is much cheaper, quieter and therefore better value for money. The best times are usually in May, June and September.