Inflation-busting school holiday destinations

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Choosing where to spend the school holidays can be a difficult decision; the usual holiday hotspots can become overcrowded outside of term time, leading many families to consider locations off of the beaten track.


Then there are considerations like how much time parents can take off work, how long a journey the children are likely to cope well with, and how much is in the total budget.


While Florida is one of the most popular long-haul destinations, it tends to represent a one-off holiday for many families, as that lengthy flight inevitably costs more than reaching resorts closer to home.


It may come as no surprise then that figures published by M&S Bank in early summer 2013 showed a 4% rise in the average price of a holiday in Florida compared with the previous year – more than the headline rate of UK inflation, which stood at 2.8% over the same period.


At the other end of the scale, France and Spain rank as the most affordable family holiday destinations, at a total cost of £2,187 and £2,529 respectively for a family of four.


But for the best bargain in 2013, you might want to look to Egypt, which saw the lowest overall level of inflation in the cost of a holiday for a family of four between 2012 and 2013.


At just 0.8%, the land of pyramids and mummies is one destination where families can still book a break at prices broadly comparable with those of a year ago.


The M&S Bank research placed Greece next on the list of lowest holiday price inflation, but this still saw costs rise by more than UK inflation, at 3.1% on the price of a holiday for a family of four.


It’s worth remembering, however, that the increase in costs is not necessarily the fault of the tour operators themselves; local rates of inflation and shifting exchange rates can also affect the real-terms cost of a break.


M&S Bank’s head of travel money Paul Stokes says: “Egypt’s modest price rises show the importance of taking into consideration favourable exchange rates and local costs when booking a holiday.”

And although Egypt has seen political unrest in summer 2013, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office is still advising that travel to tourist resorts like Sharm el Sheikh, and others in the Red Sea area, should be no cause for concern.


Passing through Cairo itself should also be OK, as long as tourists do not leave the airport grounds.

Posted in Holidays, Travel News

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