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Where to go for less in 2012
With many tightening their belts and watching what they spend, it’s heartening to see that nearly 96% of people still intend to take a break in 2012*
So it is more important than ever that we look at the best destinations to travel to for a great value affordable holiday that we can trust to deliver. Here are my top destinations for holidays that won’t break the bank, whatever your budget level and preferred type of holiday.
A duty free haven, year round sun and within four hours are just three of the key drivers for holidays in the Canaries.
Whether you are looking for a last minute break or main summer holiday, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote all have something to offer.
They have a range of resorts from full on partying at Playa de Las Americas to calm and quiet on the island of La Palma. You can either lie back and work on the tan or get out and about and enjoy all kinds of sports.
With the Balearic Islands there are three major islands to pick from, hundreds of flights direct from the UK every week, thousands of hotels, apartments and villas to pick from and some of the best weather in the Med.
Choose from Majorca, Menorca or Ibiza, all firm family favourites with Brits as they deliver great quality holidays year after year. From bargain basement self-catering deals to high end spa hotels, all inclusive holidays to affordable villas, these islands have it all. And with excellent beaches, scenery, local culture and great food and entertainment, you can find something to suit everyone.
Plus the Balearics are in the Euro zone where the pound is at a one year high around the £1 = €1.20 making your money go further
Year round flights to the Algarve from over 20 UK airports make this an easy to reach destination offering holidays at any time. Superb clean sandy beaches, a stunning coastline and resorts catering to families and couples alike.
Use Faro as your gateway airport and consider self-catering villas and apartments, mid-range hotels and top end golf and spa resorts for your needs. Eating out is cheap and the value of the pound helps your money go that bit further.
It doesn’t need to ‘costa lot’ for a holiday in Spain, and with a wide range of destinations to choose from you are spoilt for choice. From Benidorm on the Costa Blanca to Marbella on the Costa Del Sol and many more, then are miles and miles of beach resorts of all types to explore.
For years Bulgaria has offered great value for money due to the excellent exchange rate and cheap prices. This is a value for money destination and whilst standards may not be as high as in the Med, you can still enjoy a beach based holiday in one of the many hotels in areas such as Sunny Beach and Golden Sands.
While the Greek economy has been suffering the deals have just kept on coming. The many islands of Greece have seen offers galore in 2011 and this will continue in 2012 as the country battles to keep attracting the tourist pounds.
Opt for ultra-cheap basic and clean hotels or self-catering and eat out in the great value restaurants on fresh, simple fayre. Alternatively opt for top end hotels with all the trimmings on offer at great prices right now.
Another great one for year round sun. The best value deals in Egypt are on all inclusive breaks to the resort areas of the Red Sea. Flying into Hurghada, Marsa Alam or Sharm el Sheikh, holidays are generally hotel based and are great for snorkelling and relaxing.
If you wanted to see some Egyptian history then consider a holiday to the Nile areas of Luxor and Aswan and take in the temples and sights, along with some fun shopping in the bazaars.
Long haul options
Fancy a long haul beach break, but without breaking the bank? You can find year round sun in the Spanish Caribbean islands of Cuba, Dominican Republic and the Mexican coast around Cancun.
Best value deals are all inclusive package style breaks where you can grab a holiday for under a grand. That makes a tropical break very affordable.
Or consider The Gambia or the Cape Verde islands – both good options for summer and last minute breaks, with tropical temperatures and very cheap prices when you are in destination. Aim for the highest standard properties, but be sure to get out and about to explore.
Europe has a wealth of cities just waiting to be explored. With some savvy buying of cheap flights from the low cost carriers and sticking to value end hotels or apartments, you can easily find a short break at any time of the year for under £200 a person.
Try and travel midweek and plan to use your accommodation just as a base, helping to keep your costs down. You can spend your none sleeping time out and about. Stick to local eateries and menus of the day at lunch time to eat for less and use public transport and a good guide book to whizz you about to all of the best sights.
From classics like Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and Barcelona to fast growing Seville, Ljubljana, Bologna and Krakow, a low budget, high value city break can be yours.
* Source TravelSupermarket Travel Tracker report conducted November 2011
from 5,187 respondents.