Want an Easter break? Where can you get the best value for money?

6th April 2012  

The recent budget has admittedly left some people smiling but considerably larger numbers of people are reeling in despair from the dramatic changes in working tax credits, child benefit and pensions.

According to an analysis by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) nearly 400,000 middle-class professionals and white collar workers will lose hundreds of pounds a year as the worst hit group under the Coalition’s tax reforms.

But hey, it’s the start of the holiday season, the kids are on Easter break, and we’re a third of the way through the year already. So if the dour times and austerity measures have left you longing for a break away, where can you go to make the most of what little spare cash you have?

Europe

Its common knowledge that the Eurozone has been going through an even worse time than the UK, and the crisis has left the Euro practically on its knees. Many observers are wondering how much longer the Euro can continue to be a viable currency on the world markets, but at this point in time failure is not an option.

But while this might be causing the mother of all headaches for financiers, it’s a boom time for holidaymakers. The Euro is nearly 4% weaker than it was a year ago, so you’re getting around €1.20 to the pound. This makes a Euro worth just £0.82p, so if you can find a flight (several countries are facing walk-outs from airline staff over the Easter break) you should find some great value across Europe.

Turkey

This popular destination has had its own worries recently, leaving the Turkish Lira 9% weaker than last year. Combine that with relatively cheap flights and some good last minute deals on hotels, and Turkey is pushing towards the top of the list for cash-savvy holidaymakers.

Croatia

Fancy something a little more adventurous? If you’re into caving and diving, why not combine the two with a ‘spelunking’ holiday in Croatia? Financially, this European backwater is going through a bit of a renaissance and is fast becoming a popular destination with those weary of package deals on the Spanish Costas.

Financially, Croatia offers a great return and your pound will go much further here than it will in some of the more fashionable traditional destinations.

Hungary

Eastern Europe is really pulling in the holidaymakers in 2012, and the beautiful countryside of Hungary is no exception. The exchange rate is currently approximately 348 Hungarian Forints to a pound, which is an 11% improvement on this time last year. This is a great destination to choose if you’re looking for a relaxing spa holiday.

Affordable enough to put on your credit card

So the search for real value is great news for venues like these as well as places like the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Morocco as consumers broaden their horizons beyond the usual Spanish and Greek package deals. Clearly the flexibility of your credit card means you could still get an overseas break before the Easter holidays are are over.

As well as offering the chance to spread the cost of your holiday over several pay cheques, if you’re taking advantage of an interest-free on purchases period it can mean your well earned holiday is truly affordable. You’ll also get the protection your credit card offers you in the event of an insolvency or problem with your travel firm or airline.

While travellers’ cheques are still a popular way to carry cash around on holiday, be aware that in some of the more remote locations they may be unwilling or unable to take them. In instances like this it pays to have a generic card such as a VISA or MasterCard as back-up, just in case you’re left with a bill and no way to pay it.

However watch out for foreign exchange surcharges if you’re spending or shopping abroad. Many of the most competitive credit cards issued in the UK make punitive charges if you use your card to pay in any currency apart from the one its issued in. To avoid these charges, take a look at our overseas credit card deals. Here we feature cards that won’t cost you the earth to use them when you’re travelling.

Before using your credit card outside the UK check out our comprehensive guide on ‘Using your credit card abroad‘.


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