Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Today we were once again joined by Andy Jarosz, travel correspondent

Andy joined us for his monthly feature on Travel

Today's topic is value destinations.  In recent months the Euro exchange rate has vastly improved from its' position of a year or two ago.  Andy identified two places where your money should go a little further.  A bill in Portugal's restaurants should be around 10-20% under the UK.  Bus travel is also reportedly cheap throughout.  Another place to consider is Germany - where food is cheap; a pizza and beer should set you back less than £10 and train travel is a steal.  Some may have the preconception that prices in the Eurozone are the same, however it can be found that, for example the same 5 or 6 Euro beer in Italy euros may cost you only 2 Euros elsewhere.

Long haul flights may cost you much more, a journey to South America for example can prove expensive but holidaying can be cheap once there.  In Thailand you can acquire decent accommodation for around £15/20 a night.  Backpackers can book in to hostels for only a pound or two.  Street food can be purchased again for only a pound or two so there are many savings to be made versus the UK, especially when staying over several weeks.

Many people seem put off by the prices in the UK, indeed trains and internal flights here can prove just as expensive as flying low budget.   Tourists attractions in London and Bed & Breakfast prices here can rack up enough to be beyond the means of many families.  With a little bit of know-how and prior research you can save money abroad - consider the airport transfer from the station to your hotel for example.  Andy managed to take a train from Malaga Airport, 10 miles to his hotel for only EUR1.60! 

Of course, currency exchange is a big consideration as well as the all-important beach towels.  As much as you can, try and get on top of this before you go.  There can be huge differences even locally.  Good places to try are places where tourism is rife, such as London where many booths stack up their currency to quickly exchange to visiting crowds.  Always negotiate - ignore the 'Commission Free' offers and simply ask 'how much will £300 get me?' or whatever you're looking to change.  Many places offer a Bureau de Change - not just the travel agents and banks, but high street shops too.  When you get to your destination, don't feel too embarrassed to bring along your pocket calculator for those less straightforward rates!

For more travel tips from Andy please visit his website at:
or follow him on twitter: @501places

Andy will be back in the New Year as he is shortly heading for his own holiday in the Pacific Islands!  The team here on Drivetime are not jealous (much)!

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