Saturday, 16 April 2011


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By Dana Gloger

Sterling has dropped in value by 25 per cent against the euro since 2007
Saturday April 16,2011

BRITONS face a summer of holiday hell with family trips costing over £700 a week more than they did four years ago.
The weak pound compared to the euro means UK travellers are getting far less for their money if they holiday in Europe.
Sterling has dropped in value by 25 per cent against the euro since 2007. And any recent improvement in exchange rates has been wiped out by high inflation. The cost of a week in France for a family of four, including a hire car, seven evening meals and 500 euros in spending money, was £1,721.95 in 2007.

Today the same trip will set families back £2,435.16, up £713.21. It is also £77.94 more expensive than last year. The pound doesn’t go as far as it did in the eurozone, with £1 buying just 1.10 euros yesterday – close to a year low – according to foreign exchange giant Moneycorp. In Italy, a selection of everyday items including a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, suncream and postcards, cost on average £48.45 in 2007.

ìUK travellers are getting far less for their money if they holiday in Europeî

This year the same shopping list will set British holidaymakers back £81.32 – up a whopping 86 per cent.

In Cyprus, UK tourists will pay 75 per more, while in Portugal prices are up 50 per cent, according to Post Office Travel Money.

The cost of eating out has also soared – by up to more than 100 per cent.

A three-course meal with a bottle of house wine in a local restaurant in Italy cost £28.58 in 2007.

This year it has increased 102 per cent to £57.69.

Eating out in Greece costs 79 per cent more than in 2007, and it is 56 per cent more in Cyprus.Portugal, meanwhile, has seen the biggest year-on-year increase.

A list of everyday essentials cost £41.28 last year but has risen by 23 per cent to £50.58.

A restaurant meal is also 36 per cent more expensive.

Spain is the only European country where holidays will not cost us more this year.
Experts say British holidaymakers will get an increasingly bad deal in Europe while exchange rates are as poor as they have been for the past five years.

Families can get better value for money going further afield, for example to Turkey, Tunisia or Egypt.
Daily Express consumer adviser Jasmine Birtles, from Money Magpie, said: “It is time for people to look outside of the eurozone. These price increases are yet another thing that has gone up and is out of our control.

“Those who have already booked holidays to Europe will either have to use their credit cards, which will lead to a nasty shock when they get their bills, or they will have to really budget.

“They will have to think about what they can do without while they are away and will have to cut back on those things and downgrade parts of their holiday.”

Rupert Bedell, travel money expert at Moneycorp said: “Inflation has been creeping up both in mainland Europe and in the UK for a while now and the pound is quite simply not strong enough to combat the effects.
And it is likely only to get worse, he warned.

“It remains uncertain whether there are further falls against the euro still lurking in the market.”
Sarah Munro, head of travel at the Post Office, said: “Our latest research into costs for holidaymakers in European resorts reveals wide variations in eurozone prices.” But, she conceded, prices have risen sharply for British travellers.

“Sterling’s progressive slump in value since 2007 means that the tourist exchange rate that we can offer in Post Office bureaux de change branches now gives UK holidaymakers over 25 per cent fewer euros.

“Sterling’s continuing weakness makes it doubly important for people to do their homework before booking to check which destinations will be cheaper this year. They should also avoid buying currency at the airport where they will get a poor rate. The bottom line is that if people don’t do their homework, an Easter break this year could be expensive.”

Turkey is a better bet because the pound has been slightly more resilient against its lira.
While holidaying there is 11.5 per cent pricier than four years ago, it is still 12 per cent cheaper than last year.

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