Spain and Sri Lanka have emerged as the best value destinations in a new survey of travel costs.

The annual Post Office Travel Money report – which compared 42 destinations worldwide – found the price of eight holiday items, including a meal out, coffee, beer and a packet of cigarettes, totalled £36.14 in the two holiday hotspots.Sri Lanka holidays

The report found the amount was just a quarter of the cost in Australia and South Korea, the two most expensive countries surveyed.

A three-course evening meal for two adults, including a bottle of house wine, cost as little as £24.30 in Sri Lanka – a country hotly tipped for 2013 thanks to a new BA route – compared to £122.45 in Seoul, South Korea, where the eight items totalled £146.93.

The latter’s position as the most expensive destination is significant given increased interest in the country in the wake of pop star PSY’s eponymous hit Gangnam Style.

Meanwhile, low meal prices helped Spain’s Costa del Sol hit the top spot – the research found that eating out can now cost 50 per cent less than five years ago.
The Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer showed Australia as the second most expensive destination, where the eight items cost £145.28.

Other pricey locations included New Zealand (£127.67), Canada (£110.27) and China (£116.45).

Destinations also offering good value for money were Prague, where the same set of items cost just £39.17, Bali (£40.47), Vietnam (£43.20) and Bulgaria (£45.10).

Mexico has benefited from low hotel and resort costs as well as more direct flights, while hotel rates have fallen sharply in Greece. But prices have risen in Italy, making it 50 per cent pricier than Greece.
Turkey, Bali and Vietnam have all seen prices fall, but they have gone up in Thailandserge au sri lanka

Once regularly seen in the top 10, the South-East Asian country has fallen to 16th place (£58.31). Rising resort prices mean tourists can now expect to fork out 22 per cent more this year.

Vilnius in Lithuania was tipped as the next place to benefit from high demand for low-cost city breaks, while other countries likely to make a tourist breakthrough this year included Qatar, Oman and Jordan.

The Post Office said the evidence suggests that holidaymakers are increasingly being savvy about where sterling is strong, resort prices are low and more flight routes have kept prices down.
Travel Money head Andrew Brown said: ‘There are growing signs that UK holidaymakers now check the value of sterling and the costs they face in overseas resorts before booking.

‘The destinations which benefited last year were those where the power of the pound put more money in the pocket or where the price of meals and drinks meant holiday cash stretched further – and often a combination of the two. We expect to see the same pattern emerging in 2013.’

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