Long Haul or Short Haul: What is the Best Value For Money?

When it comes to taking a holiday, where to travel is just as much about cost as it is about desire. Although destinations closer to home are more convenient, they are sometimes more expensive compared to locations further afield.

For those with limited finances, all-inclusive packages for long-haul holidays and short-haul trips provide everything you could possibly need at a more than affordable price – but which is best value for money?

Here we look at a few options for each type of holiday and evaluate their value.

Short-haul: Europe

With so many countries in such close proximity, it’s difficult to know where to start in Europe. Spain, Portugal and France may be obvious choices, but what about venturing slightly further afield to Turkey or Greece? Here you’ll find the same balance of culture and history, but with potential money-saving benefits.

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Value for money

According to the Post Office’s Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer for 2013, Turkey features in the top ten for affordable destinations, with some luxuries, like a bottle of local beer/lager, costing £2.68 to Greece’s £4.02.

Conversely, a basic 1.5litre bottle of mineral water costs around £0.77 in Turkey – more than double the £0.36 cost in Greece. If concerned about the potential cost of food and drink, look into all-inclusive options, which will take care of this burden for you.

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Long-haul: the Caribbean

With year-round sunshine, crystal clear oceans and golden beaches, the Caribbean is as close as you can get to paradise. The Bahamas compromises of 700 islands and 2,000 cays scattered across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, making them an incredible choice of holiday destination. Incredible coral reefs make scuba diving a thoroughly enjoyable activity, while nature-lovers will be thrilled by possibility of swimming with sharks.

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Value for money

You may get a better exchange rate when travelling outside of Europe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean money will go further. Some resorts in top Caribbean destinations like Jamaica and St Lucia can be a little pricy, with total costs on the Post Office’s review coming to £97.59 and £93.96 respectively.

All-inclusive deals are another option, but it is worth noting that these long-haul destinations still perform well when compared to other options – such as Canada or Australia, where costs rise to £110.27 and £145.28 respectively.

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Long-haul: Asia

The most populous continent in the world is also home to some of the most congested cities like Bangkok and Tokyo. However, luxurious resorts and palatial surroundings can be found on several of Asia’s beautiful islands.

Phuket in Thailand has been the holidaymakers’ destination of choice for several years now and it is easy to see why. Elephant treks and floating markets are a unique insight into the country’s fascinating culture, but for a little more tranquillity, Bintan Island in Indonesia is better suited.

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Value for money

The Great British Pound can go a lot further when converted into local currency and Phuket in particular is a great option. With a 1.5litre bottle of mineral water priced at just £0.32 on average and a three-course evening meal for two averaging at £41.75, Thailand falls into 16th place on the Post Office barometer.

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