Lonely Planet Writer

Thailand could prove to be a better deal than Lanzarote for family holidays this mid-term

Finding an affordable sunshine break during the upcoming half term break is possible this year – but families need to do their homework before deciding on their destinations.

Cape Town, South Africa
Greater economies can be had by travelling further afield.  Image by: Getty Images

New research by the Post Office Travel Money Half Term Barometer, across a dozen resorts around the world, has found that swapping holiday destinations could translate into huge savings. UK families are being advised by currency transaction expert, Post Office Travel Money, that with the fall in value of sterling, the best way to get value is by looking for late-availability deals. Swapping to a place where package prices and resort costs are low will cut holiday expense.  The Post Office survey discovered that a family of four could reduce their costs by over 50% on a European trip to the Costa del Sol for £1570 instead of going to Lanzarote at £3571. This would mean a saving of just over £2000.

Ko Tao is a popular holiday island in the Gulf of Thailand.
Ko Tao is a popular holiday island in the Gulf of Thailand. Image by Getty Images

The survey found that there were even greater savings to be made if holidaymakers are prepared to travel further to warm climates. Phuket in Thailand (£2829) emerged as cheaper than either of the Canary Islands in the Post Office Travel Money survey – although only marginally more expensive than Tenerife (£2830). Post Office Travel Money representative, Andrew Brown, said the reason for the high prices was linked to the short supply available for holidays to a number of destinations around half term. Mexican resorts, including Cancun, was among those affected by availability, he explained. Mr Brown said that it wasn’t the only factor in high prices because the cost of food and drink for a family over a week was also substantial.  The survey found meals and drink to be cheapest in the Algarve at £291 for a week.  However, temperatures are warmer in the Eastern Med than the Iberian Peninsula at the end of October and costs were higher as a result.