Commonwealth Holidays a royal treat as four in ten beat inflation

7th Apr 2012
Commonwealth Holidays a royal treat as four in ten beat inflation

Research from M&S Money has revealed that Malta is the best inflation busting holiday destination in the Commonwealth. The cost of a week’s holiday on the Mediterranean island has risen by just £1 over the past year, making it an ideal destination for Brits wanting to see more of the Commonwealth in the Jubilee year.

However, the M&S Money research, which studied 10 of the most popular Commonwealth holiday destinations to reveal which offers the best value for money, showed that Cyprus is the most affordable Commonwealth destination for a week long trip, costing £1,200 per person, closely followed by Malta at £1,231.*

Kenya was the third cheapest of the Commonwealth destinations researched, costing £1,435 per person for a week. This is despite Kenya having the highest price rise on last year (up £196), as a result of inflation at 18.3 per cent, but it also had the lowest local costs* of £998.

The five best value Commonwealth destinations:
1.    Cyprus – £1,200
2.    Malta - £1,231
3.    Kenya - £1,435
4.    South Africa - £1,711
5.    Barbados - £1,889

The European Commonwealth destinations have seen the lowest overall price rises, for local costs and the cost of travel, due to favourable exchange rates with the euro. A trip to Malta has seen a 0.08 per cent rise in costs over the past year and a week in Cyprus is just £15 more expensive, a difference of 1.23 per cent, while Barbados in comparison has seen an increase of £155 or 8.19 per cent, due to a less favourable exchange rate and higher inflation.


Those travelling to South Africa will find their travel money also stretches further this year as the exchange rate between sterling and rand is 6.12 per cent more favourable than last year with the overall cost of a week long trip (including flights) having risen by just 1.33 per cent. A week in Canada will cost 1.48 per cent more than it did last year, comfortably beating UK inflation.

The five lowest price rises in the Commonwealth:
1.    Malta (0.08%)
2.    Cyprus (1.23%)
3.    South Africa (1.33%)
4.    Canada (1.48%)
5.    Mauritius (5.33%)

However, with the average week long trip to a Commonwealth destination having risen by £103 per person (5.90 per cent), from £1,747 to £1,850, over the past twelve months, it’s important to research not just the cost of the holiday flights and accommodation but also look into local costs and exchange rates to see which destinations offer the best value for money on arrival.

Significant increases in New Zealand and Singapore mean they are now the two most expensive destinations. A trip to Singapore now costs £2,663 for a week, a 6.94 per cent (£185) rise on last year, while New Zealand is £2,206 for a week, an increase of 8.79 per cent (£193.91). The research revealed Singapore has the highest accommodation costs, while New Zealand has the most expensive flights.

Jane Lawson, Head of Travel Money at M&S Money, said: “In the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year many people will be tempted to follow in the footsteps of the Royal Family and see what the Commonwealth has to offer. Luckily, favourable exchange rates and lower inflation mean many countries in the Commonwealth offer great value for money.

“To maximise your holiday budget it’s important to plan ahead, not just to get the best deal on your transport and accommodation, but also consider the exchange rate and local costs at your chosen destination, which can have a big impact on how much money you have to spend when you get there.”

Follow Jane’s top currency tips to get the most out of your holiday money:
*  Plan your holiday budget so you know how much your holiday is going to cost and how much currency you need
*  If you’re getting your currency on the high street choose a provider with a large number of currencies on demand
*  Don’t rely on internet rates if buying in-store – many providers have different rates online and some change their rate throughout the day
*  Don’t leave your holiday money until the last minute - airport bureaux offer less competitive rates and may not have a wide variety of note denominations


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