How you can travel to the same country and have an almost identically interesting experience for an awful lot less money
UK holidaymakers can save hundreds of pounds by visiting “unsung cities” rather than the most popular destinations, according to new research.
Post Office Travel Money compared the price of tourist items such as refreshments, sightseeing, accommodation and transport in 10 cities that are “off the well-beaten tourist track” with 10 more established locations.
The Unsung Cities League shows that Belgrade has the cheapest prices, including £1.73 for a bottle of local beer, £1.53 for admission to a top art gallery and £3.84 for a two-day travel card.
The total cost of the basket of goods is 12% cheaper than rival Krakow.
Other comparisons made by the report include Toulouse costing 38% less than Paris, Valencia being 35% cheaper than Barcelona and visitors to Verona saving 36% compared with staying in Venice.
Post Office Travel Money spokesman Andrew Brown urged tourists not to get “caught out” by expensive destinations.
He said: “Holidaymakers need to be careful to do their homework before booking, and budget accordingly.
“As Europe’s lesser-known capitals and second cities start to invest in tourism, now is the time to consider switching to a city that is likely to be cheaper than long-established favourites.
“In eastern Europe there are several historic capitals – led by Belgrade, Bucharest and Bratislava – that can rival Krakow, Prague and Budapest on both price and sights.
“In the West, Porto is a great alternative to Lisbon while cities like Valencia, Verona and Toulouse are cheaper options than city break favourites like Barcelona, Venice and Paris.”
Alternate destination savings on offer
- Belgrade vs Krakow (12%)
- Bucharest vs Budapest (24%)
- Porto vs Lisbon (33%)
- Bratislava vs Vienna (44%)
- Ljubljana vs Dubrovnik (22%)
- Toulouse vs Paris (38%)
- Valencia vs Barcelona (35%)
- Antwerp vs Bruges (30%)
- Verona vs Venice (36%)
- Hamburg vs Berlin (1%)
Why not start searching for that holiday now. Below are some tips on how to find that ideal holiday at a price that’s right!
- TravelSupermarket for speed and range. TravelSupermarket covers all the big tour operators such as Thomas Cook and Tui (formerly Thomson), plus sites including Expedia, Love Holidays and On the Beach, which allow you to be more flexible about picking your own flight and hotel.
- Ice Lolly for extra breadth. Ice Lolly covers some of the travel firms that TravelSupermarket misses and allows you to search holidays from up to eight airports at once.
- Flash-sale sites for cheap short-lived deals. You’ll need to be ready to pounce for this one, but flash-sale sites offer great deals which beat comparison sites for a short time only. Holiday Pirates is one which has stonking deals on holidays, flights and hotels – also check Travelzoo.
- Try BA holidays for last minute flight and hotel deals. Some deals with BA Holidays can work out cheaper than flights alone – great if you can be flexible on dates and destination. It also has a range of filters including average temperature and TripAdvisor ratings which can help narrow down your search.
- Traditional tour operators incl Thomas Cook, Tui and Virgin Holidays. While some traditional tour operators’ offers will be included in the comparison sites above, it’s worth checking direct as well – the likes of Thomas Cook, Tui, First Choice, Virgin Holidays and Olympic can often have last-minute deals you won’t find elsewhere.