Heading Off for a Cheap Eurozone Citybreak?

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Study shows UK holidaymakers should 'Czech' their travel money first.

Our survey reveals that a significant minority of people think some of Europe's cheapest destinations are eurozone members. However, the exchange rate is more stable and the cost of living much lower in places like Turkey, Hungary and Poland and this will save cash-strapped holidaymakers money.

New research from Post Office Travel Services has discovered that, as the euro/ pound foreign exchange rate becomes less favourable to UK residents, many people seeking cheap holidays may be overlooking the Czech Republic, traditionally a popular bargain holiday destination, in the mistaken belief that it is one of the Eastern European countries on the euro.

Even though the Czech Republic consistently rates as one of the cheapest holiday destinations in terms of living costs abroad, over a quarter of survey respondents believe it is a member of the Eurozone, when it actually still operates the koruna as its currency.

Turkey, Hungary and Denmark are other bargain holiday destinations tourists could be avoiding due to foreign currency misconceptions, as none are members of the euro. While sterling is currently just under 10 per cent weaker than a year ago against the Czech koruna, this compares favourably with the drop of almost 17 per cent in the value of the pound against the euro. And foreign exchange rates for other non-euro countries are faring even better. UK tourists will get almost 10 per cent more Polish zloty for their pounds than a year ago; they will also get around the same number of Turkish lira and only slightly fewer Hungarian forints.

According to the research, this foreign currency confusion also extends to non-euro destinations, giving rise to concerns that a significant minority of people will choose their summer holiday without considering the exchange rate or cost of living.

Andrew Spice of Post Office Travel Services said: "Our survey reveals that a significant minority of people think some of Europe's cheapest destinations are eurozone members. However, the exchange rate is more stable and the cost of living much lower in places like Turkey, Hungary and Poland and this will save cash-strapped holidaymakers money."

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Melanie Seasons
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