A further advantage

Paradise in Cancun
Paradise in Cancun
Have your say

Families not bound by school holidays are being urged to look at long-haul packages for the best value in the travel market in June and early July.

Niel Alobaidi, commercial director at tour operator Hayes & Jarvis, says: “The strength of the sterling is bound to make people think about travelling abroad for guaranteed summer sun and there are great deals available in June for those not tied to booking trips during the school holidays.

“Deals available for Thailand are particularly attractive and this has been our best-selling destination by some distance in recent weeks.

“For example, a 23 per cent saving on June packages to the four-star Kata Beach Resort and Spa in Phuket brings the price of an eight-night holiday down to £749 per person, some 17 per cent lower than the same trip costs in July.”

As quality hotels around the world tweak prices to ensure demand holds up through the recession, Alobaidi also tips the Caribbean off-peak months as a great value bet.

“Cash-strapped Brits can get a week away in Barbados in June for less than £800, saving themselves a good 25 per cent. The same holiday taken a month later would cost £200 more per person,” he says. Hayes & Jarvis’s seven-night B&B stays in mid-June at the three-star Coconut Court Beach Hotel lead in at £795, saving £200, and include Virgin Atlantic flights ex-Gatwick.

Although long-haul package prices have fallen in many areas because hotel chains have agreed to cut prices, the growing strength of the pound against many currencies in the past year has also been a factor.

The latest Post Office Travel Money Holiday Report points out that the Brazilian real has slumped 24.5 per cent against the pound since May 2011.

A fall of 15.7 per cent for the Mexican new peso against the pound means that UK visitors picking Cancun or the Riviera Maya for a summer sunshine break will have £67.68 extra spending money on every £500 changed into local money.

The Post Office also notes there has been a huge surge in demand for Argentinian pesos, which has quadrupled in two years, helped partly by a 7.2 per cent rise in sterling’s value there in the past year, while sales of the Chilean peso also climbed by 7 per cent.

Demand from British travellers for the Vietnamese dong jumped 15 per cent in the first four months of 2012, against 2011, while Qatar has seen a 54 per cent surge in currency sales, measured year-on-year.