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Summer holiday planning: Where will your pound go furthest?

Michael Connolly
MSE News Reporter
23 May 2013

If you're planning on going away this summer but haven't booked yet, MoneySavingExpert.com compares how far your pound will get you at popular holiday destinations.

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Portugal comes up trumps if you're looking to get the most for your money based on a typical basket of goods.

There, a three course meal for two including wine costs 18.80, compared to 59.67 at the overall priciest destination, Dubai.

This is based on data from the Post Office, which sampled prices in tourist areas within various countries (if you're thinking of booking a trip, see our Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels and Cheap Package Holiday guides).

The second cheapest destination according to the data is Spain, while outside Europe you'll get the most bang for your buck in the USA.

See the full table of results below:

Where will your pound go furthest?
Destination Bottled beer Coffee Can of Coke 1.5l water 3-course meal for 2 with wine Total basket cost
Portugal (Algarve) 1.28 85p 85p 42p 18.80 22.20
Spain (Costa del Sol) 1.71 1.02 1.02 32p 25.64 29.71
Greece (Corfu) 2.14 2.56 1.49 34p 23.50 30.03
USA (Orlando) 2 1.33 1.66 1.33 29.99 36.31
Cyprus (Paphos) 1.92 1.92 1.92 24p 32.47 38.47
Croatia (Split) 1.97 79p 1.80 62p 36.68 41.86
Egypt (Sharm el Sheikh) 3.79 1.42 1.13 19p 35.61 42.14
France (Nice) 3.42 1.15 3.20 85p 38.46 47.08
UK (Bournemouth) 3.50 1.95 1.60 25p 49.65 57.35
Turkey (Bodrum) 2.51 2.15 2.15 71p 53.95 61.47
Dubai 5.78 3.62 1.99 26p 59.67 71.32

Source: Post Office. Based on the exchange rate on 23 May.

Cheap travel money

The cheapest way to spend abroad is on a specialist card that doesn't add a 3% load to the exchange rate, unlike most cards.

Our top pick is the Halifax Clarity* credit card has no foreign exchange fee anywhere worldwide (you can use our pre-apply eligibility check for this card), so you can get the best rate possible. Plus there's no fee for cash withdrawals, though you will be charged interest on them even if repaid in full.

The APR for cash and spending is 12.9% (see official rate example).

For over-50s, the Saga* credit card has no foreign exchange fee. This means you get the best possible rate worldwide (you can use our pre-application eligibility check).

If you take out cash, you won't be charged interest if you repay in full before your statement's 'payment due' date. But you will still be charged a one-off 2% (min 2) fee. Fail to repay in full and it's 11.9% representative APR interest.

See our Top Travel Money guide for more on all the best cards.

If you prefer cash, use our TravelMoneyMax tool, which compares rates and fees to find you the cheapest deal. Also, never buy currency at the airport or ferry port as you'll probably be lumbered with the worst rates.

If you must get it from the airport, pre-order for pick-up to get a better rate.

* Using these links helps the site stay free to use, as they're 'affiliated links' which invisibly take you usually via affiliate linkage or commercial money sites, which then pay this site. You shouldn't notice any difference, the links don't impact the product at all and the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by the revenue. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the best product, it is still recommended and still included. The following links, Halifax and Saga are identical unaffiliated links provided for the sake of transparency. Click on the following link for more details on how this site's financed.

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