Western Europe has long been a preferred region for UK holidaymakers, but the associated fee of travelling abroad to the likes of Spain and France has develop into increasingly unaffordable for a lot of households. As the main target turns to the 12 months ahead and the potential of exploring recent places internationally, travel expert Simon Calder has shared his best suggestions for securing a bargain. He explained that looking further afield in Europe is value a try if you happen to’re on a budget, particularly across the southwestern corner of the Balkans.
Speaking on Lorraine this morning, the journalist explained that there are many options for budget travellers to explore in 2023, and you will find them by looking into cheaper destinations.
He noted that Portugal is “going to be really low cost”, together with one other “old budget favourite” – Bulgaria. However it’s not only well-known holiday hotspots that ought to be in your list this 12 months.
In line with Simon, a few of the perfect deals can be found elsewhere in Europe, particularly within the southwestern corner of the Balkans which is “opening up” to more tourists.
The travel journalist said: “It’s Montenegro, it’s Albania, and for the primary time, this 12 months it’s packages to North Macedonia.”
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The landlocked country is part of the previous Yugoslavia, bordering Kosovo to the northwest, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. In addition to being steeped in history and culture, Simon noted that the low price has made it much more attractive to tourists.
He told Lorraine that local prices have dropped back right down to 1988 levels, making it “very, excellent value” for all the things from food and drinks to excursions during your stay.
One in all the fundamental attractions on this up-and-coming destination is the “beautiful body of water” called Lake Ohrid. The lake is exclusive in that it’s each a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and a Cultural World Heritage Site, as a result of its location within the Old Town.
In line with Simon, north Macedonia is comparable to Greece 20 years ago, noting that it’s a “strange environment, but so interesting”.
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He explained that the friendly local people and the drive for tourism make it a welcoming place for Britons, describing the country as a “recent horizon” for holidaymakers.
The travel expert did note that unfortunately, the costs to get to North Macedonia usually are not significantly cheaper if you happen to travel in the height of summer.
Simon explained that the associated fee of flying from Manchester or Gatwick airport on a weekend in late July will cost greater than £500 per person. Nevertheless, in response to his calculations, this remains to be cheaper than the Costa Brava, so that you “can be saving money”.
For those seeking to travel further afield, Simon urged travellers to go sooner quite than later, adding that “now’s a very good time” to make a journey abroad if you happen to usually are not constrained by school holidays.
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While it’ll cost you lower than a summer holiday, the travel expert warned that prices for the Caribbean, Barbados and other similar destinations are still removed from a bargain.
Travellers in search of a last-minute January getaway should expect prices starting at around £2,000 for long-haul flights, with few deals on offer for less.
Simon did note that Senegal is one other place “opening up” this 12 months, and is value a glance if you happen to’re completely satisfied with a six-hour flight.
The west-African country is situated within the tropics, potentially offering a more “sophisticated” vibe than nearby Gambia. He added: “It’s nearer than the Caribbean and it’s an awful lot cheaper!”
The travel expert highlighted that in terms of booking your 2023 holidays, choosing package deals provides “incredible consumer protection”, and “the perfect possible deal” while you liaise with a human travel agent.
One other tip to secure yourself a bargain holiday is to make the most of the term times where you reside. Simon said: “If you happen to’re lucky enough to live in southern Scotland or Northern England, then, play the difference in the varsity holidays.
“So if you happen to’re in southern Scotland, go in early July but head right down to Newcastle or Machester airport and fly from there. If you happen to’re in northern England, wait until August and go across the border to Presswood, Glasgow or Edinburgh and fly from there.”
He added that doing so means you’ll “absolutely guarantee a greater deal than most individuals in southern England will find a way to seek out”.