Cuba is most cost effective holiday destination, says Marks and Spencer

Campaign News | Sunday, 28 August 2005

Up to three times less expensive than Spain

London, 27 August: Cuba is the place where holiday currency goes the furthest, according to a new report from Marks & Spencer Travel Money.

M&S Travel Money’s Ice Cream Index reveals the bargain holiday destinations for travellers who want to make their money work harder and lists the top 10 from the cheapest to the most expensive.

(1) Cuba, (2) Egypt, (3) Morocco, (4) Croatia, (5) Turkey, (6) Dominican Republic, (7) Cyprus, (8) Portugal, (9) Greece and (10) Spain.

M&S Money’s Ice Cream Index provides a simple guide to making travel money go further. The index looks at the cost of basket of typical holiday items in this year’s top 10 holiday destinations and proves that holidaymakers selecting old favourites, such as Spain and Greece, could be in for a shock when they cough up their Euros.

Instead, beneficial exchange rates and the lower cost of basics mean travellers going to Cuba, Croatia and Morocco could have more cash to splash out on those extra items or activities that make a holiday truly memorable.

With one in five (21%) holidaymakers admitting they are cost-conscious travellers, they can now not only benefit from commission-free currency - such as that offered by M&S Money - but also see where their pound will travel the most.

Most (22%) Britons take between £201 and £300 holiday cash with them, but the total cost of the holiday shopping list below varies by as much as £60.56 - one fifth of their holiday spending.

At the cheapest end of the scale, Cuba clocks up only £38.34 on the Ice Cream Index, while the increasingly expensive Costas checks in at £98.90.

A family of four on holiday in Spain could be paying almost three times as much for their holiday basics. Indeed, £1.50 would buy just one ice cream in Turkey but three in Croatia, and nearly 10 in Egypt.

M&S Travel Money used a typical holiday shopping list comprising:

An ice cream, a three course meal for one,a 10-minute taxi journey, a bottle of local wine, a glass of beer, a cup of coffee, car hire (a family car for one day), entrance for one adult to a local attraction - zoo, museum, waterpark etc and a postcard.

David Mackay, Commercial Director of M&S Money, continues: "To get the most out of our hard-earned holiday cash, we need be careful where we change our travel money.

"As well as choosing a good value destination, holidaymakers can boost their spending power even more by getting great rates and no commission charges with M&S Travel Money.

"However, if they wait until the airport to change their money, it could cost them as much as £36.40 more - or more than five three-course meals in Cuba".

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