Post Office Travel Money Holiday has revealed its holiday trends for the year ahead, based on affordable local costs, favourable sterling exchange rates and local cultural events. While their research found that holidaymakers are “becoming more adventurous in their choice of destination”, the Post Office reports that strong currency sales for the euro, Turkish lira, Bulgarian lev and Croatian kuna over the past year “underline the fact that Europe remains the destination of choice for most people”. Here are the 10 holiday hotspots for 2019.
According to Post Office research, a drop in the value of the Turkish lira means UK visitors will get around a third more lira for their pounds than a year ago. This could be the reason behind a 65% rise in holiday bookings for April to December. Marmaris on the Turkish Riviera was named the second cheapest of 42 destinations in a recent survey, while Istanbul is known for its rich history as a meeting point between East and West.
With sterling stronger than it was a year ago, passenger numbers to Indonesia’s holiday island are growing. The Post Office lists it as a favourite amongst holidaymakers, thanks to the unique combination of beach and jungle.
Nine-in-ten of those who visited Spain in the past year rated Spain good value in the Post Office’s Holiday Spending Report. When it comes to experiencing local culture and cuisine, the Post Office recommends exploring “lesser-known regions rather than the Costas”, which have become the most popular tourist towns.
4. Bratislava, Slovakia
With prices 44% lower than they are in nearby Vienna, the Slovakian capital is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hotspots for city breaks. “Its historic old town is packed with historic sights and the city has a thriving café society just like its Austrian neighbour,” the Post Office says.
5. Porto, Portugal
Portugal’s second city is “the best bet for a bargain break in Western Europe”, according to the Post Office, which found prices a third lower than in Lisbon. Its pretty old town comes without the crowds of the capital city, too.
“The krona is now one of the few currencies to have weakened against sterling in recent months so Iceland looks set to welcome yet more tourists in 2019 – especially those who want to see the ‘Lands beyond the Wall’ from A Game of Thrones in real life,” says the Post Office.
With Post Office currency sales up 325 per cent over the last 10 years, Croatia has become a summer holiday favourite. Its stunning coastline is the main attraction, but its ancient towns, from Hvar to Dubrovnik, offer plenty of culture.
8. Southern Italy
The Post Office highlights the ancient city of Matera as a travel hotspot for this year. The historic cave city in the Basilicata region is this year’s European Capital of Culture and is cheaper than other nearby Italian tourist destinations.
“2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth and celebrations to mark this will run throughout the year, attracting UK tourists keen to understand the country’s history and culture,” says the Post Office.
Known for its wild but beautiful landscapes, this south American country offers glaciers, mountains and a diverse range of wildlife. “Visitors in 2019 will have the chance to travel the new Route of Parks trail set up to guide them through Patagonia’s 17 national parks,” says the Post Office. “Those visiting in July may be lucky enough to see a solar eclipse while they take the trail.”