Money matters

by EmmaP

Remember the pre-2008 economic crash days? The glory years, when you could hop on a plane to the continent and live pretty well, even on a modest budget. I recall having an unpleasant shock on a trip to Barcelona in 2009. My pound had lost a lot of gusto against the Euro. And my wallet was woefully unprepared.

We Brits are a well-travelled bunch, the mass summer exodus is something of an annual pilgrimage – but where do we go? What are our preferences? And most importantly how far will the pound get us in real terms?

Around 27.4 million people in Britain planned a get-away for 2013, with over three-quarters opting to holiday abroad. Not-so-surprisingly, Europe is a favoured destination of the British and one of the reasons is; being able to travel in the comfort of your own car. 8.5 million Brits planned to take their vehicle away with them this year alone. This naturally seems to correlate with another pastime that Brits are renowned for being rather fond of – camping. 1 in 5 Brits intended to go camping this year, with France topping the charts in terms of popularity. Camping in France is something close to my heart; once a year being crammed into the back of the car with everything but the kitchen sink. The arguments, the maps being thrown out of the window, the spare tire -hastily abandoned on the return journey, to make room for cheap bottles of ‘Le Clerc’ vin rouge… ahhh, those were the days.

Enough of the trip down memory lane, down to the key question, how far will the humble pound get you? (In this instance: food, taxis and booze are considered.) Spain is one of the cheaper European travel destinations; more surprisingly Germany is easier on the wallet than you may expect. Switzerland and Luxembourg are, predictably, on the pricier side. But if you are prepared financially for your destination, there are inevitably fewer hassles and so… more time to relax and enjoy yourself.

And essentially that’s what a holiday should be about. I learnt a few years ago that is not wise to work on outdated assumptions about the place you are visiting, especially where money is concerned. A little forward planning and research can go a long way.

Check out the stats and money saving tips in this Infograph, and if you feel like taking a break from other Brits whilst on holiday - it’s pretty handy in that respect too.


Infographic produced by Sainsbury's Bank Travel Money.