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New Zealand, Australia and South Korea most expensive destinations

Holidaymakers wanting the best value for money on holiday should keep an eye on exchange rates. Bali and Vietnam now cheaper than Thailand.

According to the Post Office's Holiday Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea are the destinations with the highest tourist costs for 2013. The report works by adding the cost of a basket of typical tourist goods including 4 drinks, suncream, a packet of Marlboro Lights and a 3 course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine.

The basket cost an eye-watering £146.93 in South Korea and £145.28 in Australia. Smokers pay a particularly heavy price for their habit in Australia with a packet of 20 costing £13.37, they'd find Vietnam more accommodating at £0.70. Curiously Australia was one of the more expensive destinations for sunscreen, though that might have been because they were buying factor 15 in a country that regards anything less than factor 30 as a waste of time.

The Costa del Sol in Spain tied with Sri Lanka with the best value baskets at £36.14. Falling prices have meant Bali and Vietnam have overtaken Thailand and are in the top 5 with the Czech Republic at number 3.

Mexico is named as the holiday hotspot for the second year running as a combination of low hotel prices, low resort costs and increasing availability of direct flights to Cancun attract more visitors. The Mexican peso has been one of the Post Office's top 10 growing currencies for three years with sales growing by over 216% since 2007.

Andrew Brown, Post Office Head of Travel Money, said:

"There are growing signs that UK holidaymakers now check the value of sterling and the costs they face in overseas resorts before booking. The destinations which benefited last year were those where the power of the pound put more money in the pocket or where the price of meals and drinks meant holiday cash stretched further – and often a combination of the two. We expect to see the same pattern emerging in 2013.”

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