Despite popular opinion picking Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, as the cheapest of the four holiday destinations in the poll question, a study comparing prices around the world reported in the Financial Times actually found Tokyo is now the least expensive.
The “weekend getaway” index excludes the cost of flights but allows for meals, drinks, shopping and a five star hotel room.
The newspaper wrote that the weakening of the Japanese yen means Tokyo “no longer seems as expensive as it has done in the past”. The yen fell by about 25% (or more) against the US dollar, the euro and the British pound between September 2012 and May 2013.
Do you have a foreign exchange buffer?
The second of eZonomics’ Seven smart tips for saving for a holiday suggests people planning a vacation factor in the destination’s currency.
If planning a getaway to a place that uses a different currency to your own, put an extra sum aside in case the exchange rate shifts.
If you’re lucky, the currency might shift in your favour and you end up with leftovers.
If you’re not so lucky, it will shift against you but funds will be there to alleviate financial pain.
More tips for travellers
The tips for holidaymakers also suggest:
- Calculating how many months until departure and divide the total holiday cost by the number of months to get your monthly savings target.
- If your bank allows, naming the account in honour of your travel – think “Martha’s skiing fund” rather than “bonus saver 1”.
- If money’s tight, consider two shorter or cheaper holidays rather than an expensive long one. The two short escapes might offer a discount way to boost the anticipation and excitement without such a large cost.