Revealed: 2021's cheapest and most expensive holiday destinations

The Post Office has released its annual Holiday Money report, putting 46 global destinations to the test to show where you can get the most bang for your buck in 2021. Read on to find the best-value and those that will set you back a little more...

Emerging just a week after the UK announced its traffic light system for foreign travel, the Post Office Holiday Money Report surveyed destinations based on the cost of eight tourist items – including a three-course meal, beer, wine, coffee and bottled water – to find which were the best value. 

While some of us may be hesitant to book holidays just yet, the report found 49% were planning on travelling abroad in 2021, while 18% remained undecided. 

The Algarve region in Portugal, which is one of the UK’s 12 green-listed countries, came out as the third-cheapest destination overall. Top of the list was Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, where the eight items came to just £27.71. Turkey’s Marmaris resort came in second place with £37.19.

Denis Belitsky/ShutterstockDenis Belitsky/Shutterstock

At the other end of the scale, the UAE’S Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah were the two most expensive at £159.01 and £141.72 respectively. Notoriously expensive Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, was the third priciest at £130.34. 

Out of the top 10 cheapest destinations, six were in Europe, with Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira coming in 10th place. Prices have fallen across the board too, with three-quarters of destinations coming out cheaper this year than last. 

Here are the 10 cheapest: 



Total cost of eight tourist items


Sunny Beach, Bulgaria



Marmaris, Turkey



Algarve, Portugal



Kuta, Bali



Cape Town, South Africa



Prague, Czech Republic



Costa del Sol, Spain



Hoi An, Vietnam



Colombo, Sri Lanka



Funchal, Madeira


And here are the 10 most expensive:



Total cost of eight tourist items


Abu Dhabi, UAE



Ras Al Khaimah, UAE



Reykjavik, Iceland



Mahé, Seychelles



Bridgetown, Barbados



Darwin, Australia



Auckland, New Zealand



St John, Antigua



Scarborough, Tobago



New York, USA


Attitudes to travel in 2021

More than half of those surveyed said they were planning, or considering planning, trips abroad this year. Among those who said they wouldn’t travel, concerns about COVID-19 were the main reason, while worries about post-Brexit red tape were also a significant influence. 

READ MORE: The latest coronavirus travel advice

What holidaymakers are looking for has, naturally, been coloured by the struggles of the past year. According to the report, 53% of respondents said rest and relaxation were a motivation for travel, while 49% were looking for sunshine and 30% wanted to explore a different country. 

Predictably, pandemic-related anxieties outweigh all other considerations for those planning trips abroad. Ninety per cent of respondents were worried that government changes to travel rules could cost them money, while quarantining, complex rules, cleanliness of accommodation and COVID-19 infection risk also scored high on travellers’ concerns. 

Holiday destinations where prices have fallen

A strong pound means that Brits travelling abroad are likely to get more for their money in most destinations this year. Yet in some destinations, prices have fallen significantly this year.

Tamarindo in Costa Rica, which came in 25th place overall, has seen local prices drop by one-third in the past year. This is down to a fall in the value of the local currency, colón.

In Europe, Italy’s Puglia region (30th) recorded an 18% overall price drop, while the Algarve fell by 16.5%, helping solidify its position as the cheapest destination in the continent.


After a year in which overseas travel has been mostly off the cards, many are setting their sights on once-in-a-lifetime trips once restrictions are lifted.

When asked about their top bucket list destinations, those offering stunning scenery and wildlife ranked most highly. Australia and New Zealand topped the chart, with both being chosen by 44% of respondents. Canada, Iceland, Japan and US National Parks followed behind.

Lubomir Chudoba/ShutterstockLubomir Chudoba/Shutterstock

As always, be sure to check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website for the latest advice, including information about entry requirements including visa and COVID-19 testing.


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © All rights reserved.