Bulgaria city costs report 2019

Holiday Costs Barometer 2019

  • Holiday costs fell in 19 of 42 destinations surveyed

  • Sunny Beach, Bulgaria offers lowest local costs for holidaymakers

Find out where to get best value in the world’s top hotspots

For the second year running, Post Office Travel Money research has found that holidaymakers can expect to pay less for meals, drinks and other tourist staples in many of the world’s most popular resorts and cities. The 11th annual Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer has found that prices have fallen in almost half the destinations surveyed – with three European family favourites topping the leaderboard.

  • Sunny Beach, Bulgaria is cheapest of 42 destinations surveyed for the second year running, with Marmaris, Turkey and the Algarve, Portugal in the runner-up spots
  • Cape Town, South Africa is the best value long haul destination, while Kenya and Bali are new entrants to the top 10
  • Price are down in 19 destinations with the biggest falls of around 20 per cent in Singapore and St Lucia


The Post Office barometer monitors the price of eight tourist items – comprising dinner for two with a bottle of wine, a range of soft and alcoholic drinks, suncream and insect repellent.

Within the last year, holiday costs have dropped in 19 of the 42 destinations surveyed, with Singapore and St Lucia topping the list. Costs fell as much as 21.5% in the Chinatown area of Singapore.

So what’s the cause of the favourable trend in holiday costs? One explanation is that, rather than the pound performing well against global currencies, local businesses in popular tourist hotspots are charging less for things like meals and drinks.

But in some countries, the value of the pound has increased relative to local currency, creating savings for British tourists. Brazil is one example of this – Rio de Janeiro has seen prices fall by 19.5% thanks to the strength of the pound against the Brazilian real.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said:

"It is good news that prices are down in many destinations this year, but it is still very important to be aware of the huge variation in costs we found across the 42 countries surveyed. For example, barometer costs in the six cheapest resorts and cities are less than half those in the 15 priciest destinations.

“That’s why we advise holidaymakers to draw up a destination shortlist and do their homework by comparing the prices for meals, drinks and other tourist items before booking. Forearmed is forewarned!”

If you’re planning to take a holiday in 2019, our tables below can help you create a budget and give you the information you need to choose the best holiday destination for you.

Wherever your travels take you in 2019, protect yourself and your holiday with travel insurance.

Americas and Caribbean

Typical cost of purchases for visitors on a Americas/ Caribbean break in 2019


Typical cost of purchases for visitors on a European city break in 2019

Africa, Asia and Oceania

Typical cost of purchases for visitors on a Africa/ Asia/ Oceania break in 2019

Order travel money

The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, accounting for one-in-four of all foreign exchange transactions. Euros are available on demand at over 9,000 Post Offices and US dollars at over 3,500 branches. Both currencies can be ordered online for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches, for next day collection at any branch or home delivery. 1,600 larger Post Offices stock 30 leading currencies while up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 branches or online for next day branch or home delivery.

The Post Office Travel Money Card is also a great way to manage travel money abroad. You can load your spending money in advance (in up to 13 currencies) when the rates are best and use abroad just as you would a debit card, with contactless available in millions of locations worldwide. You can monitor your balance on the go via the app and as the multi-currency Travel Money Card is not linked to a bank account there is no risk of overspending - and no non-sterling transaction charges.


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