The Post Office Travel Money Holiday Hotlist 2019 was selected by considering a number of decision-making factors. These include affordable local costs, favourable sterling exchange rates to boost the spending power of UK tourists and local cultural events and celebrations scheduled in the year ahead.
Hadi Moussa, General Manager for Northern Europe from Airbnb said: “The Post Office has picked out some amazing value travel destinations spotlighted in their hot list this year. From the extensive coastline of Southern Italy and Spain’s ‘off the beaten track’ beaches to the beautiful cities of Porto and Bratislava, there’s so much to see and do. Whether travellers are exploring the rich and varied locations in Europe or heading further afield to the likes of Bali and India, there is a breadth of listings* available on Airbnb to suit every guest’s needs.”
Why? A slump in the value of the Turkish lira means UK visitors will get around a third more lira for their pounds than a year ago, which helps to explain why holiday bookings for April-December are already up 65 per cent year-on-year1. In the annual Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer, Marmaris was second cheapest of 42 destinations surveyed.
Where? A stunning example of an Airbnb listing in Turkey, Sapphire is a bright and airy five-star apartment with white-washed beams in the heart of Istanbul. The apartment boasts fabulous views of Istanbul’s landmark mosques and the Golden Horn inland waterway from the Bosphorus and is close to the bars and restaurants of Beyoglu. Prices for one night start from £48 and it sleeps two guests.
Turkey Olu Deniz
Credit: Turkish Culture & Tourism Office
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Turkey.
Why? Bali is one of the very few destinations where the cost of living is low and where sterling is also stronger than a year ago. UK tourists are catching on and sales of its currency, the rupiah, have surged by 483 per cent in the past decade to prove the point.
Where? The Writer’s Treehouse is the ultimate five-star romantic retreat: an airy, jungle-style bamboo home just a stone's throw from a quiet beach in west coast Pekutatan. Surrounded by trees, visitors can relax in a hammock in a gorgeous tropical garden where there is always something in bloom. The treehouse is one example of many homes dotted across Bali that are part of the new Airbnb Plus tier, a premium category of homes inspected against a 100+ point checklist covering design, amenities and hospitality. Prices for one night start from £61 and the treehouse sleeps two guests.
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Bali.
Why? Rated best value in Europe in the Post Office’s Holiday Spending Report with a 90 per cent approval rating, Spain has also moved up the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer top 10 after prices fell by over two per cent year-on-year.
Where? The Post Office is tipping lesser-known regions of Spain as hotspots and this pretty wood cabin located in Uceda – a 40-minute drive from Madrid – is available on Airbnb. Ideal for a break from civilisation, this cottage, with its mountain location and large garden, is perfect for communing with nature. Prices for one night start from £63.
Credit: Lee Higham
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Spain.
And if city breaks are up your street consider…
Why? The ninth cheapest city in Europe according to the Post Office City Costs Barometer, Slovakia’s capital is becoming one of the ‘go-to’ cities for millennials - and little wonder. Prices in Bratislava are 44 per cent lower than in nearby Vienna.
Where? A stylish modern apartment in a fabulous location next to the art nouveau Blue Church is among the contrasting range of accommodation available in Bratislava from Airbnb. A great city centre base from which to walk to the restaurants, bars and shops of the old town or the Danube promenade, the five-star apartment costs from £32 per night and sleeps three guests.
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Bratislava.
Why? Portugal’s second city is even cheaper than Bratislava and the best bet for a bargain break in Western Europe, according to the Post Office, which found prices a third lower than in Lisbon. Porto will also play host to the first Nations League finals in June – featuring the England football team.
Where? A romantic, rustic flat in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is among many examples of character homes available from Airbnb. Set in a 19th century building with stone and whitewashed walls as well as pretty, patterned floors, the flat’s vintage feel makes it a home-from-home in the old town. The five-star flat costs from £41 per night and sleeps four guests.
Credit: Portuguese National Tourist Office, photographer: João-Paulo
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Porto.
6. SOUTHERN ITALY
Why? The ancient city of Matera is this year’s European Capital of Culture, which will turn the spotlight on a region of Italy that has only recently started to attract significant numbers of UK visitors and which is cheaper than many of the country’s better-known tourist traps.
Where? Il Sasso sotto L’Albero is located in the Sassi district of Matera, where unique cave dwellings carved from rock and originating from a pre-historic troglodyte settlement provide one of Italy’s most unique landscapes. This limestone ‘lamione’ sleeps four guests and is an excellent example of the historic homes available from Airbnb in Matera.
Matera, Southern Italy
Credit: Lee Higham
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Matera.
Why? 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth and celebrations to mark this will run throughout the year, attracting UK tourists keen to understand the country’s history and culture.
Where? Stay in a heritage apartment at Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, one of a diverse range of homes available from Airbnb in India. Decorated in Indian Rajasthani style, the apartment is just outside the oldest 12th century monument in Delhi. One night stays cost from £47 for two guests.
Credit: TCS Expeditions
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in India.
Why? Visitors in 2019 will have the chance to travel the new Route of Parks trail set up to guide them through Patagonia’s 17 national parks. Those visiting in July may be lucky enough to see a solar eclipse while they take the trail.
Where? Accommodation is great value in Patagonia and there are several good examples of character homes in its northern lake region around Bariloche. One of these claims to be the most beautiful lake loft in San Carlos de Bariloche overlooking Nahuel Huapi lake and just steps from the beach. Prices for one night start from £70 and the five star apartment can sleep three guests.
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Patagonia.
And finally, for a chance to walk in the footsteps of those from our favourite medieval fantasy epic, Croatia and Iceland can’t be beaten
Why: Iceland has made huge headway in attracting UK visitors over the past decade as a 237 per cent increase in sales of the Icelandic krona shows. The krona is now one of the few currencies to have weakened against sterling in recent months so Iceland looks set to welcome yet more tourists in 2019 – especially those who want to see the ‘Lands beyond the Wall’ from Game of Thrones in real life.
Where? Splash out on a luxury stay in a spacious new villa in Akureyri, the northern capital of Iceland. Offering spectacular views of the Eyiafjordur fjord, the hillside house is a great base for visits to scenic Lake Mývatn, the Grand Canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur and the magnificent waterfalls at Goðafoss and Dettifoss. Sleeping five, the property costs from £229 per night.
Credit: Promote Iceland
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Iceland.
Why: Croatia has been one of the biggest tourism success stories of the past decade, with Post Office currency sales up 325 per cent in that time. The festival scene has made Croatia a youth favourite, while its long coastline and network of over 1,000 islands makes it a mecca for summer sun trips. The final series of Game of Thrones should encourage more visits to Kings Landing location, Dubrovnik.
Where? Character homes available in Croatia range from an historic old windmill – the Old Tower – in the historic heart of Hvar to a rustic ranch – Docine – in Selca on the island of Brac. Up to four people can stay at Docine ranch for a real escape from civilisation. One night stays cost from £56. The Old Tower is a cultural monument originally built in 1761. It has since been luxuriously renovated (using traditional methods and materials) to incorporate the latest technology. The Old Tower costs from £146 per night and sleeps six guests.
Croatia: Dubrovnik bay view
Credit: Lee Higham
Here are more examples of homes on Airbnb in Croatia.
Don’t forget, the Post Office Travel Money Card is 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 charge.
Post Office Travel Money also offers 30 currencies on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches. Over 3,500 branches offer US dollars and more than 9,000 branches offer euros over the counter without pre-order. Both euros and US dollars can also be ordered online for same day collection at selected branches, for next day collection at any branch or home delivery. In total, up to 70 currencies can also be pre-ordered at over 11,500 branches or online for branch or home delivery.
*All Airbnb listings in this article are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse these listings or any other listings on the platform.
1 Source: Data from market insight provider GfK’s Travel Insights+ service, based on the number of passenger bookings to travel between April and December 2019.