The Eurozone: Have pounds, will travel

Yes, we pay through the nose for everything, but one major advantage of living in an expensive country like the UK, is you can afford to go on holiday almost anywhere without worrying about the cost. Forget the sun, sea, and sand - there are few things more relaxing than watching the sun sink in the Costas, safe in the knowledge that you just saved £6 on that pina colada.

Alas, no more. As the pound continues to sink faster against the euro, than a British tourist with a skinful of pina coladas ...it's becoming painfully apparent that from now on - even ABROAD, we're going to have to count our pennies. But that said ... the idea that the pound is equal (soon to be worth less) than the euro is actually slightly misleading; as anyone in the Euro-zone will tell you, not all euros are equal.

According to a Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer survey, taken earlier this year (when the pound was in relatively rude health), the places to avoid are France, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Italy. And the places to visit? Spain and Malta. But there are expections to every rule: Dublin, for example, has long been more expensive to visit than Barcelona or Berlin - but it's more expensive than the rest of Ireland, too.

So for holiday makers on a budget (which would be all of us) , there are three new rules for Europe:

Go off season (generally anytime during term time is good)

Go to countries with a lower cost of living

Stay out the cities and head off the beaten track

Recession? Pah! It's an adventure... and look on the bright side - soon Europe will be going for a song once more

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