Post Office Travel Money has revealed the winter sun destinations where your money will go further, with Bali and Cape Town topping the list.

Its eighth annual Long-Haul Holiday Report looks at prices in 33 destinations. Costs are based on a 'basket' of holiday travel staples which includes: 

  • Cup of coffee;
  • Bottle of beer/lager;
  • Can of Coke/Pepsi;
  • Glass of wine;
  • Cocktail;
  • Small chocolate bar;
  • Bottle of mineral water;
  • Suncream;
  • Insect repellent;
  • Three-course evening meal for two, including bottle of wine.

The research found that the strength of sterling, combined with lower resort prices, means 16 out of 33 long-haul destinations are cheaper than last year for British travellers.

In Bali and Cape Town, price falls have resulted from sterling exchange rate gains of well over 15%.

The weaker Indonesian rupiah means holiday staples are now 5.5% cheaper at £37.91, while in Cape Town the essentials are 10.9% less at £41.58 compared to last year.

The cheapest places to travel  

Here's a rundown of the top 10 cheapest long-haul destinations, based on the total cost of those travel staples.                                                                      

Destination

Total cost of travel staples 

% rise/fall over 2014 prices

Bali, Indonesia

£37.91

-5.5%

Cape Town, South Africa

£41.58

-10.9%

Tokyo, Japan

£51.81

-21.5%

Mombasa, Kenya

£52.65

-19.3%

Colombo, Sri Lanka

£57.25

15.2%

Phuket, Thailand

£58.31

6.2%

Cancun, Mexico

£63.75

-11.1%

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

£67.41

20%

Grand Baie, Mauritius

£67.50

-5.8%

Penang, Malaysia

£68.29

-41.1%

Falls in local prices and a strong pound means Tokyo has jumped up to third cheapest destination from eighth just a year ago. The Post Office says costs for UK visitors have dropped 50% since 2013, making the destination, previously seen as expensive, increasingly affordable.

The biggest fall has been in Penang, Malaysia, where prices have dropped 41.1% year-on-year to £68.29. This has moved the destination from 28th to 10th position in the table of cheapest long-haul destinations.

A 28% surge in the value of sterling against the Malaysian ringgit, and increased competition to win back tourists, may account for the big falls in local prices in Penang’s restaurants, bars and shops.

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The most expensive places to travel

The Post Office report also identified the most expensive places to top up your tan this winter. Here are the 10 most expensive long-haul destinations:

Destination

Total cost of travel staples 

% rise/fall over 2014 prices

Jumeirah, Dubai

£167.10

4%

Various, Singapore

£148.51

-4.4%

Muscat, Oman

£145.16

15.2%

English Harbour, Antigua

£137.13

16.7%

Miami, USA

£121.33

6.1%

St Lawrence Gap, Barbados

£117.58

15.5%

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

£107.32

-8.5%

Montego Bay, Jamaica

£105.56

23.7%

Beijing, China

£102.64

5.6%

Auckland, New Zealand

£100.66

24.3%

Jumeirah in Dubai is the most expensive long-haul destination according to the report. You’re likely to have to shell out £10.18 for a cocktail, £8.33 for a bottle of beer and £12.95 for a bottle of suncream in this Middle Eastern hotspot.

Auckland in New Zealand has seen the sharpest increase in the cost of holiday staples of the most expensive destinations, with prices here rising 24.3% in the last year. 

Elsewhere the falling value of sterling against the dollar has impacted destinations in the USA as well as in the Caribbean, whose currencies float with the dollar. Prices in Antigua are up 16.7%, while they are up 15.5% in Barbados and 23.7% in Jamaica.

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Savvy travellers

Holidaymakers are becoming increasingly shrewd when it comes to booking holidays. They’re now more likely to plan long-haul trips where sterling is strong and the cost of living is low.

Sterling has strengthened against 16 of the 27 currencies featured in the long-haul report.

So if you're going on holiday, keep an eye on the exchange rate and try to time your currency switch when the pound is strongest.

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