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Post Office Travel Money: ‘Grexit’ briefing

Press release   •   Jun 19, 2015 18:11 BST

What happens if Greece leaves the eurozone? Will holidaymakers still be able to use euros?

Andrew Brown, spokesperson for Post Office Travel Money said: “UKholidaymakers planning trips to Greece shouldn’t panic if the country leaves the eurozone. If this happened it would take around 18 months for the Greek drachma to be re-introduced during which time the euro would continue to be the legal currency.

“Looking back to the last time that things reached a head in Greece in 2013, the short term impact was a lack of availability of cash at ATMs and a reluctance by shops and restaurants to accept credit or debit cards. With that in mind, we are advising customers travelling to Greece in the coming weeks to be prepared and ensure that they budget carefully, taking enough cash in euros to see them through their holiday.

“Once they arrive in their destination, use safes and deposit boxes to store cash so they don’t carry too much around with them – and split money between family members. By planning ahead holidaymakers can have a worry-free holiday.”

If holidaymakers have already booked a holiday in Greece or are still considering doing so, what sort of value will they find?

Greece continues to look a great bet for bargain hunters, according to the latest Post Office Travel Money resort research. Despite political upheaval, Greece remains part of the eurozone and the strength of sterling means families changing £500 into euro - the average spent according to Post Office consumer research - will get the equivalent of around £65 more to spend compared with 12 months ago.

ThePost Office Holiday Costs Barometer research found that the extra £65 will be enough to cover a family evening meal together with drinks, snacks and suncream in both Crete and Corfu. Prices in both resort islands are down by over 13 per cent year-on-year – resulting in reductions of over £10 on the Post Office barometer basket in Corfu and over £8 in Crete, the cheaper of the two.

As a result of the price falls, a cup of coffee in a café in Crete now costs just £1.49 – that’s 24p cheaper than last summer. A bottle of beer is £1.87 – 30p less than in 2014 - and a glass of wine will set tourists back £2.62, saving 41p. Best of all, a meal including drinks will cost a family of four £37.37 – almost £6 less than last year.

It is the same story in Corfu. The Post Office found evidence of big price cuts on the island. The cost of a glass of wine has fallen by a third to £2.62, saving £1.28 on the price last Easter. Families who forget the suncream can buy a bottle for under £4.50, saving £3.32 compared with a year ago and a bag of chips will cost the equivalent of £1.87, 73p less than in 2014 – a fall of 28 per cent.

It’s not just for beach breaks that Greece looks the bargain choice. In its annual City Costs Barometer, Post Office Travel Money has rated Athens the cheapest capital in Western Europe. Prices for meals and drinks are a fraction of the cost in favourites like Paris, Amsterdam and Rome.

At under £38, Athens is less than half the price of the Parisian barometer basket for a meal and range of drinks (£78). Eating out for two in Rome (£49) costs 69 per cent more than in Athens (£29); while city breakers can save 53p (26 per cent) on the cost of a cup of coffee in Athens (£1.49) compared with £2.02 in Amsterdam.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Tourist staples in Greece are going to cost a lot less this year thanks to the powerful pound and local price cuts. Whether it’s in Athens or one of the Greek Islands, competition to attract UK tourists is intense and so holidaymakers on beach holidays or city breaks can look forward to getting far more bang for their buck.”

HOLIDAY COSTS BAROMETER: PRICES FOR GREECE 2015 VS 2014

Crete

ITEMS 2015 PRICE 2014 PRICE SAVING £ 2015 v 2014 SAVING % 2015 v 2014
Cup of coffee - café/bar £1.49 £1.73 -£0.24 -13.9%
Bottle of local beer/lager - café/bar £1.87 £2.17 -£0.30 -13.8%
Glass of wine - café/bar £2.62 £3.03 -£0.41 -13.5%
Portion of chips £1.87 £2.17 -£0.30 -13.8%
Small pizza/pasta for 1 child £3.74 £3.90 -£0.16 -4.1%
Bottle of suncream £5.61 £6.50 -£0.89 -13.7%
3-course meal for a family of 4, incl. drinks £37.37 £43.33 -£5.96 -13.8%
TOTAL COSTS £54.57 £62.83 -£8.26 -13.1%

Corfu

ITEMS 2015 PRICE 2014 PRICE SAVING £ 2015 v 2014 SAVING % 2015 v 2014
Cup of coffee - café/bar £1.87 £2.17 -£0.30 -13.8%
Bottle of local beer/lager - café/bar £2.62 £3.03 -£0.41 -13.5%
Glass of wine - café/bar £2.62 £3.90 -£1.28 -32.8%
Portion of chips £1.87 £2.60 -£0.73 -28.1%
Small pizza/pasta for 1 child £3.74 £4.33 -£0.59 -13.6%
Bottle of suncream £4.48 £7.80 -£3.32 -42.6%
3-course meal for a family of 4, incl. drinks £48.58 £51.99 -£3.41 -6.6%
TOTAL COSTS £65.78 £75.82 -£10.04 -13.2%

Athens

ITEMS Athens Amsterdam Rome Paris
Cup of coffee - café/bar £1.49 £2.02 £1.49 £0.90
Bottle of beer/lager - café/bar £2.62 £2.17 £2.99 £2.99
Coca-Cola/Pepsi - café/bar £1.49 £1.87 £2.24 £2.84
Glass of wine - café/bar £2.99 £2.69 £2.99 £3.74
3 course meal for 2 incl. bottle of wine £29.15 £44.85 £49.33 £67.27
TOTAL £37.74 £53.60 £59.04 £77.74
% more than Athens +42.0% 56.4% +106.0%

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