Could 2015 be the year in which travel gets cheaper at last? There are certainly grounds for optimism.
Firstly, the pound is riding high against the euro. “The falling cost of living in many European countries, coupled with a slump in the euro means British holidaymakers are seeing their money go much further,” explains Monarch Airlines’ Ian Chambers. “Customers should keep an eye on Crete and Cyprus, where falls in the cost of eating out make these better value than ever before.”
Secondly, cuts in Air Passenger Duty (APD) from 1 April will make overseas travel cheaper, with the tax being reduced for long-haul destinations, such as the Caribbean, China and Australia. APD will also be abolished entirely for children under-12 from 1 May. These changes will, for example, cut £142 off a Florida family holiday for two adults and two children.
Airlines have already started to refund customers who’ve booked children on flights after 1 May. Ryanair has gone even further — pledging to refund all under-12s booked on flights after 27 March, so that families can benefit over Easter.
The good news is the trend towards cheaper holidays looks set to continue into 2016. In May next year, APD will be scrapped for under-16s, while many airlines are expected to start passing on savings from falling fuel prices this year.
Published in the April 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)