Holiday prices are slashed following latest travel update

Grant Shapps discusses introduction of 'simpler' travel system

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A getaway to Spain this autumn now costs 38 percent less than before the pandemic, the holiday comparison website TravelSupermarket found.

And a week for two in southern Portugal is available from under £199 per person.

Bargains cheaper than before the pandemic are available for trips to Tenerife, Costa del Sol, Kos, Corfu and Zante.

The plummeting prices follow measures announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps yesterday which state that double-jabbed people no longer have to take PCR tests when they return from abroad.

Thomas Cook reported bookings for Turkey rising instantly after it was removed from the red list. And Holiday Extras’ Seamus McCauley said the announcement meant holidays will be cheaper and “significantly easier” to book.

He said the “barrage of tests” needed for travel costs an average of £144 per person.

Mr McCauley said: “The measures will shave an average of eight hours of research and bureaucracy off each trip.

“We know from our research that almost half of the people who’ve been put off flying this year were put off by the restrictions, not the pandemic itself.

“But a less obvious change will be the return of the short overseas break and city break.”

Reigo Elijas, country supervisor for UK & Ireland at, said the firm is expecting to see a spike in bookings.

He added: “The biggest benefit for consumers would be lower costs in additional testing requirements However, the need to test remains in place, which causes hassle for Brits hoping to travel this summer.”

Travel bosses have already reported a rise in bookings for former red-list countries such as the Maldives and Mexico, and expect to see another surge foreign trips this weekend. Expedia reported Mexico is the most popular red-list country when comparing this month with September 2020, with a rise in interest of 70 percent, while the Maldives is up 30 percent and Sri Lanka 20 percent.

Spokeswoman Niamh Jenkinson said: “No doubt these surges are a result of the news that the need for expensive PCR tests for the double vaccinated has been scrapped.

“It saves our travellers money and puts their minds at ease when booking their next holiday. This surge in interest also shows the public is confident to travel abroad again and eager to explore these once-in-a-lifetime destinations.”

A trip to Costa de Almeria in Spain is 38 percent cheaper compared to September or October in 2019.

Costa Dorada is 27 percent cheaper than before the pandemic, while Majorca and Crete cost 15 percent less, according to Travelsupermarket’s expert Emma Coulthurst.

She said: “We expect a surge in interest for late summer and October, including October half-term from families. There are many people who haven’t holidayed abroad for more than a year and who will be keen to for some foreign sun.”

More than two in five people polled by Skyscanner last week said they would be more likely to book travel abroad if the current system was changed.

It also found that 36 percent still find the traffic light system “confusing”.

Bookings for UK spots have dropped by 21 percent compared with last week as destinations such as France and Italy pull travellers abroad, said agency Oliver’s Travels. The firm’s co-founder Oliver Bell said: “We are so thrilled to hear testing requirements have been scrapped for UK residents returning to Britain.

“This will instil confidence in travellers as the cost implications have been a real barrier for some travellers and we can already see from our bookings that confidence in overseas travel is returning.

“We are hopeful we will continue to see bookings come in for last-minute European holidays for this autumn, helping extend the summer season after a slow start.”



SPAIN’S Costa Brava: 3* Hotel Reymar, Santa Susanna Depart Liverpool on September 28 for seven nights for two adults from £128 per person B&B or from £163 per person full board via Travelsupermarket.

CANARY ISLAND’S Tenerife: Sol Arona in Los Cristianos Depart East Midlands Airport on October 7 for four nights for two adults from £225 per person B&B via On the Beach.

POLAND’S Krakow: 3* Atelier Aparthotel B&B Depart Luton on October 5 for three nights for two adults from £99 per person via Travelsupermarket.

CZECH REPUBLIC’S Prague: 3* Czech Inn Depart Stansted on October 1 for three nights for two adults from £104 per person via Travelsupermarket.

GREECE’S Crete: Primavera Beach Hotel & Apartments near Heraklion Depart from Manchester on October 1 for four nights for two adults from £215 per person via Jet2Holidays.

GREECE’S Zante: Self-catered Pythari Studios in Laganas Depart from London’s Stansted for three nights from October 3 for £225 per person via Jet2Holidays.

TURKEY’S Dalaman: Turunc Bay Conti Boutique Hotel B&B Depart from Birmingham on October 8 for four nights for two adults for £169 per person via On the Beach.

PORTUGAL’S Albufeira: Self-catering Casa Mitchell Apartments Depart from Gatwick on September 26 for seven nights for two adults for £199 per person via TUI.

PORTUGAL’S Algarve: Pestana Vila Sol – Golf & Spa Hotel Visit The Algarve from £517 per person via The price includes a seven-night stay at the 5 star hotel on a B&B basis in a suite for two adults and two children, including return flights from Stansted departing October 23.

SPAIN’S Majorca: Hotel Apartments Viva Blue Take a trip to Majorca from £365 per person via The price includes seven nights at the Hotel Apartments Viva Blue on a self-catered basis in a premium apartment for two adults and two children, including return flights from Stansted departing October 23.



TIME to gobble up a sunny slice of Turkey. One of our favourite short-haul holiday destinations is back, just in time for early autumn breaks and half-term family trips.

It’s still delightful weather, at around 86F in late September and early October.

Also, there are plenty of quality hotels to suit all budgets, with some superb prices.

For example, last night I spotted a five-star resort week, all-inclusive for around £300 per person. I also saw a four-star self-catering stay for just over £160. What value!

The sea is at its warmest too. Turkey is friendly with great food, and there is plenty to see and do if you want to get off your sun lounger.

We’d expected the welcome simplification of the barmy Government traffic light travel system with the new, straightforward clarity of a Go ROW (Rest of World)/No Go Red policy.

And it is going to be good riddance to the outrageously expensive PCR tests for double-jabbers (another reason to get vaccinated). Add in the opening up of ROW hotspots such as the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Kenya and we’ve got a winter sunshine winner.

So there’s a jumbo jet load of good news for the travelling public with more options for holidays, for people desperate to see their family abroad and deal-sealing business journeys.

But it’s also a boost for the perilously fragile British travel industry, which normally pours billions of pounds into UK plc. Boy do they need it.

It’s going to be a busy weekend of Britons booking holidays to Turkey and other ROW destinations.

Anyone fancy a cold Efes?

  • Nigel Thompson is a Travel Editor

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