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The most and least expensive destinations for Northern Ireland holidaymakers

Barbados and Emirates cost the most... but check out India and Poland for bargain getaways

By Claire McNeilly

Barbados and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the most expensive destinations for Northern Ireland's holidaymakers, new research has revealed.

Poland and India, meanwhile, are two of the cheapest places to stay for those wanting to make their money go further.

The latest Travel Trends survey by Santander also revealed the cost of staying in some countries has increased by an average of 36.5%.

It covers what holidaymakers pay on top of flights and accommodation for expenses such as meals, groceries and travel.

The news comes after it emerged that next week is the most popular week for Britons to go on holiday, with two million people across the UK expected to jet off overseas.

Since 2010, the cost of visiting Barbados in terms of daily spending has risen from £79 to £109 before flights and accommodation are included.

The Caribbean island - which attracted an estimated 2,100 people from Northern Ireland in 2014 - is the most expensive destination, according to the study.

UAE, which has Dubai as the jewel in its crown, is the second dearest holiday location, where tourists can now expect to pay £101 a day - up from £75 five years ago - on top of return flights and lodgings.

The figures for 2014, compiled by the Office of National Statistics, indicate that around 19,860 people travelled to the Persian Gulf from Northern Ireland. By contrast, Poland and India are two of the cheapest holiday destinations, with visitors spending an average of just £30 a day in both countries.

Some 11,790 people from Northern Ireland visited Poland last year, while an estimated 19,050 headed to India.

Additional research found that the week of July 27 is the most popular for people going on summer holiday.

Santander banking director Matt Hall said the cost of taking a trip abroad can mount up. "Flights and hotels are a major expense on their own, particularly for families travelling in the peak school holiday period, and that's even before you get to your destination and have to pay for meals out and so on," he said.

"Depending on where you're going, daily costs could vary significantly, so bear this in mind when budgeting for your holiday."

The global summer holiday spend data indicates that the top 10 most expensive destinations are: Barbados; UAE; Austria; Czech Republic; Switzerland; Belgium; USA; Luxembourg, Netherlands and Hong Kong.

Mr Hall said that paying for holidays by credit card gives consumers protection of between £3,000 and £30,000 should anything go wrong with the airline or hotel company, for example.

Top 10 most expensive destinations

Daily cost for NI holidaymakers in 2014 (and number of visitors from here)

1. Barbados: £109 (2,010)

2. UAE: £101 (19,860)

3. Austria: £92 (13,080)

4. Czech: £92 (7,020)

5. Switzerland: £91 (21,120)

6. Belgium: £88 (44,520)

7. USA: £87 (87,390)

8. Luxembourg: £87 (1,740)

9. Netherlands: £81 (53,430)

10. Hong Kong: £78 (3,000)

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