Save on your Christmas shopping Where to find the best savings for Christmas gifts

18 November 2008

The pound may have plunged against the dollar but canny consumers can still get good Christmas bargains on trips to the United States, it was disclosed today.

Those looking for good gift deals in Europe should head for Budapest and Prague, according to the latest Post Office travel services shopping guide.

Istanbul and the Estonian capital Tallinn are also good bets for those looking for bargains.

The cost of 10 must-have fashion gifts, including an Apple iPod Nano, sunglasses and jeans, is £175 more in London than in New York despite the weakening sterling rates.

A year ago, with the dollar at almost two to the pound, the 10 items would have been 28% cheaper in New York than in London. That figure has now come down to 12%.

Bargains to be found overseas

Post Office travel services head Helen Warburton said: "It's clear that bargain hunters cannot hope to save as much this year.
However many people will be travelling to the US before Christmas and they can still make significant savings if they do their homework in advance and shop for items that are traditionally cheaper across the Atlantic."

In Europe, the comparisons involved 10 typical tourist-spending areas - including a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer and suncream.

At under £37 for the 10 items, costs in Hungary were around half those in France and Estonia, while costs in Prague were low at just £41.52 for the 10 items.

Christmas Turkey for cheapest gifts

Istanbul was another good shopping choice. Ms Warburton said: "The Turkish capital boasts world famous bazaars, ideal for picking up unusual Christmas gifts including brass, copper and silk items.

"In a year when value has been the key issue for UK holidaymakers, Turkey has consistently proved one of Europe's top choices and while sterling has dropped in value against every European currency, it has remained strongest against the Turkish lira."

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