The getaway giveaway

IF YOU fancy a bargain, now is a great time to book a holiday. July’s heat wave in the UK and the football World Cup have caused an unprecedented slump in holiday bookings, triggering travel firms to make huge price cuts in order to fill planes and hotel rooms all around the Med. Overall, a fortnight in the sun this year now costs less in real terms than five years ago, so give PDM a call and bag a bargain break!

Turkey, in particular, is a great bargain destination at the moment, as the exchange rate for the Turkish Lira brings big savings. The exchange rate has moved dramatically since early May, meaning that your spending money will go 20 per cent further.

Melanie Whitehouse, director of foreign exchange at Thomas Cook, says: “It’s not often that an exchange rate jumps so dramatically, but, when it does, it can be a real boon for holidaymakers. It means people can buy more extravagant dinners on holiday, more gifts, souvenirs and, of course, it’s great news when you are haggling in the market.”

Top Turkish destinations include Bodrum, a pretty resort with a yacht harbour and port for ferries to the Greek island of Kos. Boating, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving are prime daytime activities, while at night, Bodrum’s famous discos keep going until dawn. Or why not take a trip to majestic Istanbul, which stands on the Bosphorus, its skyline studded with domes and minarets? A journey around this amazing town will take you through history, from Byzantium to Constantinople to its place at the head of the Ottoman Empire. Today, it hums as Turkey’s cultural heart and good-time capital.