After Greece strongly voted no in the referendum, many people are now wondering, can I or should I still go to Greece on holiday, and how will the people’s decision affect my trip.
Well, have no fear, because the good news is that your trip will now cost you much less- a return flight from London to Athens with a Greek airline, through websites such as aegaenair.com, will set you back just a meagre £180. The website is currently running a 40% discount, and this is unlikely to change too soon, because the fact of the matter is; Greece needs you! To make things better, prices in key destinations such as Crete or Corfu, have had a 13% reduction in prices this year, according to the BBC.
One thing to bear in mind however is; that you will need to bring a lot more loose cash than normal. The Home Office have advised that British tourists should bring enough cash to cover their whole stay, including unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. The specific amount varies depending on your lifestyle and the amount of cocktails you may be drinking, but you can still pay for large expenses on card just as you would normally. Although do bear in mind, that many locals may prefer cash considerably; due to it being in very short supply. £700 seems to be the suggested figure for a fortnight, and double that for couples. Considering that this is quite a substantial amount of money, it is advisable that you make use of hotel safes and only take petty cash with you in the evening, and minimal amounts during the day. Most travel agencies followed in the footsteps of Aviva, who decided to up the threshold of personal cash insurance from £300 to £600, leaving Greek holidaymakers with a pretty sweet deal.
Another worry people have is how long the euro will be around in Greece if they left the eurozone, and if it will still be valid or just miraculously become void over the course of a week. The answer is- there will be a period of 18 months when it will still be valid before it is replaced by Greek drachma, after which, the euro would still be accepted.
So, the ultimate stupid question that many people keep asking or assuming; is whether Greece is dangerous or not. Just because a country is having a financial crisis, it does not mean that the public are running rampant and targeting tourists, or attacking anyone that looks vaguely German. In fact The Guardian reported quite the opposite, suggesting that the Greek people were extremely pleased to get the tourism they so desperately need, and seemed to have a noticeably warm manor, as if purely out of gratefulness. Although you should still keep your wits about you, like you would in any unknown country.
Greece needs tourism, and if you want to help, and conveniently, you like beach holidays, and you haven’t yet booked- what better way to help the country that is so desperately clinging on. Ironically, just as many civilized European countries borrowed from the ancient Greeks, their borrowing from Europe has left them in a situation where they need help. It’s one of those rare economic situations where everybody wins, you get a cheap holiday, with cheaper drinks (prices went down recently), and Greece gets the economic boost it needs. Finally, given recent news that Greece will be accepting the austerity deal after all, the cash situation could improve, but I wouldn’t bet my bottom euro.
By Dominic Rickard