Santorini, Greece

Should I go to Greece?

Santorini Greece by Andrew Hurley - https://flic.kr/p/fNgsgq

If you are heading to or contemplating a trip to Greece you are no doubt aware that the country’s economic problem has made global news. With Greece in a state economic turmoil, naturally questions arise around whether or not it’s a good time to visit Greece or not. Earth Uncovered looks to answer some key questions.

I booked a trip to Greece earlier this year. Should I still go?

If you are thinking about cancelling an existing tip to Greece don’t. Whilst the country may be in the midst of financial turmoil, various sources have suggested the tourism industry should be relatively well protected. Unless the advice of your government states you shouldn’t travel to Greece, if you want to cancel, you will likely be subject to cancellation penalties. At the time of writing, the UK foreign office haven’t advised against travelling to Greece.

I haven’t booked my summer holiday. Is Greece a good option?

The short answer is yes! The financial issues in Greece shouldn’t discourage visitors from visiting the country. Tourism accounts for around 17 percent of GDP (source: World Travel and Tourism Council) and 9 percent of employment. Therefore, it’s very likely if the country is hit by further economic woes that the Greek government would seek to protect the tourist industry. For those of you outside the Eurozone, a weak Euro in Greece could make your currency stretch that extra bit further. Just bear in mind that parts of Greece (particularly Athens) are often subject to unannounced strikes – though, if you visit the islands you should be somewhat well protected from the economic problems experienced in mainland Greece.

Are there good deals to be found?

Yes! With a decline of up to 30% in last minute bookings to Greece there are definitely some great last minute deals to be found. If you are tempted to take advantage of these great deal, Earth Uncovered recommends you book a package with an ABTA/ATOL protector vendor.

Click to search Greece deals with ebookers.

What about money?

The currency of Greece is the Euro. This may change in the future depending on the outcome of discussions with Greece and their international creditors. It’s important to note that even if Greece stops using the Euro there will be a transition period between currencies so you shouldn’t be too worried.

Currently, Greece has imposed a withdraw limit of 60 euros a day limits at ATM machine using cards issued by Greek banks. In theory, with international bank cards you should be able to withdraw your daily card allowance, subject to the ATM having enough cash.

Whilst card machines in hotels, shops and restaurants are still working, numerous sources have suggested lots of business transactions are now being carried out in cash only. Current advice is to take sufficient cash in euros to cover you for your holiday and any unforeseen circumstances.

Carrying so much money obviously has security implications. Be wise about how you carry your money – split it between family members if travelling with others and keep them secure in a hotel safe.

What else should I think about before going to Greece?

  • Check your travel insurance policy to make sure you are covered should your holiday be cancelled due to a change of situation in Greece. Also, be sure to check your policy for theft of money.
  • Be prepared for unannounced protests which may cause changes to your plans.
  • If you haven’t paid in full beforehand check with your hotel if they accept card and/or whether they can take full payment before your holiday. This will prevent you having to travel with large sums of money.
  • Be vigilant when carrying large sums of money. Greece is a safe country so you don’t need to be overly worried, but as with anywhere watch out for pickpockets.
  • Make sure you book your holiday with an ABTA/ATOL protected company. A DIY trip is unlikely to give you the same amount of protection should anything on your trip be a problem.
  • Check with your tour operator before flying.
  • Check the foreign office advice of your country before travel.

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