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How giving up alcohol for New Year and beyond could bag you a 'free' holiday

Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

People giving up alcohol during "dry January" and beyond could save enough money to splash out on far-flung holidays, according to research.

Even a short five-week "no drinking" stint could result in a couple saving enough cash for a two-night stay in Amsterdam, a study for foreign exchange firm Caxton found.

Going alcohol-free for 10 weeks could potentially in the equivalent of five nights in the sunny Algarve.

Giving up booze for a whole year could save enough for a week-long all-inclusive stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica, come this time next year, the research, carried out for Caxton by website, found.

Researchers assumed a regular drinking habit of eight pints of beer and one bottle of wine per couple per week, bought from a bar or pub.

It was calculated that a self-imposed drinking ban could boost the financial health of a couple by as much as £44 per week typically - although pub and bar prices can vary hugely.

The research involved searching various travel websites earlier in December to see how far a couple's weekly savings could take them.

It found that, for a couple, giving up alcohol for:

- Five weeks could bag a two-night stay in Amsterdam including flights, costing £218;

- Seven weeks could result in a three-night stay in Prague at £305;

- 10 weeks could pay for a five-night stay in the Algarve (Praia da Rocha) at £435;

- 17 weeks could fund a £740 trip to Naples for seven nights;

- 23 weeks could save enough for a £1,001 all-inclusive seven-night holiday at Egypt's Red Sea;

- 33 weeks would be enough for a seven-night room-only stay in Barbados at £1,436;

- A full year (52 weeks) could buy a seven-night all-inclusive stay in Jamaica's Montego Bay at £2,263 - flying out in January 2021.

Alana Parsons, chief operating officer at Caxton, said: "Many of us enjoy a drink either to wind down in the evening or while out with friends or family at weekends, but we rarely tally up how much it costs us over the course of a year.

"With the party season nearly behind us, thoughts naturally turn to making plans for the year ahead.

"Extending the traditional dry January for a further few months or longer might not work for everyone, but a New Year Resolution that's good for your health as well as your pocket is easier to stick to if you have a holiday on the horizon.

"Planning your 2020 travel itinerary nice and early helps you bag the best holiday deals - but while you're at it, don't forget to check if your passports are still in date and that you've got your holiday currency, pre-paid currency card and travel insurance all sorted well in advance too."

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