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Guest Post from ViveUnique, a specialist booking website for unique and stylish home rentals.

A strong pound and weak demand in the Eurozone offers plenty of last minute deals on the continent

Millions of British holidaymakers are expected to escape the country during the Olympics, The Telegraph reports, despite the efforts of the Government and the sponsors of London 2012 to persuade more people to take a holiday at home. Although VisitEngland’s ‘staycation’ campaign encouraged people to enjoy a holiday in their own backyard, research by tour operators and travel agents reveals that the campaign has not had a significant impact on Britons’ travel habits.

For those of us who haven’t yet booked a holiday this year or are thinking of a last minute short break, now might be the best time to do it. Continued trouble in the Eurozone means a strong pound and more Euros for the British traveller. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) reported that Britons will get 11.5% more value for their money compared to last year. Since July 2011 alone, the Euro has fallen steadily in line with the declining economy from about 1.14 to the pound to its current figure of 1.27; a decent ascension in only 1 year. The last time the Euro was this high was 2008.

Hotel rates on the continent have also been falling in recent weeks as demand from the usually more affluent parts of Europe has tailed off. It appears that, for many of our European counterparts, a ‘staycation’ is the only option this year as the Euro crisis takes its toll.

According to ABTA there was a 20% rise in holiday searches in June compared with last year and for British travellers, there are some great opportunities for last minute breaks and the chance to enjoy some typically expensive and luxurious holidays, for significantly less. According to the Trivago hotel price index, average prices for hotels in most European cities have fallen in the last couple of months. From May to July this year the average overnight accommodation price in Rome fell from £143 to £102, in Venice £218 to £160, in Lisbon £90 to £71 and in Barcelona £133 to £106.

So whether you choose to stay at home and soak up the atmosphere (and the rain) of the Games or escape the crush and head off to sunnier climes – the prospect of picking up a good deal has never looked brighter!