GOOD news for anyone jetting off at half term – it will cost less thanks to a stronger pound.

Although costs have risen in most resorts since the Post Office’s last half-term report in 2019, families will pay up to 18 per cent less in seven out of ten autumn sun destinations.

But the cost of flights and hotels is key.

Croatia was the priciest for food and drink — but bargain flights and hotels made it third cheapest overall.

Researchers looked at the cost of a basket of food and drink for a family of four for a week, as well as prices for a one-week package deal.

Turkey offers the best value, according to the Post Office Travel Money report, with prices in Marmaris less than half those in every other ­location except the Algarve — ­second placed in the survey.

The cost of the basket in Marmaris adds up to £34.98, ten per cent less than in 2019.

The Algarve is the cheapest in the Eurozone, even though at £47.09 it is 14 per cent dearer than in the last report.

The most expensive of the ten destinations was Porec in Croatia, where prices have risen four per cent to £91.29.

But that is reversed when a week’s worth of meals and drinks are combined with the cost of a one-week package for four.

Families could easily find a package for around £1,500 to £1,600 in Turkey, Croatia or the Algarve.

A shortage of accommodation in western Cyprus means they will pay about £3,626.

Turkey (£1,766.31) and the Algarve (£1,941.04) remain cheapest when travel, hotels, meals and drinks are combined — and on this basis, Porec jumps to third place (£2,177.80).

Along with Madeira, autumn sun spots Malta, Greece and Cyprus are the most expensive.

Nick Boden, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Sterling has remained buoyant this year and is worth around eight per cent more against the euro and Croatian kuna than a year ago.”

Insurers relax

A NUMBER of insurance providers have recently relaxed some of their rules for holidaymakers.

Earlier this month, Direct Line and Churchill announced they had removed some restrictions to travel cancellation cover that were put in place last year.

They said this would support the recovery of the travel industry and give customers greater confidence to travel.

The changes were also applied to the worldwide family travel insurance offered to customers of Nationwide Building Society’s FlexPlus current account, which is underwritten by Direct Line.

Samsung flips back into the fold

FLIP phones are back – thanks to folding screen technology that finally works.

Samsung’s Flip 3 is like the Motorola Razr and other “clamshell” phones that were a hit in the early 2000s.

When flipped out it has a 6.7in screen – the same size as the biggest iPhone -– but folds to half the size like a make-up compact.

So it is big and small at the same time.

It is £350 cheaper than the original Z Flip (there was no second version) and is also now water-resistant and ­harder-wearing.

At £949, or from £44 a month from Vodafone, it costs about the same as other top smartphones like the firm’s Galaxy S21+ or Apple’s new iPhones.

Folding phones seemed like a gimmick when they first came on the scene a few years ago, but I have been testing the Flip 3 and they are starting to make sense.

The Flip 3 looks great, with a cream finish that is stylish and classy.

Unlike earlier folding phones, this one feels solid and well-crafted.

You can see the join where the display folds, but really only when the screen is off. It feels like a regular ­display, too.

Meanwhile, there is a small external screen which is great for notifications.

In most ways this is a regular smartphone with decent cameras and fast performance, but that one ­special extra: it folds in half.

And it is water resistant – a first for a foldable phone – up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. Very handy when I dropped it in the bath.

Like all Samsungs, it uses Android so there are all the normal apps in the Google Play store.

These are smooth, thanks to the Qualcomm processor, the same “brain” used in rivals.

Battery life is a worry and it rarely lasted me through the day – something I have become used to with the iPhone or Samsung’s other handsets.

The camera rivals most others – the all-important low light shots are good.

But there is no zoom lens, something increasingly in top-end rivals – the skinniness of the body means there is not enough room.

Folded out, the screen is as bright and detailed as any, but it is made of a softer glass, because when folded it has its own protection.

But if you drop the handset when it is open it will pick up nicks.

I do not think the quirky design is a gimmick.

It means the gadget can more easily fit in pockets and bags yet still have a big screen, also protected from damage when not in use.

We might start seeing more and more phones with foldable screens­ and this is a big step in that direction.

Samsung Galaxy Flip 3

  • Pros: Stunning design, useful external display, great build quality.
  • Cons: Battery life, cameras decent but no zoom.

Technical stuff: 6.7in screen, external 1.9in display, dual 12MP rear cameras, 10MP selfie camera, fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G processor.

Tech launches

THREE tech giants – Apple, Google and Samsung – will all launch gadgets this week.

Apple is set to unveil new laptops and the third version of its AirPod wireless headphones tomorrow.

The latest MacBook Pro will have Apple’s own processor rather than one by Intel.

Google’s latest smart­phone, the Pixel 6, is due on Tuesday.

Early versions tried to rival the iPhone, but since then the firm has focused on mid-level phones. It might also launch new versions of its smart speakers.

On Wednesday, Sam­sung will unveil new products too – but there have been no clues yet as to what we will see.

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