The surprising thing about this week’s feature about visiting Paris for £200 a head is not so much that it is possible to put together a short break so cheaply, but that you can still do it quite so comfortably. In fact, if two of you combine a two-night stay at our cheapest recommended hotel (Hotel Ekta at £85 a night) with the best-value Eurostar fare (£58) you will have more than enough left out of a £200 a head budget for two slap-up dinners at even the more expensive of our suggested restaurants – the £23 menu at the Jeanne B and the £29 option at Caillebotte, for example. It all goes to show that, despite the recent fall in the value of the pound, the eurozone still offers excellent value for money. At a lower or mid-range hotel you will be paying far less than for the equivalent in London. In fact, trawl through our recommended hotels in virtually any European capital and you will find plenty of good places to stay for much less than £100 a night. Eating out is also still uniformly cheaper on the Continent. I would struggle to find a three-course menu in one of my local pubs for the same price as at many Paris brasseries. The Post Office’s 2016 holiday costs barometer gives the typical cost of a three-course evening meal for two – including a bottle of house wine. It was published before the Brexit vote, so to allow for the pound’s devaluation I’ve added 20 per cent. Even so, try comparing these prices with what such a meal plus wine would cost in your local: Portugal (Algarve) £20; Spain (Costa del Sol) £27.50; Cyprus £30; France (Nice) £51; and Italy (Sorrento) £64. And the cost of getting around remains far cheaper than in this country. A single Tube ticket for London’s central zone costs £2.40 (or £4.90 without an oyster card). A single on the Berlin U Bahn just pips that at £2.44 (though the ticket is valid for all travel for two hours), but in Barcelona it’s £1.94, in Rome, Milan and Madrid £1.35 and on the Paris metro, if you buy a batch of 10 tickets, £1.27. Getting to and from the airport is expensive here, too. The cost of a one-way ticket on the Gatwick Express is £17.80 in advance online, or £19.90 on departure. The Stansted Express costs £19. Compare that with £9 for the RER from Charles de Galle airport to central Paris, or £9.92 on the Leonardo express from Fiumicino airport to the centre of Rome. Sure, you could sit on the Tube for nearly an hour from Heathrow into London for £6, but the Express will cost you at least £22. Looking ahead to next summer, consider the cost of renting a holiday cottage in France compared with Devon or Cornwall. At Gites-de-France.com there are hundreds of two-bedroom places at less than £450 for a week in early August. In the West Country it is hard to find an equivalent let for less than £600 a week – food for thought if you were thinking a staycation might be a cheap option next year.