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Holidays at the Polish seaside

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The credit crunch's all-reaching scythe is gradually clipping away at its latest victim … our holidays. According to a survey by price comparison site, with monthly budgets tightening and economic heebie jeebies rattling consumer confidence, one in five Brits have cancelled their summer holidays this year.

Also contributing to the holiday cull is the strength of the euro when compared to the pound; making some of our most popular holiday destinations - France, Spain, Greece - more expensive than ever. But perhaps rather than calling the whole thing off, now is the time to experiment. One of the alternatives outside of the eurozone is Poland, where the good 'ol sterling still converts nicely.

Britain's loss is Poland's gain - as scores of Poles begin to return to their homeland, now is the best time to follow them, before Poland takes the euro leap that its 2004 accession to the EU obliges. Paying in zloty means that hotels on Poland's Baltic coast can still be half the price of those across the border in Germany.

Where to go: Those in the know will often cite Tarifa in Spain - blasted by the Levante wind funnelled through the straights of Gibraltar - as the best windsurfing spot in Europe. Similarly-minded residents of northern Poland may disagree. The conditions created around the 35km long sandy peninsula at Hel are perfect for wind-borne speedsters, and for the price of a solitary tapas dish on the Spanish coast you can bag a healthy serving of freshly-caught cod served in a variety of eateries in Wladyslawowo, the tiny village at the peninsula's tip. For those looking for nocturnal distraction, Hel is an hour and a half from Gdansk, Gdynia and summertime party city Sopot.

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