Staycation vs vacation: which is cheaper?

Are you frugal, hip and with it? Are you taking a trendy so-called ‘staycation’ this year? If you haven’t stumbled across the word before, it’s a new phrase popularised by the credit crunch which means saving money by taking a holiday at home instead of going abroad. Technically the true definition of a staycation is staying at home and visiting local attractions – ie. being a tourist in your own home town – rather than actually going on holiday within the UK. But many people are stretching the new word to mean that too. Lots of us are trying to save cash by taking our annual break in the UK this summer instead of travelling abroad because, rightly or wrongly, there is the widespread belief that it’s cheaper to do so.

However, a survey out this week could blow this idea right out of the water. Research by Teletext Holidays published in the Daily Mail suggests that the UK could actually be one of the more expensive places to have a holiday. Although the strength of the Euro against the Pound should make visiting Europe more expensive for British holidaymakers, Teletext’s survey found that the cost of daily holiday items such as drinks, meals out and sun cream was more expensive in the UK than in some other European countries. Teletext estimates that holidaymakers taking a break in the UK would have to pay £71.33 a day for these items compared with just £40.88 in Bulgaria and £61.25 in Turkey.

It breaks out the cost of paying out for ten standard daily holiday items (including a cup of coffee, sun cream, lager, insect repellent, a three course meal for two people etc.) in a handful of European countries as follows:

Italy – £75.66

Cyprus – £75.39

UK – £71.33

Canaries – £69.52

Greece – £66.61

Malta – £65.70

Portugal – £65.21

Spain – £64.82

Egypt – £62.89

Turkey – £61.25

Bulgaria – £40.88

Obviously this doesn’t include travel or accommodation charges which, if they are more expensive than those incurred within the UK, could make a big difference to your overall holiday budget. The cost of day to day living in Thailand or South America may be much cheaper than here, for example, but if you have to spend £800 to get there you won’t really be saving.

Do you think it’s cheaper to go abroad for your holiday than to stay within the UK? Personally I think it depends on the the type of holiday you choose to go on. In the past I have been on plenty of trips abroad which cost more than I expected because I’d overindulged in meals out, expensive excursions or been tempted into going on a shopping spree. But unless you save on accommodation costs by staying with family or camping, it certainly isn’t cheap to go on holiday within the UK either. Staying in a guest house or bed and breakfast within the UK and paying for meals out can be pricey, and that’s before the cost of visiting theme parks and other attractions. Interesting some experts also say that they’ve also seen an increase in the number of holidaying Brits booking all inclusive foreign holidays, where food and drink are included.

And even a proper ‘staycation’ can lead you to spend more than you might expect to. About six years ago DJ and I stayed at home and pretended to be tourists in London for a couple of weeks. Although we didn’t have to spend out on accommodation costs, we still managed to spend over £200 on meals and trips out and yet we probably didn’t feel as refreshed as we might have done had we actually gone abroad. And other people have told me that they’ve spent out much more than they’d meant to while staying at home and there’s the danger that you could just use your time carrying out boring household chores if you’re not careful!

Have you been on holiday yet this year or are you staying at home this summer? Do you think it’s more frugal to travel abroad for your summer holiday or to holiday within the UK? Leave a message and let me know.

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14 Responses to Staycation vs vacation: which is cheaper?

  1. Anthony says:

    hi, u forgot the weather. it rains here. i have a friend from italy , verona, and he said he comes to uk to get away from the relentless heat there. it might not be a good thng when u live there, but that relentless heat is what holidaymakers want. it is guaranteed good weather when they go there for their holidays. that sunshine makes the holiday.

  2. piper says:

    Good point! I\’ve given up how many times I\’ve had to bring the washing back in this week. So much for the wonderful summer we\’re meant to be having. I see the Met Office have changed their forecasts now.

  3. Bill says:

    Anthony! Have you tried Ravena on a soggy wet week, or maybe South Tyrol, in the dead of winter, complete with a totally snow-bound infrastructure, not to mention a strike-bound Brienner?I have also glimpsed the sun, in Italy, on rare days.

  4. Bill says:

    I would give my entire pension for a few years on a desert island, totally devoid of traffic, civil service, & homo-sapiens. It is only money, & I cannae tek it with me!Even as a lonely old soul, I would die with a dirty great smile on me physog.

  5. Bill says:

    piper, mon cheri!What do expect?The Met Office are civil service, they are far too intelligent to aquire employment in the "private" sector. Even a two year-old pedal car driver could do a better guestimate. From what I remeber of my last holiday, in the dim & distant 50\’s, the weather is basically irrelevant if one has the best company. I thoroughly enjoyed walking the beach in a fantastic storm, or sitting reading, in a hand dug cave under the beachside golf course. The sweet stench of breakfast on a primus was well worth rising for. The hammering of te rain on the canvass was the sweetest music. I wish I could die of so much Freedom & peace.

  6. piper says:

    Very true, Bill! I am used to holidaying in Ireland (there\’s a reason why it\’s called the Emerald Isle) where rain macs are compulsory and good weather is seen as a bonus.

  7. Harry says:

    My wife & I bought a 2nd hand Ford LWB Transit van & using recycled wood, converted it to a campervan. We obtained the calor gas cooker/sink from friends. For ablutions etc., we had a small Victoriana commode. Total cost around £2,500. We had a fortnight in May & travelled from Argyll down to Cheltenham. Up to Cairnryan & over to N.Ireland. Had a week there, came back to Scotland & went over to North Berwick & travelled up the east coast &over to Crianlarich. From there went to Inverary & carried on back to our home in Kintyre. The reason for telling you this is that as members of the "Wildcamping Club", we wildcamped in laybys, by lakes & lochs which cost nowt. In September, we are going to have another session up to John-O-Groats, aim west & come down the west coast home. Our outlay will be diesel & food. (some lovely fish & chips). Now are we frugal or not ?. Harry Horner

  8. Gill says:

    We haven\’t had a "proper" holiday for 5 years now, just haven\’t had the money to do it either at home or abroad. Luckily I have a Mother who lives in Cornwall so we\’ve vivited her most years, although the combination of teenagers and an elderly lady doesn\’t work all that well now…they want to be out until very late and she is happier if everyone is home before she goes to bed. Just returned from hers yesterday, probably the last my 17 year old daughter will have with us as she\’s planning holidays with friends in future. So, accomodation doesn\’t cost us, petrol costs around £80, we pay for any food shopping and eat out a lot(usually Fish and Chips, Pasties). It all adds up, parking in Cornwall is very expensive, £7 in most places for more than 3 hours. We used Park & Ride in Falmouth which was £2 as Mum is an OAP so that saved a bit. And of course when it rains you have to find something to amuse yourselves which invariably ends up costing money, we nearly went to Newquay Zoo but adults cost £11.25 each (and daughter is now a adult), AND you have to pay for parking too! We didn\’t bother. Most attractions in Cornwall are expensive, and although fun when the children were younger, no good for older teenagers. So we seemed to spend a lot of time looking round shops as the weather was rubbish, but that did include every charity shop we spotted and I picked up some bargains so not all bad. I long for a holiday in the sun now,it I had the money I\’d be off tomorrow! UK is great when the weather is fine but I\’ve spent too many wet weeks in Cornwall in the last 20 years. Have been considering taking up camping again so that we can have more holidays but to be honest I can\’t be bothered to get all the gear together, I just want to chuck a few things in a bag and go, have a comfortable bed, a bathroom and tv, so we might have some short breaks in B&Bs now the kids are off our hands!

  9. Christine says:

    It\’s my belief that there is no such thing as a frugal "proper" holiday as Gill puts it. By the nature of the events, they are expensive. Sadly they involve going away from home so that you have to pay for a place to stay in addition to your own home which quietly sits there running up bills in your absence and provide food which you can\’t do as economically as if you were at home. Also you have to find something to do whilst you are away. As Gill has noted, it\’s the food and something to do that costs the money. There must be a lot of us who can\’t afford a proper holiday Gill just like you.

  10. Rob says:

    well as a family of 7 humans and 2 dogs going abroad for us is far to costly so have just bought a tipi to holyday in the uk with if you join the c&c club they do have some small cheap sites you can say on if u just want the basics or you can go for the the sites with more amenaties on for a higher price as for food its not really more expencive to feed a family on a camping holyday than it is to feed them at home ok i know traveling can cost a bit but once your there if uve planned it you dont need to use a car to get around take a bike with you or look into hiring some (yes i know it costs but still cheaper than petrol) you could try a working holyday as well doing some work in exchange for a place to stay and a meal i think the problem today is people want all the luxuries of home when they go on holyday and yes its nice to be pamperd and not have to cook and clean but people should really try roughing it a bit staying in a tent and it may just show you what type of person you really are and what your capable of (more so if its bad weather) also excuse my spelling as i know its bad

  11. Bill says:

    Christine!I have not so much experience of holidays, & due to circumstances, would currently have to spend mine alone, which does not give me so much appettite. I would be off without question, if I had a willing partner, preferably young, sweet & female. Unfortunately, every female I meet is either awf, uute, or gorne. Most dream of a few days break in a 5 star Hotel, complete with full room service, & a spending spree.Sadly, shopping only bores me, & a boozy few days in a 5 star hotel is even worse. Even The King George V Hotel, complete with Swedish Curtains, would not be that bad.I offer free transport, tent or caravan, breakfast in bed, wild-camping, walking, tennis & swimming, even coastal boating, fresh air & nature, including fresh caught fish & game, fresh picked fruit & veg. Ideal for any girl who is a non-smoker, tee-total, & short of cash, seeking to chill, as close to nature as possible. I only swim in genuine ocean water, as I have a tremendous problem with the ammonia in public tubs, & always shower the salt off with clean fresh water, immediately, to avoid skin burns. We can always swim on the ocean beaches, even in bad weather, & I have always found that a good book is the best way to beat the worst of the weather. My only vice/entertainment would be horse riding/trekking if it were affordable.The only cost to any such partner, a quick snog in bed every morning, as the best possible start to any day.Maybe I am asking too much. Maybe most are simply too intelligent, or too lazy too chill. Why else should we make the effort to disappear on holiday?What other purpose should a holiday serve?Why is it compulsory to end up bankrupt as the result of every holiday, as also to spend the entire holiday, completely oblivious, in a drunken stupor?As I slowly approach middle age, maybe I have left it too late for a holiday, I have not been allowed to work for the past 10 years, & as a Master Technician, was surplus to requirement before I was 25!It is possible I will soon disappear on permanent holiday, as part time Stoker for St. Lucifer.

  12. piper says:

    Bill – should we be starting a frugal dating site here? Might be a good idea! Hope you meet someone more sensible and less greedy soon.

  13. Bill says:

    Hi there piper, mon ami!Nice idea, would frugal dating be legal?Until I was suddenly forced to retire early, by the home office, 10 years ago, I spent several nights each week sleeping at the roadside, complete with en-suite/al-fresco bathroom & kitchen, over a period of 35 years, as 1 of a ca. 500,000 strong community in UK, several times that throughout the world.The best part was sleeping with the sunroof open, & waking to the dawn chorus, always a joy, in any weather. For the past 10 years, I have been forced to sleep in the centre of civilisation, with the windows all shut & no sunroof, therefore no dawn chorus. I have to keep the windows shut, in the hope of stopping the noise & fumes from the busiest M-Way junction in t\’ world, & the pub, which is open all hours, complete with karaoke (hope I have not misspelt it), only 10 floors below me.I oft awake to find myself asphyxiated, totally devoid of oxygen. The anti-social neighbours & other boozers oft awake me suddenly. This is the price of being a most unwilling benefit recipient. I would much prefer a living wage, for a fair days work, & have never been on strike, or asked for a pay-rise in my life.Many males around me are now receiving "pension credits" at 60, subject to 15 pages of cod\’s. Is the fascist state thereby admitting that they will never return to employment?Possible I will receive the application papers in January, although the IRS informed me some time ago that I would never qualify for/receive a bus-pass/pension of any description. A secure pension, through the bank, would possibly be the best solution for me, a.s.a.p., as then I would be able to take off & disappear without trace, to enjoy my final few years in the wild, where I so obviously belong.I attempted to shear sheep this year for charity, or even free, but my services were not welcome. They will be even less welcome with receding hair, & years. I have not had the pleasure of shearing a sheep since 1975, & I have recently heard that I am no longer allowed to wash dishes for charity, as I do not possess the necessary Hygiene Certificate, or yet the CRB. My first Aid certificate is also now out of date, & would cost at least £250 to fix, for another 3 years. I was a Red Cross Instructor for only 12 years, totally devoid of CRB, or Hygiene certificate.Now I have been a complete waste of space for the past 10 years, there is not much hope of, or point in, finding any useful partner in this basically inanimate country. I have long since quit the futile searching.What Right does any ex- technician have to any form of pleasure in this world?I have so much pleasure, as also skill to share, a lifetime of education & hard experience, & as I am now absolutely superfluous, it will all go to waste. The state would not wish me to share it with anyone, & do all in their power to prevent me doing so. My entire education & experience will all die with me, & there will be no evidence that I ever existed.I question, what purpose, if any, has all my suffering & effort served?I would not advise the younger generation to learn a trade, but to become a proffi, possibly in the legal industry, or civil service, best of all politics. By that means, they would never need to work, but would have a guaranteed salary/pension from the very first day.

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