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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