20Jan

Money Savvy

Holidays Abroad That Could Cost Less Than Staying At Home

With bad weather across the country in winter, you’d be forgiven for dreaming about the summer and planning a trip to pastures warmer! However, with budgets to balance and the pound the weakest it’s been for years, many of us will be planning to stay in Old Blighty this summer instead of venturing overseas. But is that really the best value option? Sure, going on holiday abroad definitely isn’t cheap, but holidaying in the UK can cost more than you think. With a bit of forward planning and some savvy saving you could top up on your vitamin D on holiday abroad, whilst looking after the pennies and spending a similar amount as you would on a holiday in the UK. We compare the UK to some cheap holidays abroad.

What does the UK have to offer?

One of the most popular ‘staycation’ spots in the UK is the English Riviera. It’s no surprise as there are many places to choose from in South Devon’s beautiful bay. These include Torquay, Babbacombe Bay, Paignton and Brixham. Obviously one of the draws for heading to the British coasts is that there are no flights needed. Also, not leaving the country means you’ll probably spend much less time travelling – although we all know that train journeys can actually be very pricey in the UK. Travelling to Torquay from Manchester on the train for example could cost you nearly £280 per person for a round trip. On average the journey could cost over £100 from London.

As it’s one of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations there’s accommodation available to suit every budget. Places to stay for 4 people range from as little as £194 to over £1,000 per week. Although we Brits do like to be beside the seaside, there is far more to do than just visit the lovely Devon beaches. If sailing or getting out on the water is your thing, there are many places to do so. Foodies can check out some of the great local food, and outdoorsy types can try a spot of fishing.

The English Riviera is packed with events all year round, including great festivals and fairs. However it’s worth taking into account when planning your budget that prices for eating out and attending events are likely to be similar to those at home. Also, some cases they will be inflated for the summer season.

Which destinations can rival Britain?

Croatia

Croatia, which sits on the Adriatic Sea, is one of Europe’s truly stunning countries. It’s got fabulous beaches, an incredible history, delicious food and that glorious Mediterranean climate. The country is a must-see – whether you pick a spot on one of the beaches for a few days in the sun, choose to visit the breath-taking Plitvice Lakes National Park or explore the mountain ranges – there’s something for everyone.

Unlike some other European countries (including England), it is customary in Croatia for tourists to be offered reasonable prices, bypassing the infamous ‘tourist tax’ you see in so many locations. Plus, with flights to various airports in Croatia at around £38 each way in July (if you book far enough in advance), getting to Croatia for a summer holiday can also be pretty purse friendly!

Verdict compared to a staycation? Reasonable prices for tourists AND cheap flights – yes please!

Greece

No man is an island – but if it’s island life you’re looking for, Greece is a great place to start – with nearly 300 islands to choose from! You can bag a flight to the largest Greek island, Crete, for as little as £30 each way in July. There are deals to be found when it comes to accommodation, too. Greek hospitality has always been fantastic, and as they continue to build their tourism industry it is now even more welcoming.

Once out there as a tourist, there are also plenty of bargains to be had. On top of the exotic white sands and crystal clear sea, Greece’s history is practically endless. This means there’s plenty to see for those culture vultures out there! If you’re up for a scorcher, the weather between June and August ranges between highs of 30 and 33 degrees. However, if you prefer slightly more temperate heat, September has average highs of 24 degrees.

Verdict compared to a staycation? Flights from around £60, history and a solid vitamin D hit? Sign us up!

Cyprus

With its Mediterranean climate and incredibly friendly locals, there is no wonder that Cyprus is among our top 5 holiday recommendations.  There’s no shortage of things to see and do including visiting the Caledonia Falls in the Troodos Mountains, the sea caves of Aiya Napa and the beautiful bending trees in the forests of Niscosia. Of course that’s as well as sunning yourself on one of the idyllic beaches Cyprus boasts.

On top of this, Cyprus is very reasonable when it comes to eating out and shopping. Treating yourself to a meal out can be great value and you could snap up a bargain in one of the many markets. The food is a tasty amalgamation of the best of Greek and Turkish cuisine. With long, dry summers from mid–May to mid–October the weather is perfect for a much deserved summer break. Flights in August are currently available for around £130 for a round trip.

Verdict compared to a staycation? It’s not too pricey to get there and not going to break the bank when you arrive – a great alternative!

Spain

There’s a reason Spain is a long-time favourite with us Brits. With its guaranteed good weather and fabulous laid back pace of life, it’s no wonder millions of us head there on holiday every year. On top of this, flights to some places in Spain, such as Malaga, really can be a bargain. If you book far enough in advance, you can get flights for £20 each way. That’s under half the cost of a one way train ticket to Devon!

The Costa del Sol is really geared towards tourists. With so many of us visiting, there are many options when it comes to booking somewhere to stay. There are accommodation options to suit most budgets, so you’re bound to find somewhere that suits your relaxation needs, as well as your wallet. This slice of Spanish coast is also a great place to visit with children. Many resorts and areas have cheap and cheerful holiday camps, with endless activities and games to be played!

Verdict compared to a staycation? An oldie, but a goodie for a reason! Guaranteed sunshine and fun for the whole family – take us to the sunshine coast!

Where are you holidaying this year? Let us know in the comments!

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