Staying at home this summer?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

BBC Breakfast has decided that it will examine the costs of a holiday in the UK and overseas. Starting this morning they based their financial reporter, Steph McGovern, on Norfolk’s Cromer beach.

Using data from Visit England and money, they calculated that it cost £33 per person for day trips, attractions, visits and food with another £600+ for accommodation. This makes the stay in the UK for a family of four staying in a hotel for a week about £1,400. Is this about right? Will some people look at the headline figure and be put off holidaying in the UK?

The cost per person – be it child or adult – is about £350 but this obviously doesn’t cover the cost of getting to the destination. Train fares or petrol (and the AA/RAC would also say other car running costs as well) must be taken into account as well and these would vary depending on how far you travel. So if I lived in Lincoln and holidayed in Skegness, the travelling costs would be cheaper than if I travelled from Lincoln to anywhere in Cornwall, that is always supposing I could tolerate a six hour delay on a First Great Western train from Penzance to Paddington yesterday!

So it would be better to just look at the accommodation costs and the amount set aside for spending money, food, attractions and amusement. At £350 per person or £50-£58 per day (depending on whether this is 6 nights or 7) this seems higher than might be expected.

Hotel accommodation in the UK can be more expensive that say Tenerife, Cyprus or Malta. But it can be cheaper so what standard of accommodation are we comparing? You assume researchers have done their best to compare similar types of accommodation. The same applies to attractions. But it is generally a lot cheaper to visit a heritage building in France, for example, than it is in the UK but theme parks can be pricey wherever you are. Museums are often a cheap option wherever you are apart from in the US unless you pick a Tuesday where entry can be free. The one advantage you have of a holiday at home is no APD which is at £94 per person (not Northern Ireland) if you go to a long haul destination.

What it boils down to is that it really is difficult to compare like-with-like because everybody likes different things. There is no average person when it comes to likes and dislikes. So whatever the BBC has said about domestic holidays today or overseas holidays tomorrow morning, what really should make you decision is whether it appeals to you and whether you can afford it. So pick Monte Carlo or Tenby, Sennan Cove or Ibiza, Hammamet or Great Yarmouth if you want to. But do it because you want to go there.

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