Many of us will be looking at booking a summer break about now, and in fact it is often said that the middle of April is the best time to catch the cheapest deals for flights and hotels.
Having said that, summer is always a pricier time to travel, particularly to the major tourist hotspots, as the narrow window of the school holidays leads to so much demand. With that in mind, what is the minimum budget you should count on for a couple of weeks in the sun this year? We looked into it, and present the results below. First we selected four popular and nearby summer destinations for British holiday makers; Malta, Paphos in Cyprus, Alicante in Spain, and Corfu in Greece. Then we checked hotel and flight prices for the first two weeks in July. Then we researched the daily cost of living in these locations, and then trebled it, to replicate how we like to splash the cash on things like eating out, excursions, sun-cream, ornamental donkeys made out of straw, roaming data and so on.
Accommodation tends to be the biggest expense on holiday, and our research shows that hotels in favourite summer locations sure do raise their prices around the holidays. In fact, even checking the price comparison sites such as Trivago or Booking.com shows high prices for all the destinations on our list. Of course, you could leave it last minute, but then you really run the risk of getting stuck with either a hugely expensive accommodation bill, or end up staying in a flea-pit. Or both! So as an alternative, we went on AirBNB and found a few suitable properties with good reviews for each location, which came in ahead of the hotel price. Average price for our favourite locations for 14 nights came to £1250 for a family of four. Not bad, all things considered.
The next biggest expense for most of us will be the flights. While we do recommend checking what deals the likes of Ryanair and easyJet have on offer to your destination, we found that the best prices were in fact travelling with the big carriers, especially at this time of the year. One big factor is that for a 2-week break, you will need to check in some luggage, unless you plan on wearing a pair of speedos and one t-shirt the duration of your trip, and of course the budget airlines charge extra for this. Another thing to keep in mind is that the budget airlines tend to fly to far-off airports many miles away from the place you want to stay in, although to be fair this wasn’t the case with our chosen destinations. Anyway, average price with BA or equivalent leaving on 1st July and coming back on the 14th came to £1180.
Finally, came our cost of living calculation. Malta and Paphos surprisingly were the most expensive destinations for cost of living, with Alicante the cheapest. Average price for a family of four for 2 weeks on the Costa Blanca came to just £270, so we trebled that and got a price of £810.
So our research suggests that the minimum budget for your summer holiday this year should be £3240, for a family of four travelling in peak season for 2 weeks. Of course, you could probably do this for a lot cheaper if you decide to go camping in Wales for a fortnight, only drinking rainwater, but where would be the fun in that?
Where do you plan on going on holiday this year, and what will it cost you?