Following the economic crisis which affected most people in the UK, last few years have seen the rise of the ‘staycation’. People are quickly coming to realise that rather than shelling out hundreds of pounds on going abroad, the same amount of fun can be had for considerably less money by staying in the UK. This has proved a considerable hit to the UK Attraction Market with record numbers of tourists being recorded at venues across the UK, SightseeingToursLondon.co.uk advised that they say a 13% rise in domestic visitors reaching record levels. Here, we examine three popular foreign holiday destinations and their UK counterparts to see how they compare to one another. What really is best – home or away?
Holiday: The Girls’ Beach Holiday
Traditional Destination: Majorca, Spain
UK Alternative: Newquay, Cornwall
Every summer, thousands of young Brits flock to the Spanish island of Majorca for a holiday filled with sun, sea and Sex On the Beach (the cocktail, obviously). The days are spent sunbathing in average temperatures of 24 degrees and the evenings are spent partying and enjoying cheap drink offers in a variety of bars and clubs. However, you can expect to spend about £300 on return flights in July, and an average of £600 for a three-bed room in the main party town of Magaluf. This means you are forking out a cool half a thousand pounds before you even touch down on Spanish ground. A similar holiday destination is Newquay, Cornwall. This beach resort in the south of England attracts the same young party crowd as its foreign equivalent, and during the summer season the bars and clubs are packed. If you get lucky with the British weather then the beaches are the perfect location for sunbathing, water sports and surfing. And if you do get unlucky with the weather, then the pubs are all still open – and the fake tan is still waiting at home for that holiday glow! So what’s the cost difference? Newquay is only 220 miles away from London, meaning that whether you’re driving or getting a coach or train, you should be spending on average £50 for transport. The £600 you would spend on the Majorca hotel will get you a static caravan or a chalet in Newquay – but rather than sleeping three people, this will sleep eight. This means that your whole party can stay together, and only pay £75 each for a week’s accommodation!
Verdict: If you are willing to risk a few overcast days and are mainly interested in partying on your holiday anyway, then Newquay is undoubtedly the best option for the more money-conscious youngster.
Holiday: The Family Holiday
Traditional Destination: Disneyland Paris
UK Alternative: Gullivers Hotel, Warrington
The memories created on family holidays are ones which are treasured forever, and so many parents with young children choose holidays which they know the kids will love. Disneyland has long been seen as the ultimate destination for children, and it is clear to see why. They can meet their favourite Disney characters while enjoying all of the rides on offer at various theme parks. While it is undoubtedly a magical holiday destination, the £2200 that it costs for a family of four to fly to and stay at the resort for a weekend is unfortunately not a viable option for many of today’s British families. It will therefore be a pleasant surprise for many parents to learn that for just a snip of this price, a family can enjoy a weekend at the Gullivers Hotel in Warrington with bed and breakfast and entry into the Gullivers theme park included. The theme park is specifically designed for children between the ages of 2-12 and has more than enough to keep them entertained for the duration of the trip. Numerous rides and shows are available throughout the day and, once back at the on-site hotel, a playroom awaits the children so they can continue having fun into the evening!
Verdict: The Gullivers brand have thought of everything to ensure you and your children have the most memorable family holiday possible. In these difficult financial times, it’s brilliant news for parents that they can save huge sums of money and still have the perfect family holiday.
Holiday: The Romantic City Break
Traditional Destination: Rome, Italy
UK Alternative: Edinburgh, Scotland
The Collosseum, the Pantheon and the stunning St. Peter’s – these are just some of the landmarks which undoubtedly make Rome one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is a popular choice for couples seeking a romantic city break in which they can enjoy fine dining while soaking up some culture. However, as with all city breaks, it is difficult to do the city properly on a budget. Particularly since the British pound weakened in Europe, spending money struggles to stretch as far. Furthermore, food and drink can be extremely overpriced in places with a strong tourist presence such as Rome has. On budget airlines, a return flight to Rome will still be on average £200 per person, while a decent hotel will cost about £300 for two nights. If it is culture that you both want, then you actually need go no further then north of the English border. Edinburgh is a beautiful Scottish city rich in history and culture. Bargain rooms in the city centre can be acquired for as little as £40 a night, and if trains are booked in advance then this can also be a money-saver. Edinburgh Castle is one of the most beautiful in the UK, and there are a large amount of museums, art galleries and cathedrals to visit during your trip – many of which are free.
Verdict: Nothing kills a romantic mood quicker than an argument over where is the cheapest place to eat. With this in mind, choose the affordable option and stay in the UK!