Monday, June 24, 2024

Is this the end of the great British staycation? Package holiday trips boom as Brits turn their backs on wince-inducing prices at home to enjoy bargain sun abroad

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Britons hoping to beat the cost-of-living crisis can head abroad for a much cheaper holiday this summer as demand for foreign trips surges, MailOnline can reveal today.

Seven-day trips for a couple to Turkey, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are all being offered for less than £750 including flights in the first week of June.

Meanwhile prices for beachfront holiday lets in England are sky-high, with a two-bedroom place in Devon on for £3,100 in the same week. A similar place in Cromer will cost £2,200; or £1,700 in Seaford, £1,500 in Margate and £1,000 in Whitby.

It comes as package holiday giant Tui revealed better than expected results this week after notching up record revenues as it said travelling remains ‘very popular’.

And easyJet disclosed yesterday that its bookings are well on track for the summer season, with around 77 per cent of its third quarter programme already sold.

Also this week, Which? found Britons deterred by the cost of a Center Parcs break in the UK could save up to £800 on their accommodation by going to a European site.

Travel expert Nicky Kelvin, editor-at-large at The Points Guy, told MailOnline today that the current financial climate is making many British tourists choose ‘all-inclusive package holidays as the cost-of-living crisis takes its toll on household spending’.

He said many Britons are enticed by all-inclusive packages offering ‘attractive’ deals which include accommodation, airport transfers and food and drink.

NICKY KELVIN: Why all-inclusive packages are an attractive option

Many British tourists are opting for all-inclusive package holidays as the cost of living crisis takes its toll on household spending.

A number of all-inclusive holiday packages are offering deals which are more attractive and include everything from accommodation, airport transfers and food and drink.

Holidaying in the UK has a number of benefits, however Brits need to consider that booking accommodation such as Airbnbs and hotels on home turf will be more expensive during peak summer holiday season.

Many foreign travellers book holidays here in the UK, which in turn increases demand for accommodation and prices. 

Travelling abroad to Europe is an option many Brits are exploring this year. 

All-inclusive packages are an attractive option, with centrally located resorts, guaranteed sunshine, and most importantly, a total all-in cost that is known at the time of booking.

NICKY KELVIN is editor at The Points Guy. For more of his tips, click here

Mr Kelvin continued: ‘Holidaying in the UK has a number of benefits, however Brits need to consider that booking accommodation such as AirBnbs and hotels on home turf will be more expensive during peak summer holiday season, as many foreign travellers book holidays here in the UK, which in turn increases demand for accommodation and prices.

‘Travelling abroad to Europe is an option many Brits are exploring this year. All-inclusive packages are an attractive option, with centrally located resorts, guaranteed sunshine, and most importantly, a total all-in cost that is known at the time of booking.’

Today, MailOnline looked at the price of self-catering holidays abroad via easyJet Holidays for two adults including flights for seven nights in the first week of June, and found 23 available for less than £750.

The cheapest was Tuntas Family Suites – four-star accommodation in Kusadasi, Turkey, which also has a TripAdvisor rating of four stars and costs £571.

The lowest cost in Greece was the Fantasia Hotel Apartments in Kos for £637; while the cheapest Spanish resort was Coral Los Alisios in Tenerife for £695.

Other budget options included the Ukino Terrace Algarve in Portugal for £727, and Kefalonitis Apartments in Paphos, Cyprus, for £747.

These options were all significantly cheaper than their rough equivalents at beaches in England, which were checked for the same dates on Airbnb today.

MailOnline found a two-bedroom flat in the exclusive Devon resort of Salcombe for a whopping £3,124, while a rental in Cromer, Norfolk, was £2,222 for the week.

Other similar options in UK resorts included a holiday let in Seaford, Sussex for £1,731; at Margate in Kent for £1,490 and Whitby in North Yorkshire for £1,050.

It comes amid claims that the British staycation boom – which began during the pandemic when people were unable or unwilling to go abroad – could be coming to an end.

Some have suggested a fall in demand for holiday lets could be down to an oversupply of properties.

Tuntas Family Suites, which is a four-star accommodation building in Kusadasi, Turkey, costs £571 for a couple to travel in the first week of June, including flights, with easyJet Holidays

Tuntas Family Suites, which is a four-star accommodation building in Kusadasi, Turkey, costs £571 for a couple to travel in the first week of June, including flights, with easyJet Holidays

The cheapest in Greece for the same period was the Fantasia Hotel Apartments in Kos for £637

The cheapest in Greece for the same period was the Fantasia Hotel Apartments in Kos for £637

The cheapest Spanish resort for the same search was Coral Los Alisios in Tenerife for £695

The cheapest Spanish resort for the same search was Coral Los Alisios in Tenerife for £695

Other budget options include the Ukino Terrace Algarve on the Algarve in Portugal for £727

Other budget options include the Ukino Terrace Algarve on the Algarve in Portugal for £727

A stay at Kefalonitis Apartments in Paphos, Cyprus, is available via easyJet Holidays for £747

A stay at Kefalonitis Apartments in Paphos, Cyprus, is available via easyJet Holidays for £747

Data from AirDNA, which tracks listings on Airbnb and Vrbo, found 342,000 short-term lets available in the UK in the 12 months to February 2024, which was up 19 per cent on the previous year.

However, this has come as more people are heading abroad again after being forced to stay in Britain for much of 2020 and 2021 due to Covid – resulting in UK demand now falling.

It comes after the Government said in the Budget in March that it would remove an incentive for landlords to offer short-term holiday lets rather than longer-term homes.

From April 2025, the furnished holiday lettings (FHL) tax regime will be abolished, meaning short-term and long-term lets will be treated the same for tax purposes.

As for foreign trips, Tui said on Wednesday that it was seeing ‘high demand’ for package holidays in particular – even with average prices now around 4 per cent higher for the 2024 summer season than a year ago.

A two-bed flat in the exclusive Devon resort of Salcombe is £3,124 for the same June dates

A two-bed flat in the exclusive Devon resort of Salcombe is £3,124 for the same June dates

A rental in Cromer, Norfolk, is £2,222 for a couple for the same week at the start of June

A rental in Cromer, Norfolk, is £2,222 for a couple for the same week at the start of June

Those wanting a holiday on the Sussex coast can get this holiday let in Seaford for £1,731

Those wanting a holiday on the Sussex coast can get this holiday let in Seaford for £1,731

A two-bedroom flat at Margate in Kent is available for £1,490 in the first week of June

A two-bedroom flat at Margate in Kent is available for £1,490 in the first week of June

A two-bedroom flat in Whitby, North Yorkshire, is available for the same June week for £1,050

A two-bedroom flat in Whitby, North Yorkshire, is available for the same June week for £1,050

The group’s summer programme is 60 per cent sold, with nine million bookings for the upcoming peak season, up 5 per cent year-on-year.

For the UK, summer bookings so far are 3 per cent higher, with 65 per cent of the season sold.

The firm also said milder winter weather ‘motivated many last-minute travellers to make winter bookings’ in its second quarter.

It said 5.1million people booked trips over the winter season, with 700,000 added since its last update in February.

Prices were 3 per cent higher on average for winter holidays, it said. Tui added that medium and short-haul destinations are driving bookings for the summer.

‘Greece, Turkey and the Balearic Islands are once again proving to be the most popular destinations for summer holidays,’ it said.

Meanwhile easyJet said yesterday that interim pre-tax profits at its package holidays arm more than trebled to £31million and it predicted full-year profits at the burgeoning division to rise by around 40 per cent to more than £170 million.

PRICES FOR FOUR-NIGHT STAYS AT CENTER PARCS RESORTS ACROSS EUROPE
DATES  UK  FRANCE  BELGIUM  NETHERLANDS  GERMANY 
May 27 – May 31  £1,449  £597  £777  £707  £661 
July 29 – August 2 £1,429  £1,472 £1,355  £1,210  £1,175 
August 19 – August 23  £1,439  £1,419  £1,281  £995  £949 
August 26 – August 30 £1,409 £1,143  £1,070  £872  £803 
October 28 – November 1 £1,449  £857  N/A  £645  £699 
AVERAGES  £1,435  £1,098  £1,121  £886  £857 

It grew its flight programme by 12 per cent in the six months to March 31 and flew 11 per cent more passengers at 36.7million.

EasyJet said bookings were on track for the summer season, with around 77 per cent of its third quarter programme sold and around 39 per cent of the peak period sold.

But it said fuel costs jumped 18 per cent higher in the half-year to £914million and cautioned that the ‘price of jet fuel remains high due to global demand, and supply instability from geopolitical events’.

The firm’s half-year figures showed losses narrowed despite a £40million hit because of the war between Israel and Hamas, which saw flights suspended to Israel and Jordan, alongside a softening of demand for trips to Egypt since the conflict began in October.

EasyJet also announced it will reopen its base at Southend Airport in March next year. It will base three planes at the airport in Essex, from where it already serves several destinations such as Amsterdam, Geneva, Faro and Mallorca.

The airline suspended its Southend operations in August 2020 due to the pandemic.

Also today, a study by Virgin Media O2 Business found one in ten Britons are picking holidays based on their favourite TV shows and movies. As a result, three-quarters of businesses anticipate a revenue boost from shows and movies set in their region.

Popular destinations include Edinburgh, home of Dexter and Emma’s romance in One Day; and the Cotswolds, where Clarkson’s Farm rose to fame on Amazon Prime.

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