What’s cheaper this summer – a staycation or holiday abroad? We compare prices for staycation spots including Cornwall and Devon as well as Spain, Turkey, Portugal and France
Holidays are back and for the first time in two years, Brits have more choice than ever when it comes to getaways.
While UK holidays reigned supreme last summer due to ongoing Covid travel rules and lockdowns, this year there are plenty of hotspots abroad welcoming back Brits including Spain, Turkey, France, Greece and Portugal are once again open to Brits.
Although UK travellers are splurging on revenge holidays to make up for lost time, if you’re after holiday deals then it’s worth comparing both staycations and trips abroad.
But which is cheaper? After all, UK holidays saw a surge in popularity in recent years – meaning price hikes in destinations like the Lake District, Cornwall and Devon. However, the travel industry took a hit due to restrictions so there may be similar rates when it comes to going abroad; Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has already warned of rising flight costs.
Still, the good news is that there are bargains to be found on both sides.
We’ve done the leg work for you and compared prices for both holidays abroad and in the UK for the key holiday months.
Check out our top picks below…
Outside of the school holidays, there are similar price options whether you’re thinking of a mini break in the UK or want to head out for some sunshine. (We’ve got a guide to June’s best hot and sunny hotspots to give you a dose of inspiration).
For example, Warner Leisure Hotels is offering all-inclusive breaks in the Isle of Wight from £149pp for three nights. In comparison, TUI has Greece holidays from £169pp for three nights, although this is on a self-catering basis.
We also took a look at hotels and could find Cornwall stays from £75 a night on Booking.com, with breakfast included. Meanwhile on Tripadvisor there were Devon hotels from £67 a night, although it’s worth noting breakfast isn’t always included.
Interestingly, if you’re looking at hotels in those hotspots, then a holiday abroad could actually work out at better value overall.
For the same weeks, a TravelSupermarket search found holidays from £289pp including Tenerife – based on seven nights, and including flights. That works out at approximately £41pp a night, making it a cheaper option than the Cornwall stays.
Accommodation was similar. Airbnb has stays from £48 a night up to £180 for June, but when we compared to France there were prices ranging from £42 to £227, so there was plenty of scope to enjoy a similar budget.
Of course you still need to get to France – but Skyscanner showed there are return flights from £14 to the likes of Paris available in June so it’s still possible to visit on a budget.
UK holidays are cheaper in June and there are some tempting deals for hotspots if you want to avoid school holidays season. However, if you have a bit of budget to play with and want to go abroad, it’s not a huge difference in terms of cost, and in some cases it can work out better value.
In this instance, we’re comparing prices on dates outside of the school holidays, based on departures before July 22 when most schools break up. (If you’re after school holiday comparisons, those are in the next section).
If you’re after a staycation, you won’t be stuck for bargains.
Holiday parks giant Haven has holidays from £109 in Essex, £159 in Yorkshire and Somerset as well as prices from £169 in Dorset, all for the first weeks in July, which includes a pass to access the likes of the pools and entertainment.
If you’re after a cheap hotel stay Travelodge has plenty of rooms under £70 – in fact when we took a look we found Cornwall stays from £54 a night and Devon stays from £44 a night.
Mirror Holidays has is offering £50pp off on late Malta holidays.
Simply book a holiday departing before 30th June 2022 and enter discount code MALTALATES at the checkout to save £50 per person.
This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it.Learn more
Holidays abroad are more expensive for the same weeks, but the good news is that there are still deals to be found because it’s outside of the school holidays.
For example, Mirror Holidays has deals such as Malta from £256pp, Tenerife from £272pp and Majorca from £339pp, while Loveholidays has plenty of breaks under £200pp including Portugal, France and Spain, based on two adults travelling.
If you’re after a cheap and cheerful break then UK holidays offer the best rates for July – but there are some good deals for Spain, Portugal and France out there if you do want to go abroad.
School summer holidays – July and August
School holidays inevitably bring price hikes with them so it’s unlikely you’ll find cheap deals for late July and throughout August.
However when it comes to cheaper breaks, holidays abroad could actually be your best bet.
We searched for seven-night breaks for a family of four in the UK during the school holidays and found Haven holidays from £806, Butlin’s from £928, and Parkdean Resorts in Cornwall from £999. (Prices based on a family of four).
For hotel only stays we took a look on Hotels.com for a week in August and found Lake District hotels from £1,273, Devon from £834, Brighton from £1,313 and the Peak District from £698.
In comparison, TUI has all-inclusive Spain holidays from £597pp, On the Beach offers Portugal holidays from £505pp, while easyJet holidays offers Greece breaks from £558pp and Mirror Holidays has Cyprus holidays from £538pp.
If it’s holiday parks you’re after, Eurocamp has summer holidays from £711 including France, Italy, Croatia and Spain.
UK holidays work out cheaper for a family of four, but these don’t always include entertainment and meals. Holidays abroad may cost more per person, but you can get more bang for your buck – including some of the popular destinations where your accommodation, flights and meals are all included.
Extra costs to factor in
If you’re unvaccinated and a country is open to Brits, you’ll likely need a Covid test to be able to visit for a holiday. A lot of countries waive this requirement for children under 12. Check the Foreign Office travel advice for your chosen destination.
Antigen tests can start from £11pp with TUI package holidays, and most airlines offer discounts if you are planning a trip.
Package holidays usually include transfers to the hotel but if you’re booking flights and accommodation separately, don’t forget to factor in the cost of getting from the airport to your hotel!
For UK holidays, it could be that you choose to travel by car, but if you’re planning to visit by train book in advance to avoid being hit by nasty high fares a few weeks before your trip.