Overseas breaks cheaper than holidays at homeHotels, food and drink better value in Europe

17 May 2013


Britons hoping to save money by holidaying at home may be better off booking their summer holiday in Europe this year.

A new £4 million campaign by Visit England started this week, featuring Wallace and Gromit persuading holidaymakers to holiday at home, but UK consumers could lose out financially by following their advice.

The cheapest three-star double room we could find in Bournemouth for the first week of the school summer holidays was £385 in our snapshot research. But the cheapest equivalent accommodation we could find in Portugal’s Albufeira was £217, a saving of £168. In Javea, Spain, the cheapest similar room was £275, still £110 cheaper than the UK.

Holiday essentials are also cheaper in many European destinations including Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece, according to research by the Post Office. The average price of ten items, including coffee and sun cream, in the coastal resort of Albufeira, Portugal, was £46.34, compared to £65.96 in Blackpool and £78.01 in Bournemouth.

Cheap holidays in Portugal and Spain

Prices in Spain have fallen by 20% on last year, and by 15% in Portugal’s Algarve, as resorts attempt to attract much-needed tourism income. The tumbling prices more than offset the drop in value of Sterling against the Euro over the last year.

Saving money on holiday

Holidaymakers planning trips to a European hotspot such as the Algarve, the Costa Blanca, the Costa del Sol, Bulgaria or the Balearics, will find their cash stretches further than expected, according to the Post Office research.

A three-course meal for two, with wine, could cost just £20.56 in Albufeira, or £24.21 in Javea on the Costa Blanca. In the UK resorts of Blackpool or Bournemouth, you could expect to pay £37.50 and £49.65 respectively.

Our research

Using Trivago.com we looked at the cheapest double room deal in a three-star hotel, within 10 miles of the city centre, for a week’s holiday from 27 July to 3 Aug, available on Tuesday 14 May. We compared prices in Bournemouth, Blackpool, Javea in Spain and Albufeira in Portugal. We also analysed the price of holiday essentials in these resorts based on data from the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer.