Are Staycations in British Commercial Properties Really the Cheaper Alternative?

Posted on 10 June, 2012 by Kirsten Kennedy

Luxury holidays are an extravagance few can afford right now, with the double dip recession and Eurozone crisis dominating headlines across Europe. However, is the much-publicised “staycation” any better than jetting out to a five star commercial property hotel on the Costa del Sol?

A study conducted by M&S Money has proven that the Great British Holiday may actually end up costing more than a stay with our European neighbours. This is partly due to the high cost of food and drink in commercial property supermarkets and restaurants, and also because hotels here tend to charge more for a few nights’ stay.

London, especially, seems to be an expensive choice for a quick getaway. With the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics both attracting thousands of tourists to the capital city this year, it seems that commercial properties are certain to see massive increases in their annual revenue. However, this is not necessarily a good thing for the British public choosing a short break there, as rising prices to cope with increased demand could leave us out of pocket in a range of commercial properties from cafes to theatres.

For the first week of the Olympics, for example, a sunshine holiday to Spanish city Alicante will cost around £927, according to Marks and Spencer. Meanwhile, a London break of the same length will cost the average family a staggering £1,631 – meaning that, should you choose to chase the Spanish sun, you could save yourself around £700.

Even trips to more exotic locations work out cheaper in general, with Thai destination Hua Hin costing £1,422 over the same period – again, making London the more expensive option by around £200. This can be explained by the fact that commercial property hotels and restaurants in Thailand tend to charge less for their services.

Spending money tends to be another reason the prices in the capital skyrocket for a family holiday, with M&S Money recommending a budget of £596 per person for a week. This allows for entrances into commercial property theatres and tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.

Travel money head of M&S Money, Jane Lawson, says; “Staycations are clearly popular this year, particularly as people look forward to celebrating the Jubilee and Olympics, in what will be a British summer to remember.

“However, with the cost of activities and eating out in the UK relatively high and favourable foreign exchange rates helping to make your money go further abroad, a holiday at home is not always the most affordable option.”

In the study, the only popular destinations found to prove more expensive overall than London were Bridgetown in Barbados, at £1,836 per week, and Daytona Beach in Florida, chalking up a huge £2,034 per week. However, these are luxury destinations with a high standard of commercial property hotels and restaurants across the board, attracting holidaymakers with a little more cash to splash than the average person.

So it appears, then, that people going on foreign holidays this summer will end the season roughly 25 per cent better off financially than those choosing to visit our capital city for the Olympic Games. Perhaps, instead of holidaying in the South East, a camping trip to the Isle of Anglesey in Wales or taking a caravan to the Scottish Highlands could prove to be a more financially sound holiday at home – just don’t expect the Spanish sun to have the same idea!

Do you prefer to take your holidays abroad or stay in a commercial property hotel here in the UK? If money was no object, which type of holiday would you choose?

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