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Sun, sea and sand or staycation

6th June 2012 Print

Research from M&S Money has revealed that a London staycation is 25 per cent more expensive than the average beach holiday abroad. However, out of the half of Brits (54 per cent) choosing to stay in the UK this summer, 26 per cent are doing so as they felt it would be less expensive.

The cost of a week in London, for those wanting to celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympics in the capital, will set Brits back £1,631, compared to an average £1,298 for a sun, sea and sand holiday overseas.

The research, which compared the cost of a week in nine popular beach holiday destinations against a week in London, found that Alicante in Spain offers the best value at £927 for a week. All other locations making up the top five were also within Europe.

The ten destinations in order of descending value

1. Alicante, Spain - £927
2. Marseille, France - £1,059
3. Gouves, Crete - £1,061
4. Bodrum, Turkey - £1,102
5. Faro, Portugal - £1,104
6. Split, Croatia - £1,133
7. Hua Hin, Thailand - £1,422
8. London, UK - £1,631
9. Bridgetown, Barbados - £1,836
10. Daytona Beach, Florida, USA - £2,034

Of those destinations researched, Daytona Beach in Florida, USA, is the most expensive beach trip at £2,034, with flights, accommodation and spending money all higher than the other seaside locations. Split in Croatia and Hua Hin in Thailand are also among the more expensive holidays, but require the least spending money to cover eating out and activities at £299 and £320 per person per week respectively.

A UK holiday is eighth on the list, at £1,631, due to relatively high accommodation costs and the large amount of spending money needed; just under £600 (£596) for a week, which accounts for 37 per cent of the entire cost of this holiday.

An M&S survey, of over 2,000 adults taking a holiday this summer, shows holidaymakers are budgeting an average of £41 spending money per person per day, or £287 per week. However, for the ten holidays studied, people are underestimating the amount of spending money needed per person by an average of £50, with holidaymakers budgeting £318 per week, compared to the £368 required.

Just over half (54 per cent) of Brits have chosen to stay in the UK this summer, with 21 per cent opting for a seaside holiday, 17 per cent staying at home and taking day trips and 16 per cent taking a non-beach UK holiday. A quarter of those (26 per cent) staying in the UK are doing so because they felt it would be more affordable and eight per cent said they wanted to stay in the country because of the Jubilee and Olympics.

Twenty eight per cent of people are going on a foreign beach holiday this year (25 per cent Europe vs. five per cent other continents). Almost a fifth (18 per cent) chose to go abroad because of the general affordability of this option, with 15 per cent citing inexpensive accommodation as a key driver, one in ten the affordable local costs, and seven per cent the favourable foreign exchange rates. Seventeen per cent of people have decided to go abroad because of the pleasant weather.

Jane Lawson, Head of Travel Money at M&S Money, said: "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.

"To get the most from your holiday budget, no matter what the destination, it's important to plan ahead. As well as looking for good deals on travel and accommodation, thinking about exchange rates, local costs and the kind of extras you will need to spend your money on will help to ensure you have the best possible holiday experience."

Follow Jane's top tips to get the most out of your holiday money:

Plan your holiday budget so you know how much your holiday is going to cost and how much foreign currency you need

Do some research to find out whether tickets for the activities you are planning are cheaper if bought in advance

If you're getting your currency on the high street choose a provider with a large number of currencies on demand

Don't rely on internet rates if buying in-store - many providers have different rates online and some change their rate throughout the day

Don't leave your holiday money until the last minute - airport bureaux often offer less competitive rates and may not have a wide variety of note denominations