Home or away? A UK family staycation could cost you twice as much

There's a common belief that spending your family holiday in the UK on a staycation can save you money compared to holidaying abroad, but our latest research suggests that's not always the case.

We've compared the cost of holidays and family activities in the UK, versus the equivalent in Europe and found that Centreparcs, zoos, holiday parks and camping sites are all more expensive in the UK, meaning you might not save money by staying on your doorstep.

In fact families in the UK are paying up to £1,412 more for a week’s stay in Centerparcs in the UK compared to staying at an equivalent holiday park in the Netherlands.

A 7-night stay in Woburn Forest Centreparcs would cost £2,128 coming in at 198% more than a week-long stay in Het Heijderbos, Centreparcs which costs £715.25.

Families controlling their purse strings during the holidays should also avoid trips to UK zoos, camping sites and holiday parks, which all cost more than their European counterparts. The only activity where the UK comes out on top is a family trip to a theme park.

Take a look at our other staycation vs vacation findings in the handy infographic below.

staycation or vacation infographic

Parents often assume it’s cheaper to stay closer to home during the school holidays, without realising the savings they could make by going abroad. You can have a similar family holiday abroad as you would in the UK, with holiday parks and fun days out trips, at a much lower cost, and maybe even with better weather too!

Even taking the cost of flights into account, a package holiday to Europe or camping trip may be a more affordable option than travelling to other parts of the UK.

Families can take simple measures to ensure they get the best value for money and make their holiday cash go much further while enjoying some quality time together.

Travel further this year by planning like a pro

Follow our tips on planning your holidays like a pro and your money will travel much further this year.

Currency tip: You book the flight and hotel in advance but leave travel money to the last minute – that’s a mistake. Sign up to our Rate Alert service to find out when the exchange rate is in your favour. Better still, look at destinations where your pounds will travel further.

✈️ Flight tip: Set up price alerts through flight search services such as Skyscanner or Kayak and they’ll email you when it’s cheaper to buy tickets for your dream destinations.

Accommodation tip: Many hotel comparison sites won’t show you the actual price you pay until the final step. Make sure that you’re comparing like for like rates, including any local taxes or charges for card payments.

Dining tip: Eating like a local throughout your trip will mean that you can enjoy more for your money. Try out the restaurants that are full of locals or, if you are feeling adventurous enough, restaurants that don’t even have menus written in English.

Social dining for travellers is a modern way to experience traditional cuisine in people’s homes, cooked and shared by locals themselves. Platforms like Eatwith connect travellers and local hosts in more than 70 countries.

Check out our full list of tips on how to travel further this year by planning like a pro.


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