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Many of us will be looking at booking a summer break about now, and in fact it is often said that the middle of April is the best time to catch the cheapest deals for flights and hotels, and whilst we are on the subject why not take away one of our beautiful ladies?
Having said that, summer is always a pricier time to travel, particularly to the major tourist hotspots, as the narrow window of the school holidays leads to so much demand. With that in mind, what is the minimum budget you should count on for a couple of weeks in the sun this year? We looked into it, and present the results below. First we selected four popular and nearby summer destinations for British holidaymakers; Malta, Paphos in Cyprus, Alicante in Spain, and Corfu in Greece. Then we checked hotel and flight prices for the first two weeks in July. Then we researched the daily cost of living in these locations, and then trebled it, to replicate how we like to splash the cash on things like eating out, excursions, sun-cream, ornamental donkeys made out of straw, roaming data and so on.
Accommodation tends to be the biggest expense on holiday, and research shows that hotels in favourite summer locations sure do raise their prices around the holidays. In fact, even checking the price comparison sites such as Trivago or Booking.com shows high prices for all the destinations on the list. Of course, you could leave it last minute, but then you really run the risk of getting stuck with either a hugely expensive accommodation bill, or end up staying in a flea-pit. Or both!
The next biggest expense for most of us will be the flights. While we do recommend checking what deals the likes of Ryanair and easyJet have on offer to your destination, we found that the best prices were in fact travelling with the big carriers, especially at this time of the year. One big factor is that for a 2-week break, you will need to check in some luggage, unless you plan on wearing a pair of speedos and one t-shirt the duration of your trip, and of course the budget airlines charge extra for this. Another thing to keep in mind is that the budget airlines tend to fly to far-off airports many miles away from the place you want to stay in.
Finally, came the cost of living calculation. Malta and Paphos surprisingly were the most expensive destinations for cost of living, with Alicante the cheapest. Of course, you could probably do this for a lot cheaper if you decide to go camping in Wales for a fortnight, only drinking rainwater, but where would be the fun in that?