Should I stay or should I go?

In the wake of economic instability, staycations have gained popularity with British tourists in recent years. Varying exchange rates, rising air fares and instability abroad mean interest in UK holidays has remained strong. But with guaranteed sun and cheap meals out to be found abroad, it can be difficult to know whether to stay at home or jet away.

Weather or not?

There’s no denying that you’re likely to get better weather if you head to the Med, and for skiers then the Alps can offer more snow than the UK. However, that’s not to say that the famous British summer hasn’t got something to offer. Hiking and cycling don’t need hot sun and cooler days may even be preferred. There are plenty of activities that are best when it’s not sweltering. If you’re visiting local museums or planning cinema trips, then doing these on a sunny day can feel like a waste of the weather.

Changeable weather does mean you need to take a bit more time planning activities; you can’t simply rely on the sun, pool and kid’s club of a package holiday to keep everyone entertained. Keep a few plans up your sleeve and you’ll be ready for rain or shine. If you can’t stretch to a full week away, why not plan in a couple of city breaks, head to a festival or hire a canal boat and make the most of the history, scenery and culture of the UK? Or relive childhood memories with a retro trip to the seaside, that way a little rain is all part of the fun.

Add it up

Staycations have become more popular in recent years as they’re seen as more budget friendly. However, you’ll also read reports that UK holidays actually work out to be more expensive. So which is right?

If you’re trying to weigh up the costs, don’t forget to include all aspects of your holiday. That means travel, accommodation, food and other essentials such as insurance. Flying to Spain might cost you more, but you could save on drinks and meals. Add everything up; whether you’re travelling with or without children, mid season or off peak, each scenario will be different.

Home advantage

If a laid back holiday appeals to you and you’re on a budget, why not make it a real staycation by holidaying at home? Leave the chores for another day, turn your phone off and don’t look at email. Line up some local activities, and why not finally try out that new restaurant? You’ll enjoy all the benefits of a holiday, without any of the stress of early morning airport trips and packing for every eventuality. Staying near home might be the more relaxing choice if you’re travelling with young children and don’t want to have to deal with disrupted routines, busy airports and time differences. Kids will love picnicking in the garden and camping in the living room.

Decision time

Whether it’s home or away, the time of year you’re booking for can make a big difference to the cost. Prices can vary a lot off-season and during school holidays, so it’s worth researching the different options to find the best deal. Cornwall and Spain could work out about the same in July, but might vary for dates in September.

When you decide to book may also affect the price you pay. Waiting until the last minute to book a foreign holiday may bag you a bargain, but accommodation in the UK can book up months ahead, so you may be left with fewer options.

Do the right research and you’ll make the most of the advantages of staying at home or jetting away.