Love it or hate it, the word ‘staycation’ looks like it’s here to stay and with uncertainty still surrounding the resumption of international travel, ‘staycations’ in the UK this year are proving a popular choice. What’s not quite so attractive though is the cost. According to an investigation conducted by Which? prices have risen by a third on average at beach destinations around the UK. How can you get the best post pandemic UK holiday deals?
The investigation by Which? tracked prices of 15 holiday lets listed on Airbnb and Vrbo for last summer when booked in May and June, comparing them to the amount charged in February for the coming summer.
Some examples of findings are as follows:
The price of one let in Brighton had soared by a staggering 140 percent, from £53 a night to £127, with the average increase working out at 35 percent.
The cost of a one-week stay at a property in Llandudno had risen from £427 to £596.
Properties in holiday hotspot St Ives in Cornwall had gone up from £860 to £1,263.
Airbnb has referred to the research as “misleading” and says it features only “isolated examples” which were non-representative of prices on its platform.
Price increases due to high demand may be unsurprising but this does not mean that they are fair or you have to accept them. Luckily there are still savings to be made and deals to be had if you know how to get them.
The key for me is flexibility in a number of respects. Ensure you choose a provider that offers fair and flexible booking terms and cancellation policies in case something does go wrong. If you aren’t limited to fixed dates, then research prices in off peak seasons to see if you can make any savings.
It’s also worth being flexible in terms of your destination as peak prices are often associated with the most popular tourist hot spots. There are lots of lovely gems, which are yet to be discovered in the equally lovely country we live in. Now’s the time to explore them!
If that’s not enough then here are some more top tips from top UK Moneybloggers as to how to get the best post pandemic UK holiday staycation deals.
“We have stayed in self catering accommodation a lot over the years, both at home and abroad. I research our options using the popular self catering accommodation websites, then identify a few of interest. We have saved hundreds by then searching to see if the owners have their own website and booking directly with them.”
Eileen Adamson www.yourmoneysorted.co.uk
Roosa Laakkonen from https://moneymarshmallow.com/blog/ agrees with Eileen and adds “The likes of Airbnb and Booking can charge a significant fee both from guests and hosts (up to 20%) so it’s a win-win for both if you book directly. It’s also worth checking out weekly and monthly discounts – in some cases it can be cheaper to book for 7 days instead of 6 if a host has an automatic weekly discount applied.Might not be relevant for summer or high seasons in general but when the demand is low, the prices are usually negotiable when booking directly.”
“I always suggest remembering to compare online travel agents to compare deals as they can be priced quite substantially differently. If you’ve narrowed it down to a hotel, you can search by the hotel name (and as mentioned above, always worth looking direct too). Finally if all else is equal and you are booking through an online travel agent then Hotels.com has the best bang for buck loyalty scheme in the space.”
Watch out for scams
“Budgets will be tight for many people seeking a bargain break in the UK, which makes it attractive to fraudsters seeking to lure unsuspecting holidaymakers in with eye catching prices. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is. Scammers may ask for a deposit for a holiday let or caravan they don’t own with photos and fake reviews. Do your homework and contact the holiday provider direct. Search online and look for genuine reviews. Equally, search for scams linked to the property by simply putting in to Google, “Property name scams problems fraud”.
Scott Dixon https://thegrumpygit.com/
Use discount websites
“Try discount deal websites such as Wowcher and Groupon. I have saved a fortune on hotel deals via them rather than going direct. Often Groupon has a voucher code available on getaways that sweetens the deal even further.”
Claire Roach https://moneysavingcentral.co.uk
Consider a city break
“If you’re looking to snap up an affordable break, then I’d suggest that you consider visiting a UK city. There are hotels that rely on business travel to sustain themselves, but that revenue source isn’t expected to bounce back instantly. Hotels would rather fill rooms than have them sat empty, so there are bargains to be had. In normal years, it would be advisable to avoid looking in tourist hotspot cities such as London and Edinburgh, but anything goes this summer.”