Booking a long winter holiday could be cheaper than your energy bill

A UK company is encouraging travellers to book a winter holiday to avoid high energy bills.

TravelTime World launched a marketing campaign last Friday called ‘The Heat Is On’ highlighting the low cost per day of long-stay holidays.

Ashley Quint, a holiday designer at the company, said the idea came about after reports that the energy price cap in the UK could be as high as £7,000 (€8,120) a year by April 2023.

What is the cost per day of spending this winter abroad?

An 80 per cent rise in the energy price cap was confirmed from October that could take the average UK household’s gas and electricity bill up to £3,549 (€4,116) a year. The next rise between January and March could cause it to skyrocket up to £5,000 (€5,799). 

Forecasters are now predicting that it may rise as high as £7,700 (€8931) by April.

“£7,000 works out to be about £20 (€23) a day on energy – and from our own experience, right this very second my colleague’s smart meter at home is £10 (€12) per day, and that’s without the heating on,” Quint tells Euronews Travel.

For comparison, off-peak destinations like Malta, southern Spain and Portugal, he says, are extremely good value in January and February. The weather is also still pleasant and warm.

“From doing the research over the last couple of weeks – it’s very possible to get a hotel and apartment (including flights and transfers) for around £20-25 (€23-29) per night, based on staying four weeks.”

Warmer destinations like the Canary Islands are likely to be more expensive. Despite having even cheaper per day costs, flights to places further afield can also wrack up the overall price but there are still ways to make it work.

“Going long haul, the flights are more expensive, but accommodation and the cost of living is cheaper, so you need a reasonably long duration to make it similar,” Quint explains.

“Certainly in places like Thailand it’s achievable for not that much more once you spread it over a month or two, certainly less than £50 (€58) per person per night.”

Are people already going abroad to avoid rising energy costs?

The initial thought was that the campaign would appeal to those who are retired, but with more remote workers these days, there’s wider scope for people to spend an extended time abroad.

It still requires quite a bit of flexibility that a majority of people don’t have and the money to pay for the cost of accommodation and flights upfront – a difficult ask during the escalating cost of living crisis. Spending winter in another country definitely isn’t a silver bullet solution to rising energy bills.

Still, some travellers are already taking advantage of the opportunity.

“We have clients on a long Caribbean cruise for six weeks in November, a client travelling around Australia for Christmas and New Year for a couple of months and a single lady taking a cruise to the Caribbean for Christmas and New Year which is also six weeks long,” Quint says.

He adds that cruises are great value for money – they include food and sometimes even excursions – along with escorted tours, especially to Asia. 

“I’m also helping a family who are taking a year sabbatical with arrangements in travelling around South America for the winter.”

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