Planning Your Travel: Do You Stick to Cheap ‘n’ Cheerful?

Written by Karen Bryan

The Florida KeysTrying to compare the amount of enjoyment you’ll derive from various spending options is hard. This article gives an example of planning your travel.  We were discussing our Winter holiday plans at the weekend. Our holiday priority is to have at least one Winter sun holiday to break up the long UK Winter. The Canaries, Madeira and Cyprus are the obvious budget friendly choices in Europe. But we feel we have been to them all fairly recently and we were looking at doing something different.

We both fancy visiting the Florida Keys. I did a quick search for flights and a price of £700 return per person was the lowest I could find.  In February 2011 we paid £100 return each for Ryanair flights from Edinburgh to Gran Canaria(avoiding all possible Ryanair charges). So, already our flight costs for the Florida Keys versus the Canaries would be up by 700%.

I’ve found that £400 a week is usually enough to pay for a one week stay on half board in a 4 star hotel for us both in the Canaries or Cyprus in low season. Therefore a European Winter Sun holiday costs us around £600 a week for flights and accommodation i.e. £300 per person.

We’d want to stay for at least two weeks if we travelled to Florida. Assuming that accommodation costs in the US are similar to Spain and Cyprus, I estimate that a 2 week holiday to the Keys would cost £2,600 i.e. £1,400 for flights and £1,200 for half board accommodation i.e. £1,300 per person

Now a budget of £2,600 would pay for four one week holidays for us at a European Winter Sun destination. Will the allure of two weeks in the Florida Keys triumph over four one week European Winter sun destinations?

As ever, deciding how you spend your allocated  travel and leisure budget isn’t easy.