The rising costs - and risks - of going on holiday right now

Many of us have been holding off for a late summer getaway, but rising Covid rates and rising prices have scuppered many plans

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It’s safe to say that we could all do with a holiday right now.

After the past 18 months of lockdown, Covid and working from home, the urge to escape to a Mediterranean beach is understandably strong.

Just ask Dominic Raab, who has denied paddle-boarding in Crete while Kabul fell to the Taliban. (The sea was closed, apparently, so that’s fine.)

But while government ministers have taken parliamentary recess as the perfect excuse to jump on a plane to a five-star beach resort, that option will remain off-limits to most of the rest of us.

The government is set to announce its next travel review imminently (last time it was late on a Wednesday evening), but if anything it looks like more of the sun-sea-and-sand destinations could change to amber or red, rather than going or staying green.

Factor in the costs of PCR tests and insurance (elevated by the need for robust cancellation cover) and it looks increasingly wise to just stay at home and make do with the Great British Summer ™.

If only it was that simple.

Rising Covid rates have forced popular places like Cornwall and the Lake District to issue warnings to those looking to descend on their scenic charms. The former is urging people to stay away, while the latter is calling on visitors to take a test before they go.

A BBC Panorama documentary to be broadcast tonight will also expose the soaring costs of self-catered accommodation in the UK.

Their analysis, produced along with consumer group Which?, found that holidaymakers were paying an average of £300 more per week in August compared to the last summer before the pandemic.

The average cost of one night of self-catered accommodation for two people in Brighton rose 89% from £109 in 2019 to £206 this summer.

Lake Garda in northern Italy (Photo: Getty)Lake Garda in northern Italy (Photo: Getty)
Lake Garda in northern Italy (Photo: Getty)

Perhaps most surprisingly, a week at Lake Windermere in Cumbria cost £2,424, compared to just £802 for a week at Lake Garda in Italy.

Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: “We’re not talking about £10, we’re not talking about the cost of a meal out. We’re talking… hundreds and hundreds of pounds.

“When we looked at it, accommodation prices in 2019 were more expensive in the UK than they were abroad. So this isn’t a pandemic problem only, the pandemic has made it worse.”

Between the risks of going abroad and the exorbitant costs of staying put in the UK, it’s never been harder to escape the daily grind.


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