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Long-haul holidays up to half the price of short haul

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Travelling to an exotic destination 3,500 miles away can be much cheaper than holidaying closer to home, according to analysis. 

A comparison of like-for-like short and long-haul package holiday deals reveals it can be as much as 47% cheaper for a family to travel further afield than sticking to Europe.

Travelsupermarket’s research revealed that swapping Santorini for Thailand can mean savings of up to £2,948 (47%) for a family of four, or £594 (28%) for a couple.

A two-week package holiday for a family of four from Birmingham to Phuket departing 17 August (3* room-only basis) costs from £835pp. In comparison, a 3* room-only holiday for a fortnight in Santorini starts from £1,572.

By swapping Mykonos for New York, a family can save £1,000 for a week’s holiday.

The travel comparison site found that a 3* or 4* holiday to New York can be as much as 33% cheaper for a family than an equivalent holiday to Mykonos in Greece.

As an example, a 3* deal for Mykonos departing 15 August on a room-only basis came in at £821pp.

But a 3*, seven-night trip to New York departing the same day, can cost from £548pp.

Sticking to Mykonos can mean missing out on a holiday to the paradise islands of Barbados or Seychelles – all for a cheaper price.

A family of four travelling from Gatwick to the Seychelles for a week on a 3* B&B basis leaving on 16 August can pay £772pp. Even with breakfast included, this holiday is 9% cheaper than a 3* room-only price to Mykonos (£852pp).

For couples, there are also savings to be made by flying to destinations further afield. A 3* B&B two-week holiday to Phuket, Thailand, costs £751pp. This is up to 28% cheaper (£594) than the equivalent trip to Santorini (£1,048pp).

‘Nothing to stop people travelling during the school holidays’

Emma Coulthurst, travel expert for TravelSupermarket, said people may not realise they can sometimes get a lot more for their money further afield.

“There are some fantastic savings to be made by swapping short haul for long haul and going thousands of miles further this summer. It is really worth comparing long haul and short haul to see how far you can go for a lot less. If you pick well, you can experience some long-haul destinations this summer for as much as 47% less than holidays much closer to home.

“Normally, we’d say to avoid the school holiday dates if you haven’t got school-age children. But the best time, price wise, to take a holiday to long-haul destinations including Thailand and Barbados is May to August, during those countries’ low season, so there is nothing to stop couples and friends taking advantage of these savings too.”

Coulthurst added that the cost of living is also a lot cheaper in long-haul destinations like Thailand than it is in short-haul destinations within the eurozone.

“A three course meal in a mid-range restaurant in Thailand will only set you back around £7-8 and a pint of local beer £1.20 to £1.60. An equivalent meal in Ibiza is likely to cost you around £26 each and a beer around £2-3. And Barbados does not have to be expensive; there are lots of great tips online on how to experience the island like a local and on a budget.”

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