How Much Will Your Vacation Cost This Year?

Despite most of the global population believing they have to rein in their vacation habits owing to financial straits, tourism revenue is actually increasing around the worlds  There could be a number of possible reasons for this:

  • Are more people taking cheaper vacations, therefore leading to a net gain in revenues?
  • Are those who can afford to take vacations spending more to enjoy true luxury breaks rather than what they would normally do?
  • Are people eschewing other luxuries at home throughout the year to ensure that they are able to take a vacation?
  • Has the global recession affected less people than has been widely reported?
  • Do people from a particular geographical region drive increased tourism numbers?

All of these are probably true, and will be prevalent to a greater or lesser extent depending on the location.

The Cost of Your Trip

The biggest underlying factor to drive many of the points above is the prices of vacations, which are forever fluctuating around the world, influenced by external economic variables in addition to trends within the tourism industry itself. That said, the average cost of a vacation is set to rise over the coming years.

While traditionally, most people have taken the attitude that the cheapest vacation is the one found closest to home, that might not now be the case when it comes to travelling beyond our own borders. Of course, it is also true that not everyone uses cost as the main influence when it comes to booking a vacation.

However, if you are one of the majority of vacationers that does budget a trip carefully, you will want to know which places are going to offer you the best deal. We explored several of the most popular holiday destinations from across the world to try to find you the best deal.

Vacations at Home

The ‘staycation’ has been a growing trend over the past five years, but it is time to think again if that has been your method of getting away from it all, especially if cost is your leading influence.

It is all about supply and demand; it is no surprise as the staycation gained popularity that domestic tour operators went and put the prices up. If you are able to find a great deal and you want to take a domestic break, then do so. Just keep in mind that the best deals are likely elsewhere.

Where are this year’s most popular travel destinations? How much will it cost you to take a vacation there? Are there any tips for keeping the price down?

Depending on where you are in the world, the biggest cost you will incur could well be actually getting to a particular place. While flight costs may bring discrepancies, the research we used was based on travelers from all across the world heading to various locations, so these numbers should still give you an accurate figure of what you can expect to pay.

All findings are based on figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and assume a family of four taking a vacation. All currency references are in USD$.

Vacation Choices in Europe

We have started with Europe because of the continuing economic mess that the continent finds itself in. Despite having a shared currency across most of Europe, Germany finds itself as the powerhouse and stands way ahead of any other European nation in terms of economic performance.

Ironically, the German government makes a huge loss on tourism every year, despite being one of the most popular destinations for travelers on the planet. Part of the reason for this is that relative affluence economically means higher prices, which turn many potential travelers away. Align this with the fact Germany has some great cities but no real ‘resorts,’ and it is easy to see why it suffers.

Europe’s Real Options

The key to a good holiday in Europe is to head to the countries that have suffered the most financially in recent years. Is there an element of being vulture-like associated with this? It is an understandable point to make, but the reality is that businesses and the population in countries such as Portugal, Spain, and Greece will see you as a traveler who is helping them by choosing to vacation there.

It just happens that those three countries offer some of the best vacation destinations in Europe, too, so it is a definite win-win scenario.

Meeting the Cost

The cost of a vacation in Spain, Portugal, and Greece is expected to fall by an average of 15% this year. This is what you can expect to spend in these locations, and how the average price compares to vacations taken in 2011/12.

Although Portugal still appears to be expensive, a reduction in price of $1,000 will open up that country to a completely new market.

How to Save Money

There are several ways you can save even more money when planning a European trip.

  • Book accommodation directly with hotel owners; you will often receive better discounts than even the best package deals. Do not feel as if you are taking advantage of their need for bookings, either, they are still seeing more profit than they would if you booked through the middleman.
  • Eat and drink in local restaurants; it can be tempting to default back to chains that you recognize from home, but eating and drinking local produce in local restaurants will save you money while put more into the pocket of the economy.

Pacific and Asian Vacations

The Pacific and Asian regions are very much a mixed bag when it comes to vacation costs. It is also worth noting that even very specific geographical locations, for example the South East corner of Asia, which is hugely popular with budget travelers and backpackers, can have wild variations in the cost of a trip.

If Cost Matters; Head to India

India is one of the great economic stories of modern times, with the country set to become the newest superpower on the world stage by 2020. A key element of that has been the tourism industry. However, across the country there are clear signs that many buildings perhaps did not need building.

Whoever signs the checks in India did not make allowances for a plateau in demand. No one wants to leave the lucrative tourism industry, so prices have dropped dramatically as people continue to try and make money.

South East Asia; Where All is Not as It Seems

We are not saying that South East Asia is not a brilliant option for a vacation. However, you might need to consider the places you wish to visit carefully. The traditional backpacker resorts such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are all likely to remain favorable, but the price of staying on the Asian mainland could become prohibitive, particularly in luxury locations.

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Australia; The Best of Everything

Although many people traditionally view Australia as a luxury travel destination, one can argue that the country offers the best overall experience, and that cost should not come into it given all that you can do Down Under. While Australia is perhaps the best family vacation destination in the Asia Pacific region, getting there and getting around this vast nation often puts people off.

As we will see, Australia is often the most expensive option, too.

Meeting the Cost

The changing cost of a holiday across the Asia Pacific region makes for interesting viewing.

What does this highlight?

  • Prices in India have fallen only slightly, by around 5%, but we can expect this to be a continuous trend throughout the decade
  • South East Asia offers huge discrepancies depending on where in the region you travel. A vacation in Singapore will cost 266% more than a Malaysian vacation, and 196% more than the average touring trip across the area.
  • Australia lives up to its reputation as an expensive vacation destination. However, it must be considered that flying to the country from almost anywhere in the world is expensive. Also, the numbers of people from South East Asia, who would have greater accessibility to Australia at a lower price, travelling Down Under are dwindling.

Saving Money in the Asia Pacific Region

There are a number of hints and tricks that will help you save money throughout Asia and the Pacific, depending on where you travel.

If you travel to India, pre-book a resort guide who can accompany you when you wish to explore the local area or head out into the wider country, as this will potentially prevent you from being ripped off in stores are restaurants. You can negotiate in India, too – most shopkeepers and restaurateurs will expect it – if you feel you are paying too much for something.

No secrets when it comes to South East Asia; you just need to carefully target the places you wish to see. On the mainland, you can use the Check In Tonight App from iTunes that will find you some great luxury hotel deals if you have no pre-booked one, but it does not unfortunately have options for Singapore!

Not surprisingly, given the average cost of a holiday, Australia offers the most potential for saving money. If possible, look to pre-book the hire of relocation campervans or cars from a company such as Transfercar, as this will allow you to get around much cheaper and more conveniently that you ordinarily would. Australia is also famous for its hostel network, too, with many hostels offering facilities similar to a top hotel but at a minute fraction of the price. If you go down this route, you can expect to knock around 50% off the cost of your Australian vacation.

The Americas

Vacation prices are shooting up across both North and South America as both continents continue to grow in popularity with all demographics of traveler. However, where the Americas differ from every other region we have explored is in terms of cost. Across the Americas, it is a story of price growth from all sides. Notably, the growth rate here is way ahead of the global average.

Brazil’s Future Legacy

Everything in Brazil right now is geared towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Like India, Brazil is one of the planet’s ‘coming men’ in terms of economic supremacy, and the work being carried out there now aims to make the country one of the more luxurious, desirable, and by association, expensive, places to travel on Earth.

United States Vacations

The United States, in New York City, Las Vegas, and the state of Florida, has three of the most popular travel destinations anywhere on the planet. All of these locations are known to be at the higher end of the vacation price scale, even for Americans who want to take a domestic break.

When we factor in the other places in the US that people might travel to, we begin to understand the reasons for prices being pushed to the moon.

Conservation Canada

Canada is notorious for being one of the most expensive places on Earth to live in and travel to. However, most of Canada’s price rises today are linked to their global leadership role in tackling climate change. Many things in Canada have tariffs attached where the additional revenue goes straight into offsetting carbon emissions, and tourists often endure this to the greatest extent.

What Will It Cost?

While Canada costing so little in comparison might come as a shock, it should be considered that the number of people who travel to the country on vacation in comparison with the United States is dramatically lower.  Canada also attracts a different type of traveler to its neighbor.

Brazil will see the biggest increase of all global countries at 14%, and that figure is likely to stretch even further throughout this decade.

Saving in the Americas

  • With Brazil, your only real option is to try to get there in the remainder of 2013. If you do manage to take a vacation there, save money by looking for bars, restaurants, and shops owned and managed by expatriates from around the world, as they will often be significantly cheaper.
  • To find the best deals in the United States, whether you are a domestic or international traveler, book well in advance and look for specific offers attached to each state’s tourism website.
  • In Canada, do all you can to look after the environment and you will find yourself with the opportunity to save a lot of money. This is especially true if you are traveling in a green city such as Calgary.

Your Next Vacation

Now, you are armed with all of the information you need to make your next vacation a success. Whether you target the destinations that are the outright cheapest, or that offer the biggest potential for savings, our suggested locations are all certain to allow you to have a memorable trip, whether you travel alone, or with friends or family.

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