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WWhen Donna Brunton started looking for an alternative UK vacation, fearing her family’s £ 2,500 all-inclusive trip to a four-star beach hotel in Malta would not take place, she nearly fell out of her way. chair when she saw the prices.

“A holiday park in North Cornwall was quoting £ 3,699 for the four of us for a seven night stay, self-catering in what looks like an upscale caravan. The only sites available were all thousands of books. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the prices were just ridiculous, ”said Donna, a nurse from Consett, County Durham.

As the summer travel saga continues, the prospects for a vacation home look financially ruinous.

Cottage owners, hotels, campsites and Airbnb hosts are taking advantage of a captive market as millions scramble for the latest vacancies. With soaring prices, vacationers are plagued by an inflationary spiral of staycations.

Even before the government removed Portugal from the list of green countries (not subject to quarantine), it was almost impossible to find reasonably priced accommodation at popular resorts. The holidays allow the Sykes Cottages company to set the tone for the year when it was accused in February of doubling some charges by the chairman of the South West Tourism Alliance, Alistair Handyside – himself chalet owner.

Center Parcs has hit a storm over its summer rates and has been accused of charging more than it would cost for a family of four to visit the Caribbean. However, that hasn’t stopped the two companies from largely selling out this summer, such has been the demand of those desperate to go on their first vacation in two years.

Vacation rental data analysts AirDNA said summer accommodation prices in Cornwall were 30% higher in July this year compared to 2019 – average £ 135 per night – even before everything was sold out .

Those visiting ‘reinforcement’ Skegness in July will pay an average nightly rate of £ 120 – £ 35 more than in 2019 – which equates to a 40% increase. Prices in Pembrokeshire, Wales have risen 27% this year.

Guardian research has found that hotels that charged £ 120 a night in 2019 are now charging between £ 150 and £ 175, with those in popular destinations nearly full during most school holidays.

Traditionally the cheapest caravan parks on the market are available but will typically cost £ 1,800 for a seven night stay with a family of four in August – even in old-fashioned Lowestoft.

Car rental insurer iCarhireinsurance.com said this week that rental prices had more than doubled in several UK destinations this summer as consumers tried to avoid public transport, adding to the feeling of gloom among those stuck at home, but without a reservation.

“We’re supposed to fly to Malta on July 22, but being a nurse I can’t afford to isolate myself when we get back,” Brunton said. ‘I was also concerned about the cost of the Covid tests, which will be £ 1,200 for the four of us – that was until I saw the prices for staying in the UK.

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“I mean, how can it cost over £ 1,000 more to stay at a self-catering holiday park in Cornwall than at a four star hotel next to the beach in Malta – including flights there return and all meals brought? It would have taken us seven hours to get to Cornwall and I would have cooked and cleaned like home. In the end, I booked a week in a hotel in Chester and a few more nights in Glasgow and York. However, once a few outside meals and other costs are added, I can see that it costs about the same as our last decent vacation – to Jamaica. It’s madness, ”she said.

But the increase in demand has a silver lining: It has turned some vacationers into hosts: more and more people have decided to take advantage of their home’s location by advertising on Airbnb.

In Great Yarmouth, on the east coast of Norfolk, the number of active listings on Airbnb is 43% higher than the same time last year, and up 34% in Scarborough, according to AirDNA. The owners of some popular beach destinations have not renewed their long-term renters’ contracts, instead listing their homes on Airbnb.

Rory Boland, which one? Travel Editor, says there is a UK vacation to be had if you avoid the coast and other popular destinations.

“Looking in other parts of the country,” Boland said, “will likely mean finding cheaper vacations and more choice on where to stay – you might also find less crowded. “

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