The Telegraph: Impact of Inflation on Travelling

Why spending winter abroad could be the answer to your soaring utility bills

Tideway’s advisor Sam Ratnage talks about how Turkey, Argentina and Japan could be the new favourite destinations for British holidaymakers focused on saving while travelling.

With the cost of living going through the roof, wintering abroad could be an option for flexible Britons hoping to avoid high energy bills.

It’s hard to keep up with the bad tidings about the rising cost of living. But latest figures suggest that utility bills could head north of £4,200 a year for the average British household come January, while energy giants rake in bumper profits. 

That’s £355 a month on average, according to the consultancy group Cornwall Insights. Only we use more gas and electricity in winter – 36 per cent more, reckoned the now-defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change – so it could be more like £480 a month. Ouch. 

Britain’s burgeoning army of homeworkers will likely feel the pinch more than most if they want to stay warm while hunched over the laptop. It raises a pertinent question: for those who have the luxury of working remotely, does it make financial sense to see out the winter somewhere warm? Andalusia, perhaps. Turkey? India? 

Britons are asking similar questions on Google. When Ofgem hiked the energy price cap up by 54 per cent in April, searches for ‘move abroad’ soared to record levels.

It’s not just Google people are turning to: Belvin Franks, a financial advisor for expats, has reported a “considerable” rise in the number of Britons looking to leave.  

“People are paying much more for everything and it’s a culmination of bad news. It makes people get into the mindset of needing a new start, and they know they will have a much cheaper life abroad,” said the firm’s Jason Porter. 

Crunching the numbers 

Assuming that Cornwall Insights is right (and taking into account winter weighting for energy bills) switching off the gas and electric could theoretically save the average bill payer upwards of £500 a month – or £115 a week – come winter. How far would that get you overseas? 

In the case of Malaga, where winter temperatures rarely dip into single figures, two-bed apartments are listed for circa €600 (£507) a month. And with Spain offering free rail travel until the end of the year on many Renfe services (a policy implemented to ease the cost of living crisis), getting around will cost you nada. This is all before you factor in the lower price of groceries, eating out and boozing.

Of course, inflation is also pushing up prices overseas, but as Porter said: “Countries like France, Spain and Portugal are starting from a much lower point because the cost of living was so much cheaper – and it still will be even if they have strong inflation.” 

Money that would otherwise be spent on the gas bill goes further still in Turkey, which the Post Office recently identified as the best value destination for Britons. 

“The Turkish lira has collapsed to nearly 50 per cent against sterling, making a trip to Turkey for British tourists much more affordable,” said Sam Rantage, a chartered financial planner at Tideway Investment. “[At the time of publication] a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant will cost £12 for two people. A coffee £1, a beer £1.40, and a soft drink 50p.”

Then there’s the cost of lodgings. Smart beachside apartments in Antalya are listed on Airbnb for around £500 a month. And the weather? Winter temperatures routinely flirt with the high teens.

Read the full article here.