After a tumultuous year, many of us are craving an escape to somewhere new, but with the effects of Covid-19 still very much an issue, holidayers are left questioning where to go for their next getaway. If you’re unsure whether you should go abroad or opt for a staycation to a seaside resort in the UK this year, then take a look at our holiday comparison table below. We’ve chosen two of the most popular holiday resorts – Blackpool: the UK’s favourite seaside destination, and Benidorm: the UK’s home away from home, and have created price breakdowns for each destination. We’ve taken into consideration the average cost of accommodation and travel, food and drink and local activities and have also included information on average temperatures and how each location is protecting its tourists from coronavirus, allowing you to make a well-informed decision before booking.
Hotels & Transport
After collecting data on the cost of accommodation, travel, eating out and things to do, a staycation in Blackpool came out on top as the cheapest option overall. We found that hotels in Blackpool are significantly cheaper and that transport to the seaside resort is less than half the price of the flights to Benidorm. A staycation also offers a more diverse range of transport options from major cities around the UK.
Winner of Hotels: Blackpool
Winner of Transport: Blackpool
Things to Do & Weather
We also found that the average price for things to do is cheaper in Blackpool, although Benidorm offers more free activities and a selection of incredible beaches that don’t require payment. The weather in Benidorm is also a clear winner with highs of 27 degrees. In August, Blackpool’s climate reaches a mere 15.2, so if you’re looking for a beach resort that guarantees sun, Benidorm is the place to go. The average rainfall in Benidorm is also significantly lower than that in Blackpool, so although you can visit local sites for less in the UK, you may find that attractions like the Pleasure Beach limit the number of rides you can enjoy if there’s bad weather.
Winner of Things to Do = A draw
Winner of Weather = Benidorm
Food & Drink: Eating Out
An area where Benidorm excels in is food and drink. The price of eating out in restaurants is relatively similar to the cost of dining out in Blackpool, however, the average price for beer is much cheaper. Benidorm also offers a wider selection of cuisine with both traditional Spanish eateries and English inspired pubs and cafes, as well as the hidden gem Tapas Alley where you can find restaurants that boast delicious tapas dishes and fresh sangria.
A huge factor we considered when debating the needs of Brits on holiday was the selection of bars available with each option. We even compared coequal bars that showcase the weird and wonderful sights of each destination. In Blackpool, you can enjoy the delights of Funny Girls where drag queens put on cabaret shows, whereas in Benidorm you can witness the mysteries of ‘Sticky Vicky’ in The Red Lion Bar. Both of these bars guarantee an entertaining, alcohol-fuelled evening although, in terms of rating, Funny Girls comes out on top.
Winner of Eating Out: Benidorm
Another element we considered when comparing the pros and cons of a holiday abroad vs a staycation was wardrobe requirements. In Blackpool, your existing clothes should suffice, although you probably will need to pack a diverse selection of outfits due to the variations in temperature, rainfall and wind. However, for a trip to Benidorm, a full summer wardrobe will need to be prepared as well as a selection of swimwear, sun cream and other holiday amenities.
Winner of Wardrobe: Blackpool
Protection from Covid-19
The final variable we considered is how each location is protecting tourists from Covid-19. Benidorm has devised a ‘Beach Safety Plan’ that sees Playa de Levante and Poniente Beach divided into 20 sectors. 12 open-access sectors will be separated into individual areas catering up to four people, with some sectors reserved for the over 70s. Capacity has been limited to 26,066 people and the beaches will remain open from 9 am to 9 pm. Holidayers can reserve a sunbed space via an app or in-person through information centres.
Blackpool currently has no measures in place, relying instead on the common sense of individuals. Tourists are urged to follow social distancing measures and the guidelines set in place by the government. With this in mind, Benidorm seems a much safer option if you’re looking to protect yourself from Covid-19, however, it’s also imperative that you take into consideration the risk of contracting the virus while travelling.
Winner of Protection: Benidorm
Blackpool 4 v 4 Benidorm
It’s a tie! Overall, our research found that for a cheaper getaway a staycation to Blackpool is your best option. However, Benidorm managed to win back points for having better social distancing measures, plenty of free activities, more affordable alcohol and, of course, warmer weather.
Remember, there are variables with each set of results, so the ultimate decision lies with you and what you expect from your next holiday. And, after the tribulations of 2020 we’re sure that no matter what kind of holiday you choose, you’ll be happy and grateful to be safe and in the company of family and friends.
Here’s the full data set:-