The weekend getaway, and even the Staycation phenomenon, for a main holiday has been growing in popularity in the UK for a few years, particularly since the economic downturn in 2007, but what is the true cost of that weekend getaway to Brighton for example when compared to the cost of having your own luxury villa with villas in hoskote a private pool in a quality resort such as Moraira or Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain for say a party or family of 4. Compare the costs: Take a reasonably priced self catering apartment in Brighton and the cost per week is around A�700 and little less for a weekend, or alternatively take a decent guesthouse (B&B) off the seafront with no pool or view for 2 nights and the cost is A�150 per night per room including breakfast. Taking the car can be a hassle when it comes to parking in Brighton, with the wardens and tow away teams being very active, let alone the cost of A�3.50 per hour at the meter or A�25 per day in the one of the car parks. Although at a hotel you should be able to obtain a A�2.50 per day parking voucher, providing you can find a parking space. The most practical and cost effective route is to take the train at approximately A�25 per head return from say London as an example. Having a substantial breakfast at the guesthouse will give you the energy to forego any big lunch, so a simple lunch or sandwiches may well suffice until the evening, which will cost between A�35 to A�50 per head including wine at a local small restaurant such as Sams, or eat for less at pizza type places. Cote restaurant, located by the Dome, does excellent pre theatre meals at under A�12 per head excluding wine, so eating early in some places can save money, though may be too early to eat for some. Enjoy a drink or two before and after the meal at one of the many pubs or bars and the cost can easily rocket. Visit a few interesting sites such as the must see Pavilion costing A�8.00 per person or a family ticket can be had for A�25.70 for 4 (tour takes 1-2 hours), as well as the big wheel at over A�8 each for a 3 minute ride, not to mention the pier amusements and you’ll find it’s easy to let a few hundred pounds slip through your hands within a few hours. A stroll around the North and South Lanes offers more interesting niche product shops and antiques than the regular shopping mall and high street, which is a welcome cost free exercise, providing you can resist the items on display. Take the bus tour around Brighton and that is A�10 each or A�20 for a family ticket, or a sea life aquarium visit at A�16.20 or A�11.40 for a child each, so for a family of 4 the cost would be A�55.20. When you are in a B&B everything is extra, so taking that taxi or buying those ice creams add up. Taking an all-day bus pass is great value, providing it is used well. Below is an example of costs that can be incurred on a London to Brighton weekend trip for 2 couples or a family of 4 with information from Visit Brighton’s website for tourism and links, as well as local information from local guesthouses and self catering accommodation sites. London Victoria to Brighton for 4 return A�100. Accommodation 2 nights inc breakfast in a B&B guesthouse or self catering A�600- A�700. Two evening meals out at A�35 each per night A�280. Sandwiches, snacks for 2 days for 4 A�80 Drinks at A�10 per head per night for 4 A�80 Entertainment tickets A�50 pp per day total A�400 Total A�1,540. By comparison the cost shown, below, is an example of taking a week to a luxury villa with private pool and all associated costs in May. Take 4 flights in May at A�120 inc return each A�480, via cheap flight options. Travel to Gatwick airport from London and return A�108 Take a villa in May say at A�400 inclusive per week. Car hire A�150 inclusive of fully comprehensive insurance and an allowance of fuel at say A�40, to enable you to sightsee and go to beaches, markets, historic towns and places of interest and have enough fuel to return the car to the airport. Allow a full day and use all attractions at say Terra Mitica for A�102 covering 2 adults and 2 children. Kids will always be happy to spend all their time at the poolside, though the great local beaches with warm waters are a major draw and for free. Allowing a week’s luxury hamper of wine and food to cover breakfasts, lunches, BBQ’s and evening meal at say 250 euro’s for 4 and the total is A�1,500, being A�40 less than a weekend in Brighton. Travel for 3 nights and the cost is less with those agents that rent villas for less than a week. Go as a larger group and the cost per person reduces more so. No doubt, other tourist places in the UK are little different in their charges for accommodation and entertainment than Brighton, so I am just using it as an example to compare costs of a normal UK weekend stay with a week’s luxury villa stay. Compare the costs of both and take into account those little extra costs in the UK of a taxi, snacks or drinks and you can soon be heading for the ATM a few times. We all need that short break to getaway and have some quality time with friends and loved ones, so taking a short haul trip to a luxury villa in wonderful locations such as Moraira, Javea, Denia or Calpe along the Costa Blanca gives you more time for less cost than a weekend in Brighton, which really is a no brainer.