A winter vacation package that claimed it could save Brits more than £200 ($229) on their soaring bills for rent, food and fuel sold out within 24 hours this week.
(ESYJY) holidays, owned by low-cost British airline EasyJet
(ESYJY), launched its 28-day “Escape the UK” vacation package to Hurghada, Egypt, on Monday, pitching it to consumers who work remotely. The company said Tuesday it had sold out but did not say how many travelers had booked onto the trip.
The all-inclusive vacations, which start in early January, cost £650 ($736) per person, and include round trip flights, checked luggage, five-star hotel accommodations, all meals, snacks, bottomless drinks, wifi and airport transfers.
According to the company’s calculations, which it said were based on data from the Office for National Statistics and property website Rightmove, the average 28-day expenditure for a person renting in the United Kingdom is £877. That figure includes payments on rent, utility bills, internet, food, travel and streaming subscriptions.
Average rental costs were factored into the calculation rather than mortgage costs because they are “more directly comparable to staying in a hotel,” a company spokesperson told CNN Business.
“With no fuel bills, petrol costs or grocery bills to pay, the holiday comes out £227 ($257) cheaper per person than staying in the UK,” EasyJet holidays said in its press release.
According to the most recent ONS data reviewed by CNN, the average household spent £1,926 ($2,180) per month between April 2020 and March 2021.
When divided by 2.3 — the average number of people per household — monthly costs amount to £837 ($947) per person, nearly £190 ($215) more expensive than EasyJet holiday’s package vacation.
The cost of rent, food and energy has only skyrocketed since March 2021, plunging millions of households into the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Last month, consumer price inflation soared back to its July level of 10.1%, its highest rate in 40 years.
Data from Rightmove showed that national asking prices for rentals — excluding those in London — jumped 11% in the last quarter from the year before.
Brits are also struggling to keep the lights on as their energy bills have soared. The average annual energy bill for households rose 96% from last October to hit £2,500 ($2,830) this month.
EasyJet holidays said that it factored the average per person cost of gas and electricity bills this winter into its calculation, which it said came to £68 ($77) over a 28-day period.
But Brits who’ve booked onto the vacation package won’t necessarily save money, Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told CNN Business.
“Housing costs are often the biggest outgoing and unfortunately your mortgage company or landlord isn’t going to let you off your payment that month just because you’ve decided to go on holiday,” she said.
Coles added that household energy bills include a standing charge, which must be paid even if no energy is used. It is also not possible to simply skip paying internet, some TV services and local taxes for a month, she said.
“The practicalities of it don’t really work,” she said.