Summer Holiday Time


BY the time you read this I will be another year older, will have tucked another year’s worth of experience under my ever expanding belt, and will have finished reflecting on the year gone by and the year ahead. I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more birthdays have become a time for reflection rather than celebration.

Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to a nice meal with Sands at a favourite restaurant, and a few drinks in the Marina after dinner … I am easily pleased and more than content.



This year though the restaurant and the marina will have been quieter than in previous years as the aftermath of the recession still plays havoc with the lives of many living in Spain.

But enough of that!

It is the summer, so time for a summer holiday. Living in a perfect summer holiday destination spot like Almerimar it is hard sometimes to think about having a holiday, (why go anywhere else?), but it has been a busier year than usual, and I haven’t been back to the UK for many a summer, so I figured a week back in the UK would be a good idea. That is until I looked at the cost of the flights, which got me thinking.

Consider the costs of a flight back to the UK in August with a low cost airline from Almeria Airport. One week, including taxes but excluding booking fee and baggage was quoted as 297.99€ for one person. Add on the cost of airport transfers at both ends, insurance, meals and drinks at the airport etc and I think a total cost of say 400€ for one week would be a realistic figure.

By way of comparison for 400€ here in Almerimar I could get a Menu del Dia for five days a week for Sands and I for 100€. A couple of cups of coffee and a tostada for breakfast, 7 days a week for the two of us, 55€, a nice dinner and wine on Saturday night 90€, a paella and a bottle of red on Sunday lunch 50€. That would leave just over 100€, or 15€ a day for a few beers and tapas. A whole week or eating out, having a few drinks, doing nothing but relaxing and enjoying the beaches, the weather, the marina, the events that have been organised. Sounds like a pretty good holiday to me, and it would be a holiday for 2.

We are reading all the time about how people are staying at home for their holidays (Spanish and British), and are spending their hard earned cash in their own countries, and who can blame them? What though, should the expatriate do? I can honestly see the dilemma. Should you head back ‘home’ to be with friends and family that you hardly see, and who in all probability can’t afford to come and see you as often, or stay in your ‘adopted home’.

On the surface a tough decision, but at the end of the day is it? Britain will always be there, and God willing so will friends and family for many a year, but I suspect that, without a good summer behind them, come this winter it could be a lonely and depressing place for many expatriates in Spain as their local bars and restaurants are forced to close.

Maybe this summer, more than ever, expatriates should stay in this country they have chosen as their home, and spend a little more than normal, but less than a flight back to the UK, in their local bars and restaurants!

Costa Almeria Living: By Chris Marshall


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