I have wanted to write a post about this for a little while. With tens of thousands of students and young adults visiting the party zones of the Mediterranean each summer and spending extortionate amounts of money just to party. Is there somewhere else you could go that is just as good?
Problems i have with the Mediterranean
One of the biggest issues i have with places like Ibiza, Magaluf, Kavos ect. Is that they all overcharge for things that you came on holiday for. Now i am not saying that these places are not good, but if you are on a budget, could you find somewhere just as good for less money. Having recently visited Thailand for a family holiday, and found i saved money compared to a holiday in the Mediterranean. So i took a closer look.
Simple cost savings
When i started looking into this i broke it down into some simple, but important factors. The first of these is the time of year. For my comparisons i have used a 14 night stay in June to compare the costs. This will give you a great insight into the differences. So let’s start with flights prices.
Using various price comparison sites i have found that Skyscanner gives you the best comparison. I searched for the average cost of flights to Ibiza using another price comparison site and found these starting from around £154 per person on budget airlines once you add in luggage allowances. This was for a direct flight of around 2.5 hours. I then compared this to the best price if ound for a flight to Phuket on Skyscanner of £617 per person. Again this included a luggage allowance, but does involve a stop in Bangkok and the total trip taking around 14 hours. So Ibiza is looking good at this point, but i need somewhere to stay? How much are hotels?
Using a price comparison site as a guide, a hotel in ibiza will cost around £500 per room for a 14 night stay in a 3 star hotel. This cost increases dramatically if you want to stay in a party hotel. But this cost will give you a great baseline for costs. Then using Skyscanner for hotels in Phuket you can get a great 3 star hotels for around £25 per night per room. This makes the total cost of the stay around £350 for the same length of time. So the points go to Phuket on this one. But what about the cost of getting to my hotel?
If you chose to make your own way to you hotel then you will end up with transfer costs. This can be one of the cheaper ways of getting to the hotel if you are sharing the costs with your friends. The average cost of a hotel transfer in Ibiza is around £20 to san antonio bay. The cost of a transfer from Phuket airport to Patong beach is also around £20 so the honors are even on this one.
Using the local transport in a holiday destination is a great way to see and explore the area. If you want to explore ibiza, you can expect to pay around £1.75 for a single use of the local transportation network. In phuket you can expect to pay around £0.75 to use the local baht bus. This is a very cost effective way of seeing the area. If you used the local transport each day then you would end up with a considerable saving by visiting Phuket.
When ever you go on holiday you will always need to eat, but how much does that cost? In Ibiza an average meal for 1 person will start at around £7.50 in an average restaurant. So if the average person eats 2 meals a day during their stay, they will spend around £210 on food. The cost of an average meal in an average restaurant in Phuket is £2.40. So using the same rules of 2 meals a day, the average person would spend just £67.20 on food. This makes Phuket the clear winner in terms of savings.
Everyone like to have a drink on holiday and both locations have this in abundance. In Ibiza the cost of an average bottle beer will set you back around £3.50. Whilst some drinks can set you back around £13 in the clubs for a vodka and coke. Many bars will entice you in with free shots too which can also save you some money. Let’s compare that to Phuket, where an average beer will cost around £1.90. Drinks in the clubs will usually set you back around £4.50 per drink. If you like your shots, a bottle of spirits will set you back around £7 for a 0.7L bottle. So for me Phuket would be cheaper for alcohol, but what about water.
Water and soft drinks
The price of a bottle of water can vary massively around the world. In Ibiza the average bottle of water will set you back arou £0.95. But in Phuket this same bottle will cost you around £0.33. Also many hotels will offer 2 free bottles of water each day to help keep you hydrated. As for soft drinks you can expect to pay around £1.60 for a soft drink in Ibiza against £1.10 in Phuket. If you do enjoy a soft drink then this is another saving that Phuket will offer you.
Clubs and bars
Ibiza is well known for its great clubs and party atmosphere, but that does come at a price. The average entry to one of the major clubs is around £40 per night. This does not include the price of drinks which can often be in excess of £10 per drink. That being said ibiza is home to some of the biggest world class DJ’s for the summer and you are paying for the show rather than the clubbing experience. But Phuket also has its own nightclubs where admission is free. They have the same style of music as ibiza although the party atmosphere is far more relaxed. But you can still have an amazing experience for free. Drinks in the Phuket clubs will cost around £5 per drink meaning your money will go much further too. So Phuket wins again here for me. But what about festivals and special events.
Festivals and special events
Such events are usually held away from the main bars in both places, but you can expect to pay a fee for getting in. the typical cost for a festival in Ibiza is around £30. Again drinks prices are on the high side, due to there often being nowhere else to go. Phuket does also have it’s own festival known a a full moon party. There is an admission cost of around £25 for this, but that does include a party bucket that will usually contain a couple of free bottles of beers.
Given the fact that both locations will have temperatures in the mid to high 30’s and ample beach spaces, it would be hard to split these 2 destinations. One of the biggest factors in this is the flight time. It will take you around an extra 12 hours to get to Phuket, which is a big drawback for this. But having looked at all the major costs involved in a clubbing style holiday, in my opinion it is cheaper to visit Phuket than spend a fortnight in Ibiza during the same period.