Britons hoping for a bargain holiday abroad in Europe should head to the Balkans for an Airbnb costing an average of as little as £40 a night, a study revealed today.
Moldova, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and trending destination Albania have been named in new research as Europe’s cheapest countries for holiday rentals.
Research by AirDNA, which monitors Vrbo and Airbnb prices, revealed the average daily rate across Europe has increased by more than 15 per cent in just one year.
But there are still bargains to be found, with Moldova the cheapest at £40 a night, then North Macedonia at £41, Kosovo at £42, Albania at £52 and Serbia at £54.
AirDNA said that while Moldova is a lesser-travelled country, it can be an ‘enticing destination for those looking for inexpensive food, stays and exceptional wine’.
MOLDOVA – In Moldova, you could stay in a colourful one-bedroom flat with a ‘superhost’ rating for up to four guests for just £200 for a week in November in the capital of Chisinau
NORTH MACEDONIA – Those visiting North Macedonia could go for a one-bedroom apartment in the beach neighbourhood of Kaneo with sea views, costing just £244 for the week
KOSOVO – Tourists heading to Kosovo can get a two-bedroom cabin in countryside near the capital Prishtina for £237 a wee
ALBANIA – Those in Albania, which is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, can get a one-bedroom flat in Himara for £138 a week which has 83 reviews averaging 4.67 stars
SERBIA – Visitors to Serbia could stay at a one-bedroom studio in the heart of Belgrade, which has 120 reviews averaging five stars, for £310 for the weekOther nations with relatively cheap average nightly costs include Bulgaria at £63, Belarus at £67, Bosnia-Herzegovina at £68, Romania at £70 and Latvia at £71.
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However, at the other end of the scale, the most expensive are Monaco at £291 a night, Iceland at £199, Switzerland at £179, the UK at £176 and Greece at £175.
Researchers pointed out that even for those looking to visit the expensive countries, a good deal can often still be found out of the high season.
Average rates across Europe tend to be highest in mid-August and lowest at the beginning of February, they said.
One exception to this is Andorra, where December’s ski season pushes average rates 81 per cent higher than in the lowest month of November.
Another is Monaco, where the Formula 1 Grand Prix means rates in May are 79 per cent higher than in February.
The study also looked at cheaper cities within the pricier countries, highlighting the better value options of Birmingham in the UK at £118 a night, Arnhem in the Netherlands at £120, Luxembourg City at £133, West Mayo in Ireland at £145 and Reykjavík in Iceland at £209.
The firm said the return of international travel, economic recovery, better consumer confidence and the absence of pandemic restrictions had seen 2023 become ‘the year of the Europe trip’.
Demand has grown 19 per cent over the past year, although this has also pushed average day rates to a new high after a 15.7 per cent year-on-year increase.
Average daily rates for short-term rental stays across European countries over the past year ranged from less than £40 a night to more than £250 per night.
AirDNA, which has offices in Spain and the US, said it had carried out calculations to confirm how the time of year can have a huge impact on price.
It looked at the percentage change between the minimum and maximum average daily rate through the year.
Last year, European travellers paid £139 per night during the second week of August, making it the most expensive week for short-term rental stays.
But those who travelled to Europe in the first week of February – the cheapest week for short-term rental stays last year – paid 36 per cent less at £102 per night.
The differences in average daily rate from season to season vary significantly based on the area of Europe.
For example, in a highly seasonal market such as Andorra, Albania and Monaco, tourists can expect to pay far more during peak season months than off-season months.
In Albania, the summer sun meant travellers in August paid 81 per cent more than February’s low.
MONACO – Monaco is the most expensive place in Europe for an Airbnb rental, with a £291 a night average. You could get this one-bedroom flat there in November for £923 for the week
ICELAND – Iceland has an average price of £199 a night. This two-bed cottage in Ólafsfjörður would be £1,210 for the week in November
SWITZERLAND – There is a £179/night average to stay in Switzerland, with this one-bed chalet in Evolene costing £889 for the week in November
UNITED KINGDOM – The UK is the fourth most expensive in Europe, with a £176/night average. This one-bedroom flat in exclusive Kensington is available for £1,127 for the week in November
GREECE – There is a £175/night average for an Airbnb in Greece, with this one-bed flat in Crete costing £1,013 for the week in November
The researchers concluded: ‘If budget is a consideration, but you’re interested in traveling to these or other highly-seasonal countries, travelling during off-season months will likely get you the best travel deals.’
However, they also pointed out that those travelling to a country that has low seasonality will see similar rates regardless of the time of year.
Countries with low seasonality tend to be those where climate is not such a big factor as it might be in ski or beach destinations.
Leading Europe in this regard are France, Slovakia, Slovenia and Germany, where average daily rates for the cheapest off-season months of 2022 were only about 20 per cent less than those during the most expensive peak-season months.
MailOnline looked at availability on Airbnb for what is the off-season in most parts of Europe in November, inputting a search for seven nights from November 4 for two adults.
In Moldova, you could stay in a colourful one-bedroom flat with a ‘superhost’ rating for up to four guests for just £200 for a week in the capital of Chisinau.
The average daily rates in euros for Airbnb properties. See below for an interactive version
This graph shows destinations ordered by seasonal variation in price. In Andorra, December’s ski season pushes average rates 81 per cent higher than in the lowest month of November
The cheapest month for average daily rates is shown in orange, while the priciest is shown in blue. For example, Albania (at the top) is cheapest in February but most expensive in August
Average rates across Europe are highest in mid-August and lowest at the start of February
Those visiting North Macedonia could go for a one-bedroom apartment in the beach neighbourhood of Kaneo with sea views, costing just £244 for the week.
Tourists heading to Kosovo can get a two-bedroom cabin in countryside near the capital Prishtina for £237 a week.
Those in Albania, which MailOnline reported last month is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, can get a one-bedroom flat in Himara for £138 a week which has 83 reviews averaging 4.67 stars.
And visitors to Serbia could stay at a one-bedroom studio in the heart of Belgrade, which has 120 reviews averaging five stars, for £310 for the week.
Source : Daily Mail