31st August 2022
‘I’m fleeing to the Algarve for the winter to avoid Britain’s sky-high energy bills’

The Telegraph Online reports on how  more people are taking advantage of remote working by relocating somewhere warmer and cheaper.


Ms Husbands went to Tenerife last winter after realising that she did not need to live in Britain to work.


Sophia Husbands has never particularly liked Britain’s cold and grey winter weather. However, she began seriously considering leaving the country for sunnier climes after gloomy forecasts that energy bills would soon more than double.


Ms Husbands, 43, went to Tenerife last winter after realising that she did not need to be in Britain to work. As an IT trainer and the founder of Sophia World, a wellness brand, she can do her work online – and anywhere in the world. Now, as the cost of living soars, she can save money by living abroad, too.


She is now among a growing number of Britons fleeing the country after realising they can achieve a much better quality of life for less money during the winter.


Energy bills are expected to skyrocket to as much as £5,386 for the typical home from January, according to analysts Cornwall Insight. While the cost of energy is rising in most countries, a warmer climate means there’s no need to turn on the heating, which in Britain is the biggest factor pushing up energy costs for households.


Last winter, Ms Husbands spent €650 (£550) a month on accommodation in Tenerife. She stayed in a one-bedroom flat within a complex that had two swimming pools and the price included energy bills. She was there for three months, the maximum allowed in the EU during a six-month period.


This was far less than the £725 she is now paying to rent a studio in Windsor. She has her own kitchenette and bathroom, and also has access to a larger shared kitchen and laundry facilities. She has a month-to-month tenancy that gives her the flexibility to leave again in the coming winter.


She is still deciding where she wants to go, with the Algarve in Portugal and Vietnam among her options. She could pay as little as £450 to rent her own Airbnb flat in the Algarve, which includes the cost of energy bills. She would be saving £275 a month and would be able to walk to the beach. The weather in the winter is about 10 degrees warmer than in Britain.


Ms Husbands said: “I don’t think I like living in the UK anymore. It’s a combination of stuff. It’s obviously the weather – I like being in the sunshine – that’s one. Another factor now is the cost of living.”


Meanwhile Tímea Pintye, 32, set up her own business so that she could work anywhere in the winter. She owns a digital marketing agency and meets her clients face to face when she’s in London during the summer, but moves the meetings online when she’s travelling.


Ms Pintye set up her own business so that she could work anywhere in the winter.


She pays £800 a month to rent a room in a shared house in Clapham. When she was in the Canary Islands last winter, it cost her £700 a month to live by herself in an Airbnb. Ms Pintye said flat owners offer hefty discounts to those who want to stay for a month or longer. She spent some time in Mexico and Argentina and has visited various countries over the past several years.


She hasn’t decided where to go yet, but is considering South Africa. In doing so, she’ll be escaping a steep rent increase to £1,100 a month.


“I don’t have to feel bad about spending money on a winter getaway anymore because I’ll actually be saving money by being away,” she said.


Her friend owns the house she lives in and lets her leave her belongings in the basement while he rents her room out for a few months.


“You wake up to the sunshine on your face,” she said. “I think that’s the most beautiful feeling in the world. You’re in a new place with a new culture and so much to learn, so much to see. Everything’s on your doorstep, everything’s cheap.”


As a property owner, Sonny Suberu had the added challenge of what to do with his flat when he first decided to leave London for the winter. He went to Egypt and Kenya last year based on the recommendations of friends and family. This autumn he may go back to Kenya or try Brazil.


Mr Suberu is using his savings to help pay for his mum’s energy bills


He has been renting out his flat for £1,500 a month and his tenant pays the energy bills. He has been staying in his mum’s home in London and using his savings to help her out with her bills during the year.


Mr Suberu, an IT consultant and author, said he was paying $200 (£85) a month for a room in a two-bedroom flat on the beach in a small town in Kenya. When he stayed in Nairobi, which is more expensive, accommodation was costing him around $550 (£467) for a single room in a shared flat on Airbnb.


“I would absolutely recommend it, to be honest, because your standard of living is higher,” he said.


For more information see   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/fleeing-algarve-winter-avoid-britains-sky-high-energy-bills/