Which is Cheaper: Going on Vacation or Building a Pool?

Have you ever dreamed of having a pool installed in your backyard, or would it be cheaper and less stressful to go on vacation?

We will look at which is cheaper and how many vacations you could take instead of building a pool.

Let’s dive in!

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

Cost of Building a Swimming Pool

To get a sense of which option is cheaper, we need to lay out the costs of each and start with the average prices for installing a private swimming pool.

Swimming pool costs can vary significantly depending on size and type. As a broad average, swimming pools cost around $35,000 and can take two to seven weeks for professionals to build. *

Total prices (the cost of labour and materials added together) can range from as little as $3,000 for an above-ground 12 ft x 24 ft swimming pool to $70,000 or more for a large stainless-steel pool.

Other average prices include $10,000 to $20,000 for a small pool with liner, $25,000 to $35,000 for a medium overflow pool, and $40,000 to $50,000 for a large fibreglass pool. 

Prices vary depending on the size and type of pool installed, as do timeframes. While it may take one to two weeks for an above-ground 12 ft x 24 ft pool to be built, it may take close to two months for a large stainless-steel pool installation. There are many other examples with time frames between these two examples (which represent the extreme ends in pricing and construction duration).

*It is generally inadvisable to attempt to construct a swimming pool DIY. However, those with sufficient skills and experience may want to take this on, especially if they have a suitable swimming pool DIY kit. All in all, though, you want to avoid running the risk of spending time and money building a pool only for it to go awry and require a professional to complete the job from scratch after all your efforts.

Modern blue water swimming pool in a luxury house with a fancy garden around it

Cost of Travelling Abroad

The cost of taking a holiday abroad can vary widely. Factors that can play a role include where you’re going to, the airliner you travel with, the cost of the hotel room, and if you are also paying for kids to holiday as part of a family trip.

Roughly, hotel bookings throughout Europe can cost a weekly trip of $250 to $1,000 per person. Flight prices may range anywhere from $2000 to $6000 per person, largely based on the location and the airliner.

This gives us an approximate range of $2250 to $7000 per person for a holiday to a spot in Europe. Of course, you’ll want to add spending money too.

That said, even if you have a family of four or five, a holiday abroad will cost significantly less than buying a private swimming pool. However, that is true if we are concerned with just one summer.

If, instead, you are more concerned with the cost of going on holidays every year (or at least most years) for years to come, then the difference in price between holidaying and buying a private swimming pool becomes increasingly tight.

If we take the average range given above and compare it with the overall average price of having a private swimming pool installed, opting for your own pool would prove more affordable after 50 years of holidaying abroad (sooner if you consider holiday spending money)

Okay, half a century is a long time! And while a swimming pool can prove cheaper after multiple decades, we imagine a swimming pool is not the only reason you’d go on holiday.

Therefore, it’s important to weigh all the reasons you might want to holiday and whether it’s worth buying a pool to stay home in the summer. You may decide that holidaying is still worth it, but maybe not every year (or as often as you otherwise would) if you have a swimming pool.

Beyond that, the reasons to buy or not buy a private swimming pool shouldn’t be limited purely to cost.

View of the city of Saint-Tropez, Provence, Cote d Azur, a popular destination for travel in Europe

So, Which is Cheaper?

Overall, opting for holidaying each year over buying a private swimming pool will prove more affordable in the short term. Still, throughout 50 or so years, a private swimming pool will become or get close to being more affordable.

However, as discussed, there are many reasons why you may or may not want to go on holiday, and talking 50+ years in the future becomes a bit absurd, especially as we’ve no idea how much a private swimming pool or holiday might cost in the decades ahead.

Also, some swimming pools last for a decade or so, whereas others can last for 40+ years. So, it can vary a lot depending on the type and size of the pool you’re considering and how soon it might need replacing.

By weighing all relevant considerations, including the costs, you can make a more informed overall decision as to whether or not having your private swimming pool is worth it. In many cases, if you want it, a swimming pool will be worth it overall, with all factors considered.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

Similar Posts