The UK economy faces a “choppy recovery” over the next two years, with punishing benefit and public spending cuts, and this is reflected in Britons’ travel plans. Before Christmas 2009, 17 per cent of those polled by HolidayExtras.com said they were planning to book cheaper holidays; when asked again in August this figure rocketed to 25 per cent.
Money-saving is still a top priority with UK families, a third of those polled said they took a cheaper summer holiday compared to last year.
When asked about how they’re cutting back on their holiday budget, the internet was the key for most in getting the best price. A quarter of people admitted to spending three to four hours cutting the cost of their holiday, yet a surprising 12 per cent said they only spend half an hour online. The likelihood is that they’re missing out on considerable savings.
Less than half of those asked (46 per cent) said they make arrangements for their holiday add-ons at the time of booking their holiday, with the other half leaving it to the last minute.
With the average saving made by booking ahead with HolidayExtras.com being in excess of 40%, if each of the 21.7 million families in the UK booked their holiday add-ons, including airport parking and hotels, 30 days ahead of travelling they could collectively save a whopping £18 million!
Families are the most concerned about finances so it’s no surprise that they are the most organised; 13 per cent of families book their holiday a full year ahead.
Predictably, the 18 to 24 age group are the least organised, with 12 per cent admitting that they leave buying extras, such as airport parking and travel insurance, until just a week before they fly.
For many, the most common reason for last minute bookings is spontaneous holidays. This is especially true of impulsive retirees, 36% over fiftys booked only a few weeks ahead of their travel date.
HolidayExtras.com’s CEO, Mathew Pack, said: “We’re all watching the pennies at the moment, so it’s surprising to see that some people are ignoring the obvious savings that can be made just by booking ahead.”
According to HolidayExtras.com, those who’ve set their heart on a bargain could save hundreds, especially on the run up to Christmas. The key tactic is to book ahead, whether it’s a holiday, airport parking or a hotel.