With the summer season drawing to close, travellers are looking to go further afield for some winter sun. Compared to this time last year, Autumn bookings are already showing 30% stronger growth than for the Summer season - according to the leading online travel booking site, Expedia.co.uk.
But when it comes to packing, Brits overindulge, and this may have cost them up to £270 million this summer.* One in six have admitted to paying excess baggage charges for their bulging suitcases, while one in ten paid an average of £50 in excess baggage in the last 12 months.
Nearly a third (58%) of Brits consider a city break the hardest holiday to pack for. The broad range of activities from site-seeing to shows and dinners leave Brits panic-packing outfits for every eventuality.
“Expedia data shows that city breaks are the most common type of break for autumn travellers and with more people travelling this autumn it seems we may need some guidance on how to pack more efficiently, so we’re launching a packing challenge to find Britain’s best packers.” Commented Giovanna Picciano of Expedia.co.uk
The challenge “Case Closed” which launches on 1st October at game.expedia.com will challenge participants to pit their packing skills against other players through the viral game and also against their friends through a Facebook application to find the champion packers.
And it’s not only how much to pack that Brits are struggling with, but also what they are allowed to pack. 72% of Brits have had items confiscated at the security check with cosmetics (19%) and food (12%) among the top two.
While nearly half of us (40%) spend between one and two days preparing for our holiday, nearly a third (27%) admit to spending less than an hour packing their suitcases. These hasty packing habits could be a major cause of Brits baggage issues. Three quarters of those asked (73%) admitted to not using everything they packed.
“Our research shows that we are struggling with luggage restrictions and this is causing excess stress and unnecessary cost. Good preparation can take a least a day yet the average length of stay for autumn break is just a couple of days. We want to enable people to stay a little longer to get the full benefit from their break and justify the preparation time so we’ve secured thousands of deals for autumn to stay an extra night for free nights or up to get 35% off this Autumn.” ” says Giovanna Picciano, Expedia.co.uk.
The Expedia Autumn Sale will run until 18th October and will offer discounts for travel through to March 2011
“When packing preparation is key. Think back to your last holiday, and think about what you really wore. Then make a list. Be brutal – not sure that dress really fits you anymore? Leave it! Think in outfits – there’s no point taking your new favourite shoes if they don’t go with anything else in your case. Most of all stay calm, and be practical – you really don’t need your whole wardrobe for a two week break!” says fashion writer, Siam Goorwich
The research also reveals that all Brits really want to do while on holiday is truly escape from the norm with iPods and mobile phones featuring way down the list of holiday must-haves. Bulky books and sun cream were the most important items for holidaymakers, so it’s no wonder Brits are struggling with heavy suitcases and confiscated items.
Top ten items people can’t live without on their holiday
3. Sun cream
5. Guide book
6. Mobile Phone
7. Travel adaptor
Expedia has teamed up with fashion writer and stylist, Siam Goorwich to help holidaymakers with their packing woes:
Top tips for the perfect holiday wardrobe
Be honest with yourself
There’s no point dragging that bikini/ dress/ pair of shorts half way across the world if you don’t actually feel comfortable in them. If you’re not sure in your bedroom leave it.
Pack a cotton sarong
It will keep you cool in the heat, and warm if it gets a bit chilly. Also great for covering burnt bits!
Create a capsule wardrobe
On a city break you want to feel and look good, but ultimately it’s all about speed and ease – you’re only there for a couple of days, so don’t want to waste time faffing over outfits. Take time at home to put together the perfect capsule wardrobe. First choose a colour theme, and then pack versatile items that you can mix and match together. Layers are also great – so you can move from day to night without having to waste time going back to your hotel.
These boots were made for walking
City break’s usually mean lots of walking, so be sensible in your shoe selection. There’s no point only taking your Louboutins if you’re sight-seeing in Rome. Pick something like a biker or riding boot which is comfortable, stylish, waterproof, and will also work for day and night.
Wear what you can on the plane!
It’s a bit cheeky, but for the time being it’s your bags, not you, which are weighed at check-in. Therefore save suitcase space and stretch your weight restriction by thinking carefully about your travel gear. Obviously be sensible (turning up to the airport piste perfect might earn you a couple of strange looks), but you can definitely get away with wearing your jacket and heaviest boots on the plane!
Leave your glad-rags at home
A ski resort is no place for a stiletto (believe me, I’ve tried), or a party dress for that matter. Apres ski is all about a stylish jumper and jean so don’t waste valuable suitcase space on anything more glamorous!