Super-cheap holiday deals have spawned a new breed of addicted travellers - the `jet pack` - who think nothing of endangering friendships, jeopardising their career or severing family ties in their quest to satisfy their getaway hunger.
New research from www.teletextholidays.co.uk shows almost half (46 per cent) of UK pleasure-seekers have bunked off work and risked their job rather than miss a great deal on a trip away.
More than a third (36 per cent) of holiday hunters have broken a date and destroyed a blossoming romance before surrendering a good deal, while almost four in ten (37 per cent) have dumped a mate for their birthday rather than relinquish that bargain holiday.
One fifth (20 per cent) have even ducked out of a family wedding rather than risk missing that great deal weekend away.
The research also reveals destination is no longer the deciding factor for holidaymakers: close to two fifths (40 per cent) of people now book a holiday purely because the price is right.
Arabella Marsland of teletextholidays.co.uk, said: “There`s a new breed of UK travellers emerging and that`s the dedicated jet pack. This person will spend hours trawling the Internet for great deals, subscribe to travel newsletters and leave the country at the drop of a hat if the price is right - even if they know nothing of the destination they`re headed to. Our research revealed close to half (47 per cent) of holiday-makers have re-arranged a work or social engagement rather than let it stand in the way of a great trip.”
This new breed of Brits lay the blame for their obsession at the door of cheap flight airlines, with more than half (53 per cent) claiming the bargain getaways on offer are too good to resist. So good in fact, that 15 per cent of 18-35 year olds have been on at least three holidays in the past 12 months and a further 10 per cent have spent three or more weekends abroad.
For some, holiday hunting is not just a past-time, it`s an obsession: close to one fifth (18 per cent) of 25-35 year-olds say they are addicted to frequent holiday deal- hunting. Of these, more than a quarter (28 per cent) have regular subscriptions to online travel newsletters and get news of bargain deals delivered straight to their PCs. Close to one in 10 (eight per cent) spend two hours at work organising their holiday (18 per cent spend up to one hour) and 22 per cent visit a travel related website once a week to keep in touch with bargains.
This new breed of holiday hunter isn`t the same the nation over, however. Londoners are the most prone to travel: close to one fifth (19 per cent) of Londoners took three holidays in the past year and 21 per cent spent three weekends abroad. In contrast, Scots are less likely to venture far from home: only six per cent spent three weekends abroad in the past 12 months and a mere three per cent took three holidays in the last year.
Only 13 per cent of the Welsh say they are addicted to frequent holiday deal-hunting (compared to the national average of 16 per cent) and it shows: only six per cent of this loyal race would miss a family wedding in order to take advantage of a great deal.
In contrast, more than a fifth (21 per cent) of Midlanders are addicted to holiday deal hunting (21 per cent), thus accounting for the significant 42 per cent who would waste no time choosing a great deal over a family wedding.