Brits abroad: We’re not all going on a Summer Holiday

10 August 2015

  • Less than half (46%) of the British public due to take their main holiday abroad this year
  • Over a third (36%) of people now prioritise accommodation over destination and other factors
  • Local currency remains top spending choice for holidaymakers

Despite the recovering economy and reduced pressure on household purse strings, less people have been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months and less people are planning a holiday abroad this year, according to the latest research from Halifax. Under half (46%) of people will head for other countries this year, a significant reduction on 2014 when 56% of people managed to escape the British weather. In addition, over a third of people (36%) have not been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months, up from just over a quarter (28%) in 2014.

‘Staycations‘ appear to be an attractive alternative, with a fifth (22%) choosing to take their main holiday within the UK this year. This could well be a reflection of holidaymakers’ current spending priorities, with accommodation proving to be where they say they are choosing to spend the most money (36%), ahead of the holiday destination itself (19%). Over a quarter of people (28%) do not intend to go on holiday at all.

Cash versus card
Although it has been widely reported that the use of cash is dwindling on home turf, it is a completely different story for holidaymakers spending abroad. Two thirds (65%) of people who had been on holiday abroad in the past 12 months used local currency bought in advance as their main or secondary payment method, and 26% mainly used credit cards during their most recent foreign holiday.

In 2014, the Clarity credit card has saved customers over £17.5million in foreign exchange fees. According to Halifax customer data, £470million was spent by Clarity card customers abroad throughout 2014.

Jon Roberts, Halifax Credit Cards said: “It’s clear that despite the improving economy, many people are still not ready to splash the cash on foreign holidays. The spending money you take is one of the biggest considerations when planning a well earned break and many people could save extra by taking out a fee free credit card such as the Halifax Clarity credit card instead of buying local currency. This is also a much safer way to spend money abroad.”

Bargain hunters

The vast majority of those (73%) who went on a trip abroad in the last twelve months tried to save money on the overall cost, with two fifths (39%) shopping around for deals, one in four (23%) using low cost airlines, and 15% even resorting to taking their own food and drink.

Two fifths of people booked as early as possible to take advantage of ‘earlybird’ discounts, with the majority (51%) of people who have travelled abroad in the last 12 months booking their trip 3 months or more in advance. Almost a quarter (23%) booked their break six months before travelling.