Britons Abandon Holidays to Reduce Debts
Published: 20 June 2011
By Julian Stone Leave a Comment
Updated: 20 June 2011
Britons forego holidays to get personal finances in order – with UK holidays hardest hit.
With rising food and energy prices, coupled with a growth in inflation, it’s no secret that many UK households are finding it harder to make ends meet.
But a new report by ING Direct has found that many households have decided not to book a summer holiday, hoping the saving will help them keep control of expenditure and debts.
It’s not surprising news, especially as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service recently found we have an average unsecured debt of £19,338 – excluding mortgages.
ING Direct’s figures mean that 17 million Britons will not take a holiday this year – 2.7 million more than in 2008, just before the financial crisis bit.
And worryingly the figures are likely to have the most negative impact on domestic tourism revenues. ING’s research found that 88% of those who had failed to take a holiday over the last three years would usually have taken a vacation in the UK.
Those going abroad also face problems, with a strong pound giving them less spending power in popular holiday spots across the Eurozone, the US and elsewhere.
Even those people going on holiday this year are looking for ways of cutting expenditure, with a trend towards shorter breaks and half of holidaymakers intending to spend less that they usually did.
The report also uncovered a change of attitude towards spending – with fewer people paying for their holidays out of credit. In 2011, 36% of holidaymakers plan to foot the bill from savings – up from only 30% last year.
Moneyhighstreet comments: “For many households, cutting back on holidays or postponing them is a sensible short-term measure to get their finances back under control. In the longer term, they may want to look at debt consolidation measures to reduce their outgoings.
“However, there are lots of ways for holidaymakers to make their money go further – from choosing less popular destinations, right through to using a currency exchange broker to get a better exchange rate on their sterling.
“If you can afford to take at least a short break, though, do – it’ll give you renewed energy to tackle your personal finances over the coming year.”