The need to continually balance our budgets has led many of us to find new and creative ways to get the most out of our spare time without breaking the bank. A summer holiday is one luxury that many of us just aren’t prepared to give up, even whilst reining in our expenses.
According to Travelex, many Brits are finding holiday satisfaction by splitting their holiday between the UK and abroad.
Home and away holiday
In a series of interviews and an online survey, Brits were questioned by the leading foreign exchange specialist as part of an annual study into British travel trends. Of those opting for a traditional two week holiday, 25 percent revealed that they plan to spend a maximum of just seven days outside the UK, with the other week spent somewhere in Britain or making day excursions from home – known as a ‘staycation’.
In fact, this year Travelex expects over three million British holidaymakers to choose this home and away trend , with 25 percent of those questioned in the survey stating it’s the first time they won’t be taking the full two weeks abroad.
The most common reason behind this was given as an understanding of how the financial landscape has changed recently, but a refusal to not give up completely on a foreign holiday – a savvy response typically seen by Brits since the credit crunch. The UK also has a lot of offer this summer with the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee cited as good reasons to stay on home soil.
Once the decision to split the holiday “half and half” has been made a variety of factors are also influencing the choice of destination. Feedback from the study revealed that issues such as foreign currency exchange rates and economic woes across the Eurozone have their part to play.
If only seven days are planned to be spent abroad, short-haul destinations are ideal with popular choices being Spain, Portugal and Greece. Currently in recession, all three countries are amongst the lowest in terms of cost of living , which, coupled with a rise in the value of the Pound against the Euro, means that Brits jetting off to Spain will find prices 40 percent cheaper than they were five years ago.
The increasing trend to take a shorter break and save money is expected to see parts of Northern and Southern Africa becoming an increasingly popular choice this year.
Despite being a world away in terms of culture, most of Africa is only 1-2 hours time difference from the UK, making it ideal for a short break as there won’t be any days spent recovering from jet lag. Recent currency stats reveal that the Pound is currently up by 10.34 percent against the South African Rand , where the average cost of a can of coke is 69p and £1.21 for a regular cappuccino. In addition to this Brits heading to South Africa will get £47 more than they would have done a year ago when exchanging £500.
Saving on foreign currency
Travellers who look to compare foreign currency exchange rates can take advantage of Travelex’s Price Promise Guarantee, which provides holidaymakers with the best deal or a refund on the difference.
To avoid fees associated with using credit or debit cards abroad, Travelex offers a range of prepaid currency cards. Available in seven different currencies, they can be loaded with currency before travelling then used like regular plastic to make purchases and ATM withdrawals whilst abroad.