- Only one-third of holidaymakers stick to their spending budget on overseas trips
- On a holiday spending budget of £552 the average overspend is £242
- But perceived value remains key to destination choice: Turkey and Spain score but France, Dubai and Italy get the thumbs down
Value for money may be the key factor in deciding on a destination for an overseas trip but a new report by Post Office® Travel Money reveals that overspending is widespread once UK tourists get to their holiday hotspot¹.
People budget an average of £552 in spending money but only one-third stick to this. The research showed that those who admitted overspending bust their budget by £242 – almost 44 per cent more than they intended.
Yet the overall cost is a primary consideration when choosing where to holiday. The Post Office research found that 27 per cent of holidaymakers picked the destination for their last overseas trip because they had found it good value on a previous visit². One-in-five (19 per cent) chose a package that was cheap to a resort where they knew living costs were low.
With an 87 per cent positive rating, Turkey topped the list of destinations rated good value by survey respondents who had visited there before. Others to score well were the Spanish mainland (83 per cent), Greece (83 per cent), Portugal (82 per cent), Spanish islands (81 per cent) and the USA (81 per cent).
Only half the survey sample rated France, the destination that most had previously visited (58 per cent), as good value. Dubai also got the thumbs down from holidaymakers with only 52 per cent considering it value for money. And just 58 per cent thought Italy good value, underlining the results of the recent Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer in which Sorrento emerged as the most expensive resort of 20 surveyed across Europe and the USA.
Similar perceptions of good and bad value were held by people who had not previously visited a destination. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of those surveyed by the Post Office believed that Dubai would be bad value, while 49 per cent felt this about France and 44 per cent about Italy. 84 per cent believed both Turkey and mainland Spain to be good value.
However, Bulgaria rated even better. 85 per cent of those who had never visited perceived the country to be good value. Against this, only half (52 per cent) of those who had visited Bulgaria said they would return because of its value. Furthermore, 10 per cent said they would not return because it cost more than expected. This was a surprising result since Sunny Beach recently topped the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer as Europe’s cheapest resort.
As a result of their views about resort value, Turkey emerges as the holiday destination to which most people would return4. Almost two-thirds of people who had been before (64 per cent) said they would visit Turkey again because it was good value. Almost as many felt the same way about mainland Spain (63 per cent), while three-in-five of previous visitors would go back to the Balearic Islands, Greece, Portugal, Croatia and the Canary Islands.
In sharp contrast, only 29 per cent said they would go back to Dubai because they felt it was good value while only a third (34 per cent) said that they would return to France. Just two-in-five (39 per cent) would make another trip to Italy because they felt it was good value.
When it comes to decision-making, the Post Office research found that UK holidaymakers are remarkably democratic, with over half making joint decisions with their partners about destination, holiday type, accommodation and where to eat. It was only when asked about foreign currency decisions that men assumed greater responsibility.
Of the survey respondents who said they made financial decisions themselves, 52 per cent of men compared with 42 per cent of women were responsible for deciding how much currency to take abroad. 59 per cent of men compared with 47 per cent of women also chose their currency provider. And, if they needed more currency while abroad, 50 per cent of men decided where to get it compared with 35 per cent of women.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Our new research shows the extent to which value is a determining factor in destination choice. Holidaymakers can best arm themselves with information that will help them to make informed decisions about value by monitoring exchange rates to see where sterling has strengthened most this year.
“Buy sufficient currency before leaving home to get a better exchange rate than at the airport where rates are likely to be poor. Considering the average budget is well over £500 with the average overspend on this amount being almost £250, it is worth remembering there are improved exchange rates in our branches and online for higher value foreign currency transactions.”
Details of exchange rates for over 70 currencies are available at www.postoffice.co.uk where any of these can be pre-ordered for next day home delivery or to over 11,500 Post Office branches. 30 currencies are available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches while 10,000 offer euro and over 4,000 branches offer US dollars and Turkish lira over the counter. All currencies can be pre-ordered at any Post Office branch.
For more information, please contact:
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
01798 874177 / 07976 285997
¹ Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (4-6 April) among 2,085 UK adults of whom 1,833 had been on a holiday overseas. Their total budget for spending while on holiday was £552.13 on average. 33 per cent stuck to their budget. 23 per cent did not set a budget but 46 per cent overspent by an average of £242.07.
² Source: Omnibus research (4-6 April). When asked why they chose their last overseas destination, 27 per cent said it was because they had been before and found it good value. 24 per cent replied that it was somewhere they had always wanted to visit and so they discounted the cost while 19 per cent said it was because the holiday cost was cheap and they knew resort costs would also be good value.
³ Source: Omnibus research (4-6 April). Perceptions of value about living costs in overseas holiday destinations based on those who HAVE visited previously:
% people who have been before
% who found it to be GOOD value
% who found it to be BAD value
³ Source: Omnibus research (4-6 April). Perceptions of value about living costs in overseas holiday destinations based on those who HAVE NOT visited previously:
% people who have NOT been before
% who believe it to be GOOD value
% who believe it to be BAD value
4 Omnibus research (4-6 April): destinations respondents would re-visit because it was good value:
Turkey 64% USA 58%
Mainland Spain 63% Egypt 53%
Balearic Islands 61% Bulgaria 52%
Greece 61% Cyprus 48%
Portugal 61% Italy 39%
Canary Islands 60% France 34%
Croatia 60% Dubai 29%
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