Time for a break? Brits left stressed over holiday bookings

Press Release   •   Feb 17, 2016 14:46 GMT

New research from travel website Expedia.co.uk explores Britons’ attitudes towards booking a break. The strain of choosing the right deal affects more than three quarters (76%) of Brits who admit to feeling stressed when booking a holiday; with this anxiety considered comparable to being stuck in traffic, a bad day at the office, losing something important and even arguing with a loved one2.

The findings, which coincide with the busiest travel-booking week in the year3, highlight that as well as feeling stressed, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of holidaymakers believe that the Internet has made travel booking more confusing due to the multitude of choice on offer. Millions also fear they will be ripped off if they book flight and accommodation together4.

Commenting on the findings, Judi James, author of More Time Less Stress, said: “When we book a holiday the entire world is now at our disposal and often the excitement and sense of empowerment prompted by that can be converted to pressure and anxiety over trying to make the 'right' choice plus a series of 'right' decisions over the travel processes.”

“As consumers, multiple choice has become something we demand, but being presented with too many options can actually lead to stress during the planning stage and fear that everybody else is somehow getting a better deal.”

But Brits need not worry, far from being ripped off, the latest figures from Expedia.co.uk estimate that package deals – booking flight and hotel together through their website - can in fact save an average of £1395. Based on this estimate, British travellers have potentially lost out on more than £2 billion by not taking advantage of ‘dynamic’ online travel packages6.

Despite these savings, research suggests that less than a third (30 per cent) of travel bookings in 2015 were packages7. The study highlights perception toward package holidays are influenced by existing stereotypes where customers fear the accommodation on offer will be below par (12%) whilst another 13% think that packages are a ‘rip off’8.

Andy Washington, Managing Director of Northern Europe, Brand Expedia said:

“The package holiday revolutionised travel when it first arrived 50 years ago, but the concept was based on travel agents giving you a prescribed flight and hotel for your trip. But this way of booking leads customers to miss out on the hotels and flights they really want, as well as the best deals.”

Expedia.co.uk’s dynamic online pricing technology breaks the pre-existing package holiday mould by enabling customers to choose the flight and hotel that best suits their trip. Expedia’s scale and deep relationships with hundreds of thousands of global flight and hotel partners gives the company the ability to negotiate discounted, sometimes exclusive, fares which are passed onto customers when purchasing flight and hotel together as part of a package.

Washington added:

“Expedia’s new style of packages caters to savvy consumers who want to book the holiday they want at the very best price. We have far more combinations of flights and hotels than anyone in the world, and our world-class technology enables our customers to really beat the system. Our advice - always check the package price before you book."

Additionally, purchases of flight and hotel accommodation booked together through Expedia.co.uk are fully covered by the ATOL scheme offering protection for travellers.

For more information, contact:

Expedia press office


020 3668 6910

Research was conducted by PCP Market Research Consultants on behalf of Expedia, questioning 2000 UK adults with results weighted to be nationally representative. The survey ran in December 2015


1.According to research conducted among 2,000 UK adults in December 15, 15% of respondents rate the stress or frustration of booking a holiday as equivalent to having a bad day at work

2.According to research conducted among 2,000 UK adults in December 15, 10% of respondents rate the stress or frustration of booking a holiday as equivalent to losing something important, 31% say its equivalent to being stuck in traffic and 5% say its equivalent to arguing with a loved one

3.According to Expedia.co.uk site data, in 2015 46.5 percent more holiday bookings were sold in the first week in January (commencing 05.01.15) than in any other week that year

4.Of ALL those who had booked a holiday in the past 12 months, 13% said that the ‘wouldn’t book a package as they are a rip-off’. This equates to 4.4 million people (9.5% of the total UK population)

5.Calculated using Expedia bookings data between 1 January and 7 December 2015. £139 = the difference between the total amount of money spent in packages (flight + hotel) and the amount of money that customers would have spent booking the same flight and hotel separately. This figure was then divided by the total number of packages sold

6.58% of those surveyed used the Internet or an online travel agent to book a holiday in the last 12 months. This equates to 27,514,998 adults (based on the total UK adult population of 47,358,000). Of these, 70% DIDN’T book a package = 19,260,498 people (based on the total UK adult population of 47,358,000). Expedia calculates that the average saving from booking a package in the UK = £139 (see point 3 below). Therefore, the saving missed out on is (19,260,498 x 139) = £2,677,209,205 (£2.6 billion)

7.According to research conducted among 2,000 UK adults in December 15, 28% of respondents who booked a holiday in the past twelve months booked it as a package that included flight and accommodation

8.According to research conducted among 2,000 UK adults in December 15, 12% of people stated that they wouldn't book a package holiday because they think the accommodation is likely to be poorer than if they were to book direct. 13% of people said they wouldn't book a package holiday as they felt they would be ripped off