As the recession sinks its teeth a little deeper and we continue to watch our spending like the proverbial hawk with his eye on a quivering field mouse, our thoughts turn once again to our annual holidays and whether or not we can really afford one.
Research has shown that our holidays are one of lifes luxuries that we don’t want to give up, no matter how tight we have to fasten our belts. We see holidays as a well earned treat and an essential part of life to help get us through the dreary working weeks.
The younger generation look forward to party holidays in Ibiza whilst the adrenalin junkies seek their yearly fix on the slopes of a snow clad mountain. Families meanwhile look forward to spending precious time together, relaxing on a soft sandy beach, splashing around in sun drenched pools and generally having some much needed fun together.
In a bid to ensure they get a holiday this year, many people are ‘downsizing’ their breaks, cutting 14 nights to 10 or 11, and 7 night holidays to 3 or 4 nights, but are they really getting value for their hard earned cash?
Tour operators have seen a staggering 162% increase in 10 night holidays booked and a 50% rise in four night breaks. Whilst taking a shorter length holiday will no doubt see you spending less overall, further research has shown that they actually offer less value for money than longer breaks.
A study of three million holidays was carried out by Co-operative Travel and the findings confirmed that whilst an average 14 night holiday costs £65.19 per night, a ten night break averages out at £82.70 per night. Similarly a 7 night holiday generally costs around £74.71 per night, compared to £112.59 for a 4 night break.
Spokesperson for Co-operative Travel Trevor Davis helped to clarify why shorter holidays offer less value for money, explaining “The mainstream holiday industry is still based on weekly blocks, with hotel and flight capacity based around set ‘changeover’ days. Anything that breaks with this is often penalised with higher prices.” Mr Davis recommends that when booking a holiday; don’t just assume that you can’t afford a 7 or 14 night getaway, ask your travel agent to work out both prices so you can compare the ‘per night’ value of your holiday and make sure you get the most for your well earned cash.