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Cost-of-living crisis? Why we’re ignoring the squeeze and still splashing out on travel

tThe cost of living crisis continues to afflict people across the UK, with more bad news this week due to higher-than-expected inflation.

With concerns that interest rates could hit 5% and skepticism over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s promise to halve inflation by 2024, it’s a rather bleak time for many Britons.

And yet, despite this bleak financial outlook, people are still spending money on vacation bookings, even if they cut back on restaurant meals and clothing shopping.

I see it as an opportunity to see the world, connect with loved ones and remember that life is more fun than work.


Last week independence reported that the amount spent on flights and vacations actually increased in the first three months of 2023 compared with the previous year, according to a new study.

The figures seem to show a trend towards more budget-friendly options, with spending on low-cost carriers growing faster than the rest of the industry. EasyJet said this week that its revenue per seat grew 42% in the six months to the end of March.

While the latest data from banking app Revolut presents a similar picture in holidays – customer bookings increased by 91% when comparing January 2023 with the same period in 2022 – but Its current shows that tourists are choosing longer stays and spending more. However, this can be explained by the majority of travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 being lifted, resulting in a higher overall cost of living.

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Naomi Hahn, Skyscanner’s vice president of strategy, says price considerations are a “key priority” for potential travelers in 2023 who want to make “more informed, informed decisions about their discretionary spending”. independence.

A recent customer poll by the travel search engine found that 41% are planning to take a vacation this year with the same number of days off as they did in 2022, with a third thinking of increasing their vacation time. vacation time; only 7 percent are planning on taking fewer vacations.

Tourists “continue to prioritize adventures abroad and enjoy the freedom of travel,” Hahn said, adding: “For those who don’t see it,” Hahn said. [rising prices] influence their plans, the resounding reason given was that they decided to prioritize vacations over other expensive items.”

Sophia, 29 years old, lives in London, works in HR consulting. She’s had a busy year with travel, starting from Australia and Bali before a weekend in Paris last month. She plans to go to France, Spain and Italy before the end of the year.

“Before the pandemic, I was always exhausted when I was on vacation, and I spent half of that time relaxing – or recuperating. Now I see it as an opportunity to see the world, connect with loved ones and remember that life is more fun than work,” she said. independence.

Sophia (right) and her mother during a trip to Paris

(provided by Sofia)

Sophia considered UK holidays but quickly realized that they could be just as expensive, if not more, than trips to the Continent. But how does she fund her getaway?

“Materials” have completely “removed the backseat” for her: “Unless that’s what I need, I’d rather spend money on experiences,” she says.

“For example, my mother is losing her sight, so being able to travel with her is a sensitive and very special time. The only thing I really wanted to save was buying an apartment for myself but the ability to save enough deposit while paying rent in London feels too far-fetched – now I choose to make the most of it. enjoy the world.”

Some have taken extra work outside of their full-time roles to keep their vacation plans on track. Such is the case of 23-year-old Nathan Ruff, who works in the media industry. He recently bought a home in Cambridgeshire and admits “his finances have been affected significantly”. However, this hasn’t stopped him from traveling: “I’ve started saving on general expenses and have canceled some UK travel, but overseas holidays are one of the things I look forward to. wait every year. I make plans in January and then count down each day until the next.

“I’ve been working a second weekend job for the past six months so I can feel comfortable and afford those luxuries. I always tell myself that I won’t miss the weeks or weekends when I’m just sitting at home or when I’m working overtime, but I’ll make lifelong memories of those overseas experiences a few times. in year.”

Nathan, right, in Mexico with his partner

(Nathan Ruff)

This year’s big holiday for Mr. Ruff is a two-week stay in Thailand, where he is looking for cheaper places to stay to earn extra money. Cutting back on takeout purchases is a surprisingly effective way to ensure money on travel, he says, saving him and his partner around £200 a month by not ordering.

Night outs, dining out, and saving to buy a home are the areas that have been cut the most for Amber Braysher. The 25-year-old contract operator from Surrey said she considered traveling less but “would rather sacrifice other things”, although financial pressures mean she has “compromised with destinations” on holiday – looking for better value for money – and length of stay, and have begun to seriously look at exchange rates.”

Ms Braysher believes that the reason why people pour money into traveling instead of other activities is because it offers “real time away from the stresses of everyday life” and “something to enjoy”. expected”.

I can also travel now while I can without the pressure or constraints of owning a property.

braysher amber

Having been to Dubai and Lisbon since the beginning of the year, she is planning to visit Greece and the Dominican Republic in the next few months.

“I have saved up to buy a house but due to rising costs it looks like I won’t be able to buy at this point. I can also travel now while I can without the pressure or constraints of owning a property,” she added.

Advantage Travel Partnership, UK’s largest travel agency group, says independence that bookings for summer holidays in 2023 are up compared to 2019, as well as strong performance for 2024, with 20% of last week’s bookings for travel next year.

Julia Lo Bue-Said, Chief Executive of Advantage, said: “Overall, travel remains hugely important to Brits, providing a relaxing space that allows you to spend quality time with family. family and loved ones, as well as providing unforgettable experiences and lasting memories.

“Recent trends from our travel agent members suggest that vacations are the last thing to be abandoned, regardless of the current economic landscape.”

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