Brits buy holidays and currency online

beachThe high street travel agent is doomed as holidaymakers move to mouse and keyboard for holiday research, booking and buying foreign currency.

Research from compareholidaymoney.com for foreign currency specialist FairFX.com found staggering numbers going online before they go on holiday.

The figures show

  • Nine out of 10 people research their holiday online prior to travel
  • Eight out of 10 book their holiday online
  • Eight out of 10 use comparison sites to check currency
  • Four out of 10 buy currency online
  • Prepaid cards replace travellers cheques as back up to travel cash

The survey found that £500-£1000 was the most common amount of spending money for a family to budget for their holiday and they intended to take that as cash.

For nearly six out of 10 their holiday is the most expensive purchase they have made online. For seven out of 10 holidays cost more than £1500 and more than three out of 10 cost more than £2500.

Three in 10 people set themselves daily spending limits while on holiday, seven in 10 didn't, but 14% of respondents admitted to overspending on holiday.

Best deals online

Ian Strafford-Taylor, FairFX CEO said "Budget airlines paved the way for the online revolution in the travel industry and it is clear now that consumers are going online to research all aspects of their holiday.

"Consumers are realising that online companies are able to offer better deals than some of the big travel players, as they have none of the costly overheads that come with a having a presence on the high street.

"Currency is a prime example of this and it's still early days, we would expect over the next few years to see a further increase in people moving online as they realise the cost savings they can make on their holidays."

Other survey findings

The average person taking this survey had a family with one or two children, went on holiday at least once a year, to a European destination and were looking for reliable weather.

People ranked special offers on accommodation and flights as important factors in choosing their holiday destination. People are reluctant to pay for food up front. Self catering was the most popular option followed by bed and breakfast, then half board and finally full board.

Beach holidays are two and a half times more popular than city breaks.

The survey found:

  • Seven out of 10 people book their holiday without using a tour operator.
  • The two organisations that offer protection that are most recognised are ABTA and ATOL.
  • Only one in 10 journeys to and from holiday destinations were made using public transport (coaches, buses, trains and ferries), eight out of ten journeys relied on planes and cars.
  • Those used the car drove an average of 1,253 miles.
  • One quarter of all the people who took a coach holiday said they would not take another one.
  • Nine out of 10 people took out travel insurance to cover their holiday and most of the remaining people already had a 'free' policy as part of their bank account or credit card.
  • Three in 10 people read reviews of travel insurance providers before buying but only one in 10 left a review afterwards.
  • Seven in 10 people have returned to the same destination two or more years running for their main holiday.
  • People choose self catering because it is cheaper and they get more personal space.
  • Bed and breakfast is the most popular type of hotel accommodation and eight out of 10 people used review websites before booking.
  • One in five people did not know you can change foreign currency back in to pounds sterling when they got home and most people kept left over holiday money to spend on a future holiday.
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