Expedia research indicates consumer ‘sacrifices’ for 2009

Determined Brits are overhauling the way they research, plan and book their holiday in order to ensure they can take a break in 2009, says new research by Expedia UK.

Savvy travellers are also examining the costs associated with a holiday to see whether small tweaks in their plans can give them the best value for money. 

Over three-quarters (77%) of the 1,000 UK travellers surveyed by Expedia said they were planning to sacrifice some of the luxuries of travel in order to save their 2009 holiday.

Half (50%) of those surveyed expect to save £250 on next year’s holiday by booking their trip online, with 30% planning to switch from a traditional high street agent to an online source in 2009.

In addition to the potential saving of £250 for booking online, customers can save on average £100 when booking their flight and hotel accommodation at the same time through Expedia.

Overall one in five (18%) were willing to downgrade the star rating of their holiday accommodation in order to safe guard their 2009 getaway, with 33% believing this would save them between £500 and £750 on their holiday cost.

Though it seems that this was an option for more men than women with 22% of men vs. 15% of women willing to give up the luxury of a higher star rating.

A further fifth (22%) stated they would be prepared to give up the luxuries of in-flight entertainment and extra leg room by comparing flight prices, with 37% believing it could save them over £1000 on the cost of their holiday by changing to a lower priced flight.

16% of those questioned said they would be willing to travel from a regional airport in order to get cheaper flights, while one in ten (11%) would consider a stop over during their journey to save money.

Brits’ top five ‘holiday sacrifices’ for 2009:

1) The comfort and service of a premium airline, 37% prepared to make sacrifice believing they can save £1000

2) Direct flights,11% prepared to make sacrifice believing they can save £1000

3) Hotel star rating, 33% prepared to make sacrifice believing they can save between £500 – £750

4) Hotel location, 25% prepared to make sacrifice believing they can save between £500 – £750

5) Flying from your nearest airport, 16% prepared to make sacrifice believing they can save between £250 – £500

“When it comes to planning time away in 2009, determined Brits are becoming savvier about researching holiday costs, recognising where they can make savings and are increasingly looking to the web to secure those great value deals.  The survey shows that holidays are still incredibly important and that travellers are willing to make sacrifices to still be able to take a break in 2009,” said Jonathan Cudworth, product marketing manager, Expedia.

“A resource such as Expedia becomes increasingly important as customers search for the best value deals. With traditional tour operators continuing to cut capacity and raise holiday prices, Expedia is continually adding product including lower priced flight options with operators such as Jet2 and most recently 5,000 new hotel accommodation options.”

Expedia ‘Top Tips’ to save on your week in the sun:

1) Look at non-direct flights for long-haul  trips– If you still want to make that trip to the Far East, then a stopover could work out a better deal saving you as much as £318 compared to flying direct

2) Take it down a star – Sacrificing just one star rating could save as much as £588 on the price of your holiday based on the price for a five and four star property in Marbella in June 2009.

3) Discover the city limits – Don’t always opt for a hotel in the city centre, being more flexible on location could save you £129, based on a hotel in Alicante 6km from the city centre

4) Check out the UK’s regional runways – to save money on flights and airport parking. For example flying to Istanbul direct from Manchester instead of Heathrow equals a total saving of £84.

5) Knock a day off – Offering the ultimate in flexibility, taking one day off the length of you holiday could save as much as £122 per couple on the total price.

Despite Brits taking a closer look at where they allocate funds for their 2009 holiday, one in five (18%) admitted that they were planning to spend more on their 2009 trip away than they did in 2008. With the top five destinations holidaymakers are planning visit in 2009 being:

1) UK, 38%

2) Spain, 17%

3) America, 16%

4) France, 15%

5) Italy, 8%

The research also highlighted some of the differences in holiday trends for 2009 between the sexes. Men are leading in the adventure stakes with a quarter (24%) preparing to fly long haul in 2009 compared to just 15% of women.

Surprisingly more men (16%) are hoping to take a cultural European break next year and a further one in ten men (11%) are preparing to take a romantic trip abroad.

More information:

* Expedia

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