24 Aug

ABTA anticipates strong demand for overseas breaks this Bank Holiday

Data shows some of the ways people are stretching their holiday budgets amid cost-of-living crisis, while ABTA shares tips for securing a great value break.

ABTA – The Travel Association estimates that more than 4.5 million people from the UK will be holidaying overseas over the August Bank Holiday1.

This follows a busy summer of international travel which saw many travel companies reporting a return to levels seen before the pandemic. Destinations offering sun, sea and sand have proved as popular as ever, with many holidaymakers heading to mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canary Islands as well as Bulgaria, Portugal, Turkey, Morocco and Greece.

Even though there has been huge enthusiasm for overseas trips this year, the rising cost of living is having a significant impact on people’s holiday habits.

Earlier this year, research conducted by ABTA showed holidaymakers considering a range of tactics to stretch their holiday budgets, including taking a holiday out of the peak season to get a cheaper deal (56%) cutting back on other non-essential costs like eating, going to the cinema or buying clothes (54%), booking a last-minute holiday (47%), and putting money saved during the pandemic towards the cost of their trip (35%)2.

Graeme Buck, ABTA’s Director of Communications, said:

“We’ve seen consistently high demand for foreign holidays this year, with many of our travel agent and tour operator members even reporting record-breaking sales. The pandemic paused lots of holiday plans over the last few years, so it’s clear that people see getting away this year as an absolute priority and some are even prepared to dip into their pandemic savings pots to make this happen.

“For those who haven’t yet managed to get away, we always advise booking with an ABTA travel agent or tour operator to help your budget go further. Their expert knowledge means they can easily advise which destinations and style of trip will offer you the best value for money and they can often get you a better price than if you’d booked independently.”

ABTA’s top tips for securing a great value break are:

1.    Book with a travel agent or tour operator to help your budget go further

Travel agents and tour operators can often get you a better price than booking independently, as they have access to special offers. Plus, they're highly skilled at putting together the best value break for their customers' budgets and seeking out last-minute deals.

2.    Book a package holiday 

Booking a package holiday is often cheaper than booking all the elements of your trip separately, as travel companies have access to discounts that are then passed on to you. It’s also an excellent way to take the stress out of holiday planning – someone else does all of the hard work for you, AND it provides the best form of protection for your travel plans, as your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations.

3.    Be open to new destinations…

Having an open mind about where you could go on your next break will help you to secure the best deal and could offer a new or unique experience. A different resort, region or country to the one you had in mind may deliver the style of trip you’re looking for, but with a lower price tag.

4.    …and be as flexible as possible 

Flexibility is key when it comes to keeping costs down, whether that’s choosing to depart mid-week rather than over the weekend, at a less popular time of day, or from a less in-demand departure point. If you can travel outside of your preferred destination’s peak period, or during particularly popular times of year like the school holidays, you’ll get the added bonus of fewer crowds as well as lower prices.

5.    Consider going all-inclusive

Booking an all-inclusive is a great option for budget conscious travellers, as you pay upfront for your break and won’t need to worry about extra costs when you arrive. Flights, accommodation, transfers and meals usually come as standard, but some resorts also offer a range of activities you can enjoy too.

Notes to editors

1) Source is ABTA’s consumer sentiment research, conducted in February 2023 by Savanta (www.savanta.com). Savanta interviewed 2,209 UK adults aged 18+ and weighted data to be representative of all UK adults by age, sex, region and SEG. Savanta is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. 7% of respondents said they were planning to go on holiday abroad during the August Bank Holiday.
2) Source is as above, ABTA consumer sentiment research, conducted in February 2023 by Savanta (www.savanta.com).