25 Mar

You’ve never had it so good

Find out why your holiday money will go further in 2015​

We’ve been through some pretty tough times in the last few years. Belt tightening, budgetary restraints, austerity, a fairly dismal list. It’s enough to make you want to escape from all this doom and gloom and book a holiday. Unfortunately this tough economic picture has been for a long time mirrored by high fuel prices and a weak pound. Fuel prices have a direct impact on the cost of getting to your holiday and, if you’re travelling abroad, the strength of the pound impacts how far your spending money goes once you get there. Another, largely hidden, cost of travelling overseas is Air Passenger Duty (APD), essentially a tax on holidaymakers which the present government justifies as an important weapon in its fight to bring down the deficit.

...there's some very good news for families...

So far so depressing. But there is good news – things are changing for the better. The cost of fuel has fallen through the floor, which means that prices at the pump are much cheaper. Airfares are likely to also come down as a result. Some airlines have already reduced their prices while others, who have bought their fuel in advance – a common practice to manage costs in the industry – will soon follow suit provided the oil price stays low.

Many of us take our holidays in the Eurozone and one of the effects of the credit crunch back in 2007 was a big fall in the value of the pound against the Euro. At one stage you’d only get around 1.1 Euros to the pound. Well not any more. Recently the pound reached a seven year high of 1.39, which means your money will go a lot further in bars, restaurants and shops.

Lastly there’s some very good news for families. Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be abolished for children under twelve flying out after the 1st May 2015. If you’ve already booked a summer holiday to Florida taking two kids to DisneyWorld you’ll be £142 better off as a result.

Scottish devolution could also be very good news for the cost of your summer holidays. Sounds rather strange I agree, but the reason is that devolution will give Scotland the power to reduce or scrap APD in Scotland, great news for Scottish holidaymakers but there will be a lot of pressure on the Government in Westminster (not least from ABTA!) to match any cuts in the rest of the country. If they don’t there could be a potential mass exodus of English holidaymakers over the border looking for cheaper flights, which is exactly what used to happen in Northern Ireland as people headed to fly from Ireland where the flight tax was so small as to hardly matter. As a result the Government very sensibly axed APD on long haul flights departing from Northern Ireland.

So happy holidays and as I look out of my window on a grey and miserable London, I know that in Seville in Southern Spain it’s going to be 28C and sunny over the weekend, where would you rather be?

Sean Tipton, Media Manager, ABTA