One in four unable to afford holidays
AS MANY as one in four Irish people will not be able to afford any type of summer holiday this year, while nearly 50 per cent say they will be forced to take a holiday at home because they do not have the money to take a foreign break, according to an extensive survey to be published next week.
In the first two weeks of this year AA Travel Insurance asked nearly 8,000 people about their holiday plans. Low-cost airlines and cheap package deals look set to be the big beneficiaries of the economic crisis with more than three-quarters of those polled saying they will use one of these as their main holiday this year.
Other money-saving measures people are considering include forgoing travel insurance, shopping around for cheaper car rental, seeking out free activities while away and not buying presents.
According to the survey, two-thirds of consumers who take holidays will scour the web looking for the cheapest car hire while 60 per cent say they will look for things to do which do not cost money. Half say they would not be buying presents abroad, while one in five says they would most likely not be buying travel insurance.
The survey finds that 44 per cent of women are cutting back on luxuries such as pedicures and other beauty treatments before their holidays while a similar percentage say they will avoid or cut down on shopping during their trip. Women are more frugal than men on most counts and are more likely to prepare their meals, bring packed lunches on excursions and shop around to get better value for their holidays.
The survey shows 30 per cent of 17- to 24-year-olds say they will skip travel insurance to save money. They are also identified as most likely to opt for low-cost airlines, budget accommodation and rock-bottom price package deals.
Those in the 35- to 45-year-old bracket emerged as most frugal. Twelve per cent said they would consider a house exchange.