Bank |

Credit Crunched Brits Seeking Bargain Breaks

  • More than half (54%) of Brits are taking a holiday abroad this year
  • Almost a third (29%) taking two or more overseas breaks
  • But bargains top the priority list when choosing a break
  • And a third (34%) are spending less than last year
  • People in the Midlands are the top holiday bargain hunters
  • Londoners are the biggest spenders

Despite the doom and gloom, new research* from Tesco Travel Money reveals that people are still prioritising holidays over other luxuries. More than 25 million of us are planning a holiday abroad in 2009 with as many as 14 million having two overseas breaks or more. However, with belts tightening across the UK, a third (34%) will be spending less than last year, with 12% spending significantly less.

British holidaymakers are pulling out all the stops to get a cheaper break:

  • More than half (54%) are cutting back on food and drink costs
  • More than two in five (43%) are spending less on gifts and duty free
  • A third (33%) will avoid eating out at all by booking a self catering break
  • Camping and caravanning is seeing a resurgence, with a third (30%) staying in cheaper accommodation such as a tent or caravan to save some money
  • A third (33%) will even be filling their suitcase with essentials like teabags and breakfast cereal to save some cash!

Bargain breaks are in vogue in 2009. Whilst the weather is still a key factor, the top five holiday priorities this year include getting a cheaper deal overall and opting for free accommodation through family and friends. And we're all sticking to a budget this year, two thirds (76%) are planning their holiday spending before they go and 14% can't afford to spend a penny more than they've planned.

Across the UK, the research from Tesco Travel Money reveals the biggest holiday bargain hunting region is the Midlands. They spend an average of £348 - £56 less per person per week than the UK average, and a huge £147 less than holiday big-spenders in London. They are also better budgeters than other regions, eight in ten (80%) Midlanders will plan spending before they go and one in six (16%) won't spend a penny over their holiday budget whilst away. In contrast, Londoners, who not only spend more on their holiday, also take more overseas trips than any other region and are less likely to set a holiday budget.

Yet whether making frugal cutbacks or marching on regardless, one area where all overseas holidaymakers are failing to make savings is with their holiday cash. Less than half shop around for the best deal for their foreign currency (just 48%) and more than a quarter (26%) go for convenience over rate.

A Tesco Travel Money spokesperson said:

"It's great to see that holidaymakers are pulling out the stops to get value for money and making sacrifices to ensure they get their two weeks in the sun. But they're still missing a trick with their holiday spending money. Getting a good deal is easy. By choosing a company like Tesco – consumers can pick up great value currency with their weekly shop in one of more than 120 stores across the country".

Tesco Travel Money is commission-free and is available at bureaux de change at over 120 Tesco stores, seven days a week, around the country, by phone on 0845 600 66 67 and online at

For the convenience of home delivery, go online at to receive Travel Money to the comfort of your own home. To help holidaymakers budget, they should also consider mixing their purchase of currency with a cash passport. At any of our in store bureaux, you can load €uro or US Dollars onto a card – so you can add a little on each time you shop.


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

About Us:

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco.  Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.

Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

You may also like