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Finances and fear of Swine Flu delay family holidays

  • Two-fifths of British families have not yet booked a summer holiday
  • A third of these say their holiday plans depend on their finances
  • One in five families’ holiday plans have been affected by fears of swine flu
  • One in six parents are prepared to take their kids out of school to get a cheaper holiday
  • Tesco Travel Money is abolishing delivery fees on orders over £150 in August to help customers' save on their currency

Taking a summer holiday is the highlight of the year for most families, however, two-fifths of parents (39 per cent)* with children of school age have not yet booked a trip, reveals research from Tesco Travel Money.

Over the past three years, a third of families have taken last minute holidays, and over half (57 per cent) have found them to be just as good as booking in advance. This year it looks like the trend is set to continue, but in the midst of recession, parents are closely watching the family purse strings before committing to the costs involved with going away.

Over a third (36 per cent) of people yet to book admit that going on a summer holiday will depend on their finances or whether they can seal a good bargain. Of those already planning to book at the last minute, 47 per cent are doing so in the belief they can get a better deal. For one in five families (19 per cent), fears of swine flu have either already affected their holiday plans or they are waiting to see how the pandemic develops before booking a holiday.

But with the poor UK weather forecast for August, and the anticipated rush towards last minute holidays abroad, the best deals available are likely to sell out fast. It is perhaps less surprising therefore that almost one in six (17 per cent) parents intend to take their kids out of school during the Autumn term time this year so they can get the holiday they really want and take advantage of the cheaper off-peak prices.

A Tesco Travel Money spokesperson said,

"In the current climate, the luxury of booking a summer holiday has not been a priority for many parents. In particular, booking in advance is not a possibility. Many people are waiting to see if their finances can stretch to a break this year and families are even going to the extremes of taking their children out of school so they can afford the holiday they need. This coupled with the perceived threat of swine flu, taking last minute holidays is set to be a big trend this summer."

One area where overseas holidaymakers can make savings is buying their holiday cash before they go away, even if it is last minute. However, currently less than half of Brits shop around for the best deal for their foreign currency (just 48 per cent)** and more than a quarter (26 per cent) opt for convenience over rate.

A Tesco Travel Money spokesperson continues,

"Booking a last minute holiday doesn't necessarily mean there isn't enough time to find a good deal on your holiday cash. Getting a good rate on your foreign currency can make your holiday money stretch a lot further, and ensure you don't lose out on any savings you might have made by picking up a cheap break."

Tesco customers can pick up their currency with their weekly shop, late night and on Sunday in one of more than 120 stores across the country, or request next day delivery online Monday to Thursday. During August 2009, any order over £150 made online or over the phone will qualify for free delivery.


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

Notes for Editors:

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, and online at

For the convenience of home delivery, go online at to receive Travel Money to the comfort of your own home.

*Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,012 British adults from Friday 24th to Tuesday 28th July 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

** Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,041 British adults from Friday 24th to Tuesday 28th April 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

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

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