According to the research, holiday spend increased by 19% year on year in February, while spending on air travel saw the biggest rebound in February – up by 34% year on year. This compares with an overall year on year increase in non-essential spend in February of 9%.
The average was also outstripped by spend on leisure and recreation and eating and drinking in February, both of which were up by 11%.
Moreover, the rate at which spend on holidays grew year on year in February (19%) outpaced growth in transactions (up 17%), suggesting average selling prices have increased. Holiday spend is classified by Nationwide as spending on or with hotels, travel agents, package holidays or cruises.
However, non-essential spending did slow down in February compared with January. Spend on air travel fell by 18% month on month in February to £68.3 million, while on holidays it fell by 5% to £305.4 million.
Areas of non-essential spend feeling the pinch in February included dating (down 7%), DIY and home improvement (down 4%) and subscriptions (down 3%) – subscriptions include the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and book, magazine and wine subscriptions.