Pound Slides But Holidaymakers Undaunted

The pound has fallen to its lowest level for five months but it isn't stopping UK holidaymakers getting ready to head off for the late-May half-term break

Against the US dollar, the pound has fallen below $1.27 for the first time since January. It also fell early in the day against the euro. With the May bank holiday around the corner, and the sun finally beginning to shine, many people are looking to book a week or two in the sun, and the slide doesn’t seem to be affecting holiday spend?

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the volatility of the pound amidst these negotiations, British holidaymakers are still determined to take advantage of their incomes to make the best memories abroad. Foregoing saving for other key life milestones, millennials were the top age group in terms of allocating disposable income to travel opportunities, representing their affinity for making memories rather than owning material possessions.

National stats on how much we’re looking to put away to get-away this summer

  • Two fifths – 38% – of Brits, representing 18.7 million of the population, say that saving for travelling is their top priority when budgeting their income
  • This is up from just 14% in 2018
  • For millennials, this statistic increases to 50%
  • 30% of Brits said that their savings were primarily for holidays, rather than any other spending like rainy day funds or home improvements
  • 9.1 million – 18% of Brits – would rather go on holiday with their friends than see them at home
  • Increasing to 31% of those aged 18-34
  • 17 million holidaymakers – 34% – will shop around for the cheapest provider on comparison sites online
  • Millennials are savvier with their money, with more than half – 51% – using their online skills to find the cheapest provider

WeSwap, the world’s first peer-to-peer currency exchange service, has commissioned nationally representative research across a sample of 2011 UK adults to find out how much of our budgets we allocate to travel, as well as the experiences we find important on our holidays. This exclusive report finds that the experience economy is at an all-time high, with more of us than ever allocating our holiday budgets to the experiences that make our holiday memories rather than the thread count of the beds in hotel rooms.

Travel is undoubtedly a high priority for most, with estimates stating that a quarter of household incomes is spent on satisfying the desire to travel the world. WeSwap’s exclusive research has found that, for British travellers, experience outweighs luxury with more of our budget being allocated to spending money than ever before. The experience economy is at an all-time high, with breakout industries for this summer expected to be spending on wellness and adventure excursions while abroad.

  • For 2019, average cost per person for their main holiday is expected to be £680.31
  • Londoners are willing to spend almost £1000 per person on their primary holiday this summer
  • Spending money is up this year, increasing from £398.67 per person to £420.19
  • This accounts for more than 60% of the average spend on our main holidays this year
  • For Londoners, allocation for spending money has increased by more than 11% YoY, up to £580.17 in this year

Stephanie Meyer-Scott, Head of Product Marketing: “The experience economy is going from strength to strength, our research finding that, when planning their holidays, people are more concerned with the memories they will make than the thread count of hotel’s beds. This year, people are now more focused on taking part in activities beyond the traditional excursions, looking to enhance their experience with ones tailored to preferences like thrill-seeking or wellbeing. By allocating more of their holiday budgets to spending money, holidaymakers are sending a message to travel agents and providers alike that they aren’t concerned with luxury stays in all-inclusive resorts. Instead, they are looking for the cheapest providers so that they and their loved ones can have the best experience while there, eating in great restaurants, unique day-trips and memorable experiences.”