Almost seven out of ten Brits planning a winter break
Despite the cost of living crisis, travel intentions are very strong
Sixty-seven per cent of Brits expect to take a leisure trip of three days or more before the winter ends in March, either at home or abroad, according to a survey by Allianz Partners.
A third of those surveyed plan to take a foreign vacation by March 2023, with 70 per cent of those planning a break overseas heading to Europe.
These are the main findings from Allianz Partners’ Vacation Confidence Index, which was conducted by OpinionWay in early January 2023. Over 9,000 people from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and Poland were surveyed.
Reasons for a getaway
In the UK, the top three reasons to get away this winter are relaxation, seeing relatives and reconnecting with nature.
- Fifty-one per cent said they hope to relax
- A third (29 per cent) said they plan to spend time with relatives
- Twenty-eight per cent want to enjoy nature in the countryside or the mountains.
Despite inflation and the cost of living crisis, the average British traveller expects to spend more than £1,700. This is comparable with summer 2022 holiday budgets in many European countries, despite winter holidays typically being much shorter. Brits budgeted £1,600 in summer 2022, similar to the French, while Italians spent around £1,400.
Effect on Europeans
Among those who plan to travel, the rising cost of travel means half of respondents said that they expect inflation to cause them to change their destination, shorten their trip or even cancel it. Similarly, among those not planning to travel this winter, lack of money is the single biggest barrier to travel, cited by 53 per cent of respondents. Forty-two per cent feel that travel has become too expensive.
After travel disruption in 2022, confidence that alternatives can be found in the event of a disruption or cancellation is mixed. A third are not confident that alternative transport could be found if their initial plans were cancelled and 29 per cent are not confident that they could find different accommodation.
However, just two per cent of people across Europe cited health concerns as a reason not to travel. Overall, 39 per cent said they were somewhat concerned about the health situation, down six points from last summer.
As a result, more people are buying travel insurance to protect against cancellation or disruption than to cover medical assistance. Of those who plan to buy travel insurance before travelling, 51 per cent plan to cover unforeseen events while travelling, and 46 per cent to cover reimbursement in case of cancellation. That compares to 38 per cent who buy it to cover medical costs.
Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer - Travel, at Allianz Partners said: “The desire to travel for pleasure this winter is remarkably buoyant – even in the face of increased costs and economic uncertainty.
“It’s around a year since most European countries lifted their final pandemic-related travel restrictions, and people have rediscovered the unique benefits that travel brings: an opportunity to relax, see family, and enjoy nature.”
He added: “However, rising prices have sharpened the dividing line between those who can afford to travel and those who can’t. While many are willing and able to spend on leisure travel, many others are priced out of the market. That will be a concern for the industry if it stretches into the summer season.”