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Brits to spend £2.2 billion on jolly holidays over Christmas period

15th November 2017 Print

Brits will spend a bumper £2.2 billion on Christmas holidays this year, with one in seven (13%) going away over the festive season, according to new research from American Express.

Those heading abroad to visit traditional Christmas markets, or catch some winter sun, will spend  an average £457 each on holidays, while those enjoying a trip within the UK will outlay £255 each.

The main reasons people are jumping on the holiday sleigh this year are to visit family and friends abroad (26%) followed by wanting to experience Christmas in a different place (22%). However 17% admit they feel the need to escape the frantic festive period.

Jenny Cheung, Director at American Express, said: “Many Brits are choosing to make the most of their time over Christmas by celebrating further afield, whether that’s heading to an exotic destination or enjoying another part of the UK. No matter where or how you celebrate, Christmas spending should be as rewarding as possible. Whether it’s buying hotel rooms, rail tickets or flights, remember you can make your money work harder by putting spend on a credit card that offers cashback or rewards. You can then put your hard-earned points or cashback towards a trip in the New Year.”

American Express has provided the following tips for holidaymakers in the lead up to Christmas:

Look for deals on activities at your destination – you may have booked your travel and accommodation, but have you organised other activities at your destination such as museum visits, tours or restaurants? Start looking out for good deals on these activities now before you go – it means you’re less likely to miss out on ticking off items on your travel bucket list during the busy Christmas period.  

Book travel early – the cost of travel over the Christmas period can quickly escalate if you don’t  book ferry crossings, bus, plane or train tickets in advance. Signing up to alerts for when travel companies release tickets can help you book as early as possible and take advantage of cheaper deals.  

Don’t leave gift shopping to the last minute – if you’re heading away this Christmas, don’t leave your shopping to the last minute or even worse, to do during your precious holiday time. Create a list now and tick off your gift purchases week by week. This will not only ensure you’re organised, but will also spread the cost over a longer period.

Buy travel-inspired gifts – stuck for what to buy your fellow travellers? Many hotels and rail companies are now offering discounted tickets for 2018, so be sure to investigate opportunities to book your loved one’s next trip as a Christmas gift.

Turn points into presents – Just because it’s the season of giving doesn’t mean you can’t get something back.If you use a credit or charge card that offers rewards, check how many points you’ve earned and put them towards your Christmas shopping or flights.