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Brits spend £21.5 billion on weekend breaks

22nd November 2010 Print

British adults have collectively spent £21.5 billion on weekend breaks in the past 12 months, according to new research from Santander Cards.  The findings reveal that six in ten (61 per cent) adults have been on at least one weekend away in the past year, spending on average £719 each on shopping trips, stag and hen dos and wedding weekends both home and abroad.

However, with public spending cuts threatening to have a knock-on effect on consumer spending, Brits anticipate that their total expenditure on weekend breaks in the next 12 months will decrease by an average of 4.1 per cent, which would mean a total spending decrease of £883 million next year.

With London being the most popular domestic weekend destination and France the most frequently visited overseas country for a weekend getaway, half (50 per cent) are taken with a spouse or partner. There have also been at least 11 million weekend breaks taken to visit friends or relatives, 2.4 million weekend wedding breaks, and the same number of shopping trips to the likes of London or Paris. Around 1.5 million people have been away on a stag or a hen weekend in the past year.

Ian Coles, Director at Santander Cards, commented: "With more flight routes and last minute holiday deals making weekend breaks easier, along with a trend for stag and hen dos that last a whole weekend much more common nowadays, the weekend getaway industry is huge both at home and abroad, but the cost to individuals can really add up.

"However, there are steps that holidaymakers can take to cut out unnecessary costs, especially when going abroad. Holidaymakers should make sure they only spend on a credit card abroad that offers them fee-free foreign usage, such as Santander Zero Credit Card, which has no fees for foreign usage anywhere in the world."

The research reveals that France is the most frequently-visited overseas destination for weekend visits, with 8 per cent of weekend breakers having paid a visit to our neighbours at some stage in the past 12 months. Ireland and Spain are the second and third most popular overseas destinations (both 4 per cent).

London is by far the most popular destination for weekend breaks, with one in five of all people (19 per cent) who have been on a weekend away in the past year having visited the capital. Manchester is the next most common domestic destination, with 8 per cent of weekend breakers having visited the city, closely followed by York.