UK consumers are getting around the financial reality of having to scale back on the number of holidays they take by choosing a break that combines many different elements, according to new research commissioned by Royal Caribbean International.
For 2011, one sixth of people combined at least two different holiday types into their main break in an effort to save money with over half of these people pairing a city break with a beach escape. Looking forward to 2012 and 20 per cent of holidaymakers are looking to have ‘two holidays in one’. the company said in a statement.
The research, conducted by One Poll, revealed respondents opting for combination-holidays stated that the biggest reasons were to save money (55 per cent) or get the best value from their holiday spend (23 per cent). When looking at the differing opinions of various age groups, two thirds of those over 45 want a combination holiday to save them money, compared to just 18 per cent of those under 24. Holidaymakers in the age bracket 25-34 also place importance on a combination break to make better use of time.
With three sports mad children, a culture-vulture husband and a love of the sunshine, sports star Sally Gunnell is a big advocate of ‘combination holidays’. “As a busy mum not only do I have to meet everyone’s wish list with my family holiday choices, but I also need to juggle the reality of spending less and taking fewer holidays whilst still making sure everyone is happy” explained Sally Gunnell.
“Royal Caribbean International recently challenged me that I could pack more into a holiday by taking a cruise. Not only did the whole family relax and have great fun, but we saw the sights of Rome , dozed on the beach in Nice and went running, rock climbing, surfing and ice skating and I got to spend some time with my husband! As a combination holiday that really takes some beating, it was truly the first time that the dream of having a city break, a beach holiday and some sports action all in one came true. We’ve already booked our next one for 2012.”
Research findings also suggest that men and women are destined to argue over what makes the perfect break. Compared to women, double the amount of men want to add a sports or fitness element to their holiday, and the modern man’s metrosexual lifestyle is also influencing holiday component factors. More men than women want to add an additional spa element to the nation’s favourite city and beach combination.
For 2012 holiday planning, combination holidays are most popular with women and Londoners, with 23 per cent of those in the capital looking for at least two different holiday types within their break. East Midlanders are looking to cram the most into their holiday – 60 per cent want one holiday to encompass a city, beach and sports or fitness element all within one break.
Whilst the research shows the combination holiday habits of savvy consumers looking to save money, it also highlights that just over half the respondents have no more holiday plans for 2011, despite the up coming October school half term and Christmas break left. Of those who have scaled back their holiday plans, over half state that the decision is related to uncertainty over jobs and the economic climate, with men more concerned than women. Optimism is highest in the West Midlands with 11% of people expecting to have taken four or more holidays by the end of 2011. Plus, 28 per cent of young people under 24 are planning to enjoy more holidays in 2012 than managed in 2011.
The One Poll research into combination-holidays was commissioned by cruise line Royal Caribbean International as part of National Cruise Week (18-25 September 2011), and to support a drive to encourage holidaymakers to pack more into their annual leave and choose to cruise.