Families ‘downsize’ holidays to save money

Family holidays are said to be downsizing this year due to attempts to save money.

This year many summer holidays will be cut from 14 nights to ten, and one week breaks cut to just four nights, research has shown.

Figures show a 162 per cent rise in the number of 10 night holidays booked this year, and four-nights up 50 per cent.

However researchers warn that although spending less time away will cut costs shorter trips will give less value for money. Shorter holidays will obviously be cheaper in the short term, but will increase the average cost per night.

Trevor Davis, of Co-operative Travel, which carried out the study of three million holidays, said: ‘This saves you money on living expenses or extras, such as a hire car, but may mean that you’re not getting the best value for money as far as your actual booking is concerned.

‘The mainstream holiday industry is still based on weekly blocks, with hotels and flight capacity based around set “changeover” days.

‘Anything that breaks with this is often penalised with higher prices.

‘We’d encourage anyone looking at downsizing their holiday to ask their travel agent to also provide the cost of a seven or 14-night break.

‘People can then look at the “per-night” costs and work out whether they’re saving as much as they first thought.’

Another trend for many holidayers this year is the ‘staycation’, many families will be giving up on a holiday abroad this year and holidaying in the UK.

The combination of rising prices and little increase in salaries will leave 2011 similar to 2010 which saw 1.3million less holidays take place in just the last three months of the year.