British Airways survey reveals leave and holiday-booking habits of British travellers

British Airways has announced the results of a survey, which looked at how British travellers planned their holidays and to see if Brits were ‘panic bookers’ or if they planned well in advance, the airline said.

The survey, conducted by Ginger Comms on behalf of British Airways in June 2016, found that British travellers do not enjoy spontaneity when it is about a big annual trip, with more than half – 57 per cent – saying they’ve panic booked a holiday, leaving them feeling stressed (36 percent), annoyed (19 percent) and panicked or worried (18 percent).

Most travellers book their holidays seven weeks in advance, although that changes by region with the Welsh and those from the South East looking for an eight-week gap, while the Northern Irish are happy with 5.4 weeks preparation time. Within that, 45-59 year-olds are the most organised booking at 7.7 weeks out, while 16-29 year olds are more laid back, waiting until 6.5 weeks out.

While 41 per cent of the 1,000 surveyed said that they do run out of leave quickly in the year, the figure varied significantly by age – with 57 per cent of 16-29 years olds concurring, whereas only 26 per cent of 45-59 year olds agreed.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of Brits find that their preferred leave period had been snapped up by colleagues, while everyone surveyed said they had missed out on at least one holiday in the last year, due to a lack of annual leave.

Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, said: ‘We don’t get much leave as a country and according to our survey there are quite a few hurdles to get over to organise a holiday, including co-ordinating leave with colleagues, giving ourselves enough time to organise it and leaving enough free for life admin.

‘At British Airways Holidays we work hard to make booking a trip as easy as possible, from our 24-hour customer hotline to offering a holiday deposit from just GBP150. And with our current sale, which only runs for another week, there are all sorts of trips to be snapped up suiting everyone from the most laid back, last-minute booker through to the most organised travellers who plan months ahead.’

The survey result come as Brits have taken only one-third of their average annual leave quote, of 21 days, so far. While 21-days is the average leave amount, Scots have an annual leave of 23.7 days, nearly four days more than the Northern Irish who get the least at just 19 days, the airline said in its release, adding that everyone will spend at least seven days of their allowance on ‘personal admin’.

More holiday heaven, less holiday hell: how to have a stress-free summer break

The holiday season is officially here and as such, many of us are booking a quick fix in order to escape the torrential downpour. Unfortunately, whilst last minute holidays may be a common option, there is always a great deal of preparation  needed to ensure your chosen trip is more holiday heaven than holiday hell.

Planning

Whether you choose a stay-cation or a trip further afield, it is important to plan every last detail in advance. From the journey, the airport and the airport parking, to the hotel and airport transfers, planning is a must if you wish to achieve a stress-free summer break.

Checking traffic sites for any problems on the motorway will certainly allow you to reach your destination in plenty of time, whilst booking your airport parking in advance will save you both time and money.

You should also investigate ticket prices prior to travel. Sites such as Flybe offer plenty of affordable flights which you can take advantage of, and these will depart from a number of UK airports.

Activities

Investing in a guidebook will allow you to maintain a plan of action; this is especially wise if you intend to travel with young children: the last thing you want is to arrive in a foreign land with no clue of what to do and what to see.

Transfers

Planning how you intend to get to and from the airport is a must. Check whether your holiday provider has included transfers in advance; if not, it is important to book these as soon as possible.

Those that have booked extremely early flights from Southampton airport may wish to invest in an airport hotel. Such an option saves you getting up at the crack of dawn and also allows you to put your mind at rest, knowing that you are within close vicinity to the airport. It also reduces the risk of you being late for check-in.

Directions

It is surprising how many people forget to check the directions for an airport prior to the day of travel. If you are travelling from an airport that you are unfamiliar with; it is important to map out your route in advance. Many travellers are able to source great fares from smaller, less central airports, such as Southampton airport.

Looking at the airports official site is an easy way to gain knowledge of its whereabouts. All that is required of you is to leave plenty of time to get there.

Packing

Lastly, to prevent potential delays and additional fees it is important that you pack sensibly when preparing for your flight. If you wish for a smooth check-in, make sure you have read the airlines terms and conditions prior to your departure and investigate their specific luggage restrictions.

Remember that those with bags weighing more than the standard weight will be charged heavily and any oversized liquids within your hand luggage will instantly be removed.

Travel Assistance from IISc Team Aids Navigation in Mumbai

Dr Ashish Verma, a professor at the Civil Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and his team, have announced that they have launched a mapping and trip planner to help travellers in Mumbai, India.

Verma said that the tool would do away with the problems associated with having to ask for directions, especially for those not fluent in the local language. The tool is called Maargamitra, and it is a sponsored project that the team has been working on for close to two years.

The project called for the mapping of Mumbai’s public transportation system. The work is ongoing and when the mapping is complete, travellers using the service will be able to travel safely using their digital devices. The plan is to offer seamless integration, in which all transport options such as Volvo buses, metro trains and regular buses would be considered.

Verma said, ‘For now the website will consider only Volvo, Big 10 and Metro Reach 1 options. One of our major challenges was gathering data about the regular routes and schedules of BMTC buses, which are not with the BMTC themselves. We will soon add all routes. While the front end application is Google Maps, we have our own systems in the back end which crunch all the numbers.’

Maargamitra works on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers. Using it, travellers can see a list of bus route numbers and fares and also highlight a route on Google Maps on the screen.

Verma said that the team is trying to work to add more cities to the software in the near future.

 

45% of NZ Residents Plan to Travel Internationally in Next 6 Months

According to a survey by retail group Fly Buys, almost half of all New Zealand residents plan to travel overseas in the next six months. The survey was carried out with participation from travel industry groups within the country, including New Zealand’s Tourism Industry Association and a variety of independent travel operators.

The data is far from surprising, given the country’s relative isolation and relatively high rate of emigration. Nearby Australia topped the list of proposed destinations for New Zealand families, with almost half of those polled showing an interest in visiting the country. Travellers have also voiced plans to visit the United States and Pacific destinations such as Fiji.

It’s good news for the nation’s travel industry, which has reported a significant decline in overall profits due to limited consumer spending. New Zealand’s export-heavy economy has been hurt throughout the financial crisis, with the country’s currency losing almost half of its value when compared to the euro or United States dollar.

But with employment on the rise, it appears that the travel industry is regaining its prior position as a major player in the country’s economy. Domestic travel rates were also up, with almost 90 percent of residents planning to travel within the country during the next six months. Leisure travel tops the list of reasons, with international shopping and relaxation breaks proving popular for Kiwis.

As expected, finances were listed as the major setback for those wishing to travel more. With fairly high past unemployment figures and limited consumer spending, the slump in travel figures within the country is one that’s reflected internationally. For financially troubled international travel firms, we’re betting that the quick recovery in New Zealand’s travel industry is one that spreads globally.