New research from UK consumer champion Which? Travel is being reported as ‘holidaymakers able to take longer breaks could save money.’ But beware, the truth is a little more complicated.
Which? Travel reviewed 400 package vacations from household names like Tui, easyJet and On The Beach. Prolonging holidays to 11 nights instead of 10 was calculated as cheaper in just 26 of the examples looked at. In other words, 93.5% of the time, it’s still cheaper to stay for 10 days or less. Yet booking a longer break is being reported as a money-saving strategy by some outlets.
Why does it matter? Because potential holidaymakers, especially in Europe, are adjusting travel plans due to money worries. As recently reported by Travel Tomorrow, a study by the European Travel Commission’s (ETC) Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel shows that nearly a quarter (24%) of European travellers are concerned about rising costs of holidays (up by 6% vs 2022). 17% are cautious due to economic factors and their financial situation.
So for those looking to make economies, is playing around with holiday length and being flexible on dates a good approach? While the chances of finding one of the 6.5% of longer holidays that is cheaper are slim, it’s true that the savings could be colossal if you strike lucky.
According to the Which? Travel report, two people booking a Tui all-inclusive, four-star package break to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands in August 2023 could save 28%, or a massive £1,188 (€1,389).
The shorter version of the same holiday would have cost £4,148 (€4,852) but going for 11 nights instead reduces the price to £2,960 (€3,462).
Deputy editor of Which? Travel, Jo Rhodes, said: “While it seems counterintuitive, occasionally there are substantial savings to be made by extending your trip.
“Of course, there are plenty of other ways to cut the cost of holidays. Shop around online to find the best price for accommodation and flights – using price comparison sites can be a good place to start.
You can also slash money off your airfare by opting out of added extras – for example, we’ve found that most airlines will seat you together even if you don’t pay for pre-selected seats.Jo Rhodes, deputy editor of Which? Travel
Whether or not it works out cheaper, taking a longer vacation has been shown to have other benefits, such as bringing more footfall to a wider area and wider variety of businesses and attractions at the destination, which reduces overcrowding and is seen as more sustainable.