Travel Tip: Secure Bargain Flights Outside School Holidays15 January, 2011
According to Google’s annual Zeitgeist survey, Britons have been on the look out for bargains in 2010. It’s no wonder why with the recession a not too distant memory, harsh austerity measures on the horizon and the impending VAT hike.
According to Google, out of the top ten bargain searches ‘cheap flights’ came in a number one, ‘cheap holidays’ was at number two and ‘cheap train tickets’ nabbed the number three spot. In fact, all but two searches in these budget conscious searches were travel related.
These figures are also backed up by recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS travel trends report showed spending by UK residents overseas to be down by 1% to £7.8 billion from July to September this year. Overseas visits were also down, by 3% during the same three-month period. Year-on-year this represents a fall of 1% to 14 million.
But despite our loves of holidays, even if they have to be bargain ones, millions of workers are missing out on their annual leave. According to Lastminute.com, British employees still have 13.1 million unused days of annual leave. A staggering 45% admit to still having time to take off this year. With many companies imposing the ‘use it or loose it’ rule, all of these people will miss out on holiday that they not only deserve, but have earned.
Because of the unstable economic situation, many people feel they cannot take time off; they are worried that their bosses may choose to sack them over someone that hasn’t used their annual leave.
This time of year is a great time to get away. Aside from the expensive period over Christmas and New Year, December is usually a cheap time to get away. In fact, as soon as the summer holidays are over and peak season has dwindled into shoulder and low seasons prices hit rock bottom. October to early December is a great time to find a cheap holiday, as is January to April. Even if you are after winter sun or a ski break, as long as you travel outside the school holidays there are plenty of bargains to be found.
There is still time to get away over the Christmas period and let’s face it, unless you work in the retail sector, productivity falls in December as people get into the Christmas party mood. So use this time to head overseas.