/ Travel & Leisure

What would you sacrifice for a holiday?

Person jumping on on beach

Although the recession has made many of us change our travel plans, we’re still willing to make sacrifices. But with new fuel surcharges from companies like Thomas Cook, can you afford to jet abroad?

When the economy was strong, holidays were one of the most popular reasons to save. Now we’re in hard times, our priorities may have shifted.

However, I’d still very much doubt that it’s slipped out of most people’s top five reasons to save. According to a survey by the Future Foundation we’re more inclined to save up for that all-important holiday than to put money aside for a home improvement, our children’s education, or even our retirement.

Not only are we prepared to save money for a holiday, some of us are even prepared to go into debt for it too. And we all know that debt haunts us for a long time, so to incur it means we want the memories to last even longer.

Indeed, research by the Future Foundation says we’re actually more prepared to go into debt for a holiday than for our children’s education. Although it may be because of them that we need the holiday in the first place.

Thomas Cook’s fuel surcharges

But how much are we prepared to pay for that holiday? Travel companies Thomson and Thomas Cook have announced that they’ll be adding extra fuel surcharges of between £15 and £40 per person to flights depending on the distance flown.

A 40% increase in the cost of jet fuel has been blamed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other travel companies followed suit. In fact, they follow British Airways’ latest fuel surcharges of between £75 and £125 per person.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also warned that “skyrocketing” oil costs due to instability in the Middle East will make 2011 a challenging year for air travel.

Depressingly, some people might find they won’t be able to travel anywhere at all, never mind going on holiday.

This year’s holiday plans cancelled?

It already appears that holiday and flight prices are starting to concern us. Up to a quarter of Brits have cancelled their holiday plans this year due to worries about the recession, or so says a recent poll published in the Metro. Instead, many hope to find something more affordable in Britain – hopefully with sunshine included.

So has our faltering economy along with extra fuel surcharges made you rethink your holiday plans for this year? Or will the lure of guaranteed sunshine be too strong that you’ll be prepared to spend your savings on going abroad?


What is wrong with having a holiday in the UK? Better for the environment, better for our economy, no language barrier, no time wasted travelling, no messing about with passports or vaccinations, little risk of finding that the hotel is still being built, no worries about being expected to pay bills for emergency medical treatment.

My work has taken me abroad quite frequently and I really don’t see the appeal when the UK has so much to offer.


I was taught to budget and not spend more than I earned. So any money spent on holidays – any holidays – was never a result “sacrifice” but planned saving.