Brits spend equivalent of 13 days a year planning their holidays

A quarter of keen holidaymakers will begin planning their trips away months in advance – but one in ten will leave the bulk of their preparation until the week before departure, research has found.

A poll of 2,000 adults found that, on average, 13 days a year are spent planning holidays – from talking about the trip and researching it, to making reservations.

The average holiday planning to-do list consists of 11 different tasks – including sorting out currency, organising travel insurance, and arranging activities to do while away.

And three in five (59%) agree that budgeting is a “crucial” step, according to the research commissioned by M&S Bank.

Other important steps for successfully planning a break include planning well in advance (40%), and researching the destination beforehand (30%).

And with over half of holidaymakers (53%) preferring to travel outside of the summer period, it’s likely many of those polled are currently planning an off-season break.

Paul Stokes, from travel money and insurance provider, M&S Bank, said: “It is fantastic to see that we are a nation of planners, and we like to spend time to plan the perfect holiday, no matter the time of year.

“Doing your research in advance and making a budget for your holiday are both great ways to help your money go further and avoid any unnecessary spending.

“In addition, it’s important that holidaymakers don’t put off buying travel insurance until they’re ready to go – as it doesn’t just cover them for while they’re away, but from the moment they take it out.”

When planning holiday spending, steps deemed “vital” include choosing what payment methods to use (47%), and making a spending budget (45%).

And deciding how much travel money or currency to take (42%) is also important.

A quarter (26%) purchase their currency a week in advance of their getaway, while one in five (19%) tend to leave this to the day prior to departure.

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The study found shopping (19%), local cuisine (16%), and history tours (15%) are the top things those polled want to spend their money on when away.

It also emerged that more than half (53%) of holidaymakers like to have a holiday booked so they always have one to look forward to.

Nearly six in ten (58%) said there is an art to planning a holiday – and 91% of those who feel this way claim to have mastered it.

Motivations for booking a break include fatigue (30%), wanting to spend quality time with loved ones (28%), and a desire to see more of the world (27%).

And reasons for preferring off-season breaks include, they’re “often cheaper” (35%), destinations are “less busy” (32%), and “great deals” are usually available (30%).

Paul Stokes added: “With many purchasing their currency a week in advance of their getaway, collecting currency at the same time as doing your final holiday shopping is an added time-saving convenience for many.

“While many locations will take card payments, it’s always advisable to take some cash too for things like taxis, tipping, and even a coffee or an ice cream while you’re enjoying all the activities on offer.”

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