There are various elements that might affect somebody's choice of holiday destination - not least, but not limited to, clarity on costs. Flight prices are the obvious one, but how far do other aspects like tipping and currency exchange matter? In a bid to find out more, we polled 500 UK holidaymakers who have travelled abroad in the last year and looked more closely at the factors that influence their decision-making process.
Currency values are prone to fluctuation; a country's economic performance, political stability, inflation rates and trade conditions all have a part to play in this. A poor exchange rate can significantly affect a holidaymaker's travel budget and consequently lessen a destination's appeal. We were interested to discover that there is a significant lack of knowledge of exchange rates among UK holidaymakers. In fact, only 41% of UK holidaymakers could pick out the correct exchange rate for the Pound Sterling to the Euro when presented with three options.
Card charges abroad are another important aspect for potential visitors to consider before embarking on a trip. We suggest studying the options available when using a card machine or foreign ATM to avoid the surprise of additional costs being applied. Those on stringent budgets may be more inclined to pay in their own currency rather than the local one. Doing this research beforehand will provide holidaymakers with the transparency to make the decision that is right for them.
Tipping can be a source of anxiety for tourists, especially if the culture is contrary to what is the norm at home. Besides the issue of not wishing to cause offense, many feel that extra tipping will cause them to exceed their budget. The USA is one such destination, where a normal tip may range from between 15% and 25%, which can appear steep to the average UK holidaymaker. Our research confirms this; finding that 30% of Brits avoid destinations where there is a prevalent tipping culture to dodge spending extra money. Meanwhile, 33% will do so as a way of avoiding unnecessary confusion.
Often, flight prices will weigh heavily on the perceived affordability of a trip. Even if the destination has a currency with a preferable exchange rate, expensive flights may tip the scales in favour of another location. For this reason, many UK holidaymakers will track flight prices in search of the best deals. 39% of our UK respondents adopted this method. Additionally, just over a quarter (26%) will choose to fly during off-peak hours in order to keep their overall costs down.