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Mini breaks are becoming the holiday of choice

Mini breaks are becoming the holiday of choice

Category: Travel

Updated: 04/08/2015
First Published: 03/08/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Are you heading off on a one or two-week holiday this year? Or is a mini break more your thing? According to research from American Express, mini breaks are becoming the holiday of choice, and people aren't venturing that far afield in order to make the most of things.

Shorter holidays in the spotlight

The survey found that people are definitely starting to favour shorter getaways – those of five days or less – over the traditional holiday, and surprisingly, staycations are the most popular choice.

Almost two-thirds (61%) of holidaymakers said they were taking at least one short break in the UK this year, while 32% are heading further afield to Europe. In fact, less than half (46%) of those questioned said they'd be spending more than five days away on holiday this year, showing how popular the mini break is becoming.

So just why this leaning towards shorter holidays? Well, 31% said that it's because mini breaks feel more spontaneous, don't take as much planning or cost less (and will therefore require a lesser raid on the savings pot) than longer holidays, so they could be the ideal combination for cash and time-strapped travellers.

However, things may not be quite as they seem, as although people generally think that shorter holidays are more budget-friendly, the cost can quickly ramp up if you're not careful.

The risk of overspending

The survey went on to reveal that the typical mini-breaker will spend an estimated £431 each on travel, accommodation, food and drink, and that's before everything else has been added into the equation.

Indeed, 24% admitted that they get carried away and spend beyond their budget on things like gifts (£55), excursions (£64), shopping (£92) and treats (£51), bringing the overall total to an eye-watering £878 per person.

That's why it's so important to keep an eye on your spending no matter how short the break may be, because it can be all-too easy to spend more than you would on the assumption that you're not there for very long. Ideally, over-budget and save in advance, and that way you won't get a shock when you get home.

Another thing to bear in mind is how you're paying for everything. If you're paying by cash it's vital to exchange currency in advance – never at the airport – or if card is your method of choice, make sure it's of the specialist variety.

Debit cards will typically charge sky-high fees for foreign use, so these should always be sidelined in favour of a travel credit card that's doesn't charge extra fees for foreign use (or a pre-paid travel card if you'd rather not use credit). As a bonus tip, remember to always pay for things in the local currency, as opting for sterling will invariably mean an additional charge.

So, try to be a bit savvy with your spending, and hopefully you won't return with a bigger holiday bill than you were expecting.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.