Many Brits say they'll spend Christmas away from home – to save money on parties & avoid awkward family reunions | The Sun

NEARLY a third of adults plan to spend the festive season away from home this year – many of them doing so to avoid expensive parties and awkward family get-togethers.  

A study of 2,000 people who celebrate Christmas found 31 per cent won’t be in their abode come December 25th, with 10 per cent of them going abroad.

The most popular destinations for those jetting off are France (27 per cent), Italy (26 per cent) and Switzerland (21 per cent).

For 27 per cent, they simply want to get away from the UK, while others are travelling to see family or friends who live abroad (13 per cent) or making the most of the first year without any lockdown restrictions (10 per cent).

But 36 per cent admitted they are travelling to avoid having to pay to attend parties or other expensive traditions.

And 32 per cent even think going away is a better option financially as they don’t have to pay to heat their home or for other utility bills.

Read more in Travel

Airports ‘could be forced to close’ as Border Force strikes to cause travel chaos

We quit our jobs to travel the world in campervan – we save thousands on rent

Despite this, 45 per cent of those travelling this Christmas have had to tone down their plans due to the cost-of-living crisis, by going for a shorter amount of time (61 per cent) or opting for cheaper accommodation (55 per cent).

A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2, which commissioned the research to highlight its inclusive EU roaming offering, said: “After years of unpredictable plans, it’s nice to see so many people are planning to get away this Christmas.

“Whether visiting loved ones abroad, escaping for some winter sun, or heading off for a seasonal adventure, people seem to be spending more time this year finding the best deal for their festive getaway.

“We know it’s an expensive time so being able to easily contact family and friends back home to wish them a merry Christmas without the fear of roaming costs is one less worry – something O2 customers can make the most of with inclusive EU roaming.”

Most read in News Travel


A new rollercoaster opening next year has the only ‘sideways drop’ in the world


I’m a flight attendant – 2 ways Brits are the worst passengers


All the new rides & attractions coming to Disney theme parks


Airports ‘could be forced to close’ as Border Force strikes to cause travel chaos

The study also found with the cost-of-living crisis biting, 73 per cent feel it’s important to seek out the best deals for travel this year.


1.            To avoid having to pay to attend Christmas parties/expensive traditions 

2.            It’s a more affordable option than staying at home (expensive to heat home/bills etc.)

3.            It’s an annual tradition  

4.            To get away from the UK in general         

5.            For something different

6.            To escape your family    

7.            To see family/friends who live abroad    

8.            Less pressure to see everyone at home

9.            To cheer yourself up      

10.         It’s the first year you can do so since lockdown/the pandemic     

As a result, travellers spent 37 minutes searching for the best flight deals online, 40 minutes researching the most affordable locations and 38 minutes on cost comparison sites.

While 38 per cent spent longer than usual looking for deals online and 37 per cent sought advice from travel experts or influencers.

But for 40 per cent of those going away, it’s a rescheduled trip from either 2020 or 2021 due to restrictions. 

It also emerged that while travellers are likely to be with their partner (49 per cent), parents (39 per cent) and siblings (32 per cent), 82 per cent consider connectivity important so they can keep in touch with family and friends over Christmas.

Video calls are the most likely way to do so (50 per cent), as well as text (48 per cent) and WhatsApp messages (47 per cent) and phone calls (43 per cent).


1.            France

2.            Italy      

3.            Switzerland        

4.            Hungary

5.            Australia             

6.            Austria 

7.            New Zealand     

8.            America              

9.            Spain    

10.         Canada

But 32 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, believe everyone should experience Christmas abroad at least once and 27 per cent would like to in the future.

Abena Kusi, travel expert and owner of blog @travellingtuesdays, said: "Christmas is usually an expensive time for many but the cost-of-living crisis means people are really feeling the strain this year.

Read More on The Sun

Vernon Kay’s pantomime is cancelled – leaving devastated kids in tears

Angry father slams flight attendant for not letting his baby sit in empty seat

“That's probably one of the main reasons why travellers are spending much more time researching for their holidays so they can find the best deals on flights, accommodation and activities abroad.

“However, what's often overlooked is the cost of phone and data packages, and those travelling this Christmas should make sure they're also getting the best deals to stay connected and to avoid expensive roaming charges."


1.          For a snowy and idyllic Christmas break that won’t break the bank, Zakopane in Poland is a great choice.

Low-cost airlines fly directly from the UK into nearby Krakow Airport and customers can find amazing last-minute accommodation deals to make their snow lodge dreams come true.

Venturing into nearby France is also a great idea for those travelling by car with the Eurotunnel.

Having a vehicle on hand means holiday revellers can jump between Christmas Markets in Lille, Strasbourg and Colmar quite easily, getting value for money as they explore multiple dreamy areas in just one trip.

2.            When exchanging money abroad, travellers will see their money go further when using cards from providers which waive foreign transaction fees (up to a limit).

In any case, the worst place to use the forex bureau is at the airport as they usually have the worst rates.

3.            Watch out for unexpected roaming charges.

The majority of mobile network providers have reintroduced EU roaming charges, so depending on your current network, you can avoid this expense by turning off data roaming on your phone or by using a provider who doesn’t charge such fees.

4.            Understandably when budgeting for a holiday, the emphasis is on the money you’ll be spending when you reach your destination.

But with so much time spent in the airport before departing it’s easy to make a significant dent in your holiday budget before you’ve even left the UK – thanks to inflated prices.

So, it’s worth seeing what deals or reward scheme incentives, such as Priority from O2, are available before you set off on your holiday.

5.            When considering accommodation options, loyalty pays off.

Customers should stick with established household hotel names as they tend to have reward programmes which allow people to earn points for their stays, which they can redeem for upgrades and free perks.

Source: Read Full Article