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Virtual holidays can save money

Increasing numbers of canny holidaymakers are performing a virtual rehearsal of their holiday before setting off, saving time and money.

A new survey by Post Office Broadband shows that despite the credit crunch 64% of holidaymakers have or are still planning to take a holiday this year. And over three quarters (77%) of UK internet users said that they use the net to research the holiday they’ve booked before they leave.

The hot topics holidaymakers research before they depart for their holiday destination are holiday weather (56%), accommodation (49%), the resort (47%), maps/location (45%), reviews by other travellers (38%) and currency exchange rates (37%).

“With budgets for luxuries squeezed, UK residents seem to be making sure they enjoy every minute of their well-earned break during the credit crunch by taking a ‘virtual rehearsal’ and exploring their destination online before they go,” comments Post Office head of broadband, Stewart Fox-Mills.

“Broadband technology has made it really easy for people to research practically every aspect of their holiday destinations before leaving - be it by taking a virtual tour of their hotel, picking the best spot on the beach or even zooming in on their destination on Google Earth,” he continues.

The survey also reveals that 27% of holidaymakers plan to cut back on the cost of their holiday this year due to the credit crunch.

“Holiday research on the web isn’t just about what the weather will be like. For people looking to tighten their financial belts, it can be an effective way of controlling costs. From getting the best currency exchange rates to investigating local bus routes to cut down on taxi costs, the internet is a great place to plan your trip down to the last cent - so you’re not stung by unexpected costs when you’re supposed to be relaxing,” Fox-Mills adds.

But the gloomy economy hasn’t stopped people dreaming. The survey shows that 36% of UK internet users look at dream holiday destinations on the web, even though they know they can’t afford them.

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