holiday

Holidays still going despite economic crisis

A cost of living crisis is hitting us hard especially at the petrol pumps and supermarkets – but it’s not stopping people going on holiday.

Despite the increasing costs, people are still prepared to dip into their savings to pay for a break away, according to a new YouGov survey.

The survey was commissioned by loyalty programme Wyndham Rewards and found 38% of respondents were prepared to use savings to go on holiday this year after two years of lock-downs and covid restrictions.

And 39% expected to spend more on their holidays than pre-pandemic times.

Savvy

TV expert Alice Beer said: “With the cost-of-living skyrocketing, being money savvy has never been more important. Saving doesn’t have to be complicated. Often, we overlook small but very important things that can make the biggest difference when planning your holiday. There are many easy ways to keep the costs down and make sure you can enjoy that well deserved holiday.”

She recommends browsing destinations where you can get more for your money, especially on food, activities and treats when you get there.

Loyalty

Joining hotel loyalty schemes is also worth doing as you can hear first about flash sales, member rates, early check-ins, late check-outs and room upgrades. Budget-friendly hotels often have loyalty points on offer so you can collect them towards a free stay in the future.

“Once you have found quotes online, book directly on the hotel website,” she says. “Large booking sites often charge a commission on the price and the hotel can sometimes offer you a better rate when you book direct, some hotels also provide upgrades, free drinks or other service perks if you book directly through their website or mobile apps giving you more value for your money.

“Hotel brand websites will also show you rates across their different properties, so if your destination is flexible you can search for the best deal for your budget whilst staying with the brand you know and trust.”

Savings

According to the survey, 34% said they preferred to save on hotels and use the money for other activities, but only 37% checked directly on hotel websites, and only 20% used hotel loyalty programmes and the associated benefits.

Julie White, Vice President Commercial, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa EMEA, said: “Despite a challenging economic climate, after two years of missed holidays people are eager to make their summer trip work. Our industry is resilient, and it is our priority to help people get the holidays they deserve. Loyalty schemes such as Wyndham Rewards can bring significant savings, especially if you use them over time. From exclusive members’ discounts, flexible cancellation policies, ability to use points for hotels, as well as many high-street brands, there are many easy ways to make the most out of your trips. Being savvy with your booking can make all the difference and we hope Alice’s tips will help travellers make the most of their holidays this summer and beyond.”

 

Staycation time

 

If you’re looking for a last-minute staycation or want to avoid the airport queues, a Devon getaway could be the answer.

Harbour Beach Club & Hotel in Salcombe has room availability over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The new spa which opened in March, is home to a 12-meter indoor pool, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the beach, a hydro pool, sauna and steam rooms, juice bar and relaxation room. Those looking for outdoor experiences can book onto wild sea swimming lessons, water sports lessons, paddle boarding or paddle board yoga, kayaking and guided seal walks. Those looking for a real thrill can explore the seas on a family-friendly boat ride or join a fishing trip where guests can catch their dinner to be prepared at the hotel kitchen. Alternatively, embrace your inner artist and venture to the best spots in South Sands with painting equipment and a bespoke map provided by the hotel. Children can also spend their days exploring and learning new skills, while parents escape for early morning beachside yoga and guided meditation hikes. Guests can also pick up a picnic from the restaurant to take with them as they explore.

Rates at Harbour Beach Club & Hotel start from £259 per night based on two sharing a Seaview Double Room on a B&B basis at www.harbourhotels.co.uk.

 

For a city visit you could try the landmark University Arms in Cambridge. It has launched the Ultimate Upgrade offer for stays between August 14 and September 4, where guests can enhance their stay at the hotel with a choice of room upgrades.

They include booking a Cosy Room and being gifted a complimentary bottle of Saffron Grange English Sparkling Wine, a Classic Room for an Aromatherapy Associates gift set and bottle of Saffron Grange, or a Superior Room where they receive a 60-minute treatment for two, an Aromatherapy Associates gift set and a bottle of Saffron Grange. For the ultimate lavish experience, the Ultra Ultimate Upgrade is a two-night stay in one of the University Arms Suites, with a Hidden Cambridge private walking tour of the historic city, 60-minute spa treatments for two and Afternoon Tea for two at the Parker’s Tavern restaurant.

The hotel re-opened in 2018 after a two-year £80m transformation, with 192 suites, a bar, library, event space, underground valet car park, and treatment rooms.

Parker’s Tavern is led by local Chef Tristan Welch, and inspired by the communal dining halls synonymous with Cambridge colleges.

Rates for the Ultimate Upgrade package start at £211 per night and is bookable until August 11 on www.universityarms.com

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