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Michael Brown

Acting Editor
Published: 10/05/2022
two people sitting on chairs at an airport while social distancing and wearing masks

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Travel agent and airline spending are at their highest since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just over one in five Brits are planning on taking a holiday during the upcoming Queen’s Jubilee weekend, according to Barclaycard’s latest Consumer Spending Index. Of this number, 84% of respondents are planning a trip abroad.

“While concerns around rising household bills may continue to hamper spending on non-essential items, the upcoming Platinum Jubilee Weekend and summer months should provide opportunities for Brits to spend on celebrations and make the most of warmer weather,” said José Carvalho, Head of Consumer Products at Barclaycard.

In addition, travel agent and airline spending saw their biggest monthly expenditure since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Despite this increase, compared to April of 2019, travel agent spending in the same month this year was down 3.5%, while airline spending was down 9.9%.

“The improvements seen by airlines and travel agents are particularly positive, and hopefully point to a recovery in spending on international travel later this year,” said Carvalho.

Getting ready for the summer

While travel agent and airline spending is still at a deficit, expenditure on hotels and accommodation was up 16.6% in April when compared to the same month of 2019.

To prepare for summer holidays, clothes and accessories sat beside beauty products such as fake tan as the most popular items among consumers.

All research from Barclaycard was collected from a sample of 2,000 respondents across the UK.

Should I be concerned about COVID-19 before I travel?

Those planning to travel internationally might be concerned about COVID-19 infections, which is why taking out a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 cover might be an option.

COVID-19 can potentially affect more than your health. It could result in you having to cancel your trip, potentially losing hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

Our latest guide on COVID-19 and travel insurance explains this in more detail as well as the top offers on the market.

Moneyfacts tip: Don’t waste your money on card fees

While using a UK debit or credit card abroad may be convenient, it can end up notching up significant costs in fees.

“A typical debit card charges £11.88 when consumers withdraw £250 in cash abroad and £1.38 for an in-store purchase of £50,” said Rachell Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts, in an article written at the beginning of April.

“However, consumers can avoid these fees altogether if they apply for a credit card designed for use abroad or open a current account with a debit card that does not charge them for making withdrawals,” she further explained.

Currently, Starling Bank, Metro Bank, and Virgin Money all offer current accounts which do not charge for spending in Europe or a cash withdrawal.


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