Brits still love their summer getaways but cut back on the costs

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The Independent Online

Hard-pressed Britons are reducing their summer holiday spends by an average £256 per person, according to new research from Santander.

Just over four out of five Britons plan to holiday either abroad or in the UK. While nearly half of them (43 per cent) are keeping their holiday budgets at the same level as last year, 12 per cent are in a position to spend more this summer despite the recession.

One-fifth don't know how their budgets will compare to last year's. Of the quarter of holidaymakers looking to reduce their holiday budgets, the average decrease stands at £256 per person, per week.

The research found that the biggest holiday cut Britons are planning is eating out (54 per cent), followed by spending money (46 per cent) and accommodation (40 per cent).

Other areas taking a hit are activities and local trips (29 per cent), travel arrangements to and from the holiday destination (28 per cent) and travel arrangements once there (26 per cent).

"A summer holiday is the one thing that most Britons won't do without," said Callum Gibson from Santander. "But many Britons are consciously looking for ways to reduce the amount they're spending this year. Britons can make their money go further while they're abroad by always paying in the local currency to avoid being charged a fee for converting the purchase to sterling."

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed last week that Britons are staying put rather than venturing overseas for their summer holiday. The pound's relative weakness against the dollar and particularly the euro seems to be behind the decision by many Britons to stay in the UK.

Unusually, the weakness of the pound doesn't seem to be attracting more visitors from abroad, the ONS found that foreign visitor numbers actually fell by 9 per cent in the first half of the year.

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