Lonely Planet Writer

British tourists put paying for holidays above paying their other bills

A high number of Brits may be putting off paying their bills in order to fund their holidays, according to a research by travel booking site Sunshine.co.uk.

Woman enjoys a drink on the beach.
Woman enjoys a drink on the beach. Image by YinYang/Getty Images

In a survey of 2,000 British adults from around the UK who had been on a holiday in the last year, a third said they put their holiday plans ahead of bills. Each respondent was asked whether they had skipped bills or paid them late to partly fund their last holiday abroad – and 31% said yes. For those who admitted to skipping bill payments, 21% said they delayed paying their council tax, 19% didn’t pay their mobile phone contract, 17% skipped their TV or broadband bills, and 13% said they didn’t pay their energy or utility bills.

However, some travellers are thinking sensibly, as 54% of Britons say they would not go into debt to pay for a holiday. Respondents were asked how they fund their holidays, and 41% said they pay with savings amassed over a period of time, 33% said credit cards, 10% said disposable income, and 8% said overdrafts. Sunshine.co.uk notes that anyone thinking about delaying their bill payments to book a trip should note that this can lead to extra charges in the long run, and “it also shows up on your credit report and can damage your credit history, making you look unreliable and irresponsible with your money”.

Silhouette of airplane flying over palm trees in sunset.
Silhouette of airplane flying over palm trees in sunset. Image by John Lund/Getty Images

For anyone trying to get the money together for a holiday, some companies are trying to help travellers who don’t have the funds to pay up front. CheapAir.com has started a partnership with Affirm, a financial services company, to create one, three, six or 12-month payment plans to pay for airfare and accommodation. Expedia also has a program with Affirm that allows travellers to pay instalments for hotel bookings of more than $200.