Consumers are maintaining their holiday spend in 2013 but the middle aged and less affluent are still cutting back, a new report shows.

While holidays remain a key spending priority – particularly for older and more affluent consumers – they are also at risk of being cut if necessary.

The average number of holidays taken is increasing again, but so is the proportion of consumers taking no holidays at all.

The findings come from the latest PwC consumer behaviour and travel survey.

Head of hospitality and leisure David Trunkfield said: “Hard pressed UK consumers are taking a close look at the holidays they have and thinking carefully about what they do and how best to spend their money.

“They really don’t want to give up holidays unless they have to.

“They are trading down and shortening holidays to save money, rather than staying in the UK, or cutting short breaks. They are also more likely to spend less when they get there, stay for less time, or find a cheaper location.”

Those surveyed are more likely to spend less on dining out, takeaways and clothing, shoes and accessories rather than cut down on their main holiday or short breaks over the next 12 months.

Trunkfield said: “Overall spend on non-discretionary items is at an all-time high and accounted for over 50% of all consumer spending for the first time in 2013.

“However, inflation on essentials has declined slightly, meaning there may be more scope for discretionary spending going forward.

“With these recent declines in inflation, the picture for discretionary consumer spending is looking a little more positive, and it looks like consumers are done with cutting back on holiday spend and are looking to cut back on other areas, like dining out and takeaways, if they have to.”