Comment: Despite squeeze on budgets, clients find ways to keep on travelling

The cost-of-living squeeze is making some elements of travel less glamorous – but clients are still determined to go on holiday, says InteleTravel agent Mimi Gee, founder of

Remember the days when holiday decisions depended on pausing the Teletext screen at the exact page you saw 24 minutes ago?

And booking a break consisted of reassuring yourself about the quality of the resort based just on its name and price? And booking was done over the phone?

It was much simpler back then.

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If you’re Gen Z and have no idea about what I mean, Google Ceefax Teletext holidays and have a giggle!

And now? Booking options seem almost endless, with major package providers, accommodation-only and flight search engines, and the rise of independent travel agents across social media.

You can spend hours on review websites checking other travellers’ opinions, where glowing testimonials are mixed with horror stories.

Despite this vastly increased range of destinations and ways to book, as an independent travel agent, the most common request I get from clients is about getting the lowest price.

As we feel the pinch with the rising cost of living, holiday budgets are usually the non-negotiable element of a client’s requirements.

Inevitably, this means some travel elements are stripped back to the bare minimum, or those parts we used to take for granted are now extras with an additional fee.

Some low-cost flights can cost less than a round of drinks at the airport, but you’ll get a random seat selection, limited luggage, no free refreshments and an airport that is two hours from the main destination.

Despite this lack of luxury, low-cost airlines are booming – and legacy carriers have introduced tiered fares such as ‘economy plus’ and ‘premium economy’.

But it is harder to find more budget-friendly accommodation without seriously compromising on quality and location.

Clients often accept a less glamorous flight but are less willing to lower their standards with their hotel or apartment.

And self-catering accommodation means you are either cooking each day or racking up hefty restaurant bills.

Clients are increasingly looking to destinations where their pound stretches further, such as Bulgaria and Tunisia rather than Spain and Greece.

And others are happy to take the kids out of school during term-time as the prices are still better, even if parents do get fined.

Other families are travelling during the half-term holidays rather than the peak summer months, to stretch their budget – or looking for 10 nights rather than a fortnight.

Some clients are even choosing to go away every other year instead of annually to get exactly what they want in terms of quality.

Staycations are not a reliable alternative as the costs can easily surpass an all-inclusive in the Med, with no guarantee of sunshine.

As the cost of living continues to rise, travellers will look for more ways to maximise their holiday budget by accepting low-cost flights or taking fewer holidays to ensure quality.

Some clients will always pay more for luxury and comfort, but most of them are willing to forgo some of these elements to ensure they get away on that well-deserved break in the sun as they the feel the pinch in their pockets.

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