Brits Take 14% More Holidays Abroad Than Four Years Ago

18 June 2016

  • New Zealand, Iceland and Japan are seen as the top three ‘must visit’ destinations

Analysis(1) of government data by Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money reveals UK residents took 15.6 million holidays abroad between July and September 2015, compared to 13.7 million for the same period in 2011 – a rise of 14%.

New research(2) from Sainsbury’s Travel Money reveals that the top three ‘must visit’ destinations are New Zealand, chosen by 29% of people, Iceland, the choice of one in five, and Japan (selected by 19% of people).

Simon Taylor, Head of Travel Money at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “Our research suggests that we are taking even more holidays abroad and to a wider set of countries than just four years ago. With growth in travel to destinations such as Japan and Iceland it’s essential holidaymakers shop around for their foreign currency and consider the convenience and safety of a pre-loaded Multi-currency Cash PassportTM card.”

Top 5 ‘must visit’ holiday destinations(2)

Destination Percentage
New Zealand 29%
Iceland 20%
Japan 19%
Norway 16%
Croatia 15%

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money’s analysis(1) reveals that the vast majority of the nation’s most popular holiday destinations saw significant increases in the number of us taking vacations between Q3 2011 and Q3 2015. Those holidaying in Spain increased by 21%, and Italy, Portugal and the USA saw rises of 43%; 38% and 37% respectively.

The three countries that saw the biggest percentage increase in Brits holidaying there between Q3 2011 and Q3 2015 were Slovakia (466%); Japan (285%) and Iceland (220%).

When asked what the most important factors are when planning a holiday destination, 49%(2) said value for money; followed by 40% who said a warmer or better climate and 38% who said safety. Visiting somewhere for an ‘authentic’ cultural experience was cited as the most important factor by 23% of people and 21% wanted to visit a destination which had not become too commercialised.

Most important factors considered by  Brits when planning holiday destination(2) Percentage
Value for money 49%
Warmer / better weather 40%
Somewhere safe 38%
An ‘authentic’ cultural experience 23%
Somewhere that has not become too commercialised 21%
A once in a lifetime experience 18%
A ‘family friendly’ destination 14%
A short city break 11%
The ability to visit family when abroad 6%
The ability to visit friends when abroad 5%

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money offers 0% commission on foreign currency and consistently competitive exchange rates. There are over 50 currencies available to order. Open seven days a week and with convenient parking, customers can also purchase a Sainsbury’s Bank Multi-currency Cash PassportTM and collect travel money whilst shopping. Customers can also order currency online or by telephone on 0845 301 2724 and collect from a travel money bureau, or receive free home delivery for orders of £500 or more.

Travel Money customers with a Nectar card also benefit from Nectar points, in line with the supermarket bank’s reward strategy which sees customers rewarded for holding selected Sainsbury’s Bank products. The Bank continually looks at ways to further strengthen the rewards on offer for its customers.


For further information, please contact:

Lorna Gilmour or Jennifer Johnston-Watt, Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0010 /

Notes to editor:

  • Sainsbury’s Bank analysis of ONS Travel Pac data , 28, April 2016
  • Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,007 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+ between 19th to 22nd April 2016. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

This press release is information for journalists only and is not intended to be a promotion to be acted upon by consumers.

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Sainsbury’s Bank Multi-currency Cash Passport™ is issued by R. Raphael & Sons plc, pursuant to license by MasterCard International Inc. MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. R. Raphael & Sons plc is a UK bank authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (registration number 161302) and is permitted to issue e-money. Head office and registered office at 19-21 Shaftesbury Ave, London, W1D 7ED, company registration number 01288938.