One in four unable to holiday as a result of cost-of-living crisis


A new survey by has found that over a quarter of people in Northern Ireland are missing out on holidays due to the cost-of-living-crisis.

Lockdowns and travel restrictions hit the travel industry hard during the pandemic, and it seems that the cost-of-living crisis is now taking its toll on holidaygoers again.

The new survey, from shows that more than a quarter of people in Northern Ireland (28%) are missing out on holidays as a result of the cost-of-living-crisis.

The survey also found that for those who were still able to travel, the most important factor in determining where they would go was cost, with 62% saying this had the biggest impact on their holiday destination.

In addition to this, nearly half (44%) said they were choosing to holiday closer to home due to the cost-of-living crisis. This is reflected in data which showed that nearly two thirds (65%) of travel insurance policies from Northern Ireland in 2023 were for European countries with just 13% for worldwide travel.

Airfare prices have increased significantly since 2019. 2023 prices were up 8.4% over 2022, and in 2024, it is forecasted to increase again.*

Commenting on the survey, Ian Wilson Managing Director at said: “It’s unfortunate that just as the pandemic has stopped disrupting holiday plans, finances are now taking their toll on travellers from Northern Ireland.

“With the price of airfare and accommodation increasing significantly in the last couple of years, cost is not only causing people in Northern Ireland to holiday closer to home but also to miss out on holidays altogether.

“There are plenty of things that travellers can do to save money, from using flight comparison sites to using prepaid travel cards and always making sure to book travel insurance at the same time as booking the holiday, to protect finances against delays and cancellations.”’s tips for saving on holidays;

Use flight comparison sites

Flight comparison sites search online travel agents and airlines to find the cheapest flight options for your chosen destination and date. Not only does it save time, but it can help save money too.

Prepaid travel cards

Travel cards that are designed to be used abroad will require to be prepaid but the exchange rate will be locked in, instead of getting the rate at the time of spending as you would with a credit or debit card. Certain businesses won’t accept prepaid travel cards such as car rental firms, so it’s important to be mindful of where you’ll be spending. As these cards are pre-paid, they are also a good way to manage your budget whilst abroad.

Take out travel insurance

Take out insurance at the same time as the holiday is purchased – this can help protect against issues in the lead up to the trip. If it’s a package holiday, check it’s ABTA protected, the ABTA logo should appear on the booking reference.  Also check if the trip is ATOL protected or ATOL Flight Plus protected – meaning customers won’t be left stranded abroad if the tour operator or airline goes bust.

Book holiday with credit card

Booking with credit cards can give extra protection – if the trip is cancelled or the operator goes bust, the credit card company is normally liable as the retailer, and so should refund the payment.

Withdrawing foreign currency

When taking out cash at an ATM machine abroad, always select the option to withdraw in the local currency or else you could be charged for a higher exchange rate. The same goes for spending money – if given the chance, choose to spend money in the local currency on card machines.

Exchange money before getting to the airport

It might seem convenient and time efficient to change your money into the local currency whilst waiting around at the airport, but there are often hefty service fees added on top. Research shows that some airports charge between 10% – 13% more than high street or bank exchanges.

Travel off season

Travelling off-season can be a lot cheaper. Off-season is when there are the least number of tourists, and the price of flights and accommodation is typically lower. data shows that May and June were the most popular travel months in 2023. can help users find savings on other household essentials including car, pet and home insurance.



*’s findings are based on a randomised survey of 1000 respondents across Northern Ireland in February 2024, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.