Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Mind your pennies to avoid holiday regrets

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An Expedia survey found 18 per cent of Kiwis put aside money in a dedicated holiday savings fund. Photo / Thinkstock
An Expedia survey found 18 per cent of Kiwis put aside money in a dedicated holiday savings fund. Photo / Thinkstock

New Zealanders love a bargain.

Expedia's new Holiday Spending Index report puts Kiwis among the most cost-conscious holidaymakers in the world. Their survey found that 18 per cent of us put aside money by maintaining a dedicated holiday savings fund.

The survey of 11,165 people across 24 countries found that 17 per cent of us start saving a year ahead of our holiday. That's possibly a reflection of our geographic isolation - it ain't cheap to get to Heathrow.

The survey found that 71 per cent of us start saving at least one month out from a trip. Eleven per cent bash the credit card, putting the whole holiday on tick and paying it off later - profoundly unwise.

As the person who found my wallet on a train at the weekend could tell you, I'm hopeless at managing personal finances. But I know enough to know that we should be careful of credit card abuse on holiday. Hit the card too hard and you'll be left lamenting the trip for months to come.

Every time a credit card bill rolls in, you'll be sitting there thinking: "Why did we go on that bloody holiday?"

A holiday should plant good memories, not regrets. Unfortunately - thanks to our obsession with racking up massive mortgages and the free-and-easy attitude to borrowing money encouraged by the student loan system - too many of us are happy to dive into debt.

Overall though, Expedia's results suggest most Kiwis seem savvy to the finances. The state of the dollar weighs heavily on holidaymkers. Rating the Kiwi dollar against local currencies is high on the decision-making agenda - 66 per cent said it was an important factor. For 65 per cent, it influences where they decide to go.

Aisle sit there

Still in survey territory: an easyJet poll has found - perhaps unsurprisingly - that window seats are the most popular.

They surveyed 10,000 passengers on seat preference and found that 59 per cent of passengers grab a window seat when they get the chance.

I'm an aisle guy (it's the second-most popular spot, at 38 per cent). I hate to be crammed in and I'm not wild about seeing the wings flap.

The weirdest stat of all: Three per cent of easyJet flyers actually prefer the middle seat. That's just weird.

- NZ Herald

Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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