Pack Up, Jet Off

Oct 28, 2010, 03:00 ET from Expedia.co.uk

LONDON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- With the summer season drawing to close, travellers are looking to go further afield for some winter sun. Compared to this time last year, Autumn bookings are already showing 30% stronger growth than for the Summer season -- according to the leading online travel booking site, Expedia.co.uk.

But when it comes to packing, Brits overindulge and this may have cost them up to 270 pounds million this summer.* One in six have admitted to paying excess baggage charges for their bulging suitcases, while one in ten paid an average of 50 pounds in excess baggage in the last 12 months.

Nearly a third (58%) of Brits consider a city break the hardest holiday to pack for. The broad range of activities from site-seeing to shows and dinners leave Brits panic-packing outfits for every eventuality.

"Expedia data shows that city breaks are the most common type of break for autumn travellers and with more people travelling this autumn it seems we may need some guidance on how to pack more efficiently, so we're launching a packing challenge to find Britain's best packers," commented Giovanna Picciano of Expedia.co.uk.

The challenge "Case Closed" which launches on 1st October at http://game.expedia.com  will challenge participants to pit their packing skills against other players through the viral game and also against their friends through a Facebook application to find the champion packers.

And it's not only how much to pack that Brits are struggling with, but also what they are allowed to pack. 72% of Brits have had items confiscated at the security check with cosmetics (19%) and food (12%) among the top two.

While nearly half of us (40%) spend between one and two days preparing for our holiday, nearly a third (27%) admit to spending less than an hour packing their suitcases. These hasty packing habits could be a major cause of Brits' baggage issues. Three quarters of those asked (73%) admitted to not using everything they packed.

"Our research shows that we are struggling with luggage restrictions and this is causing excess stress and unnecessary cost.  Good preparation can take at least a day yet the average length of stay for autumn breaks is just a couple of days. We want to enable people to stay a little longer to get the full benefit from their break and justify the preparation time so we've secured thousands of deals for autumn to stay an extra night for free nights or up to get 35% off this Autumn," says Giovanna Picciano, Expedia.co.uk.

The Expedia Autumn Sale will run until 18th October and will offer discounts for travel through to March 2011

"When packing, preparation is key.  Think back to your last holiday, and think about what you really wore.  Then make a list.  Be brutal -- not sure that dress really fits you anymore?  Leave it!  Think in outfits -- there's no point taking your new favourite shoes if they don't go with anything else in your case.  Most of all stay calm, and be practical -- you really don't need your whole wardrobe for a two week break!" says fashion writer, Siam Goorwich

The research also reveals that all Brits really want to do while on holiday is truly escape from the norm with iPods and mobile phones featuring way down the list of holiday must-haves.  Bulky books and sun cream were the most important items for holidaymakers, so it's no wonder Brits are struggling with heavy suitcases and confiscated items.

Top ten items people can't live without on their holiday

  • 1. Camera
  • 2. Books
  • 3. Sun cream
  • 4. Sunglasses
  • 5. Guide book
  • 6. Mobile Phone
  • 7. Travel adaptor
  • 8. Shoes
  • 9. iPod
  • 10. Bikini

Expedia has teamed up with fashion writer and stylist Siam Goorwich to help holidaymakers with their packing woes:

Top tips for the perfect holiday wardrobe

Beach break

Be honest with yourself

There's no point dragging that bikini/ dress/ pair of shorts half way across the world if you don't actually feel comfortable in them.  If you're not sure in your bedroom, leave it.

Pack a cotton sarong

It will keep you cool in the heat, and warm if it gets a bit chilly.  Also great for covering burnt bits!

City Break

Create a capsule wardrobe

On a city break you want to feel and look good, but ultimately it's all about speed and ease -- you're only there for a couple of days, so don't want to waste time faffing over outfits.  Take time at home to put together the perfect capsule wardrobe.  First choose a colour theme, and then pack versatile items that you can mix and match together.  Layers are also great -- so you can move from day to night without having to waste time going back to your hotel.

These boots were made for walking

City breaks usually mean lots of walking, so be sensible in your shoe selection.  There's no point only taking your Louboutins if you're sight-seeing in Rome.  Pick something like a biker or riding boot which is comfortable, stylish, waterproof, and will also work for day and night.

Ski break

Wear what you can on the plane!

It's a bit cheeky, but for the time being it's your bags, not you, which are weighed at check-in.  Therefore save suitcase space and stretch your weight restriction by thinking carefully about your travel gear.  Obviously be sensible (turning up to the airport piste perfect might earn you a couple of strange looks), but you can definitely get away with wearing your jacket and heaviest boots on the plane!

Leave your glad-rags at home

A ski resort is no place for a stiletto (believe me, I've tried), or a party dress for that matter.  Apres ski is all about a stylish jumper and jean so don't waste valuable suitcase space on anything more glamorous!

Expedia deals

Dubai for 584 pounds per person -- includes Double Nectar Points, a 20% hotel saving, a 4.4/5 customer rating and is a 2010 Insiders' Select Winner

Seven nights room only at the four-star Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa is from 584 pounds per person, based on two sharing a heritage room. This includes direct return flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow to Dubai, departing 7th October 2010. Located in the city centre, this hotel is a short walk from Dubai Museum and Dubai Creek. For reservations, visit http://www.expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

Sharm El Sheikh for 523 pounds per person -- includes Double Nectar Points, a 35% hotel saving and a 4.3/5 customer rating

Seven nights bed and breakfast at the five-star Concorde El Salam Sharm El Sheikh Hotel is from 523 pounds per person, based on two sharing a standard room. This includes return flights with Thomson Airways from London Gatwick to Sharm El Sheikh, departing 10th November 2010.  Located in Shark's Bay, this hotel is less than three miles from Montazah Beach and Shark's Bay Beach. For reservations, visit http://www.expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

Paris for 155 pounds per person -- includes 1000 Nectar Points, a 44% hotel saving and a 4.2/5 customer rating

Three nights room only at the three-star Residhome Bois-Colombe Monceau is from 155 pounds per person, based on two sharing a studio. This includes direct return flights with easyJet from London Luton to Paris, departing 8th October 2010. Located near the Grande Arche, this hotel is less than three miles from Bois de Boulogne, Parc de Bagatelle and Arc de Triomphe. For reservations, visit http://www.expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

Marrakech for 376 pounds per person -- includes Double Nectar Points, a 20% hotel saving and a 4.7/5 customer rating

Seven nights bed and breakfast at the four-star Terra Mia Marrakech - Riad is from 376 pounds per person, based on two sharing a double room. This includes direct return flights with easyJet from London Gatwick to Marrakech, departing 6th October 2010. Located in Palm Groves, this hotel is less than five miles from Ben Youssef Mosque, Djemaa el Fna and Majorelle Garden. For reservations, visit http://www.expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

Barcelona for 197 pounds per person -- includes Double Nectar Points, a 15% hotel saving and a 4/5 customer rating

Seven nights room only at the four-star Hotel Eurostars Parc Del Valles is from 197 pounds per person, based on two sharing a standard room. This includes return flights with easyJet from London Stansted to Barcelona, departing 17th November 2010. Located in Cerdanyola del Valles, this hotel is less than seven miles from Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia and Placa d'Espanya. For reservations, visit http://www.expedia.co.uk or call 0330 123 1235.

Editors Notes

*Based on Expedia research which shows that 10% of UK passengers have paid an average of 50 pounds on excess luggage combined with CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) report figures that show approx. 18 million passengers take flights from UK airports each month during the summer months (June, July, August) -- 54 million in total. Expedia estimates that 5.4 million passengers have paid an average of 50 pounds excess baggage over the summer.

For further press information, please contact the Expedia press office team: Telephone: 0844 875 1457, Email: expediapressoffice@golinharris.com

SOURCE Expedia.co.uk