We're All Going On a Virtual Holiday

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UK holidaymakers are making the most of their breaks during the credit crunch by using the net to take a 'virtual rehearsal' before they leave, according to Post Office® Broadband.

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Broadband technology has made it really easy for people to research practically every aspect of their holiday destinations before leaving - be it by taking a virtual tour of their hotel, picking the best spot on the beach or even zooming in on their destination on Google Earth.

A new study out today showed that despite the credit crunch, 64 per cent of holidaymakers have or are still planning to take a holiday this year, and over three quarters (77 per cent) of UK internet users said that they use the net to research the holiday they've booked before they leave.

The top topics people research about their holidays before they leave are:

  •     Weather - 56 per cent
  •     Accommodation - 49 per cent
  •     Resort - 47 per cent
  •     Maps / location - 45 per cent
  •     Reviews by other travellers - 38 per cent
  •     Foreign currency exchange rates - 37 per cent

Scots were revealed to be the most interested in the culinary delights of their destination, with 38 per cent researching restaurants, compared to a national average of only 27 per cent. Londoners, however, were the most interested in how to spend that holiday cash, with almost a quarter (24 per cent) researching the shopping delights that await them, compared to 18 per cent nationally.

Stewart Fox-Mills, head of broadband at the Post Office®, said: "With budgets for luxuries squeezed, UK residents seem to be making sure they enjoy every minute of their well-earned break during the credit crunch by taking a 'virtual rehearsal' and exploring their destination online before they go.

"Broadband technology has made it really easy for people to research practically every aspect of their holiday destinations before leaving - be it by taking a virtual tour of their hotel, picking the best spot on the beach or even zooming in on their destination on Google Earth."

"In fact, by the time they make it to their destination, it's possible they will be suffering from a case of 'deja-view' as they'll have seen it all before they get there."

The study also showed that around one in four (27 per cent) of holidaymakers will be cutting back on the cost of any holiday they do take this year, due to the economic downturn.

Stewart Fox-Mills added: "Holiday research on the web isn't just about what the weather will be like. For people looking to tighten their financial belts, it can be an effective way of controlling your travel money."

"From getting the best currency exchange rates to investigating local bus routes to cut down on taxi costs, the internet is a great place to plan your trip down to the last cent - so you're not stung by unexpected costs when you're supposed to be relaxing."

The study revealed that one in four (25 per cent) UK web users have their holiday snaps as their computer's wallpaper or screensaver, and around one in ten (9 per cent) admit to personalising their computer screens with pictures of dream holiday destinations. Over one in three (36 per cent) UK internet users even use the web to look at dream holiday destinations that they cannot afford to take

The Post Office® is a trusted high street name that can answer your telecoms and travel needs. Post Office Broadband® is a reassuringly easy-to-use service with national coverage. It offers up to 8mb per second connection speed, ideal for browsing the web or for sending holiday snaps to friends and family. You can also pay for the service in cash at any Post Office® branch nationwide, a payment alternative not offered by any other internet provider.

The Post Office® is also a great first port-of-call for anyone heading away this summer, with travel services including commission-free currency, travel insurance and the pre-loaded Travel Money Card, an easy way to budget for holidays as the credit crunch looms.

To find out more call 0800 092 0500, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk or ask at any Post Office® branch.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,014 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 21st July 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

3 Monkeys Communications
Helen Prowse/Gemma Shaw
020 7440 2410
Helen @ 3-monkeys.co.uk
gemmas @ 3-monkeys.co.uk

Post Office Ltd
Hayley Fowell
020 7250 2417
hayley.fowell @ postoffice.co.uk

The Post Office® offers a range of great value telephony products and services:

Post Office Ltd Registered in England and Wales no: 2154540 Registered Office: 80-86 Old Street London, EC1V 9NN
The Post Office and the Post Office symbol are registered trade marks of Post Office Ltd in the UK and other countries

For the purposes of products regulated under the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000, Post Office Ltd is an appointed representative of Bristol & West plc, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England no. 2124201. Registered Office: Bristol & West plc, One Temple Back East, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6DX.

Post Office ®, car and home insurance is administered by BISL Limited, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, Registered in England No 3231094.Registered office: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS.

Card Account offered by J.P. Morgan Europe Ltd through Post Office Ltd. J.P. Morgan Europe Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 938937. Registered Office: 125 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5AJ.

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