Stress of holiday overspending dampening summer spirits: O2

Virgin Media O2

While millions of Brits have booked a long-awaited holiday following Covid restrictions, new research from O2 reveals that almost half of people (49%) are feeling more stressed than ever in the run up to their trips this summer as they feel the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis.

Over a quarter named fear of overspending (27%) as their biggest pre-holiday worry, followed by losing their passport (24%) and high data roaming costs (13%). The most unexpected cost this summer holiday season is set to be data roaming, as almost a third (32%) admit to not being aware that their network provider had reintroduced roaming charges.

To tackle this issue, O2 and Love Island contestant Chloe Burrows have opened the world’s first swim-up mobile phone shop in Menorca, where non-O2 customers will be gifted new Pay As You Go Sims, so they can finally press play on their holiday and avoid being hit with a bumper roaming bill. The shop will be available to those visiting the Suites De Lago hotel on Friday 29th July.

This year, O2 is the only major network provider to not bring back EU roaming fees, with O2 customers able to enjoy inclusive roaming up to 25GB – which could help families save up to £100 over a two-week holiday* by not having to pay for data roaming.

A whopping 78% of holiday makers said that despite the worry about mobile data costs in Europe, they see it as a necessary expense in order to fully enjoy their trip. In contrast, 30% of British holidaymakers noted that not having access to internet made them feel uncomfortable being spontaneous while abroad.

Concerned that they might incur roaming charges, holiday makers have revealed that they have avoided, or plan to avoid going off the beaten track, exploring or even leaving the hotel, with 33% admitting they believe a lack of connectivity will have a negative impact on their overall holiday enjoyment.

In fact, many directly attributed their phones as contributing to their fun on holiday, with 51% saying they get a rush from sharing updates with friends and family and 76% said that being contactable at any moment allowed them to fully relax.

With the current cost of living crisis creating so much uncertainty, balancing budgets before and during trips also remains a top priority. Whilst 70% are still determined to get away, over 1 in 4 have said their budget for a trip abroad has been reduced.

Similarly, holidaymakers are being more cautious of what they spend whilst they’re abroad with 87% saying they’re going to try and stick to a budget whilst they’re away with eating out (49%), data roaming (15%) and day trips (33%) creating the biggest risk of overspending.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Media O2, said, “As a nation, we’re more excited than ever to jet away and enjoy the sun, especially after the past two years. However, travel inevitably causes some stress, whether it’s dealing with Covid admin, the risks of cancelled flights, and now trying to keep within budget during a cost-of-living crisis.

“We want to help our customers get back to what a holiday is really about – fun and relaxation. That’s why we’ve opened the O2 Swim-up Mobile Phone Shop and continue to be the only major network provider to not bring back EU roaming fees.”