Virgin Media O2 is helping its customers save on unexpected travel costs this festive season, with inclusive EU roaming. Offering customers a saving of up to £100*, O2 customers have one less expense to worry about this Christmas as the cost-of-living continues to play a part in festive plans for people across the country.
New research carried out by Virgin Media O2 reveals that despite the current environment, there’s still a strong appetite to travel abroad over the Christmas period, with nearly one third of adults planning a festive trip away and many believing it to be more affordable than partaking in expensive Christmas traditions. Over a third of Brits (32 per cent) also believe going away during the festive season is a better option financially than staying at home as they can save on costs such as heating their home and other utility bills.
Whilst heading abroad seems to be a popular option to escape expenses Christmas related expenses this year, 73 per cent of those travelling have made more of a conscious effort to seek out the best deals and tips before going on holiday.
This year nearly two in five (38 per cent) admit to spending longer than usual looking for discounts and advice from travel experts and influencers in the hopes of finding the best deal. Virgin Media O2 has partnered with travel expert and blogger, Abena Kusi, to help offer tips on how to cut the cost of travelling this Christmas and New Year.
Abena Kusi, Travel Expert and owner of blog @travellingtuesdays, said: “Christmas is usually an expensive time for many but the cost-of-living crisis means people are really feeling the strain this year.
“That’s probably one of the main reasons travellers are spending much more time researching for their holidays so they can find the best deals on flights, accommodation and activities abroad.
“However, what’s often overlooked is the cost of phone and data packages, and those travelling this Christmas should make sure they’re also getting the best deals to stay connected and to avoid expensive roaming charges.”
ABENA KUSI’S TOP FIVE TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHEN TRAVELLING THIS CHRISTMAS:
Low-cost airlinesfly directly from the UK into nearby Krakow Airport and customers can find amazing last-minute accommodation deals to make their snow lodge dreams come true.
Venturing into nearby France is also a great idea for those travelling by car with the Eurotunnel.
Having a vehicle on hand means holiday revellers can jump between Christmas Markets in Lille, Strasbourg and Colmar quite easily, getting value for money as they explore multiple dreamy areas in just one trip.
In any case, the worst place to use the forex bureau is at the airport as they usually have the worst rates.
Aside from O2, a majority of mobile providers have reintroduced EU roaming charges, meaning that a Christmas video call back home could cost you.
So depending on your current network, you can avoid this expense by turning off data roaming on your phone or by using a provider who doesn’t charge such fees.
But with so much time spent in the airport before departing it’s easy to make a significant dent in your holiday budget before you’ve even left the UK – thanks to inflated prices.
So it’s worth seeing what deals or reward scheme incentives are available before you set off on your holiday. For example, Priority from O2 hosts a range of deals to cover your morning coffee and snack for free, as well as Holiday Extras such as discounts on airport parking, airport hotels and insurance.
Customers should stick with established household hotel names as they tend to have reward programmes which allow people to earn points for their stays, which they can redeem for upgrades and free perks.
A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2, said: “After years of unpredictable plans, it’s nice to see so many people are planning to get away this Christmas.
“Whether visiting loved ones abroad, escaping for some winter sun, or heading off for a seasonal adventure, people seem to be spending more time this year finding the best deal for their festive getaway.
“We know it’s an expensive time, and with 82 per cent of Brits considering connectivity important over the festive period, we’re making sure EU roaming costs are one less thing to worry about for those important texts and video calls home this Christmas.”
Find out more about O2’s inclusive EU roaming here
Notes to editors:
*Analysis of daily charge rates from other providers suggests that a family of four going abroad for two weeks could see £100 or more added to their holiday bill when using their phones each day.
O2 offers inclusive EU roaming up to 25GB, so customers can call, text and use data as they would in the UK in 40+ destinations.
More information on roaming can be found here:
O2 customers: https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-monthly/roaming-in-europe