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Brits set to splurge billions in ‘summer of fun’

John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

Brits are forecast to spend over £23bn on leisure activities and holidays over the next six months, new research from American Express has suggested.

The firm polled members of the public to see what they are set to spend their money on now that more areas of the economy are opening up ‒ and how much they plan to spend.

It found that on average people are planning to spend £163 in pubs, bars and restaurants over the next six months, jumping to £353 per person on staycations. Apparently many of us are planning a revamp of our look too, with an average of £117 being spent on wardrobe makeovers and £94 on beauty treatments.

The restrictions introduced due to the pandemic have resulted in many people across the country saving significant amounts of cash, with the Office for National Statistics arguing that the amount of money available to households to stash away has hit new record highs.

Getting social

American Express’s study found that seven in 10 of us are planning on doing more dining and drinking out now that pubs and bars are open once more.

More than one in three (39%) said that eating and drinking out was what they were most looking forward to post-lockdown, with more than half (54%) saying they were prioritising spending on shared experiences with family.

However, we are also planning to play host too, with one in seven preparing to host friends and family more often than they did before the pandemic, with respondents having spent an average of £37 per person on outdoor accessories.

A study earlier this month suggested that as many as four in 10 are worried about meeting the costs of the expected increase in socialising as pubs and restaurants reopen.

Getting away

The American Express survey found that more than one in four (28%) have already booked a holiday within the UK, while a further 53% are planning on booking one. 

Wales and the Lake District were picked out as the most popular potential staycation locations, with 12% of respondents hoping to head there this year. It was followed by 11% who named Cornwall and 9% who said they planned to head to the Scottish Highlands.

While the government has outlined plans for reopening international travel, travellers face having to spend around £120 per person for Covid tests upon their return.

Stephen Steinhardt, marketing director at American Express, said that as lockdowns ease, there is a sense of optimism in the air, with many planning to treat themselves.

He added: “As Brits look to return to some semblance of normality this summer, using a card that offers rewards or cashback as they spend on the things they’ve missed out on during the pandemic can make their spending work harder for them and earn something back.”