• One in four adults (25%) start 2017 booking an overseas holiday
  • Only area of planned big-ticket spending to rise notably over 18 months
  • Families with two or more children driving the boom (35%)

Forget notions of Brits riding out economic uncertainty by reigning in their spending. New end-of-year research suggests around two thirds of Brits (64%) already have big ticket spending plans for 2017 – and the year has started with a surge in overseas holiday bookings.

Findings from a new nationally representative survey by Tots to Travel, the young family holiday specialists, reveals that one in four adults (25%) plans to book a nice overseas family holiday in the early months of 2017 – the only area of planned big-ticket spending that had risen in the last 18 months. Larger families – households with two or more children are behind this boom (35%, compared to just 24% of households with no children).

The tracking survey, commissioned a week before Christmas, gives a measure of underlying consumer confidence, looking at relative plans for major spending across a range of big-ticket items in the next six months. Second to holiday plans, 19% of adults said they planned a major home improvement project for the early months of 2017, with one in twenty starting the year with plans to move house (5%).

The proportion of people planning to buy a new car in early 2017 was unchanged on 18 months ago, as was the percentage of adults looking to invest in new computers, phones and home technology.

The Tots research also suggests that, for many, these new spending plans actually kicked into action over Christmas weekend, for many perhaps an escape from Christmas TV or annoying house guests! In all, days before Christmas weekend, 84% Brits said they would be spending time online over Christmas weekend. Beyond the usual mobile rituals of checking social media posts (48%) and connecting with far flung relatives (20%) – 32% of respondents said they would be browsing sale items online and 10% said would be spending Christmas weekend looking to book a family holiday.

Early indications of a summer holiday booking frenzy from young families are borne out by the level of holiday enquiries Tots to Travel has received in the days since Christmas – up 140% on the same period this time last year.

Wendy Shand, Founding Director at Tots To Travel comments: “As the UK’s leading specialist holiday company for families with young children, the amount of young family holiday enquiries we have received since Christmas is up 140% on this time last year. For parents of young children juggling long working hours with domestic commitments, quality family time is precious and the Christmas break probably inspires many to book their next chunk of quality family time before returning to work in the New Year. It is also true to say that this is the time of year when young families can really lock down bargain deals for the summer, with good deals that don’t comprise on quality. Those parents that have given Christmas day television a miss and hunted out holiday bargains for next summer will be the canny ones that come next summer have secured the best locations and the best possible price.”

Big ticket spending plans for the first six months of 2017

*The research was conducted by YouGov among a nat.rep sample of 2,000 adults. To discover more about Tots To Travel and its difference visit: Tots to Travel.

Mother and baby playing with sea waves


The 35-44 age group and the over 55s were the age groups most likely to be planning to book a nice family holiday in the early months of 2017 (26% and 28%), respectively, although families with 2 more more children were the real drivers of the boom (35%)


The 35-44 age group appeared to be driving property activity – the age group most likely to be committing to a major DIG project (25%) and planning to buy a new house (8%). Regionally, London was the place where people said they were most likely to buy a new home in the first half of 2017 (8%).


Women were twice as likely as men to be gearing up for a big spend in the sales (12% Versus 6%), and the region were retail bargain hunting was most pronounced was the north west (15% contrasting to the East Midlands, where fewest people planned to splash the cash around the sales 3%).

The Three Kingdoms

The Scots were almost twice as likely as the English and Welsh to have plans to by a new car (15% compared to 8% respectively). People in Wales were most likely to be prioritising a good family holiday abroad (35%) and the English were those most likely to be planning a house move and a splurge around the sales (10%).

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