How much do we really leave behind on Holiday?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 10th Nov 2015

The end of a holiday is always incredibly depressing. The thought of returning home and having to go to back to the normality of everyday life can be brutal. In theory, packing your suitcase to return home should be simple and a lot more straightforward than departing in the first place. Having said that, many of us realise that we have to leave items behind intentionally for a myriad of reasons.

We decided to poll 2,137 people aged 18 and over from around the UK, all of whom had been on a beach holiday in the last 12 months, and ask them about their packing experiences and what and why they left valuables behind.

57% of us abandon items on holiday

To start with, everyone polled was asked if they ever intentionally left items in their holiday accommodation before heading back home with 57% stating they did. These relevant participants were then asked why they did this with the top reasons revealed as 'I had to free up weight in my suitcase to make room for items bought on holiday', 37%, and 'intended to treat the item as disposable when I bought it, even though it could be used again', 28%.

Those who had left items behind at the end of their holiday were asked to provide what item or items they had deliberately abandoned when it came to packing their bags. We compiled the results and the top ten answers were:

1. Partly used toiletries - 75%

2. Sun protection cream/lotion(s) - 62%

3. Beach towel(s) - 53%

4. Books - 50%

5. Holiday clothes - 48%

6. Shoes - 36%

7. Pool accessories (e.g. inflatables) - 21%

8. Beach accessories (e.g. parasol, deck chair) - 16%

9. Unopened snacks (e.g. sweets, crisps) - 8%

10. Fashion accessories (hats, belts etc.) - 6%

We intentionally leave £160 worth of items behind

The relevant respondents who had intentionally left items behind on holiday were asked to estimate the total value of these items; taking into account that any half-used toiletries, for example, would be half the original amount. Once all answers were taken into account, the average value stated by respondents of deserted holiday items was '£160.00'.

Once your holiday is booked, it's normal for you to get excited and feel the need to spend lots of money preparing by buying clothes, toiletries, books and so on so you'll be ready for anything the vacation throws at you. Where toiletries can make sense to leave behind, especially as they can be quite heavy, items such as clothes, shoes or books shouldn't be treated as disposable. You can hold onto these, provided they haven't been destroyed by all your holiday fun, and use them on your next holiday! We have to all remember that £160 is a lot of money to be wasting on items that you're just going to leave behind in a hotel room.
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