How Much Do You Spend on Holiday Gifts for Those Back Home?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 17th Jun 2014

When you're on holiday, it can be really tempting to buy gifts for people that you've left at home in the rainy UK. I'm sure grandma would love that fridge magnet and your mum and dad would really like those Canary Island tea towels, but PUT THE SOUVENIRS DOWN! This kind of holiday behaviour, although generous, can leave you out of pocket.

We polled 2,113 people aged 18 and over from around the UK, each of whom had been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months. We asked them what gifts, if any, they had picked up for people back home whilst they were away.

87% of holidaymakers buy gifts for people back home

When we asked 'Did you buy souvenirs/gifts for friends, family members and/or co-workers whilst on your last holiday abroad?', 87% said 'yes'. We then asked who they bought these gifts for, which revealed that parents were most likely to be the recipients of a gift from overseas (67%), followed by siblings (52%), friends (41%) and colleagues (38%). Lucky them!

We wanted to be a little bit nosy and find out what items people were most likely to receive from friends, family or co-workers who'd spent a holiday abroad. Parents were most likely to receive 'alcohol' as a gift after a holiday, as 51% who said they bought their parents something back told us the present was alcohol-based. Friends were most likely to get 'joke' souvenirs brought back for them (41%) and siblings were most likely to get 'homeware' items (33%) such as photo frames or ornaments.

Souvenir gift spend totals £90 and most are bought in the airport on the way home

We found out that work colleagues were most likely to be bought 'sweets' as a souvenir after one of their fellow employees had been on holiday, as 64% said this is what they purchased for people they worked with. More than half (55%) of the people who bought souvenirs or gifts for people on their last holiday abroad said the majority of these presents had been bought in the airport immediately before boarding their flight home. Well, it's the thought that counts.

When asked what proportion of their spending money they had used to buy gifts and souvenirs for other people, the average answer stated by those taking part was '20%'. Considering that the average respondent taking part said that they took '£450.00' spending money on their last holiday abroad, this would equate to each holidaymaker spending £90.00 on souvenirs and gifts alone! How's that for generosity? It must be all that holiday heat!

Not so long ago, we heard that many people weren't bothering with buying gifts for people when on holiday and, if we're honest, we don't think it's necessary at all! People should use their spending money to have a good holiday, instead of wasting it on key rings or bottles of bubbly for people at home. You only really need to buy someone a gift if they've done you some kind of favour whilst you were away, like looking after your plants, pets or kids!
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