December 2017




  • Parents polled in a new survey say they are planning to spend an average of £1149 this Christmas, but 64% think it’s likely they will overspend which could push the real cost higher
  • Those who go on family holidays typically spend just under £240 more than this, with £1385 being the average budget
  • The average planned spend on presents alone is £680, with expected food and drink outlay estimated to be £160 and the cost of outings £84
  • Of those surveyed, the most generous present givers are looking to be Londoners who are planning to spend over double the amount of residents of the South West
  • And they are also planning to spend nearly as much on gifts for their pets as their work colleagues
  • The research also reveals that a third of UK families who have not spent Christmas overseas before, would consider going abroad if it didn’t cost much more than staying in the UK

5 December 2017. New research from First Choice suggests the true cost of Christmas is likely to be more than we budget for as 64% of parents polled admitted they are likely to overspend. The average planned Christmas spend of those surveyed is calculated at £1149, while those polled who have a main family holiday have an average budget that is only slightly more with an anticipated spend of £1385.

The average planned spend on presents alone is £680, with most lavished on gifts for the kids. Polled parents plan to spend under half of what they do on the kids on their partners (£120) and parents and grandparents come next in the gift giving pecking order at £69 and £40. Showing the nation’s animal loving colours, they are looking to spend a whopping £31 on their furry friends which is the same they plan to spend on work colleagues. Expected food and drink outlay is more than £160 per family with an average planned spend of £84 on going out, £63 on new clothes and appearance and £64 on wrapping and decorations.

The most generous present givers this year are looking to be Londoners who are planning to spend over twice the amount than residents of the South West of the UK with London planning to spend £1302 vs the South West at £464.

The statistics also reveal that a third of families that haven’t spent Christmas abroad in the past would consider going on holiday at Christmas if they wouldn’t spend much more than staying at home, with an almost even split between beach (34%) and snow (33%) as preferred holiday choices. If people really spend what they are planning to over the period, and in many cases overspend, that is entirely possible with a seven night First Choice All Inclusive holiday for a family of four to Paphos available online at around £1400.

The value of a festive break away is a strong factor driving the increased numbers who are travelling overseas in December, with First Choice hitting a record high in bookings last year. Thousands of people travelled to over 40 destinations over the 12 days of Christmas in 2016, with the Canary Islands and Mexico topping the charts as the most popular destinations.

First Choice Commercial Director, Richard Sofer commented:  “We have seen a significant uplift in overseas travel for the Christmas period across the entire TUI business in the past three years.  Such a large proportion of us say we are likely to overspend this Christmas and the huge attraction of an All Inclusive holiday is you are far less likely to fall into the overspend trap. It does what it says on the tin, flights, travel, accommodation with meals plus transfers all wrapped into one pre-paid price. Winter sun is in huge demand this year with The Canaries and Mexico again being our most popular destinations and we have also seen holidays to colder climates really take off with fantastic adventure getaways in Lapland and Iceland proving particularly popular. ”


The Cost of Christmas
The Cost of Christmas infographic by First Choice – The Home of All Inclusive

For more information contact the @ TUI Press Office on or call 01582 642100.

Notes to Editors


The survey was conducted by between 16/11/2017 & 23/11/2017 polling 2000 parents of 0-18 year olds who celebrate Christmas.


First Choice, part of TUI UK and Ireland and TUI Group, became the first major holiday brand to offer 100% all-inclusive holidays in 2012. The brand offers exclusive hotels designed specifically following customer feedback and gives families, couples and groups the peace of mind they need when budgeting for a holiday.

Flagship hotels include; First Choice Holiday Villages, which deliver everything a family could want in one place – great entertainment, food, kids clubs and lots of activities such as swim academy and high ropes; and First Choice SplashWorld hotels, which have a water park either onsite or nearby that families have unlimited access to at no extra cost.

First Choice is the sister company of TUI, both using TUI Airways which takes over six million people on holiday each year.

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