7 February 2016

Packing it all in to a mini break

  • Brits are packing more than ever before with slippers, teabags and pillows part of their holiday essentials *
  • Packing and luggage restrictions amongst most annoying part of holiday prep
  • Eurostar introduces holiday cost calculator to help passengers plan ahead
As families prepare for the half term getaway, new research commissioned by Eurostar reveals the packing pressure facing holidaymakers unable to leave their home comforts behind. 
Half of British travellers surveyed (49%) can’t go on holiday without taking their own tea bags and a fifth (20%) go even further by taking their own kettle - to make sure they are never far from the perfect cuppa.  It’s not just the Brits, with a third of French travellers also packing their own tea bags (33%) as the love for a good cup of tea spreads across the Channel.
In the spirit of creating a home from home, more than a third of British holidaymakers surveyed pack their slippers (36%), pillow (23%) and blanket (15%) in a bid to get a good night’s sleep wherever they are. In contrast, the French are more likely to work out than sleep, with two thirds (60%) of respondents taking sporting and gym gear on holiday compared to just 16% of British travellers. 
For the younger generation, perhaps unsurprisingly, the priority is technology with 25-34 year olds taking a minimum of six gadgets to keep them connected and entertained during a week-long break.
The most unusual luggage spotted by Eurostar staff:
  • Suit of armour
  • Olympic torch
  • Microwave

With personal grooming at an all-time high, a travel-sized wash bag is no longer enough for men or women with an average of 13 bathroom cabinet essentials per person making it on to every trip.  From exfoliator to eye cream, women take a salon-sized 15 separate products to keep up appearances, whilst a third of men (34%) admit to taking their own hairdryer for the perfect holiday blow-dry. 

With all these home comforts now considered to be essential holiday items, it’s no surprise that travellers end up paying for it. Over and above the initial fees incurred by consumers looking to take more than just hand luggage, the average additional cost per trip for excess luggage is over £32, according to the research.  To save money, savvy packers are making an effort to take less with them (30%) and pack differently - with one in five of those surveyed admitting to wearing their heaviest clothes to avoid unexpected charges (21%).
Vicki Psarias, Blogger at Honestmum.com is on hand to help families take the stress out of half-term holiday preparation: ‘Packing for the whole family pre-holiday can be nightmare, particularly if you're an indecisive packer like I am. With kids, travelling light is just never an option, they need clothes, food, drink, books, games, blankets and toys - and that's just going on a day trip close to home! But don’t worry, it can be simple - I’ve posted my top tips on my blog to help take the stress away this half term.’
As tens of thousands of travellers escape to Europe this half-term, Eurostar has introduced a holiday cost calculator on eurostar.com to help customers make an informed decision about their transport options. With fares from £29 one way, free travel for children under four, and a generous luggage allowance without weight restrictions, Eurostar is ideal for those that don’t like to travel light.
For more information or to book Eurostar tickets visit www.eurostar.com or call the Eurostar contact centre on 08432 186 186.

For more information:
Eurostar Press Office 
020 7843 5500
Notes to Editors
*When asked about their packing habits for a 1 week long holiday
Based on research of 3,000 adults in the UK, France and Belgium that have been on holiday (1,000 per country)
About Eurostar
  1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
  2. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph.  Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 150 million passengers between London and the Continent.  Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new e320 will carry around 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.
  3. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR. LCR’s holding was transferred to the Treasury in 2014, and sold by the UK government to a consortium comprising Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure on 28th May 2015.
  4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
  5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.