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The cost of forgetting to pack? Survey says $1 billion a year for UK travelers

Skift Take

The positive way of considering this is that forgetful British tourists contribute over $1 billion to local economies and their swimsuit and underpants businesses.

— Jason Clampet

British holidaymakers will spend £684 million this year on items they have forgotten to pack, a new survey has suggested.

Holidaymakers spend an average of £26.50 on items they’ve left at home, including swimwear, cardigans, shoes and sunglasses, with swimming trunks being the most commonly forgotten item, according to a Travelodge survey.

The figures suggest three-quarters of Britons will go on a summer break this year, with just over half of them forgetting to pack an essential item. That’s despite 52 per cent of respondents devoting an average of seven hours to packing – which would work out to be a collective 138 million hours for the year.

The survey also indicated 82 per cent of British holidaymakers find packing to be a stressful task. Nearly a fifth opt to take a gamble, and throw a random selection of items into their suitcases, or rely on their partner to pack for them.

At the other end of the scale, six out of 10 Britons pack their holiday suitcases with military precision, following a regimented packing schedule based on a checklist of essential items made prior to packing, according to the survey.

But regardless of their method of approach, over two thirds of Britons reported they return home with up to six unworn outfits and three pairs of shoes that were deemed unsuitable for their holiday.

A survey last year indicated that eight out in 10 female travellers will not get around to wearing everything they have packed, with women typically buying two or more items of clothing during their holiday.

The Travelodge research also broke holidaymakers into different packing categories, ranging from ‘rollers’ who roll their clothes before placing them in an orderly fashion to ‘flingers’ who throw all items in a bag with no sense of order.

Britons’ ten most commonly forgotten items, according to the Travelodge survey, are:

  1. Swimming trunks
  2. Jumper
  3. Cardigan
  4. Bikini
  5. Dress
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Shorts
  8. Underwear
  9. Coat
  10. Shoes

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