By Emma Trill on 08 February 2018

It’s one of the biggest events in the calendar, with just under half of the UK population spending an estimated1 accrued £1.3 billion on cards, flowers and gifts for their valentines. Some couples even spread their “Cupid” wings and celebrate Valentine’s Day by whisking their loved one away for a long-weekend. But with Valentine’s Day being so popular for a break, don’t count on it being an intimate occasion.

Money, money, money

These expenses seem to swell each year, with the internet playing a big part in creating and sending cards and gifts. The average valentine’s spending in the US2 has seen a big increase from $108 per person in 2010, to $136.57 in 2017 – US consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 per person in 2018, with total spending set to hit $19.6 billion.

While the majority of Valentine’s gifting will be spent on jewellery, an evening out, flowers, sweets and clothing, 42.3% of consumers would love to receive a gift of experience. And what more in experience could you get, than hopping on a plane, train or automobile and getting to visit another county or city.

It’s not only partners that are being gifted; consumers are buying friends, relatives and even their pets’ gifts to celebrate. In 2016, it was reported that 19% of people bought gifts for their dogs and cats, accumulating a total cost of $681 million! Purrfect.

Pet, Friends and Family aren't to be forgotten!

Online experience

In a world ruled by technology, transactions are being made constantly via smartphones and tablets. A recent survey has shown that over half of Valentine’s Day celebrants will be using their smartphones to assist with purchasing that perfect gift for their loved one. 36.9% of these consumers will use them to research products and compare prices, while 44.7% plan to use their tablets.

Consumers believe that doing research online helps to save time when it comes to making the purchase. However, it’s worth remembering that a lot of companies will have different deals available in store and on mobile. And of course, in the week leading up to the “day of romance” retailers begin to have sales and Valentine’s offers.

Purchasing gifts on mobile

If you absolutely must holiday on Valentine’s Day…

…you’ll want to try and steer clear of the major tourist attractions and landmarks. For example, Paris is a regular haunt for couples during Valentine’s Day, and why wouldn’t it be with its charming streets, the river Seine, the many bistros and wine cellars. But visiting Paris during the Valentine’s festivities could just be enough to put you off ever returning (unless you love crowds and queuing, that is!)

The long, cold queues to climb the Eiffel Tower will definitely put a strain on your patience, it’s also not abnormal for accommodations to raise their prices to make the most of the crowds at one of the busiest times of the year for the city, already totting up a hefty total spend. But it’s also worth noting that currently, due to the heavy rainfall during January, the river Seine has burst its banks, and is spilling on to the usually busy streets of Paris and surrounding areas. As such, the boat tours along the Seine are not currently running and the Louvre is on high-alert to protect the fine art which is housed inside. The water levels are expected to lower during the week, weather depending.

If you’re all booked up to go away, it is worth doing your research on where to go and what to do – especially if you’re looking to avoid the busy areas and find some unique romantic spots for some dinner and drinks.

Research before you go

Don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance as soon as possible once you’ve booked. Our award-winning 24-hour emergency medical assistance team is always on hand if you need them, so you can relax and enjoy your trip, safe in the knowledge that we’re here if you need us.

1 Wikipedia – Valentine’s Day – United Kingdom
2 National Retail Federation (USA)
3 Columbus Direct Travel Insurance

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