Far from being a nation of couch potatoes, three-quarters of adults aged between 18 and 64 want to ‘have a go’ at a new sport or physical activity while on holiday, according to the new Post Office Travel Money Activity Barometer.
Rally car driving tops a list of 27 activities picked by people who want to experience a new activity on holiday, with 58% saying they want to try it on a future holiday. This figure rose to almost two-thirds (65%) of those aged 35-44 and was the top choice for ‘empty nesters’ as well with 38% of 55-64 year olds wanting to get behind the wheel of a rally car for the first time.
The active streak revealed by the report looks likely to be a serious intention because two-thirds of the adults surveyed had already taken part in one of the 27 activities on a past holiday. Aside from rally car driving, the activities with greatest appeal were adventure sports rather than mainstream ones like cycling, fishing or golf, which were picked by 27-28% of people. By contrast, at least 40% want to try a water-based sport. Scuba diving (49%), water skiing (47%), sailing (44%), white water rafting (43%), canoeing (41%) and surfing or kite surfing (40%) all scored highly, as did snowboarding (41%) and jungle trekking (45%), which were the other top ten choices.
When asked how much extra they would pay to try an activity, the most the survey respondents would spend was on sky diving (£126). For most activities the amount people would spend ranged from £48 (mountain biking) to £95 (paragliding) although the average for a rally driving experience was almost £112.
However, price checks by Post Office Travel Money in a range of overseas destinations revealed that none of the rally driving sessions researched fell within the £112 mark. The cheapest was a six-lap Subaru Rally Experience in Melbourne at around £167 while a ten-lap Subaru Rally Experience in Paris cost more than £338. The only rally car experience that came within budget was a £99 one-hour Rally Thrill with 12 minutes’ driving at Silverstone.
The comany's head of travel Paul Havenhand said: "Our Activity Barometer established that there is a real appetite to have a go at a surprising number of adventure sports and that many people want to have their first experience of these while on holiday when they have the time to try something they have always wanted to do.
“However, they need to budget carefully and take sufficient foreign currency with them to cover the cost of that activity. Our research showed that people were realistic about the cost of some sports but not about others. We also found that the cost of learning a new skill on a course, rather than as a one-off taster was much more expensive."