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Brits 'behind on holiday spending'

Britons fall far behind the French in the amount they spend on holidays, according to a travel firm.

And Britons and Irish citizens put in far less time preparing for holidays than Europe's champion pre-planners - the Spanish, according to figures from lastminute.com.

On average Britons spend £898 on holidays, with the Irish spending £716, the Italians £613 and the French as much as £1,418.

While the Irish spend just 11 days planning a break, the figure for Britons is 45 days, while for the Spanish it is 86 days.

Lastminute.com said only 36% of Britons plan well in advance for their annual summer holiday, with 10% waiting until just before the departure date.

Of those polled, 29% said they relaxed more knowing they had a lot of time to prepare for their getaway, with 14% saying their expectations rose the longer the run-up to their holiday.

More than a third (34%) admitted to spending more money the bigger the booking window.

Lastminute.com UK and Ireland managing director Mark Maddock said: "It's interesting to see the difference in countries' holiday-booking lead times. The Irish are the most last-minute but seem to be among the lower spenders."

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