Amidst soaring ferry costs and months of surging inflation in Greece, half of all households in the country are expected to skip summer vacations in 2024, as reflected in a recent survey by the Institute of Retail Market Research, which focused on how cost of living in Greece impacts consumer habits.

Necessary budget cuts are driving this decision with one in three households scaling back their holiday plans. Furthermore, six out of 10 consumers foresee reducing their spending this year compared to last, with four out of 10 expecting reductions of more than 50%. This trend largely comes as a result of decreased disposable income due to inflation, particularly higher costs for tickets (50%) and accommodation (48%).

Meanwhile, price continues to be the primary factor influencing culinary choices for consumers, followed distantly by quality, as more individuals find themselves constrained to limit their expenditures for food.

Research reveals significant shifts in consumer behavior across various domains, largely attributed to the rising prices of products and services. The pressure to cut expenses is more pronounced in basic services rather than essential goods. Specifically, 71% of respondents (down from 75% in 2023) have opted to cancel leisure spending such as dining out, vacations, or travel.

Additionally, 55% of consumers (up from 54% in 2023) have reduced their overall grocery and household item purchases, while 49% (up from 48% in 2023) have postponed maintenance and repairs.

Forty-two percent (down from 49% in 2024) have switched brands or product names, and 16% (down from 17% in 2024) have increased their work hours or taken on second jobs to bolster their income.

Finally, a mere 3% of respondents report taking no measures whatsoever to address the pressures of inflation and the high cost of living in Greece.