Why has there has there been a significant rise in Brits escaping to holiday abroad? When the weather is good, the UK is a green and pleasant land, which offers holidaymakers diverse landscapes, intriguing towns and stunning coastal opportunities. Steeped in history there are a million and one narratives to discover and immerse yourself in. So is it just the weather that makes us travel beyond our borders?
The stats indicate that staycations have stayed steady since 2016. Good news for the UK economy. However, according to last years ABTA figures there has also been a small but significant rise of Brits taking holidays abroad.
On average we take 3.8 holidays abroad every year. 87% of the population now head out of the country and 26% of us book early to do so. City breaks have overtaken beach holidays in popularity and the traditional two week holiday has been shunned by many. Demographically, if you live in the North West of England, you are also more likely to travel abroad for your holidays.
According to the stats, UK travellers seem to be making the most out of the temporary pre-Brexit status quo. Ease of access ahead of the imminent separation from Europe seems to be a major factor, as is the fairly stable sterling rate.
Only 12% of French travellers venture abroad. Most take their holidays within their own country. At three times the size of the UK, France offers an abundance of history, a more diverse range of landscapes and ever increasing temperatures as you travel south. But is temperature the only reason why we spend hard earned pounds abroad?
It seems that other northern hemisphere inhabitants also feel the need to escape their native climate. The Germans seriously love travel and are huge sunseekers. Like the Brits, they frequently head for Spain. 77% of the German population and over 80% of the Dutch travel across their home borders for their holidays. France remains the No.1 destination for both the Dutch and Brits. With Italy and Portugal trailing behind and the US beginning the No.1 long-haul destination
Putting aside the weather. Holidaying on our home territory offers a sense of familiarity. You know what you are going to get. The language, food, shops and currency don’t require extra thought or organisation. Car or plane, it doesn’t make much difference now either. Many of the budget airlines (EasyJet, Ryanair and Flybe in particular) offer amazing domestic flight deals, making the stunning far-flung destinations of Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland a quicker and cheaper option.
Although generally better quality, accommodation prices can be the slight hiccup in most staycation plans. Slightly more costly than in Europe, especially during the school holidays, prices often afford a sharp intake of breath. However, with more and more UK providers offering pet-friendly locations, the cost and emotional-benefit of taking your furry friends along tips the balance slightly.
With interesting economic times ahead of us, the inevitable Brexit fallout will undoubtedly change the trends in the travel market. For better or for worse? Who can tell yet!