More people than ever are planning to staycation this summer, with new research forecasting a record year for UK holiday homeowners.
According to Sykes Holiday Cottages’ annual Staycation Index, 77% of Brits will holiday in the UK in 2022 following cancelled flights and airport chaos.
The holiday cottage rental agency has seen summer bookings increase by 26% over the past four weeks, compared with the same period last year. Bookings made to date this year for travel in 2022 are up by 30% year-on-year.
Brits are planning to go on three UK breaks this year, on average, with nearly half (44%) of people preferring to book multiple staycations instead of one summer holiday abroad.
Polzeath and Rock in Cornwall and Hurst Green in Lancashire are the fastest-growing destinations for bookings this summer. When it comes to the most popular regions overall, North Wales has remained in the top spot for the second year in a row, with Cornwall and the Lake District in second and third respectively.
The report also shows evidence of changing holiday habits due to the cost-of-living crisis. After uncertainty around foreign travel, budget pressures was the reason most cited by Brits for choosing a staycation. Over a third (35%) of the nation say they will holiday at home this year because of squeezed family finances.
Staycation accommodation preferences
In terms of domestic travel trends, the report reveals that demand for glamping accommodation, including shepherds’ huts and yurts, is up by 46% on 2021 and 94% versus 2019.
And following pet ownership skyrocketing during the pandemic, a third (35%) of 2022 bookings to date include dogs compared to 33% of bookings in 2021.
In addition, there are growing trend towards ‘work-cations’ due to greater flexible working. Almost two in five (38%) Brits are more likely to work from home while on holiday compared to before the pandemic – to no surprise.
The top three things influencing Brits’ choice of staycation accommodation are whether properties have gardens or outside space; the quality of the Wi-Fi; and the proximity to the beach. Hot tub holidays are also in high demand, as Sykes has seen a 36% increase in bookings to properties that have them versus 2021.
Staying closer to home
Graham Donoghue, chief executive officer of Sykes Holiday Cottages, comments: “The shift towards staycations had already begun pre-Covid, but our latest research proves that it is still showing no signs of slowing in this post-pandemic world.
“Uncertainty around Covid restrictions has seemingly been replaced with another worry – overseas travel disruption – which has encouraged some to reconsider their plans and our last-minute bookings for this summer have increased as a result.
He adds: “We thought 2021 would be a hard year to surpass, but we’re expecting more Brits than ever to stay closer to home this year. As well as uncertainty, increased pressure on household budgets is leading to many turning to staycations as the better value option, with tourism economies across the UK expected to receive a boost.” The full Staycation Index report can be found here.