Great Britain

Holiday booking surge but are Britons REALLY ready for holidays abroad?

Family packing suitcase for holiday

Just two in five were “ likely” to consider a foreign holiday (Image: Gary Burchell/Getty)

Just two in five (42 percent) respondents said they were “ likely” to consider a foreign holiday while nearly twice as many (81 percent) are likely to plan home-based “staycations” or breaks else where in the UK. However, travel agents reported a surge in bookings after transport secretary Grant Shapps announced the changes to the rules.

Bookings for next month’s half-term school break have soared 200 percent compared with August, according to Thomas Cook. It expects this weekend to be the biggest of the year for bookings.

From Monday, October 4, England’s traffic light system will be axed and replaced with a single list of red countries. 

Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya will be removed from the red list from Wednesday.

Double-jabbed people will no longer need to take a test before heading back from a non-red list country ‑ and from later in the month they will be able to take a cheaper lateral flow test instead of the day two PCR test required today.

However, the Ipsos Mori polling analysis, conducted before the announcement of the rules changes, lays bare the reluctance in the country to travel far abroad and suggests that staycations are “here to stay”.

Green list countries

Green list countries (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

While 36 percent say it is “likely” they will consider a trip within Europe (up from 31 percent in August last year), only a quarter (25 percent) say this about going to other overseas destinations (up from 20 percent).

Seventy percent of respondents said they were considering staying at home and/or going on day trips from where they live over the next year. Two-thirds (65 percent) would think about going somewhere in the UK further away from where they live.

Fewer than one in 10 (eight percent) of those surveyed have been on holiday abroad this year, with six percent going to Europe and three percent heading elsewhere.

Only four in 10 (39 percent) of respondents have stayed for at least one night away from home somewhere in the UK. Around a quarter (26 percent) have gone on various day trips but forty percent did not take any of these types of holidays.

Gideon Skinner, research director at Ipsos Mori, said: “This year has still seen the effect of the pandemic with UK holidays and staycations much more popular than trips abroad.  Looking ahead to the next 12 months, there are some signs that Britons are becoming slightly more optimistic about returning to their foreign travels, obviously depending on the situation, but the domestic staycation appears to be here to stay.”

Younger people are most likely to have gone abroad, with 15 percent of 16-34 year-olds getting away, compared with just seven percent of 35-54s and a mere four percent of 55-75s.

The middle classes are also more likely to have left the UK. While 11 percent of those in the “ABC1” professional class have gone abroad this year, only five percent of  those in the “C2DE” working class have done the same.

The pollsters interviewed 2,017 Britons aged 16-75 on August 27.

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