The Rise of the ‘Staycation’
A new term has entered the British vocabulary – staycation. For the uninitiated, the definition of the word is a “holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions”.
“Staycations” have been steadily gaining popularity since the start of the year with a record-breaking 7.3 million people holidaying in England in the first quarter of 2016, a 10% rise compared to the same period in 2015, according to Visit England.
So what is prompting this rise?
Quite simply, the biggest factor influencing the rise of holidays taken in the UK is the escalation in price for holidays overseas in the wake of the Brexit vote. According to TravelSupermarket figures, European holidays now cost the average family of four £245 more than they did before the vote, given that the value of the pound has dropped 10% against the Euro since June 23rd.
“The nearest benchmark we have is the financial crisis of 2008 when there was a boost in staycations. I anticipate the same thing happening [this time],” said Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of VisitKent. “We are beginning to see an uplift in people staying at home and putting off big spending decisions, including big holidays [abroad].”1
Another major concern is the fear of a potential terror attack. Egypt, Turkey, France and Belgium have all seen atrocious terrorist attacks and it’s made some people wary of travelling through congested air and train terminals.
Then there are those who prefer not to fly simply because they feel the environmental cost is too high and look to keep their carbon footprint lower.
It’s clear that, for the time being, and for several reasons, many people are opting out of air travel in favour of jaunts around the UK by car, train or coach, travelling by wheels rather than wings.
What are the preferred UK holiday destinations?
The answer, according to VisitBritain, is anywhere and everywhere! Every region in the UK has seen an increase in the number of holiday-makers in their area. Over the course of 2015 the West Midlands saw the highest rise (21.79%), and the North East the lowest (+4.01%) 2. The UK has some beautiful scenery, wonderful places of interest and regional culinary specialities and many people are enjoying exploring the rich diversity of this wonderful island we call home.
To make the experience even more special, many holiday-makers are leaving the car at home in favour of coach travel. Once thought of as the vehicle of choice only for the elderly, coach travel is experiencing growing popularity amongst people of all ages. You may be surprised that the UK coach travel sector has over 8 million customers annually with a turnover of £2.5 billion.3 And with good reason! Did you know, for instance, that a fully loaded coach consumes less fuel per passenger than a fully loaded car?
Gone are the days when travelling by coach was an ordeal with cramped seats and no relief from the sun beating through the window – coaches nowadays offer extra leg room, air conditioning, reclining seats, panoramic windows… the journey itself is now as much a part of the holiday and you will alight refreshed not frazzled!
Other people favour the coach over the car because, frankly, it’s a relief not to contend with traffic jams, trying to navigate and at the same time dodge other road users. Many people have enough of that in their daily lives so letting an experienced professional driver take the strain is a real treat, and of course, they can enjoy seeing the view from the window rather than the tarmac in front.
With all these benefits will you join the merry band of staycationers, boarding a coach for a greener, more enjoyable holiday discovering the delights the UK has to offer?