Sun, Spain and Stay-cations

What are British holiday makers planning this year?
Melissa Hamdoun

May 8, 2018

Given the recent bank holiday it’s safe to say summer holiday planning may be on most people’s minds. So how are Brits planning to spend their holidays this year?

We asked 1000 Brits in our latest wave of Consumer Compass* whether they expect to have a big holiday this year and the results are in. Despite a quarter of holiday makers saying they are cutting back on a big trip in favour of various smaller ones across the year, an overwhelming 58% still say they do expect to have a big holiday this year. In fact, 3 in 10 eager travellers had already booked all their time away in February! The destination of choice, you guessed it…Spain; but all in all us Brits like to stay ‘local’ with European locations such as France, Greece and Italy also popular.

Stay-cations are not a thing of the past
Interestingly, every third Brit who does not plan to holiday aboard this year simply prefers to stay in the UK - one in every five say they favour spending money at home rather than abroad. In fact, data from HomeAway suggests Lincoln to be the new ‘it-town’ among British holiday goers for its value.

Families are more likely to have a stay-cation with 34% saying they plan to stay in the UK this year compared to 27% of non-families saying the same.

Price is a huge factor for holidaying – especially so among families.
At Morar HPI we segment our consumers into four attitudinal groups; Insulated, Cautious, Squeezed and Suffering with the ‘Insulated’ being most financially assured and ‘Sufferers’ least so. It comes as no surprise then that only 29% of our Sufferers (those having to cut expenditures to make ends meet) are expecting to have a big holiday aboard this year (compared to 67% among our most comfortable ‘Insulated’ group). In fact, 3 in 5 of those who do not expect to have a holiday abroad this year say it is down to cost – making it the biggest barrier by far.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cost presents itself more so a barrier for families (65%) compared to those without kids (59%). As a result, families had to become savvy holiday planners. With price such a significant factor, 18% go outside of school holidays to save money which is proving more cost-effective despite fines. Families are also a lot more forward thinking (36% had already booked all their planned holidays earlier in the year) and willing to carry out their own research and planning (1 in 3 like to plan their own holiday in favour of getting a packaged deal, similarly every third family in the UK checks price comparison sites for the best deals). 

With disposable income, financial confidence and job situation continuing to recover from recent political uncertainty British holidaymakers are having to become increasingly savvier – families even more so. Decisions are made sooner and stay-cations are becoming more of an option. Will Lincoln become the new Spain?

Our specialist Home and Family division helps clients like Stagecoach, Argos and Sainsbury’s get close to the world of the family: how they shop, spend and save. If you are interested in learning more please get in touch with myself or Caroline Hawkings or leave a comment below.


*Morar HPI Consumer Compass survey is a nationally representative online survey of 1,000 UK consumers conducted 3 times a year.  It measures the confidence of consumers and their behaviours and attitudes on a wide variety of aspects.

The latest wave ran in February earlier this year; next wave running in July. Get in touch for more details and a chance to shape the next project.

Morar HPI Limited is part of MIG Global and part of the Next15 Group.

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