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Staycation Report 2023

Our report paints a picture of the travel trends and factors driving Brits’ holiday choices, as well as the top staycation hotspots in the UK and the impact of the rising cost of living on travel habits.

What’s in this report?

Welcome to the Sykes Staycation Index for 2023

Following a record few years for staycations – with a staggering 82% of Brits holidaying at home in 2022 – the sector continues to show its strength as we head towards another busy holiday season.

The addition of another May bank holiday to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation means we’re preparing to see even more people holidaying across the UK this year, and our predictions suggest that staycations could contribute an estimated £28bn to the UK’s economy this year.

With families across the UK facing increased energy costs, inflation, and a squeeze on their budgets, we’ve seen many turn to staycations as a more affordable alternative. In fact, travellers are looking to take up to three UK trips in 2023, with half (50%) more likely to book a staycation over a holiday abroad this year due to the increased cost of living.

This year’s Staycation Index marks the fifth edition of our annual report. Here we delve into the trends and holiday habits that have emerged over the last 12 months, as well as where, and what, Brits are prioritising when heading on a getaway.

We look specifically at the top UK holiday hotspots, best budget destinations – including Holmfirth and Staithes in Yorkshire and Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales – and the locations trending on TikTok, as well as analysing our booking data to reveal the most sought-after holiday home features and property types.

With over three decades worth of experience in the holiday letting sector, we’re able to provide expert insight and knowledge regarding staycations, as well as predict what is set to shape UK travel this summer, and beyond.

– Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages

British breaks and where we’re holidaying

An analysis of staycation demand and key holiday destinations in 2023.

Based on both our bookings data and consumer research, it is clear that staycations are still very much in demand amongst Brits despite the return of foreign travel.

Below, we reveal the staycation spots growing in popularity, as well as how the extra May bank holiday has boosted staycation bookings and the sector’s growing impact on the UK’s economy.

The top 10 fastest-growing regions for bookings for the summer school holidays in 2023 according to Sykes’ bookings:

10 most popular staycations of 2023 according to consumer research of 2,000 UK adults:

The year of the save-cation

The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on travel decisions.

Almost half (48%) plan to visit a destination this year that they’ve already been to as they know what budget they’ll need. With household costs higher than ever, our research found that half (50%) of holidaymakers are more likely to book a staycation over a holiday abroad this year due to the increased cost of living.

Furthermore, ‘staycation snacking’ appears to be on the rise, with Brits looking to take shorter, more frequent breaks over more expensive longer getaways, while a significant number of people are revisiting the destinations they know.

The top 10 best-value holiday locations according to average weekly rental price (all under £550):

The latest UK travel trends

What does the nation want from a UK break?

After city breaks took the top spot for a UK getaway in 2022, this year travellers are yearning for cosy cottages and countryside breaks in locations away from tourist hot spots.

Here, we reveal the most sought-after property features, locations and travel trends for a staycation, as well as the factors influencing Brits’ staycation decisions.

Destination focus

Staycation hotspots – which destinations are trending this year?

The popularity of staycation destinations across the UK is ever-evolving, with holidaymakers on the hunt for more affordable locations off the beaten track, as well as the notable influence of social media and significant cultural events driving trending holiday hotspots in 2023.

Our research has revealed the factors influencing Brits’ staycation decisions this year – whether it be well-known events such as the Eurovision, destinations brought to life through popular TV shows or staycation locations trending on TikTok revealing the UK’s hidden gems.

What we’ve found – our conclusion

Staycations remain top of Brits’ holiday wish lists due to the cost of living.

The steady shift towards staycationing over recent years has been a result of many different factors, including the pandemic and overseas travel disruption as well as a renewed enthusiasm for the many stunning holiday destinations throughout the UK. And as we head towards the peak holiday season for 2023, this trend is set to continue.

With increased pressures on budgets, many holidaymakers are opting for properties closer to home and away from traditional tourist spots to take advantage of lower costs without compromising on the quality of their experience.

From planning trips in advance to an increase in ‘staycation snacking’ and returning to previously visited destinations, the rising cost of living has resulted in several significant changes to how Brits are choosing to holiday this year.

That being said, it is interesting to see the extent trending destinations are also impacting travellers’ decisions, with a quarter of holidaymakers being influenced by social platforms such as TikTok and popular UK TV show locations.

As we look to the season ahead, I continue to be immensely proud to promote all that the UK has to offer. With beautiful countryside and award-winning beaches on our doorstep, there are endless opportunities for affordable holidays that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. As ever, thank you to all our property owners, guests, and the ever-growing Sykes Holiday Cottages family.

– Graham Donoghue, CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages

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