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Sykes Staycation Index 2024

Our report provides a comprehensive overview of the UK’s latest travel trends, including the top staycation destinations and factors influencing Brits’ holiday decisions in 2024.

What’s in the report?

Sykes Staycation Index 2024

Welcome to the Sykes Staycation Index for 2024

"We’re expecting another bumper year – and summer – for UK travel with 77% of Brits planning a staycation in 2024, up from 75% who did so last year. With each of these travellers spending on accommodation, food and drink and other experiences, this represents a significant boost to the UK economy and local communities throughout the country."

“Now in its sixth year, the Sykes Staycation Index is firmly established as an insight-led look at the staycation industry. We also shine a light on the popular destinations and the main trends, as we see them, influencing the choice of a UK getaway this year – including a desire for more regular escapism and an ever-growing thirst for new adventures close to home."
Headshot of Graham Donoghue
Graham Donoghue
CEO, Sykes Holiday Cottages

Where are Brits Holidaying?

In this section, we take a look at the current holiday hotspots that Brits are holidaying in, with the South West proving particularly popular this year. 

10 most popular staycation destinations in 2024, according to consumer research of 2,000 UK adults:

10 most popular locations for summer 2024 bookings:

  1. Weymouth, Dorset
  2. Whitby, North Yorkshire
  3. Keswick, Cumbria
  4. Ambleside, Cumbria
  5. Windermere, Cumbria
  6. Lyme Regis, Dorset
  7. Salcombe, Devon
  8. Scarborough, North Yorkshire
  9. Dartmouth, Devon
  10. Newquay, Cornwall

Why are Brits choosing to holiday closer to home?

We’ve looked at the main drivers influencing holiday decisions, and the reasons why people are looking closer to home for a getaway.

We found that 54% of travellers book a holiday purely on the accommodation – over the location – and that a hot tub, Wi-Fi and garden are the features they are searching for the most on our website. We also uncovered the following:

The top three reasons for choosing a staycation over a foreign trip:

  1. It’s easier – 43%
  2. It’s less stressful – 33%
  3. It’s cheaper – 32%

The top five activities Brist most want to do on staycation:

  1. Go on coastal walks
  2. Go on countryside walks
  3. Explore local attractions
  4. Have a pub lunch
  5. Try local restaurants

The five most popular types of UK break in 2023:

  1. Cottage-style holiday home – 38%
  2. City break – 37%
  3. Lakes and mountains – 33%
  4. Beachfront holiday home – 31%
  5. Countryside B&B – 26%

The pop culture trends impacting travel

Nearly a fifth (17%) of Brits intend to visit somewhere that they’ve seen on TV or in a film in 2024, which is why we’ve explored the way pop culture, including popular TV shows and social media, is impacting travel choices.

The top 10 locations impacting UK travel choices:

  1. Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones)
  2. Edinburgh (One Day)
  3. Cornwall (Poldark)
  4. Liverpool (The Batman)
  5. Manchester (Fool Me Once)
  6. Alnwick (Harry Potter)
  7. Glencoe, Scottish Highlands (Skyfall)
  8. West Bay, Dorset (Broadchurch)
  9. Bath (Persuasion)
  10. Lowick, Northamptonshire (Saltburn)

Social media remains a strong influence on Brits’ travel decisions, with almost a quarter (23%) saying that their travel is heavily influenced by the likes of TikTok and Instagram. 7% of Brits said they go on shorter, but more frequent breaks, purely to post about them on social media.

Staycation activities most inspired by social media include: restaurant reservations, walking routes, national parks, historic sites and museum trips. 

What's trending in 2024?

1. Staycation Snacking

22% of Brits are looking to take shorter, more frequent breaks to make the most of their annual leave and experience more of the UK.

Sykes has seen a 9% uplift in long weekend break booking year-on-year in 2024, with the most popular months for these being April and December 2023.

2. Back to Basics Breaks

Bookings of pods, yurts and shepherd’s huts have been steadily increasing over the last few years, up 67% in 2023, with people attracted to the different – and back to basics – experience this type of break offers.

3. Dark Horse Destinations

This year, Somerset has taken the top spot from Norfolk as the lesser-trodden destination Brits most want to visit. With holidaymakers avoiding high tourism areas and heading to more understated spots instead.

Our research found that 36% of Brits plan to visit locations off the usual tourist trail this year and that 65% of holidaymakers get satisfaction from uncovering lesser-known destinations or attractions.

4. Experience-Inclusive Breaks

The ever-growing pursuit to try new things is also influencing travel choices, with more and more of our owners offering on-site experience so guests don’t have to venture very far.

10 unusual staycation experiences which most appeal to Brits:

  1. Wild swimming 
  2. Visiting caves
  3. Hunting for fossils
  4. Ghost hunting
  5. Hiking with llamas
  6. Participating in unique events such as cheese-rolling
  7. Ziplining
  8. Surfing
  9. Cooking classes
  10. Foraging

Trending 2024 Destinations

These are the staycation destinations seeing the biggest growth in bookings year-on-year in 2024. With Northumberland being the top ‘trending’ UK region this year!

  1. Llanfechell, Isle of Anglesey
  2. Thorpe on the Hill, Lincolnshire
  3. Invergarry, Scottish Highlands
  4. Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland
  5. Torver, Cumbria
  6. Chichester, West Sussex
  7. Bournemouth, Dorset
  8. Porthcawl, South Wales
  9. Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
  10. Largs, Central Scotland

Has this insight into our 2024 Staycation Index got you interested to learn more? Be sure to download the full report! We’re even giving you the chance to win a staycation worth £1,000 to celebrate the launch of our latest Staycation Index Report.

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