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UK travel trends

UK Travel Trends to Guide Your Next Long Weekend Break

Weekend breaks, sustainable holidays and experience-focused travel are major trends as more British holidaymakers look to explore the corners of our beautiful country. Last year alone, the number of Britons taking trips of one or more nights within the country was 50% higher than those taking trips abroad, and the trend is only set to grow as more people look for stand-out holiday spots closer to home. 

If you’re thinking of taking a refreshing break before the end of year rush hits, here are some of the top UK travel trends to guide you.     

Long Weekend Breaks are Trending  

At 53%, over half of global travellers said they’d be taking more weekend trips this year, and the trend is set to grow as more people look to maximise their leave days by choosing quick holiday breaks that don’t require loads of time away from work, or getting on a plane. 

Rising costs have seen many opt for holidays at home, with the term ‘staycation’ seeing a 71% increase in Google searches since last year. For others, climate change has a direct influence on how they travel. European movements like Flight-Free 2019 aimed to get 100,000 people to pledge going air-free this year, and for those who choose to fly less, exploring more of their own country is the perfect solution for a relaxing getaway. 

Rise of the Staycation

Last year, 57% of Britain holidayed on home soil, with the seaside taking the top spot as the favourite destination, followed by rural settings like forests, lakes and mountains. We also love a dog holiday, with one-fifth of pets accompanying us on short breaks.  

A staycation, a micro holiday or a weekend break; whatever we choose to call these short, efficient and refreshing getaways, more are opting for them over the traditional vacation, and these mini breaks from daily life are just as great as they sound! 

Countryside trips and city breaks share the top spot as the most popular holiday destination, with each favoured by four in ten staycationers. Around 22% of people enjoy putting Areas of Outstanding Beauty on the itinerary, and 68% of visitors to the UK's national parks are from within the country! These mountains, lakes, forests and grasslands provide the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, including walking and hiking, cycling, adventure holidays and romantic getaways.   

Top Tips for a Great Weekend Break 

  • Choose a theme: Plan your trip around a theme so you can pack as much into a short amount of time as possible. Abandon all technology and take a hike in the forest for a serene weekend in the woods, or opt for an adventure and get a shot of adrenaline (and vitamin D) with activities like hiking, climbing and kayaking.
  • Maximise your leave: Reduce the number of leave days you need to apply for by strategically planning your micro trip around bank holidays and weekends. This gives you multiple mini break opportunities to explore more of the country.

Rise of the staycation

Collecting Experiences is Key 

Today’s travellers are looking for more than just value for money when planning holidays, with trends showing more people are opting for trips that offer experiences that are out of the ordinary, invigorating and rejuvenating rather than just ‘time away from home’. 

Last year’s trend of experience-focused travel has become more popular than ever, and it shows no signs of slowing, with 60% of travellers saying they value experiences more than material possessions. This includes visiting destinations that get the adrenaline pumping, make us feel like kids again or give us the opportunity to stay in interesting accommodation or beautiful surroundings. 

Curate Your Experiences Like A Pro  

  • Leave your comfort zone: Nine in ten people want escapism and distraction from their holidays, so make the most of your break by stepping outside of your usual routine and changing it up with something entirely new.
  • Take a digital detox: 70% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 65% of 35- to 44-year-olds value a digital detox on holiday, looking to ditch their devices in favour of living in the moment and embracing new experiences without distraction. 

Collect more experiences on holiday

Sustainable Holidays are Key Right Now

We live in an age of awareness and today, 57% of people are likely to boycott a brand that doesn’t share their social beliefs, while 30% of people are more likely to make decisions about a brand based on its beliefs than they were three years ago. 

This same sentiment has expanded into how we travel and spend our leisure time, with 86% of global travellers saying they’d be willing to offset the environmental impact of their stay on holiday by doing things like cleaning up litter and plastic. With organisations like Keep Britain Tidy making it easy to host or join a clean-up, it’s simpler than ever to contribute. 

While tourism used to be all about indulging personal fulfilment with little thought of the impact on the surrounding environment, today's holidaymakers are more interested in cultural sensitivity, the environment and animal welfare. With many choosing to support sustainable options that are kinder to people and the planet, Google searches for a ‘green holiday’ have shot up by 42% since last year. 

Lessen your Impact on Holiday 

  • Keep it green: swap chemical-heavy toiletries and plastic for eco-friendly and biodegradable products which are kinder to the environment. Be sure to pack a reusable water bottle to minimise your waste.
  • Respect the ecosystem: when travelling outdoors, always stick to designated paths and recreation areas to avoid disturbing the delicate flora and fauna. 

Green holidays are in

Looking to book a weekend break? Discover the idyllic beauty right on your doorstep with Forest Holidays. 

Book a weekend getaway