04 January 2024
UK families shun the staycation in 2024, as fewer families plan to organise a city break or holiday in the UK this year, new survey reveals.
A survey of 1,000 consumers conducted on behalf of RSM UK showed that less than a third (28%) of families are planning a UK city break and only 27% planned a longer staycation this year, down from 40% and 35% respectively last year.
Overall, families are planning to take fewer holidays in 2024 with the highest percentage 33% looking to take an overseas holiday, which is down from 37% last year - highlighting that the cost of living could be affecting travel plans for UK families.
However, the survey did find just 10% of consumers planned to cut back on short stay trips over the next three months, and 8% plan to cut back on long stay holidays of five days or more. When compared to other luxuries, such as eating and drinking out, over a third (36%) are planning on cutting back on eating out, closely followed by takeaways and deliveries (28%), highlighting that travel still remains a priority for some.
Chris Tate, head of travel at RSM UK, said: ‘It’s clear that holidays remain sacred for many, but families look to be cutting back on travel this year as the cost of living plus the astronomical price hikes during school holidays prove too much for many UK families to consider planning a holiday this year; and if they do, it will be to seek out some sunshine.’
Robyn Duffy, senior analyst at RSM UK, added: ‘Travel and tour operators will likely see a softening in year-on-year bookings for this year’s Sunshine Saturday. In an environment where consumers continue to feel the pressure on their finances, we anticipate a cooling of demand when it comes to overseas travel this year. Particularly if you consider the rising cost of airfares, with prices for air passenger travel last summer 60% higher than pre-Covid, and 19% more expensive than 2022*.
‘Our survey indicates consumers will still prioritise holidays, but with uncertainty around the outlook for fuel prices in 2024, the trend for higher air fares will persist, and we expect this will ultimately deter some consumers, particularly families, from booking trips.’
*Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).