Are staycations on the up?

In many way, it’s easier than ever to travel overseas. But a number of recent surveys have confirmed that UK staycations are rising in popularity. More and more Brits are shunning faraway shores, European city breaks and their fortnight on the Costas in favour of destinations closer to home.

Why are staycations on the up and will the trend continue?

Brexit and the demise of the pound

Brexit has certainly played a significant role in us Brits deciding to holiday in the UK. When the nation voted to leave the EU, the value of the pound dropped like a stone. There have been signs of recovery since but continued uncertainty over Brexit has ensured that travelling to Europe and North America remains much more expensive than it might otherwise have been. Little wonder that holidaymakers are deciding that now might be a good time to explore the UK.

The exchange rate and concerns over a no deal Brexit can’t be the only reasons that that holidaymakers are staying at home. After all, we are no strangers to economic uncertainty in the UK or terrible exchange rates. Perhaps people have also grown weary of the travel disruptions caused by strike action in France or Rynair’s failure to recruit enough pilots.

Talking of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary appears to be dedicating his life to upsetting as many passengers as possible and he is not alone.

The changing face of air travel

Low cost airlines caused a travel revolution, bringing international holidays within the budgets of almost everyone. I have fond memories of a long weekend in Krakow for which I paid a ridiculous £79 in total. This included a massive 2p return for the flights with Ryanair. Those were the days! Amazing deals like that have all but disappeared now. Ticket prices have certainly risen considerably. Then there are all of those extra charges to pay if you happen to be one of those fussy travellers who likes to take luggage on holiday and sit next to your relatives on the plane. Heaven help you if you happen to lose your boarding pass, exceed your luggage allowance or forget to check in before you leave home! Things get really expensive if you make mistakes!

Most flights are anything but low cost these days. Ryanair aren’t the only offenders but they are probably the worst. Actually forget that I said that. I have flown with Ryanair four times in the last year and they are definitely the worse airline on the planet.

The golden era of cheap air travel appears to be over. There are still bargains to be had if you don’t mind flying at stupid o’clock, leaving your clothes behind and sitting on your own. However, regardless of what you have paid for the flight, you will never escape the interminable security checks and incessant delays. Not to mention rogue drones closing airports periodically!

Air travel can be a total pain in the backside!

The Weather

It isn’t possible to discuss holidaying in the UK without mentioning the weather! It’s one of the principle reasons holidaymakers travel overseas. The British weather has always been so unreliable. But not last year! The summer was consistently dry and hot and this might have inspired people to choose a staycation.  It was almost tropical in North Wales during July and August and the seawater was incredibly warm. I was having such a wonderful time on the beaches that I didn’t bother going on holiday at all!

Dougal at Black Rock Sands

Accommodation and destinations

I engaged in a little research this week and was delighted to discover that self-catering accommodation is an increasingly popular choice with British holidaymakers. This is clearly good news for The Woollen Mill! Better still, North Wales is now the second most popular destination in the country and could overtake Devon and Cornwall next year.

There are other noteworthy trends including a rise in the number of short breaks being taken. Many people are booking three or more short breaks every year and why not? It certainly makes sense to stay in the UK if you are only going to be away for three days. Travelling abroad could see you spend most of your holiday at the airport or queuing on the M20 for a channel crossing.

I wasn’t surprised to find that last minute bookings are on the rise, because we have received so many eleventh hour requests here. After many years of being urged to book early by tour operators, travellers are abandoning long-term planning and acting on impulse instead. That’s so much more exciting!

UK hot spots

There are many fabulous places to see and any number of unique adventures to experience in the UK  and so it has to be worth treating yourself to the occasional stayacation. I certainly hadn’t realised quite how beautiful North Wales is until I moved here. Every week I discover another magical waterfall, incredible view or exciting walk. The beaches are out of this world and I really enjoyed Velocity 2, the 100mph zipline with fantastic views. Which reminds me, the next time it rains, I want to visit Bounce Below, an underground playground operated by Zip World with trampolines and neon lights. You see, even in wet weather, there’s always something fun to do around here!

View of Snowdon from Beddgelert Forest