More UK travellers are looking at holidays in September, October and November than in 2019, with delayed demand lengthening the summer peak season, new research reveals.
More than a third (39%) of people polled by Skyscanner said they were planning a trip of more than 14 days in length so they can enjoy an extended holiday.
And 32% said that they were planning around safety, with the destination that seemed the safest being their top choice.
Key trends for UK travellers include:
- Confidence and optimism returning to plan trips further ahead
- A prioritisation of value over price
- ‘Second’ city destinations and islands increasing in popularity
They are also spending less, with the average fare purchased coming in at 13% less than it did pre-pandemic, a result of lower fares and competitive deals.
However, UK travellers are choosing to “upgrade” their travel, suggesting they are selecting fares with added extras such as flexibility or a higher Covid safety score, according to the study.
When asked which factors would make them pay for a more expensive flight over a cheaper one, 29% said they would pay more for flexible travel and 26% said they wanted to upgrade their fare.
The average booking horizon for UK travellers looking for travel is 113 days, much closer to pre-pandemic norms than 2020, suggesting increasing confidence to commit to future travel.
The most popular summer months for UK travellers are July and August, in line with school holidays and hotter weather.
Skyscanner flights vice president Hugh Aitken said: “With international travel once again on the horizon, we have looked at how, when and where it is likely to return ahead of the peak travel season.
“Our analysis reveals travellers’ preferences are changing compared to pre-pandemic and we have identified eight global trends that offer a snapshot of today’s travel landscape that will influence the sector in 2021.
“That said, there are still many pieces of the puzzle needed to ful y restore traveller confidence and truly unlock underlying demand.
“As we have seen in the past, travellers are adept at adjusting to new measures, however, we are entering a period where the importance of clear, straightforward and timely information is vital, especially relating to restrictions, quarantines and testing requirements.”