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Staycations are in and overseas getaways are out this winter as personal vehicles remain central to holiday plans

Staycations are in and overseas getaways are out this winter as personal vehicles remain central to holiday plans

British holidaymakers are sticking with staycations rather than flying overseas this winter, new research out today from one of the UK’s leading automotive finance companies can reveal.

The latest study from Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) has found that, despite the bleak weather, more Brits are staycationing in the UK this winter (13%) as opposed to travelling overseas for a holiday (9%)*.

The data also shows that 24% of respondents are planning a domestic road trip in the next few months, with just one in five people (20%) looking to board a flight to a more exotic destination this spring.

The enduring popularity of Blighty-based staycations is a continuation of a trend that began in the summer of 2020, with research showing that half of Brits (49%) have become more interested in staycations and road trips as a result of the pandemic.

And it appears we all still like to be beside the seaside as coastal locations are the nation’s most popular staycation destinations (33%), ahead of countryside retreats (25%), city breaks (13%) and overseas resorts (12%).

Volkswagen Financial Services UK’s data insights team suggest this latest study illustrates that staycations are here to stay, with families seemingly favouring domestic getaways over ski holidays and winter sun trips that are typically hugely popular at this time of year.

The popularity of winter staycations is evidenced by the fact that 24% of people have made holiday plans across December and January, which is down just 1% from the peak holiday season last July.

The winter staycation boom may also be driven by another factor brought about by the pandemic: hybrid working.

Data from Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) shows that, once work-from-home guidance is relaxed, 35% of people plan to return to the office part-time, versus 31% of workers who plan to return to the office on a full-time basis.

With such a significant percentage of the workforce willing to do their job at home, or simply away from the office at least some of the time, holidaymakers have more flexibility when booking staycations – providing they are happy to pack their laptop.

Another growing winter trend uncovered in the research was that of online shopping, with more than half of respondents (55%) making more online purchases compared to earlier in the year. This is up 12% from August 2021.

Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “Holidaymakers were swapping their passports for walking boots and picnic blankets when staycations took off again last summer, but I don’t believe many people expected domestic getaways to be quite so popular this winter. I think our research highlights the renewed importance of personal vehicles almost two years on from the start of the pandemic, as people are reliant on their cars for domestic holidays now that flying overseas is again fraught with uncertainty. There are so many wonderful places to explore on these shores, from St Ives to Scarborough, and our vehicles are central to unlocking these adventures – even the great British weather isn’t stopping people enjoying a good old fashioned road trip!”

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