Two-week holidays popular again as UK bounces back from Covid travel rules

Holidaymakers are planning to go away for longer this summer now that travel restrictions have been relaxed. UK travellers are also prepared to spend more to make sure they make the most of newly-restored travel freedom.

Data, released by Marriott Bonvoy, the travel loyalty programme, shows that amongst the four-in-10 (40 per cent) holidaymakers who already know they will be heading abroad this summer (June-September), 81 per cent of those will spend an average £1,481 more this year, compared to their typical spend on summer holidays pre-pandemic.

They also plan to spend more time away than usual with the return of the two-week holiday. The once-popular fortnight break has been in decline in recent years, with cheap flights leading many holidaymakers to favour more frequent, shorter breaks.

Nearly a third have not been on a two-week holiday in a decade or more. But that looks set to change this year, with 39 per cent of those going away planning to do at least one holiday of a fortnight or more.

Meanwhile, many will be looking forward to multiple holidays this summer. Nearly half (45 per cent) say they will be going away on more holidays than usual between June and September this year – rising to 61 per cent for adults under 25.

The increase in spend and time away is a direct result of the pandemic, with many making up for a lack of breaks in the past couple of years. Just 15 per cent of adults claim to have been on holiday abroad since the pandemic started. Meanwhile 52 per cent have not been abroad since summer 2019 – almost three years ago by this summer.

More than a third (36 per cent) say they are determined to go away this summer, with many feeling holidays abroad were simply too risky during the past two years. Some 17 per cent of those polled are using this summer for a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list holiday, possibly contributing to the overall increase in spend.

Neal Jones, chief sales & marketing officer, Marriott International – Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: “We are seeing that British travellers are determined to get a proper escape this summer with the return of the two-week summer holiday. Many are planning to spend significantly more, and go away for longer than pre-Covid, to make up for two years of lost travel. This is very positive news for the travel industry after two tough years through the pandemic.

“Our customers are prioritising hassle-free breaks where they can relax and be looked after this year. I would encourage anyone who is looking to get away this summer who has not yet booked, to consider doing so soon, so they can look forward to a much needed summer break whether at home or abroad.”

The research is taken from Marriott Bonvoy’s Joy of Travel report, which polled 2,000 UK adults last month.

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