The past two years have been a whirlwind for the UK travel industry, and we’ve witnessed an enormous change in the way Brits choose to travel, and where they’re going. Factors like Covid, Brexit and other global transitions have caused us to rethink travel and reconsider what we’re looking for in it.
Goboony has always worked to meet these changes and evolve with the travel industry, and part of this is staying aware of what people want and expect from their holidays. That’s why we conducted extensive research in August 2021, and we’ve decided to share our fascinating results with you!
Over 2,000 people completed our survey, which consisted of twelve multiple-choice questions.
In the past 12 months, have you been on a motorhome holiday?
Yes, more than one - 7.8%
Yes, just the one - 10.1%
No - 82.2%
This was surprising, as we expected to have a higher number of people who had gone on one holiday within the past year. But it suggests that the British public followed guidelines and postponed plans for a holiday, perhaps fearing another set of government restrictions.
Which one holiday genre represents freedom to you?
Camping - 14.4%
Caravanning - 8.3%
City break - 3.4%
Motorhome - 41%
Beach - 17.9%
Active / sports focused - 17.9%
Cruise / sailing - 3.2%
Safari - 2.1%
Backpacking - 4.5%
Yoga retreat - 1.3%
Now, as much as we’d like to think that almost half of the public thinks a motorhome holiday is the best type of trip, it’s worth noting that survey respondents were visitors to our website or previous users. But this does highlight that they consider motorhome travel to be representative of freedom, and far more so than other holiday types.
Which one sound most signifies you have reached your ‘happy place’ when on holiday?
Birds singing - 13.7%
Waves - 32.7%
Loud music - 1.5%
Complete silence - 10.5%
Logs burning - 7.7%
Insects on a warm evening - 4.2%
Children having fun - 11.8%
A busy city centre 1.6%
Hot tub bubbling - 6.2%
Quiet chatter of campers - 10.1%
Quite a spread of results on this one! It’s interesting to note that loud music performed quite poorly, which suggests that a ‘happy place’ is focused on tranquillity and therefore softer sounds. We were surprised to see that 10.5% prefer complete silence, but I guess this is a rarity in our daily lives. The highest votes went to the sound of waves, suggesting we’re true islanders at heart and Brits would always rather be by the coast.
Which one smell most signifies your ‘happy place’ when on holiday?
BBQ - 16.8%
Restaurant cooking - 5.3%
Salty air by the seaside - 31.2%
Farmland - 4.4%
Fish and chips - 7.4%
Camp fire - 12.7%
Exotic spices - 2.7%
Freshly cut grass - 6%
Sun tan / after sun lotion - 10.9%
Other, please specify - 2.6%
And once again, results show Brits love anything related to the coast! Whilst fish and chips got a strong score of 7.4%, the salty air is apparently unbeatable with 31.2%. This suggests that travellers should head to the beach for the ultimate holiday relaxation.
How does the UK open road make you feel on your holiday? Please tick one that applies.
Free - 27.4%
Happy - 23.2%
Peaceful - 12.6%
Excited - 19.7%
Agitated - 2.7%
Anxious - 2.9%
Don't know - 11.5%
Nothing feels more freeing than heading onto the open road! The wind in your hair, tunes blasting from the radio and an adventure on the horizon. A close second is feeling happy on the open road, probably when there’s no traffic or delays. It’s great to see that the minority felt negative emotions, like agitation or anxiety, at the prospect of heading out on the open road.
Which one thing is most likely to cause an argument when on a UK road trip?
Directions - 22.9%
Maintenance of the vehicle - 7.1%
Music choices - 4.5%
Comfort breaks - 4.2%
Backseat drivers - 13.6%
Snacks - 1.9%
Smells - 2.9%
Someone sleeping - 2.5%
Kids in the back - 8.1%
Traffic - 32.2%
We’ve all been there, heading onto the highway only to be confronted with an awful load of traffic. It’s unsurprising that 32.2% of participants responded that traffic is their main cause of arguments on a road trip. The second is directions, as being in the passenger seat with the map can be even more stressful than being behind the wheel. Snacks are the least likely option to argue about, as long as you have enough of them!
Who is your preferred UK road trip companion? Please select the one that applies the most.
My spouse / partner - 46%
My spouse / partner and children - 31%
My children - 6.7%
My sibling(s) - 2.2%
My friend(s) - 7.1%
Me, myself and I - 7%
The majority of UK respondents will take road trips with just their partner! And a close second is heading out with your partner and kids. These two options make up 77% of the results, and show that road trips are all about time with the family! It’s surprising to see that almost the same number of respondents would travel alone as they would with friends, either showing more people are trying solo travel or fewer are using this as a bonding activity with their pals. Sometimes when other people aren’t available, you’ve just gotta hit the road yourself!
Which moment does your holiday typically begin for you? Please select one that applies.
When I pack my bags - 16.9%
When I lock up my home - 20.8%
When I get in my car / motorhome / on a plane - 34.2%
When I arrive at the airport - 5.7%
When I arrive at my destination - 13.1%
When I have unpacked - 4.4%
I don’t know - 4.9%
It’s a tough question! Getting ready for your holiday can feel stressful and overwhelming, so at what point does holiday mode set in? For the majority of respondents, it’s leaving their home or location. For others, it’s locking up their home - although within an hour they’ll begin doubting whether they actually did! Only 4.4% have to wait until unpacking to feel like they’re on holiday.
Since March 2020 (Pre-Covid-19), have you been on holiday? Please select one answer most applicable.
Yes, one holiday abroad - 7.8%
Yes, two or more holidays abroad - 3.6%
Yes, one UK staycation - 19.3%
Yes, two or more UK staycations - 23.1%
Yes, been abroad and stayed in the UK - 6.2%
Not yet, I have a holiday abroad booked - 3.5%
Not yet, I have a UK staycation booked - 6.5%
Not yet, but I plan on booking a holiday soon - 15.5%
No, I don’t feel comfortable / confident in booking a holiday - 8.6%
No, I don't go on holidays - 5.9%
The past year and a half has witnessed an incredible surge in staycations - choosing to travel within your city or country rather than going abroad. This was initially done to follow restrictions and stay safe, but it’s grown further than that, as we seize this chance to fall in love with our own home country. There’s got to be a reason why so many travellers from across the globe flock to the UK each year, so time to see this for ourselves.
Would you consider owning a motorhome? Please select one statement that applies.
I already own one - 11.2%
I would definitely own a motorhome - 34.2%
I am undecided - 32.8%
I have no plans to own a motorhome - 21.8%
It’s interesting to note how many people that book a motorhome holiday are planning or considering owning one themselves! It suggests that motorhome sharing platforms work as a try-before-you-buy type model, allowing you to experience the realities of motorhome travel before you fully commit. This is supported by how many travellers on our website are looking for a very specific vehicle, as they’ve already narrowed down what they’re interested in.
Within the last 12 months, have you tried something on your UK break that you have never done before? Please select up to three that apply.
I holidayed in the UK! - 18.7%
I camped - 8.3%
I had a motorhome holiday - 11.8%
I stayed in an airBnB - 6.2%
I learnt a new skill / hobby - 6.1%
I travelled solo - 2.5%
I travelled with my pets - 7.5%
I haven’t tried anything new - 14.6%
I made time for myself - 9.7%
I have not been on holiday - 14.5%
As mentioned previously, people are starting to appreciate the joy and advantages of a staycation, which is confirmed by 18.7% saying they tried a holiday in the UK as something they have never done before! Whilst, of course, this was because it wasn’t possible to go abroad, we hope that it continues into the future and people can appreciate what they have right on their doorstep. It’s also worth noting that 11.8% tried a motorhome holiday, likely because they recognised how pandemic-proof this holiday style is.
How has Covid-19 impacted your holiday decision-making - now and in the future? Please tick up to three that apply.
I will avoid popular tourist destinations during peak times - 14.5%
I will explore more of the great outdoors - 18%
I will book self-catering accommodation - 7.1%
I will book a motorhome - 18.3%
I will not travel further than a couple of hours drive time from my home - 2.9%
I will have more conscientious holidays e.g. volunteering, reducing carbon footprint - 2.9%
I will support more local / independent holiday providers - 9.9%
I will ensure travel insurance is in place - 7.3%
I will have more breaks, little and often - 11.9%
Covid-19 has not impacted my decision-making - 7.1%
We’re always happy to see people realising how great motorhome travel is! 18.3% are ready to try motorhome travel, either for the first time or once again. 18% plan to explore the great outdoors, which will be beneficial for both their physical and emotional health. Whilst we leave the restrictions of the pandemic, it’s worth noting what we wish to take with us into the next step, things like heading outside more, using independent holiday providers and taking more short breaks. Only 7.1% could claim that Covid-19 had not impacted their decision making.
We hope you found these results as interesting as we did! They’ve given us a lot to think about, and we look forward to adapting to the New Normal using them. Now it's time to plan your next trip. Perhaps you'll visit some of the great campsites in Bedfordshire, or you'll explore Wicklow for a weekend.