UK flight and holiday home bookings skyrocket as much as 600% after roadmap out of lockdown announcement

Feb 23, 2021

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After months of doom and gloom, canceled flights, postponed trips and dashed hopes, the U.K. government has finally outlined the nation’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Though the path forward is cautious and restrictions are being loosened slowly, the country now has dates to work with. But given the uncertainty of the path forward, the government has maintained the right to push any of the dates back.

And for travel-starved Brits, the two most significant dates are as follows. From April 12 at the earliest, hospitality venues can serve people outdoors and self-contained accommodation, such as vacation rentals, can also reopen. Then, on May 17 at the earliest, indoor dining and pubs will be allowed to reopen, hotels and hostels will be allowed to reopen and international travel may be allowed to resume, but will be subject to conditions.

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Light at the end of the tunnel. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Inevitably, following Monday’s news, Brits went into a booking frenzy to release their pent-up travel demand.

EasyJet reported flight bookings were up 300% and holiday bookings were up 600% week-on-week, while TUI U.K. said summer bookings surged by 500% overnight, according to the Independent.

Sun-soaked destinations such as Greece, Spain and Turkey were the most-popular booked destinations.

Meanwhile, staycation and holiday home figures were also striking following Monday’s announcement. According to home rental site Host Unusual, it saw a rise of 127% in bookings since the announcement  — an increase of 86% since this time last year.

Founder Alex Wilson said that the searches are for late April and May and trending destinations include Norfolk, Cornwall, Devon, Suffolk and Dorset.

“Pent up demand and lockdown frustration is translating into searches for as soon as the restrictions are eased — people seem to be looking for a coastal break and treehouses, beach huts and glamping escapes are in high demand,” Wilson told TPG.

Brits are searching for remote glamping opportunities. (Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

Similarly, HomeToGo said it saw an 83% increase in searches week-on-week for trips starting as early as May. And overall, searches for stays in the U.K. this summer are up by 188% compared to last year, with searches for stays in Cornwall seeing the biggest lift.

The site also revealed that cottages and detached holiday homes are the most-popular option, accounting for 78% of its accommodation bookings. It said longer bookings for 14 days or more are up by 56%.

“Based on our latest data, we saw a huge spike of travelers in the U.K. searching for holiday rentals the day of the announcement compared to the week prior and we expect searches and bookings to continue to rise in the days to come,” Caroline Burns, head of PR at HomeToGo, told TPG.

Whatever your preference, TPG advises you to book flights and lettings with a flexible cancellation or rebooking policy, as despite the positive news on Monday, rules are still subject to change at the last minute.

Featured photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images




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