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Common vacation practices in the UK

BySteve Stones

May 26, 2019 #life

Natives to the UK treasure their yearly vacations, from exploring European coastlines to failing to prevent the inevitable sunburn that loom upon them like an ironic shadow. We cherish our holidays so much that research suggested we spend a quarter of our household disposable income each year on trips overseas. This usually equates to around two getaways in a year.

Lake District Country Hotels, who have a trio of luxurious hotels and wedding venues in Cumbria have collated a list of UK’s most common vacation practices:

Changing practices

So, what does a modern-day holiday maker look like? Are more people choosing sight-seeing, food and culture holidays where they can visit stunning wall murals and historic landmarks rather than sitting on a beach in the sun for a fortnight all inclusive? Of course, this depends on whether it is families, or younger persons going on holiday, but the transparency of the internet has allowed holidaymakers, or “travelers” as we like to be called, to open up a whole new world of holidaying experiences.

The times are fading where we take advantage of being native speakers of a universal language, sticking to “tourist hotspots”, not necessarily straying far from the invisible boundaries of what we would consider to be a masked Great Britain. I.e. staying in hotels abroad with hundreds of other Brits, eating English food delivered by English speaking foreigners. Alternatively, there has been a shift, and now, with the growth in importance of online reviews and quick language lessons, we can choose to enter the quietly concealed doors of authentic bars, restaurants and cafes. Airbnb has gifted us with the alternative of staying in a local’s home either with or without them, opening up a natural avenue which feels a lot more like a holiday should be – experiencing and immersing oneself in foreign cultures.

Inflow vs outflow

How do Brits fare up against visits to the UK? Well, since 1997, the number of people coming into the UK has more or less been half what are going out, starting at 25.5m and rising to 39.2m in 2017 for incomings, while outgoings have risen from 46m to 72m. So, even though both are continuing to increase at a steady pace year on year, it’s worth mentioning that there is still a significant gap between attracting tourists and being one ourselves.

Nearly 20% of all UK natives travelling overseas end up opting to travel to Spain. However, Spaniards coming to the UK only accounts for around 2.2m. in 2017, British people also made almost 6.5m trips to Portugal, Greece and Turkey accumulatively, but those tourism levels weren’t reciprocated, with only 800,000 trips being made in the other direction. The French are our biggest customers, potentially down to geographical proximity, with our English speaking neighbours coming in second.


Brits tend to go on two holidays per household (based on a family of four) per year at a cost of £3,420 each time. Such is our love for a break that 15% of us use credit cards to fund our vacation, with nearly nine in 10 of those borrowing money saying it’s the only way they could afford it, but they weren’t prepared to miss out on the idea of jet-setting

We are a nation who tend to blow our budget while away as well. 68% of woman and 55% of men confessing they spend more than they plan for, this typically adds £250 to the cost of your holiday.

This is parallel to the findings from the Office for National Statistics, where spending continued to increase in 1997 from £16,931m until 2008 to £36,838m, before dropping slightly to £31,694m, which is consistent with the decrease in the amount of Brits going abroad, dropping between 2008-2010. Since that year, both visits and spend has increased year on year, and as of 2017, we are spending £44.84bn annually.






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