Britain’s holiday plans have changed. Here’s how travel brands can respond.

British holidaymakers have seen their fair share of turbulence over the last couple of years. Rising costs, numerous conflicts and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 have all combined to wreak havoc on the runway.

But despite the disruption, determined holidaymakers have remained surprisingly resilient. Apparently, it takes a lot more chaos to get in the way of Brits and their yearly tan.

As such, the travel industry should be cautiously optimistic for clear skies ahead. But it’s important to remember that different people respond to tighter budgets in different ways. If brands want to successfully cater towards these shifting priorities, then it’s crucial that they understand what their customers are really thinking.


A resilient market… but for how long?


For many Brits, travelling abroad remains an annual priority that they are not willing to sacrifice. Look no further than a study by ABTA – The Travel Association, which reported that 84% of people went on holiday last year and 52% took a trip abroad (61% of whom went on a package holiday). What’s more, 64% of those studied said they planned to take a trip overseas this year.

But in order for them to ensure that their getaway goes ahead in 2024, there will be compromises — especially if budgets are stretched too thin. This doesn’t necessarily mean a full ‘trade down’, but it’s likely that people’s travel priorities will look a little different this year.


Behaviour is changing… but how?


As already mentioned, holiday goers are responding to rising costs in different ways. But there are four common themes which it may be wise to expect in the coming months:


#1 ~ Shorter breaks

One of the most impressive things about consumers is their willingness to cut corners in order to justify a holiday they can’t really afford. And one of the more obvious ways they could do this is by taking shorter breaks, or going away at less popular times of the year. The key question is what does the next trade down look like?


#2 ~ A change in booking times

Holidaymakers have likely learned that the time they book their holiday can have a massive impact on the overall price. For that reason, we could see consumers booking much further in advance, or even much later down the line. Sites like have made a business out of providing late value, and more travel brands may need to learn from this.


#3 ~ Challenges to brand loyalty

The other question is at what point will consumers’ brand loyalty break? Many holiday goers prefer package deals due to the peace of mind they deliver, but rising costs could push them to opt for cheaper brands, flights, and locations. Brands will need to identify the true value of convenience to their customers.


#4 ~ Not doing what they’re saying

As always, it’s important not to take travellers at face value. The majority of the public has reported that they’re cutting out luxuries, but it’s clear that they’re still prioritising annual holidays above all other non-essentials. If brands want to understand their customers, then overcoming this “say-do” gap is vital.


Stay ahead of the curve with real behavioural understanding


Holidaymakers don’t want to trade down. In fact, they’ll often do anything they can to avoid it. But there comes a point when this changes, and they have no choice but to alter their destination or the length of their stay. The first challenge for brands is identifying exactly where and when that tipping point is.

That’s where market research with an experienced company like Trinity McQueen comes in. By better understanding your customers, we can help you estimate how far they’re willing to trade down and change their holiday behaviour before they totally reappraise their holiday choices. Yes, the market may seem resilient on the surface, but there is a limit to how far you can push people, and we specialise in finding it.

If customers do end up changing their holiday choices, then the second challenge revolves around differentiation. In other words, how can operators offer something different that provides an added level of value? Jet2’s free early baggage drop-off service, known as ‘Twilight Check-in’, is just one example of an effective point of differentiation. Fred Olsen have also been successful in creating a range of unique signature experiences that can be enjoyed by their holidaymakers. 

Want to learn more about how Trinity McQueen can help you understand the minds of British holidaymakers? Reach out to