With travel restrictions for UK citizens still in place and coronavirus levels across Europe still very high, many British families are looking closer to home for their summer holiday needs. It is no surprise therefore that many accommodation choices are the UK are now fully booked for peak summer dates.
According to a report in the Telegraph on 3 March 2021, self-catered accommodation website Unique Homestays has warned that 92 per cent of summer holiday dates are booked up whilst another booking site, Oliver’s Travels, has just eight per cent of properties still available.
Since the UK government announced that UK based holidays could commence as soon as 12 April on the premise that COVID cases continue to fall, bookings have soared. However, this is just for self-catering accommodation and bookings must only be for one household. It is still not possible to book a self-catering UK holiday where you share your accommodation with another household.
To meet the surge in demand, many stately homes and farms are opening up their land to guests for the first time. Luxurious shower and toilet blocks have quickly been erected to meet this new demand. What is more, due to limited plot numbers in many of these new locations, people can find the space they crave for a safe and tranquil holiday.
Such strong demand is being driven by several factors it seems. In a survey conducted by ‘Stay In Britain’ several underlying themes have emerged. People are concerned primarily that an overseas holiday might be cancelled. Similarly, British families are concerned that they might be forced to ‘quarantine’ for 14 days after they return from an overseas holiday. Lastly, are concerned about travlling by air and the perceived risk from travelling in close proximity to others for a prolonged period.
Stephen Shaftesbury from Petersfield (Hampshire) said:
“The thought of sitting next to people on an aircraft that we do not know fills us with dread. Until more people are vaccinated and infection rates have dropped significantly, we just don’t have the confidence to get on an aircraft at present. We will be holidaying in the UK for the foreseeable future I think.”
James Benson from Chorley (Lancashire) added:
“Our whole perception of what is safe has changed. I see people hugging on TV and want to shout out – stop, that’s against social distancing regulations! We don’t want to go away on holiday to a place where there are lots of people. The more secluded and remote the better.”
Interestingly though, there could be a shift away from the situation we saw last summer when a large number of people travelled by car to continental Europe for a break.
As James Gill from London observed:
“Whilst I wouldn’t want to take my family on aircraft or ferry at the present time, we are looking seriously at a holiday in France this summer. It is still possible to travel to the continent via the Channel Tunnel / Euro tunnel whilst staying safe and “ The question is, will we will be welcome in the Europe when we arrive and will we have to quatantine for 14 days when we return.”
If you too are concerned about travelling abroad this summer, we urge you to book your accommodation as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed. But the issue is not just falling availability it is also about price – rising demand is pushing up prices and will continue to do so as availability continues to dwindle.
Accommodation sites like Stay In Britain feature some of the more unusual and independent accommodation choices that you will not find on the major booking sites. So why not start your search for your summer holiday accommodation today!