Demand for summer staycations climbs as Britons book holidays at home to avoid travel chaos

The lifting of Covid restrictions that limited travel outside the UK have put overseas holidays back on the map, but Britons are showing an increasing desire for staycations as travel chaos continues.

Airlines including easyJet have cancelled hundreds of flights in recent weeks due to Covid-related staff absences and British Airways announced four months worth of flight cancellations last week.

Several travel experts have said they believe the disruption is prompting UK tourists to opt for staycations. The cost of living crisis is also thought to be influencing people to holiday closer to home, although this is not always the cheaper option.

Luxury camping website Canopy & Stars, told i traffic to its site is up around 15 per cent week-on-week at the moment, and also tracking around 15 per cent ahead of 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

A spokesperson said: “Right now, May is our most-booked month. This is a trend we have seen since the start of the year, so does suggest that perhaps travellers have been holding out to see if overseas holidays are possible.”

Sykes Holiday Cottages bookings were up 75 per cent for the 2022 Easter bank holiday weekend.

A spokesperson said the “staycation boom” shows no signs of slowing down, with bookings for autumn 2022 already up 35 per cent compared to 2019.

Finest Retreats founder Richard Bond said the UK holiday cottages agency was seeing “a distinct shift in advance bookings”.

Mr Bond said: “This is likely to be partly because they trust the UK will be open and available, whereas there may yet be further restrictions on travel abroad and also to get in early and guarantee a stay in especially popular parts of the country.”

Budget hotel Travelodge, which has 578 sites across the country, said it was already observing a “steady flow of summer bookings”.

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Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said: “Our latest Travel Index shows the staycation is set to be big again in 2022 with the Easter-cation kickstarting the 2022 holiday season, which is great news for the UK hospitality sector.”

Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said: “The pandemic spawned a boom in UK trips as holidaymakers could only dream of getting away without restrictions.

“But it might not be a surprise if we saw some individuals and families reconsidering their plans to go abroad this year as the Easter travel chaos and a new wave of flight cancellations will do little to boost confidence in travel.”

In a report published on Monday, MPs called for holidaymakers to receive automatic refunds for cancelled flights.

The Transport Committee also said the Civil Aviation Authority urgently requires the power to impose financial penalties on airlines that do not provide complete refunds to consumers when they are required to do so by law.

In its recommendations, the committee said: “The Government must introduce a mechanism to ensure that when entitled to a refund by law, airline passengers are granted automatic compensation, eliminating the need for customers manually to apply for a refund.”