One of the UK’s leading independent travel agents, Barrhead Travel, has revealed the top travel trends for UK holidaymakers this year following an early January boom in bookings.
The trends follow a record booking weekend for the travel agent as people secure their getaways for 2024. January is typically the most popular month to book a holiday and the travel agency say they’re predicting that this month will be one of their busiest on record as customers take advantage of early booking discounts and deals.
The favourite destinations for Barrhead Travel’s customers in 2024 include European hotspots such as Tenerife and Alicante, while cruising holidays from Southampton are also amongst the most popular choice this year.
All-inclusive holidays remain the most popular type of holidays for summer 2024, accounting for more than 35% of bookings. Alongside demand for the all-inclusive holiday, there is a noticeable growth in cruising particularly amongst families and couples, which the travel agent firm says points to interest in seeking great value-for-money, as well as an expanding cruise market. It notes that the number of holidaymakers aged under 40 choosing to cruise has grown by over 30% since 2019.
The travel firm has revealed that other types of holidays on the rise include touring and adventure, which is up 110% from 2023, as well as solo travel (up 19% in 2023) and multi-generational bookings (up by 29% in 2023).
Booking data from Barrhead Travel indicates that holidaymakers are seeking out longer breaks, with the average length of stay now at ten days – up from nine in 2023. Holidaymakers are also choosing to upgrade both travel and hotels, with higher room categories and business class bookings seeing an increase by up to 30% compared with 2023.
The top destinations booked for 2024 so far include:
Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said:
“This time of year remains the most popular time to book a holiday. Cold weather, dark nights, and the festivities behind us, it’s clear that many people want something to look forward to.
“There has been a gradual trend of customers booking earlier – both to take advantage of early booking deals and discounts as well as to secure availability for their preferred date and destination. Getting the best value-for-money is top priority for people and we’re seeing a move towards all-inclusive breaks as well as cruising and escorted touring which have so much included in the price.”
“We know how important holidays are to people, and we are seeing demand for multigenerational holidays continue to rise as people go away as part of a large family group to make the most of spending time together.
“From taking advantage of these early deals, to financial protection and general peace of mind, we’re seeing a mass return to reputable travel agents. This demonstrates just how important high street retail culture is and we hope it will continue to grow in 2024.”
Barrhead Travel’s retail network is open seven days a week until late as well as offering evening support through their online service, call centres and social media channels. Find your nearest Barrhead Travel store by visiting https://www.barrheadtravel.co.uk/storelocator
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About Barrhead Travel
Since it was founded in 1975, Barrhead Travel has expanded from a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ travel agent to a multi-faceted travel group offering bespoke holidays to all corners of the globe, running an in-house training facility, employing specialist consultants providing expert advice in areas such as long haul, cruise, and touring holidays, and promoting youth employment through its apprenticeship scheme.
Its network of stores span across over 85 locations throughout the UK. The company has won many awards over the years, the most recent including Best Touring and Adventure Travel Agency and has been named Best Travel Agency in Scotland for 22 years running.