Summer travel is back with international flight searches up around 30% on pre-pandemic levels**, and Brits are making the most of it by travelling much longer-distances than they were in 2019. Flight searches for long-haul destinations have surpassed European breaks as the most popular choice of travel, with no significant rise in searches for domestic summer holidays.
Seven of the Brits’ top 10 most searched summer 2022 destinations are long haul holidays - a stark difference from 2019 - with Asia the most popular. Manila, Philippines is the most searched for holiday destination, followed by Bangkok, Thailand. Additional newcomers to the 2022 top 10 list include Dubai, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bali.
Longer travel means extended holidays, and it seems people are making up for lost time, as the data shows the average trip length has increased to 17 days from 14 days for pre-Covid summer holidays.
Despite the cost of living rising, a summer break is not in question as people appear willing to compromise on luxury to fund the budget to get away. Economy class flights make up the vast majority of summer searches, while 3-star hotels have surpassed 4-star hotels since 2019 as the most popular star rating selection.
But there are more ways to save and still see the world again, by travelling to destinations that have the best value flights and hotels. Amsterdam and Venice have some of the most affordable flights, whilst Istanbul, Turkey appears to offer some of the lowest hotel prices.
To secure the best deal, on-line travel search engine KAYAK has identified that around six weeks in advance has been the optimal time for finding more affordable international flights for summer. So, for those looking to travel in the earlier summer months, it would be wise to book soon. Cost-savvy travellers might also want to consider avoiding between 18th July - 7th August to go away, which was identified as one of the most expensive months to fly internationally during the summer.
For those still looking to stay closer to home this summer, city breaks are the most popular amongst domestic searches, with London, Manchester and Edinburgh being the top searched UK cities for hotels***. For those looking for a UK seaside holiday, Blackpool is the most popular beach destination over Brighton and Weymouth.
UK nations don’t all agree
While long-haul is the most popular means of travel in the UK overall, there’s some significant differences when searches are broken down by the four nations. For example, London and other European cities still rank high in Northern Ireland and Scotland, while those in England have the most interest in Asian destinations, Wales prefers all-time favourite Spain.
*Based on flight and hotel searches made on Kayak.co.uk and associated sites between 01/03/2022 and 26/04/2022 for travel dates from 01/06/2022 to 15/09/2022. Prices are on average, are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed.
**Based on flight searches made on Kayak.co.uk and associated sites from searches between 16/04/2022 and 04/05/2022 for travel dates from 01/06/2022 to 15/09/2022, compared to the same search and travel dates in 2019. Percentages are on average.