Covid vaccines spark confidence in staycations

Sites are expected to get a lot busier following the coronavirus vaccinations

By Emma Dodd

The travel industry in the UK is seeing a surge in bookings for staycations, as the rollout of coronavirus vaccines offers hope to potential holidaymakers.

Among those who have been making plans to get away later in the year, there is a big trend for so-called ‘silver tourists’ booking holidays at home.

As the over-50s are high up on the list of those to be vaccinated, they will be some of the first to enjoy the new freedoms getting the jab will be able to offer once restrictions are lifted.

Coach operator National Express has seen a 185 per cent uptick in reservations for the spring and summer compared to 2020 before the virus took hold.

Jit Desai, head of holidays and travel at National Express, said: “We’ve seen an increased appetite for travel in the last week or two, with an uplift in enquiries and bookings every time there’s been an announcement about new vaccine approvals and the rollout programme.”

He added that some of the bookings were trips that had been postponed from 2020, but others seem inspired by a new-found confidence in being protected that the vaccines are bringing.

Despite being hopeful, it’s likely that many Brits will enjoy holidays in the UK this year as a safer alternative to travelling abroad.

Staycations in caravans are expected to continue to be popular, as they offer the opportunity to remain relatively self-contained within your own household or support bubble while escaping the same four walls.

Caravan parks have made all the necessary adjustments to accommodate guests in a safe way, from increased cleaning schedules to staggered check-ins, ready to welcome visitors back when it’s appropriate.

The UK is currently under a national lockdown and travel is only permitted for reasons such as work or education.

Otherwise, Brits are asked to stay within their own village, town or the area of a city in which they live, putting staycations firmly off the table for the moment.