‘Wanderless’: 88% of people from Wales visit the same locations when holidaying in the UK

With Welsh people planning their first summer holidays without Covid-19 restrictions, new research reveals that people from Wales are creatures of habit when holidaying in the UK, with just under 9 in 10 (88%) choosing to visit the same places time and time again, and just over 1 in 10 (12%) always finding new destinations to travel to.

Driven by a fear of the unknown and the impact of Covid, the top motives for sticking to the same destinations include comfort and familiarity (55%), visiting friends or family (30%), and wanting to avoid bad surprises when visiting somewhere new (32%).

Discussing the findings, Dan Panes, Head of Communications at Great Western Railway, comments: “With summer holidays almost upon us, we wanted to understand how people decide where to go, and what factors influence that decision.

“We were surprised to find that so many people return to the same places time and time again, especially when there are so many fantastic destinations across the UK to choose from. Rather than ‘wanderlust’, people actually ‘wanderless’.”

The cost-of-living crisis is understandably cited as a major factor in Brits’ holiday plans this summer, with half of people (50%) in Wales more likely to holiday domestically than abroad and 16% saying they will not travel at all due to the current economic situation. Given that value for money is the most important factor for almost half of those living in Wales (43%) when planning a holiday, it’s clear why more and more Welsh people are favouring ‘Stay-AGAIN-cations’ instead of venturing abroad.

Remarkably, 11% of Welsh people revealed that there aren’t many places they would like to visit in the UK, with 14% never planning staycations. For those who do travel within the UK, the top five destinations listed by holidaymakers include staying close to home in Wales (51%), Cornwall (29%), Devon (28%), London (19%) and the Lake District (17%), while Ireland, Brighton, The Cotswolds and Scotland were ranked the least visited destinations.

Current economic circumstances and the knock-on effects of the pandemic have also significantly impacted Welsh travel habits, with 70% of people saying their travel habits have changed post-Covid. Of those, 28% are less likely to go abroad due to travel uncertainties – while 22% said they are more likely to book holidays this summer to make up for holidays missed over the last couple of years. 20% would choose UK staycations over holidays abroad due to the convenience. The research was conducted by CensusWide on behalf of Great Western Railway.

A patriotic 37% of Welsh people would prefer to travel within the UK to support economic recovery post-pandemic and being able to be more spontaneous and plan trips last minute is also an important factor for almost half (46%).

The train operator is urging people to be more adventurous when booking trips in the UK and discover all the wonderful places we have on our doorstep. From a romantic weekend in the Cotswolds to a cultural trip to Bath or a beach break in Devon, the UK has many great places to offer, all reachable by train.

To help counter rising costs of living, there are also plenty of group and family discounts available, which can make travel more affordable and accessible as possible.


About the research:

The research was conducted by CensusWide and was commissioned by Great Western Railway. The survey took place between 25/052022 to 27/05/2022, and involved a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, aged 18 and over.

About Great Western Railway

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR was recently awarded an extension to its direct award franchise (called DA3), which shall run up to 31 March 2023, with an option to extend for a further year.

Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us