Travel on a public holiday? Don’t bank on it

Monday 18 August 2014

Bank holidays are always a busy time for travelling – when the motorways become congested and airports and ports swell with people travelling to far-flung destinations. But Saga customers know to avoid the roads and keep it local. We asked over 10,000 of our panel what they frequently did when most people take advantage of bank holidays and the results aren’t too surprising.

Travel on a public holiday? Don’t bank on it

When asked, two-fifths of respondents said they spent bank holidays at home and a third stated they generally spent bank holidays with friends or family.  A small minority (only 3%) said they most often spent bank holidays travelling abroad.   Catching up on housework or DIY was also at the bottom end of the list of things to do on a bank holiday with only 6% of respondents saying they took advantage of the day to have a tidy-up.  

Even if money were no object, spending time with friends and family was still the most appealing way to spend a bank holiday.  But – if there was an unlimited amount of cash available, travelling abroad comes in a close second place.  A third of people said that a quiet, relaxing retreat in the sun would be their first choice of holiday.  Sailing in calm waters came in second with just over a quarter of people choosing a cruise.  This was followed by an adventurous, off-the-beaten track tour.  The most adventurous people were from London with nearly a quarter of those people saying they would travel on a tour, whilst cruising was the top choice for people living in the south-west.  Nearly two-fifths of people who chose a quiet, relaxing retreat were from the West-Midlands.

In general, people living in London are more inclined to spend the bank holidays seeing friends or family, whilst residents in Yorkshire and the Humber would prefer to stay at home.  The keenest to complete those unfinished jobs around the house were from Northern Ireland – who were also most likely to see local attractions.

Just under a third of people said they would only travel on a bank holiday if it was the only departure date available with 60 – 65 year olds most likely to take the plunge.  Less than a fifth in total said they would be happy to travel on a bank holiday. 

“We all know that travelling on a bank holiday can be a daunting experience – the thought of sitting in cars, stuck on motorways, could drive even the most patient to distraction.  But, our customers are worldly-wise and most have the ability to be flexible when it comes to travelling.  It’s no surprise to see so many would rather stay local or see their friends and families,” said Andrew Strong, chief executive, Saga Travel.


Notes to editors
 *Populus interviewed 10,630 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 15th and 23rd May 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules

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