With another heatwave on, British travellers are looking forward to taking advantage by getting away and relaxing on a well-deserved break. And despite plans for international travel to open up again, with those double vaccinated more likely to be able to go, many are still unsure about jetting out of the country and are opting to stay local.
But what does the dream holiday rental look like in the UK? Researchers at My Favourite Cottages have examined Google search data to find out which holiday-let features are the most desirable.
Leading the way, holidaymakers are most eager to have access to a hot tub when going away, with over 180,000 Google searches, almost tripling what they were last year (66,400). Hot tub sales saw a huge spike last year thanks to people spending more time in their gardens, with sales increasing by more than 1000 percent during April 2020. This trend seems to be continuing throughout 2021, with UK travellers anticipating an ‘Instagrammable’ staycation relaxing in an outdoor tub more than ever.
Holiday property owners should take note, as internal data suggests that those with a hot tub on their property can expect to enjoy on average a £200 increase in value for each weekly booking, regardless of property size, as well as a 20 percent increase in weeks booked.
Taking second place are ‘dog friendly’ holiday homes , with over 131,000 searches during the year-long period, almost double the search volume of the previous year (73,530). This is likely due to the rise in those buying and adopting dogs during lockdown, with 3.2 million UK households welcoming a new pet since the start of the pandemic. Following in third place was features that added a bit of ‘luxury’, with over 96,000 searches, up from 38,000 during June 2019 – May 2020.
Despite early reports predicting the pandemic would cause an economic depression, the UK has seen a financial boom, with Britons squirrelling away an additional £200bn as the average household’s wealth rose by £7,800. And with 43% of savers choosing to set aside money for a holiday, a luxurious stay away has never been more accessible.
Having a pool (39,630) took the fourth spot, while last-minute availability (28,770) completed the top five holiday-let features. Search volume for last-minute getaways almost doubled over the last year largely thanks to the government’s frequently changing rules on travel, forcing UK travellers to book last-minute trips or risk losing out.
Surprisingly, having a garden was of little concern to holidaymakers, with only 120 Google searches. But specifying an enclosed garden received 420 searches in the same period, likely due to the increase in those looking to travel with dogs.
With restrictions only beginning to open up from 19 July in England, having a private garden space is likely not a top priority for holidaymakers as people are eager to go out and explore the local area.
This is likely the reason why a property having WiFi doesn’t seem to be of as high importance as expected, with only 150 Google searches. Alternatively, holidaymakers may be keen to use their getaway as an opportunity to switch off from technology after it was revealed that the UK’s internet usage doubled during 2020.
Harry Roberts, director of My Favourite Cottages, commented on the findings: “It’s understandable that holidaymakers are eager to get away after a tough year of limited travel. Now that ‘Freedom Day’ is on the horizon, why not splash out and indulge in a little luxury? Holiday property owners should be mindful of what customers are seeking out as part of their holiday experience, with some features able to greatly increase your bookings and your weekly rate, so it pays to invest in luxury features.”