Know Before You Go
As Brits spend a day and a half online before finding a holiday – we reveal what Brits really want to know before they go
As eager Brits get ready to down tools for a well-earned holiday this summer, we've conducted a study and found that we spend, on average, a staggering 11 hours online researching the good, the bad and the ugly before committing to a holiday.
With the majority of holiday-goers booking their trips over the internet, we've delved into the UK’s holiday planning habits in a bid to help Brits get the most out of their prep and uncover what we really want to know when booking a break. Our first top tip when booking online is to always check the reviews you’re reading – sometimes the number of stars doesn’t necessarily reflect the review, so make sure you’re reading the whole thing before taking its advice.
When it comes to researching the perfect location, 89 per cent of us say we rely on ‘warts ‘n all’ online reviews and social media snaps more than glossy brochures, word of mouth and travel agents, and nearly a third of us (28 per cent) consider more than 25 places to stay before coming to a decision. We'd always suggest taking reviews with a pinch of salt – people often write reviews in the heat of the moment… maybe after a delayed flight or a dodgy plate of prawns, so make sure you’re reading an array of online opinions.
For those keen to stream in the sun, a whopping 72 per cent admitted that they wouldn’t even stay in their dream hotel if it didn’t have guaranteed Wi-Fi. It’s all about the ‘likes’ for the younger generation, with 90 per cent of Gen Z’s (18 – 24-year olds) revealing that they would avoid staying in their dream hotel if it meant they couldn’t share it with their followers.
Women are more reliant on reviews than men and consider the ‘Instagram-factor’ as one of their most important factors when choosing the perfect accommodation, while men are more concerned with the quality of the Wi-Fi than getting the ultimate social snap.
While nearly half (44 per cent) of Gen Z-ers want free toiletries from their holiday, over 55’s are most concerned with their holiday hairstyles than anyone else – claiming free hairdryers as the most important factor when booking a holiday. Surprisingly, free toiletries were also more of a concern for men than women, with 35 per cent of men rating this is an important factor, compared to only 29 per cent of women.
Other big watch-outs for Brits when browsing online for their dream break were bad food (77 per cent) anddodgy locations (76 per cent) – while regionally, value for money mattered most to those in the East Midlands (72 per cent), followed closely by those in the North East (70 per cent).
When it comes to a holiday tipple, one in three people in Wales would be put off by reports of weak drinks (32 per cent) and – while studies may show millennials increasingly drink less – they rated a mini bar as the most important compared to their older counterparts.
Those in Northern Ireland came out as the pickiest region, looking at more places to stay than anywhere else, whereas people in Wales look at the least. Londoners came out as the group which rated Instagram-ability as the most important factor when in deciding where to go, with almost one in 10 (9 per cent) saying they would actively avoid booking a holiday if it didn’t live up to social media standards. A top tip from Plusnet is to pick a destination and stick with it – you’ve been dreaming about your trip to the Costa del Sol for months, don’t let Daniel from Doncaster’s online review sway you now!
“A summer holiday is a hugely important event in all our calendars, so we wanted to delve into the detail of what really matters to the nation when booking the all-important destination for their time off. Gone are the days where we trawl through holiday brochures and instead, we’re using online reviews and social posts to make our decisions – while seemingly always on the hunt for the perfect holiday snap for social!”
Plusnet’s top tips for a hassle-free holiday:
- Pick a destination and stick with it – you’ve been dreaming about your trip to the Costa del Sol for months, don’t let Daniel from Doncaster’s online review sway you now!
- Take reviews with a pinch of salt – don’t forget that people write reviews in the heat of the moment… maybe after a delayed flight or a dodgy plate of prawns, so make sure you’re reading an array of online opinions
- Always check the reviews you’re reading – not everyone is as tech savvy as you may be, and sometimes the number of stars doesn’t necessarily reflect the review, so make sure you’re reading the whole thing before taking its advice
- Share your knowledge – as we now know, fellow holidaymakers are keen to do their research too so make the time to get those opinions online and make sure to share your genuine experience to drown out those fake reviews, helping others could even help ease your post-holiday blues!