Welcome to the Inaugural Flybe Short Break Survey Report


As Europe’s largest regional airline, we spend a lot of our time flying passengers to and from short breaks both domestically in the UK and abroad. We are uniquely suited to short breaks; with an average flight time of just 52 minutes our network allows people to maximise their free time.


We have known that Short Breaks are on the increase but wanted a definitive answer as to the growing popularity, therefore we commissioned a piece of attitudinal research surveying 2,000 adults from across the UK, discovering what their motivations and preferences to travel are.

We found the results insightful and interesting, in some areas it confirmed what our staff have been telling us and in others we were genuinely surprised, from the way
technology is changing the way we lead our lives to the importance of spending time with friends and family – all be it in short bursts.

The results have been collated into this report - The Flybe Short Break Survey Report. See the button below to download the full report or scroll down to read a snapshot of what we found. We hope that you enjoy reading the report as much as we have.

 


What is a Short Break?

What is a Short Break?

Whether it’s a full-blown Bridget Jones-style romantic mini-break, a hedonistic weekend at a music festival, or simply a trip to visit family and friends, the short break takes many forms. What is not in doubt is that it is a phenomenon that is here to stay.

 

For the purposes of this survey, we have defined a short break as a stay of one to three nights away from home. It need not be a night in a boutique hotel, it could be a weekend on a friend’s sofa, staying over at your parents’ house or camping in the middle of the field, all of these nights away from home are defined as short breaks.

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The Rise of the Short Break

The Rise of the Short Break

The rise of the short break is well documented. The recent Mintel short break and city markets report estimated the total number of short breaks taken by UK consumers at 46.4m in 2017, with estimated spend at £9.8 billion. An annual increase of nearly 6.5%.*

 

While short breaks have increased, the popularity of the traditional two-week break has declined. Interestingly, one of the main factors contributing to this seismic shift in consumer holiday habits was the aviation industry itself. The EU open skies policy allowed low cost carriers to flourish. Between 1996 and 2015 passenger numbers at UK airports increased by 85% from 135m to 251m (source ONS 2017).

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* Source: Mintel: Short and and city breaks market report, July 2018

Who's Taking Short Breaks?

Who's Taking Short Breaks?

People are choosing to go on more short breaks than ever before with two age groups driving the growth.

 

18 – 24 Year Olds...

went on one to three short breaks in the last 12 months, more than any other age group. They are reliant on short breaks because they are more affordable compared to a two week holiday.

 

24 – 34 Year Olds...

are driving the short break phenomenon. They have disposable income and many are pre-children, so have the means and flexibility to take multiple short breaks.

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Our research revealed that a third of Brits took more short breaks than they did five years ago and the majority of these were short breaks in the UK.

Why Are We Taking Short Breaks?

Why Are We Taking Short Breaks?

 

Here we drill down to the motivations behind the rise in short breaks.

 

1. Affordability came out in front, 45% cited that getting more 'Bang for your buck' as an important factor.

 

2. More value for experiences over material goods. The growth of the experience economy means people are choosing to spend the money they have on experiences.


3. Making the most of your free time.As we work longer hours we cherish the limited free time we have and short breaks allow us to maximise this.

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What Do We Want From a Short Break?

What Do We Want From a Short Break?

When asked what was important to having a good time on a short break ‘company’ came out on top.

 

When we split this across age groups, the younger age groups are more invested in experiences and activities and for older audiences company and destination are more important to having a good time. We also looked at what people want to get out of a short break. True to form, for 18-24 year olds fun and excitement came out on top, but for every other age group it was peace, quiet and relaxation.

 

We also wanted to explore what people are getting away from when they choose a short break, for all but one audience the motivation was to get away from the day-to-day and the routine of life. For the 25-34 year old audience getting away from work came out on top.

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Top Destinations for Peace, Quiet and Relaxation

Top Destinations for Peace, Quiet and Relaxation

1. Cornwall (Newquay) - with a climate to rival some of the continent's sunniest hotspots, this seaside location polls as one of the UK's top tourist destinations. 


2. Northern Ireland (Belfast) - Not a traditional “must-see” city, Belfast has shot straight to the top of Lonely Planet’s list of best places to visit in 2018.


3. Channel Islands (Jersey) - The picturesque island of Jersey offers a sublime mix of cosmopolitan activity and laidback beach life.

 

4. Highlands (Aberdeen) - One of the most captivating locations in Britain with more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK. 

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Top Destinations for Fun and Excitement

Top Destinations for Fun and Excitement

1. Manchester - A haven of history, culture and cuisine, the vibrant city of Manchester has a whole lot to offer the discerning traveller.

 

2. Glasgow - As Scotland's largest city, Glasgow is a non-stop hive of entertainment and historical intrigue. 

 

3. Cardiff - A lively, vibrant city where stunning ancient architecture sits harmoniously alongside contemporary developments.

 

4. Newcastle - Positioned on the north bank of the shimmering River Tyne, lively Newcastle boasts an array of attractions including dynamic nightlife, sensational shopping opportunities and endless cultural lures.

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Reasons for Taking a UK Short Break in the Last 12 Months

Reasons for Taking a UK Short Break in the Last 12 Months

The most important factor for a good time on a short break was shown to be ‘company’. It is all about who you are travelling with or who you spend time with when you arrive.


1. Visiting friends & relatives
2. Family getaway
3. Romantic celebration
4. Group celebration
5. Participate in an activity

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Conclusions

Today, we are busier and more connected than ever before and short breaks allow us to maximise our free time and snack on culture and experiences as opposed to feasting on it in one sitting. Short breaks, are also more affordable, in a period of political uncertainty, currency fluctuations, zero hour contracts and concerns about job security. Short breaks provide greater flexibility.


In summary, short breaks are reflective of how we live our lives today and whilst technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives, spending time with friends and family is paramount. We plan to run this survey annually. We want to see how travel trends and travel habits evolve over time, something that is particularly relevant as Flybe is the largest regional airline in Europe. We want to better understand the motivations for taking short breaks so we can meet the needs of our customers today and in the future.