Plum Guide’s Data-Driven Travel Trends 2021
See how your fellow holidayers are doing travel in 2021
Now that the worst of the pandemic is (seemingly) in the past, it’s time to start looking forward to travelling again. 2021 is going to be a strange year for many reasons, and travel will likely be different to how you remember it, but don’t let that stop you from finally getting away for a bit. Many customers are already searching for their maiden post-Covid holiday home, and nobody can blame them. This article will explore Plum Guide’s data for the next year’s travel to UK and US destinations, looking at topics such as popular travel months, top locations and favoured home characteristics. The data used in this post reflects the trends we’ve seen so far in 2021, from the start of the year, up until March. Learn everything you need to know about travel trends for 2021, and see exactly how your fellow holidayers are putting everything behind them. We’ve also put all this data together in visual form, so if you’re hoping for an illustrative summary of this post, then our infographic was designed especially for you.
It’s no surprise to see that holidayers are becoming much more decision averse, taking longer to commit to a booking and feeling less confident about doing so. This is where our team of experts really comes into play, always on hand to make the process easy and find you the perfect home. The demand for extra insight before booking is understandably increasing, and with government guidelines affecting travel decisions, people are favouring staycations over travelling abroad. Homes with office and outdoor spaces are proving popular, and larger homes are being booked to cater for family get-togethers. Coastal homes are also being favoured by customers. Looking at all Plum Guide locations, the majority of bookings are between March and August, with April, May, and July the three most popular months of check-in.
Now that you have the big picture, let’s zoom in a bit and compare trends for the two heavyweights of Plum Guide’s customer base: UK and US. For UK travel, the spring and summer months are attracting the most customers, with April, July and August boasting over 50% of all bookings between them. Across the pond however, it's the early months that holidayers tend to prefer, with February, March and April significantly more popular than the rest of the year. On average, people travelling to the UK are searching for their homes four months before they plan on arriving, while searches for US homes are typically done a couple of months closer to the check-in date (you crazy bunch). When it comes to popular UK holiday destinations, London is the clear favourite with Plum Guide customers (what a surprise...), with Devon and Cornwall completing the top three. Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset are also among customers’ favourites. In the US of A, the most popular location is equally unsurprising, with New York leading the way and Los Angeles following closely behind. Palm Springs, San Diego County and Joshua Tree round off the top five US destinations, with the latter actually boasting the home with the highest number of bookings in America, ‘Desert Skies’.
In the UK, the individual home that has garnered the most bookings is ‘The Norfolk Beacon’, situated in (you guessed it) Norfolk. The most popular type of home among Plum Guide customers renting UK properties is cottages, a resounding favourite, while seven nights is the average length of stay. Those travelling in the US however tend to stay 4 nights longer, and strongly favour villas as the ideal type of home for their trip. When booking properties, both UK and US holidayers are searching for one of our many pet-friendly homes more than anything else, with home-working spaces and strong wifi also proving to be very important to both groups. UK customers then prioritise parking and outdoor spaces, before searching for homes with a pool and/or hot tub to forget the stresses of the past year. US travellers actually prioritise a pool over parking and outdoor spaces, but they do agree that a hot tub is slightly less important than all of these characteristics.
That being said, the home will never be right if the location doesn’t offer what you’re after. When deciding which location to commit to, the most important factor for UK holidayers is driving distance, while many want to stay on the coast and be promised privacy. The length of travel is the biggest concern for US travellers too (does this make us all lazy?), and they also share the desire for a coastal location. However, Plum Guide customers holidaying in America are searching more for skiing and desert locations than they are for places with privacy. While US holidayers do also enquire about countryside locations, it is much more commonly searched by people travelling to the UK, with walking opportunities and views also popular location characteristics for British destinations. For those renting in the UK, a home’s cancellation policy is the feature that is considered most regularly, followed by the service fee, split payments, and applicable discounts. Travellers in the US also care greatly about a property’s cancellation policy and Plum Guide’s service fee, but differ from their British friends by enquiring about discounts more frequently than split payments. It’s not surprising to see that a home’s cancellation policy takes priority for both sets of customers, but with our Covid-cancellation policy in place, you are guaranteed a full refund if Covid is the reason that you’re not able to travel.