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People ‘desperate’ for post-pandemic holidays abroad despite airport disruption

Almost three quarters of people (72%) want a special or extended break this year as a direct reaction to two years of lockdown, stress and travel restrictions.

The determination to travel abroad this summer comes despite recent disruption at UK airports and cost of living concerns, according to a poll by travel insurer AllClear.

With the cost-of-living crisis hitting fuel and food prices, the memory of living through two years of lockdown also remains front-of-mind for many and more than 70% say it changed their view on the importance of overseas travel. 

Of these, 35% said the experience of being stuck indoors made it more important for them to now visit the places they want to see while they are fit and able to.

A further 19% said they would like to bring forward plans for the holiday of a lifetime, rather than let it continue to be a pipe dream. 

As many as 12% would like to take an extended break from life at home and have a gap year or go travelling.

For older people, the desire to stop putting off plans was most strongly felt. 

Nationally, 46% of over-55s – and 45% of retired people – said two years of the pandemic had made it more important for them to see the places they wanted to see. 

Over-65s were also willing to pay the most to make their holidays special this year. 

This generation said they would be happy to spend an average of £1,457 each to have a holiday of a lifetime this year. This figure has risen from £1,001 since AllClear asked the same question in a poll last year.

The new research suggests many people are currently focused on rebuilding their lives, relationships and wellbeing after the pandemic – and holidays are key to this.

Almost a quarter (23%) said the purpose of an overseas holiday this year was to de-stress from work, while 19% said a holiday would help them to tackle some of the anxiety and wellbeing issues they had suffered from since lockdown. 

A further 19% needed to spend quality time with loved ones they had not seen for ages and 17% wanted to make a point of celebrating their freedom to travel and explore after long periods of isolation and home-working.

AllClear chief executive Chris Rolland said: “There is no question that cost-of-living hikes are a major concern for many and the recent disruptions at airports could undermine fragile confidence in the travel sector. 

“In truth, the fact airports are so busy is because people are desperate to get away. 

“After two years of the pandemic, our research suggests consumer confidence in the safety of travel has bounced-back significantly this year – and there is pent-up determination to act on this. 

“The vivid memories of being shut indoors has, for many, fostered a real desire to live life to the full. 

“The economic context is hugely challenging and Covid is still out there, but the task for the travel industry today is to support the bounce-back the sector so desperately needs – and to help people to realise their dreams.”

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