Holiday search trends: What Brits look for before they book


Brits take the equivalent of 1.5 working days researching their next holiday, and Millennials take the longest to plan, according to new research.


The research, from Plusnet, looks at what the typical British holiday-makers habits are.

Key findings:

  • Brits take the equivalent of 1.5 working days researching their next holiday, and Millennials take the longest to plan
  • 72% of Brits and 90% of Gen Z-ers admitted that they wouldn’t stay in their dream hotel if it didn’t have guaranteed Wi-Fi
  • Women are twice as likely as men to book a holiday based on its 'Instagram Factor'
  • 44% of Gen Z-ers want free toiletries from their holiday and over 55’s are most concerned with free hairdryers in their rooms
  • Overall, the research found we spend, on average, a staggering 11 hours online researching information before committing to a holiday.
  • With the majority of holiday-goers booking their trips over the internet, Plusnet has 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.

    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.

    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) and dodgy 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.

    Speaking on the results, Chris Cotterill from Plusnet, said: “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!”

    The pickiest regions for booking holidays, based on number of accommodation options browsed, have been revealed as:

    1. Northern Ireland
    2. East
    3. Scotland
    4. South West
    5. London
    6. North West
    7. East Midlands
    8. North East
    9. West Midlands
    10. South East

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