The rise of the daycation

New National Trust research* reveals that the number of Brits taking a two-week holiday has decreased by 18% over the past five years with 51% of Brits not planning to take a fortnight’s holiday in 2011.

The study reveals a new trend for Brits taking multiple single day holidays throughout the year, as opposed to the traditional two-week break their parents worked towards.

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits are planning to take at least ten single days holiday – or ‘daycations’ – this year and a further 36% will take between five and ten.  48% of those polled cited the cost of a fortnight’s holiday as the main reason for not taking two weeks off work, whereas one in 12 hard-working employees blamed the inability to switch off from the job.

For time-poor Brits the growing daycation trend means they can split their time into smaller and more frequent holidays or days off and 42% of those polled cited this as the reason for favouring day trips.  A further 64% said the daycation was a cheaper alternative to the traditional holiday and 57% believe they’re a lot less hassle.

Tony Berry, visitor experience director of the National Trust, commented:

“Our research reveals an interesting trend for Brits taking multiple single days off work, making the most of their spare time – and enjoying these daycations, as we’ve coined them.  Our visitor numbers for 2009-2010 also reflect this with over 17 million people enjoying our houses and gardens, and millions more exploring the swathes of outdoor spaces we care for.”

Despite those in fulltime employment having 28 days holiday on average each year, the research also revealed that 34% of employees are unable to switch off from work at all during their time off and taking shorter breaks and single days off help them unwind as they don’t dread work piling up when they return.

The study found that Brits in the East of England are most likely to take a daycation with 32% planning to take more than ten single days off from work this year; this is followed by those in the South West and North West (30% in each region). The Welsh were revealed as the country’s top workaholics with 21% saying they do not switch off from the job – even on their days off – Londoners and those in the East of England ran a close joint second with 20%.

With 32 million Brits intending to take a day trip this year, London and South East England has been named the top daycation hot spot in the UK with sites such as the South Downs appealing to visitors who want to escape the stresses and strains of work-life.  South West England and Yorkshire and the North East were next on the daycation to do list with 41% and 40% of the vote respectively.