Vacate or staycate? You told us about your holiday plans

August 16, 2012, 8:28 AM UTC

‘Tis the season for it – holidaying, that is. Both Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have jetted off for their respective family holidays in Spain; reportedly the second vacation of the summer for the Lib Dem leader. .

Across the Channel, meanwhile, Francois Hollande, the French President, has eschewed a holiday abroad in favour of a ‘staycation’, or stay-at-home-vacation in France, and has requested his ministers do the same, as a way of setting a ‘frugal’ example at a time of economic uncertainty.

In YouGov’s ShoppingLab, we invited you to tell us whether you have, or are planning to ‘staycate’ or vacate the UK for a destination abroad this year – and to muse on what informed your decision either way.

An overwhelming proportion of those who took part in the discussion said they have either already been on their ‘main’ holiday this year, or that they were still planning on going on holiday later in the year.

Of those who said they had either already taken their holiday, or were still planning on doing so, the largest proportion said they had chosen a vacation (outside the UK), as opposed to a staycation (somewhere in the UK).

France and Spain were the two most popular holiday destinations for those who either already had or well still planning on vacationing outside the UK.

  • Frequently cited reasons for why participants decided to take holidays abroad included the promise of better weather outside the UK, better value for money, and because it was a nice thing to do with family and friends.

For those participants who preferred a staycation, however, Cornwall and Scotland were the favourite spots in the UK.

  • Many of those in this group said a holiday within the UK appealed to them because there was less hassle and expense involved, as compared with travelling abroad.
  • You also said there were lots of things to see and do in Britain.

A smaller proportion of participants said they were not taking a holiday of any kind this year, and virtually all said the decision to stay home was down to lack of adequate funds.

  • This group was very economically minded in terms of participants’ views towards spending on holidays in a time of economic uncertainty.
  • Asked whether they thought people should take their holidays at home or abroad, a slightly larger portion of this group said that people should ‘staycate’, while the rest said they thought people should travel abroad if they could afford it.
  • Those who argued people should take staycations in the UK said there are lots of things to see in Britain, and also that it’s good to pour money back into Britain’s struggling economy.
  • Those who said people should travel abroad said it’s important to experience other cultures and places.

'I decided to take my holiday ABROAD this year because...'

France – “For the weather – we stayed in the UK last year and had a wet and windy week – in July. Whilst we enjoyed ourselves, it's not much fun walking the dog in wet weather gear in the middle of summer” Anon

Egypt –Two weeks in the UK costs far more (even including air fares) than a similar time abroad. Also, you are usually assured of the weather, so grandchildren can be outside, beach, pool, rather than having to be entertained in arcades. Culturally, they learn more, as do we, in a different environment” Graham C, Lincolnshire

Spain –Guaranteed sunshine. Eating out in the UK is generally more expensive and of poorer quality. Better service in shops, restaurants and hotels, gains on exchange rate, and roads are generally less crowded and well maintained. Actually feel safer going out at night abroad than in the UK. Young people display greater respect for elders compared to UK” Anon

Greece & USA – “I've just finished university and wanted to have two good holidays before I start my graduate job. The weather in the UK has been appalling, and there were some good deals on holidays and flightsAnon

Mexico – “The UK is a lot colder than Mexico, and Mexico has a lot of historical monuments that I wanted to see. I can have day trips around the UK if i want to all year, so I prefer to go abroad” CR, Oxford

Chile –I can visit friends and family abroad, whom I would not otherwise be able to visit if I took my holiday in BritainTim, Bamburgh

Vietnam & Cambodia –More exciting destination, opportunity to experience new culture. Also want to go somewhere warm after an unreliable UK summerAnon

New York –There may be a recession, and I may hear in the next week or so that I will no longer have a job so this could be the last trip for some time. I also work on the premise that you’re a long time dead, so just do it, but don't get into debt doing it” Linda

Norway –Why would I holiday here? It's very expensive and the weather is awfulAnec, North Somerset

Iceland, Norway & Denmark –We always take holidays and short breaks outside the UK – It’s cheaper, the food is better, the service is better, hotels are better (most UK hotels look and feel like a bad scene on East Enders), simply put, it is better value for money to leave the countryAlexis, London

'I decided to take my holiday IN THE UK this year because...'

Wales – “I don't have a lot of money. I like Wales. I have a personal 'policy' to only use a plane every other year, in order to keep my carbon footprint down a bit. I figure I've already used up my fair share of the carbon. Plus, I grew up 'staycationing' and it was just normal. There are loads of great holidays to be had in the UK. I don't really get why everyone is making such a fuss about thisAnon

Yorkshire – “I nearly always holiday in the UK because I hate all the travelling and cost associated with going abroad. Also, I do not tolerate heat very well, nor do I like lounging about on a beach (bores me stiff), so I tend to avoid these types of holidays” Fiona, Manchester

Northumberland – “Had the opportunity to go with family. Can't afford to travel abroad at the momentAnon

Essex Coast – “Always holiday in the UK. So much to see and do. Have no wish to spend hours at the airportAnon

Cornwall – “I have always taken my holidays in Britain because I like the great variety of countryside and scenery. There are no hassles over language, currency, or other cultural issues, and I just find it happy and relaxing. Incidentally, I think the term 'staycation' is appallingly patronising” Anon

Lake District – “Cheaper – £390 for two people rather than that price each for 4* holiday accommodation. Easier to cater for my dietary requirements without the language barrierAnon

Cornwall – “It was too expensive to travel abroad with school holiday prices, so I will be travelling around parts of Britain I haven't seen yet, which I also enjoyAnon

Are you taking a holiday this year, or have you already been?

And, if could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?