By Emma Trill on 08 March 2018

In 2016, UK residents went on over 70.8 million holidays abroad, which is a 68% rise from the 42 million trips taken in 1996. The way the world travels is forever changing in order to keep up with new trends and excursions.

One of those changes in trends is the decrease in the traditional two-week holiday. With so many places to see, and so little time (or money), shorter breaks are on the increase which could be due to the introduction of budget airlines.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation report on traffic growth showed that passengers on scheduled services reached 3.7 billion in 2016, which was a 6% increase on 2015. These numbers could nearly double by 2030 with current projections. Low-cost airlines captured 41% of seat capacity on scheduled services in Europe during 2015, and these numbers are on the rise. This shows how these airlines have opened new doors for city breaks to places not previously available.

Map of the city

Holidays for UK residents will continue to change

ABTA have conducted research to show that an increased number of holiday makers have taken more holidays at any point of the past year, than at any point over the last five years. That’s an impressive stat, considering the continued fall in value of the pound (GBP).

The winners in 2017 were definitely Spain (11% increase on 2016), Italy (10%), Greece (7%) and Portugal (6%) which is helped by the amount of budget airlines that serve routes to the Western Mediterranean.

City breaks remain the holiday type of choice in 2017, and with over half of the UK population embarking on one, we’re not surprised. The nation has a new palette for alternative destinations, this is to avoid the “over-tourism” that can be found at more popular cities such as Barcelona and Venice. The ABTA research shows that over a quarter of the population (26%) are willing to give a new country a visit in 2018 which is an encouraging sign for up-and-coming cities.

Up, Up and Away

2018 could see a change in air travel, to “Air Cruises”. You may have seen test flights by the Airlander 10, which looks like a blimp but is actually an airborne cruise ship! Luxury travel firm Henry Cookson Adventures have channelled their inner Richard Branson/Elon Musk with this ultimate sky cruise. Speaking of Richard Branson, a number of projects which could pave the way for travel are being tested by the future-thinker, the Hyperloop One train system is designed to accelerate passengers up to speeds of 670 mph, at a fraction of the cost of high-speed rail travel. 

Not only does brainy Branson have eyes for Hyperloop One, but he’s been working on Virgin Galactic too. The idea is to air launch the actual spacecraft from a custom built aircraft named ‘WhiteKnightTwo’ which can fly up to an altitude of 50,000 ft. SpaceShipTwo is powered by a hybrid rocket motor which will propel it into space to its destination at a force of 3.5G and three and a half times the speed of sound. However, seats come few and far between, you can snap up your place on board for a mere $250,000…

Virgin Galactic

Travel further, but for much less

The introduction of budget airlines changed the way we travelled, but now the introduction of low-cost long-haul carriers could be set to change the travel market once again. In May 2013, Norwegian Air Shuttle launched their long-haul operation. Their mission? To make flying affordable for everyone, from all over the world. With the addition of these long-haul flights for a much lower cost, they are certainly succeeding in their mission!

With the pound being so weak against the Euro, travellers may begin to look past the pull of the Western Mediterranean, and look further afield. TUI are expanding their long haul capacity and adding more fuel-efficient aircraft to their fleet to help keep the cost down.

So whether you’re after an Argentinian steak, Tex-Mex in Arizona, or sip on the wines of New Zealand, there’s going to be a route for you to explore and enjoy!

Travel further for less with long-haul budget airlines

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