British holidaymakers can look forward to a largely Covid-paper-free summer holiday, but the upheaval of the pandemic has brought about other changes to the way we travel.

We take a closer look at five of the most pronounced trends – with expert insight into which ones might be here to stay.

Last minute booking

Britons are generally organized vacation planners, with the majority traditionally securing trips six months or more in advance. But rapidly changing Covid-related entry rules and a drop in holidaymaker confidence – not helped by recent airport chaos – are among the factors pushing people to book later.

“Before the pandemic, about 60% of all bookings were made at the start of the year,” says Kelly Cookes, director of leisure at Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents dozens of independent travel agents. “Now, even with most of the Covid rules dropped, around 40% of new bookings are for departures within 12 weeks.”

The reversal of traditional booking patterns has been seen elsewhere. Before the pandemic, luxury tour operator Carrier saw customers typically book trips between nine and 12 months in advance. Now, Simon Jeffries, product and commercial manager, says the average booking window has increased to one to three months.

George Morgan-Grenville, founder and chief executive of luxury travel company Red Savannah, also saw vacationers booking much closer to their departure date, dropping from an average of six months to three months. But he adds: “We view this trend as temporary, as the market rebalances following an outflow of pent-up travel desire.”

Longer, fewer and more expensive breaks

Two-week vacations, de rigueur in the 70s and 80s but abandoned in the 21st century, have become “the norm” again, according to Cooke.

“I had put it largely on Covid rules,” she says. “People had so many hurdles to jump through that it was more appealing to stay longer and less appealing to take short city breaks. However, we continue to see this trend.