18 February 2020
Going anywhere nice for your holidays? As part of our IrelandLikes survey, permanent tsb set out to learn just that. Over 4,000 people nationwide shared the one big 'like' they most want to make happen, presented with everything from home makeovers to dream weddings. Having mapped the results (you can explore county-by-county preferences right here), we found that travel is on the minds of many of you.
Over 1 in 3 people (37%) have ‘travel’ as their top choice, making it the second-highest-ranking category after ‘home improvements’. It proves more popular than both the ‘new wheels’ and ‘life events’ category, meaning that more of you would rather be jetting somewhere sunny than upgrading the car or heading back to college.
But what kind of travel plans are proving most popular? And how do preferences shakedown on a county-by-county basis?
Getting some vitamin D is the biggest inspiration for packing your bags. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one-third of travel fans are primarily looking for sun.
Summer holidays abroad remain a favourite, with the majority of people aiming specifically for those months. Though less common, off-season sunshine jaunts appear to be increasing in popularity. “Escaping the Irish winter” is cited as the main desire for 8% of future holidaymakers, with a further 2% aiming for a spring/autumn break.
When it comes to popular destinations in hotter climes, “going Caribbean” emerges as a real favourite. It takes pole position in a top 5 of sun spots that also includes continental Europe, the USA, “Down Under” and Asian excursions.
Travel isn’t all about hitting the beach or nabbing a poolside deckchair. A city break is the biggest ‘like’ for 31% of people surveyed.
Couples getaways are the most common reason for these cosmopolitan trips, with mainland Europe the most likely destination
Around 1 in 5 city breakers are most looking forward to shopping opportunities and the chance to soak up some culture.
The taste for city-hopping revealed by IrelandLikes is a perfect fit with one of 2020’s top travel trends: micro-trips. As the name suggests, a microtrip (or micro-cation) typically lasts for a weekend, and no longer than four nights. They’re cost-effective and activity-filled, ideal for short-haul flights to visit famous landmarks around the continent.
Of those city breaks, the old favourites of Paris and Rome are most-mentioned, with few mentions for the likes of Berlin or trendy spots such as Seville or Kraków.
But what specific locations are getting the most ‘likes’ overall? For that, we have to look across the Atlantic. The USA still holds the most allure for us, with New York being the city that crops up most frequently in our IrelandLikes data. Orlando, Las Vegas and San Francisco trail the Big Apple.
Japan is the second-most popular country, with Italy, Australia and New Zealand rounding out that particular top 5.
Aside from pure sun and city breaks, action/adventure holidays are the dream trips for 20% of IrelandLikes respondents.
A safari is the top ‘like’ in the category, followed by hiking/mountaineering, skiing and theme park experiences.
The likes of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ancient East have formed part of a massive Irish tourism drive in recent years, but just 5% of overall respondents most like the idea of a ‘staycation’. The Wild Atlantic Away has captured the public’s imagination, however, with 28% of staycationers wanting to explore the west coast. Relaxing hotel stays feature heavily in this smaller category, closely followed by self-catering accommodation.
How do travel plans change as you move around Ireland? Well, it’s the south of the country that appears to be most adventurous – Munster holidaymakers are most likely to fancy an action/adventure jaunt. Limerick is the safari capital and Corkonians are dreaming of theme parks (particularly Disneyland!).
While couples getaways came out on top across the majority of counties, Meath prioritises winter sun and Westmeath is a hub of solo travel and backpacking fans.
Galwegians are most liking the chance to take in great food and culture. Culture is also top-of-mind for people in Cavan, tied with family/kids holidays.
The fondness for America is most strongly felt in Longford. Finally, turning to the sunny South East, the most Caribbean mentions come from Kilkenny and Wexford.
Wherever you hail form and whatever form your wanderlust takes, help is at hand to get you there. Click here to turn your travel ‘like’ into a loan today…
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