Grandparents who are burnt-out after a summer looking after grandchildren are rewarding their hard work with last-minute holidays, resulting in a last-minute sales boom, says top UK travel firm Not Just Travel.
Among the over 55s, travel for 4th September onwards has soared by 34% year on year, says Not Just Travel, which has hundreds of homeworking travel consultants based all over the UK. August is traditionally a quiet time for travel agents, but as early as halfway through August, the company broke previous sales records for the month of August.
Steve Witt, co-founder of Not Just Travel says: “Grandparents deserve a break after a busy summer looking after their grandchildren. Due to a peak in the mature couples market, 46% of bookings are for last-minute holidays departing in the next eight weeks. The vast majority (81%) of bookings are for adults-only such as couples and older travellers.”
Steve Witt says: “the high cost of living and child care has meant grandparents have been relied on during the summer holidays more than ever before. Yet many older travellers are affluent and resource-rich. We’re seeing the trend that exhausted mature travellers are rewarding their hard work with trips abroad. Following a washout summer of mostly looking after children indoors, exhausted grandparents are also taking advantage of the tumbling prices, great deals to be had and extraordinary value that the ever-growing cruise market provides, especially in the shoulder months.”
42% of Not Just Travel’s holiday bookings over the last two weeks have been to long-haul destinations. Witt says: “Long haul destinations are no longer bucket list special occasion destinations; they are becoming the norm for sectors of the over 55s market, especially over the winter period.”
Cruise sales in August are up +41% Year on Year.
The cruise market is so lucrative for Not Just Travel consultants that one agent, Fiona Allen, who dubbed herself “The Honeymoon Queen” joined the company’s Cruise Division and Cruise Mastery programme and switched to a more profitable niche and now brands herself “The Cruise Queen”. Cruise now makes up 20% of all her holiday sales.
Witt continues: “In addition, we are seeing a spike in next year sales with more multi-generational holidays being booked for next summer than in previous years with booking sizes increasing. This indicates grandparents, parents and children are switching tack and travelling as a big group away from the UK, after what has been a washout summer.”
Grandmother Alison Mountain, 70 said,“I absolutely love looking after my three grandchildren over the holidays; every day is a joy.
“However, it’s been a very busy summer and the weather has been mostly awful and so my husband and I are very much looking forward to getting away on a walking trip to Alpujarra mountains in Spain. Prices plummet once the kids go back to school and so I’m looking forward to a bit of quiet “me time”.
Late August sales in general were up over 25 per cent year-on-year. Consumers are spending more on holidays as average booking value is also up an average of £607 per booking – from £3633 to £4240.
To coincide with the September travel peak, Not Just Travel has just launched its own WOW Travel Offers smartphone app, exclusively available from Not Just Travel homeworkers. Every couple of days the app delivers new inspirational holiday ideas, exclusive holiday extras and savings of up to 50%. Customers can contact their Not Just Travel consultant to get a special access code.