How Britons, Italians and Spaniards Plan to Travel This Summer

More Italian and Spanish adults express readiness to get back to travel activities than British consumers
Getty Images/Morning Consult illustration by Tadiana Martinez
May 24, 2021 at 12:01 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • Majorities of summer travelers from the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy plan to drive to their destinations.

  • Hotels are fairly popular this summer for travelers from all three countries, but Italian and Spanish consumers are more likely to prefer boutiques to major chains.

  • Italian adults plan to spend the most on their summer trips, while British adults are budgeting the least.

Americans aren’t the only ones to catch the travel bug heading into this summer. 

Majorities of adults in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy also plan to take at least one trip within their own borders between June and September, according to three separate Morning Consult polls of 1,000 consumers in each of those countries, although some are more eager than others to venture out as the world looks to break out of the doldrums of the pandemic.

Spanish and Italian residents were more likely than their U.K. counterparts to have domestic summer travel plans, but as is the case with Americans, there is less appetite for international travel than domestic treks, though willingness to venture beyond borders is still up significantly from the past year.

Within the past year, Italians were more likely than Britons or Spaniards to have ventured out of their own countries, according to the polling, and are also the most likely group of the three to plan to do so this summer.

Intent to book flights and hotel accommodations is also up for this summer compared to habits from the past year.

Of the three countries surveyed, Italian consumers are most likely to fly at least once in the coming months (39 percent), while Spanish residents are slightly less enthusiastic about the activity. 

British respondents (25 percent), on the other hand, are the least likely to book a summer flight. The group was also the least likely to have flown or booked a stay at a domestic hotel in the past year.

Spanish consumers indicated they are about as likely as Italians to stay at a hotel at least once this summer, compared with less than half of U.K. residents. Of those with plans to travel at least once from June through September, approximately 3 in 5 adults from all three countries plan to drive cars owned by themselves, their friends or family to their destinations. 

Planes were the second-most popular method of transportation, with 20 percent of travelers from Spain and Italy planning to fly to their destinations this summer. Sixteen percent of U.K. travelers intend to do the same.

For accommodation options, there are fewer similarities between countries. 

U.K. summer travelers were fairly split between planning to stay at major hotels (23 percent) and with friends or family (25 percent). 

There’s also an even split between hotels and private homes among Italians, though local or boutique hotels are more popular than major chains. One-quarter of Italian travelers said they’ll stay with friends or family, and another quarter said they’ll choose a local hotel.

In Spain, the largest share of travelers said they plan to crash with people they know, but boutique hotels are also more popular than major chains.

Just over half of travelers from the United Kingdom (53 percent) and Spain (52 percent) are budgeting less than $1,000 for their trips, according to the surveys. Italian travelers were a little more likely to expect to spend more, with 40 percent allocating more than $1,000. 

The surveys also asked respondents to estimate how far they plan to travel in terms of driving time. 

The largest shares of travelers from Spain and Italy plan to venture more than a four-hour drive from home, while U.K. travelers are more divided between driving one to two hours, three to four hours and more than four hours. A plurality of Britons (35 percent) plan to drive between one and two hours from their residence.

Travelers from these countries are most likely to be accompanied by their spouses, with much smaller shares planning to have children in tow, according to Morning Consult data. Similar shares of travelers from each country — roughly 1 in 10 — plan to head out alone.

Alyssa Meyers previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering brands and marketing.

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