Eco-conscious Brits choose summer Staycations over jetting abroad as train travel trumps flying

Monday 19th August 2019

  • 3 in 5 are considering boycotting flying as a result of increasing environmental awareness and flygskam, with staycationers five times more likely to travel by train than plane
  • 37 million Brits are looking to holiday in the UK this summer rather than travel abroad
  • top reasons include exploring the country (38%), saving money (37%) and getting to the destination faster (31%)

Increasing environmental awareness has left 3 in 5 considering whether to boycott flying, and 37 million Brits* are looking to holiday in the UK this summer rather than travel abroad, new research has revealed.

What’s more, almost three in five (57%) have already had a staycation this year, and 62 per cent say they are more likely to take short breaks compared to previous years.

Some of the top reasons people are deciding to stay in the UK this summer are:

  • A desire to explore the country (38%)
  • Save money (37%)
  • Faster travel (31%)

Other reasons Brits choose to stay at home include not having to worry about currency conversions; knowing that they will like the food; a fear of language barriers, and a choice to support the UK local economy.

The research by Seatfrog, the revolutionary travel upgrade app, also shows the top ten most popular UK destinations: 

Ranking Destination
1 Cornwall
2 Devon 
3 Peak District
4 Dorset
5 Edinburgh
6 Cotswolds
7 York
Norfolk Broads
9 Bath Spa
10 Liverpool 

Brits are also choosing the train over air this summer in a bid to be more eco-conscious as the flygskam trend, the ‘flight-shaming’ movement that encourages people to stop taking flights, continues to gain popularity. Three in five (58%) are considering boycotting flying completely. Those planning to holiday in the UK are not surprisingly five times more likely to travel by train than plane.

With 68 per cent of Brits more likely to spoil themselves on a staycation than a holiday abroad and trains the most popular public transport choice for staycation travel, it’s no surprise that Seatfrog has already helped tens of thousands of passengers across the UK upgrade this summer and treat themselves to a First Class experience before they even reach their destination.

Iain Griffin, Co-Founder and CEO of Seatfrog, said:

“At Seatfrog we want people to fall back in love with train travel and for the adventure of the journey to be enjoyed, not endured. With more Brits than ever before choosing to take a short break in the UK, upgrading to First Class can kick start an amazing holiday.

“As we rapidly expand across Europe, I’m really excited to welcome Great Western Railway as our latest partner. Together we will give customers the opportunity to take their journey beyond the ordinary this summer.”

Not only is train travel simpler and less stressful than flying but Seatfrog makes it even more enjoyable by giving Brits the chance to upgrade to First Class from only £10 through the Seatfrog app.

Launching today Great Western Railway passengers can now kick off their summer holiday in style, bagging a last-minute upgrade right up to 30 minutes before they leave.

GWR Sales and Marketing Director Phil Delaney said:

“Whatever the reason for your journey, whether you’re travelling to a business meeting, catching up with old friends, or going on an adventure to somewhere new, the Seatfrog app lets you participate in an auction to access First Class at potentially lower cost.”

Using the Seatfrog app, passengers can bid against each other in a live auction, or simply ‘buy it now’ and bag an empty First Class seat right away. What’s more, there’s no hidden fees and customers never pay more than the value of the upgrade. 
Upgraded tickets are sent straight to the lucky winner’s phone so they can kick back, relax and enjoy all the benefits of Great Western Railway’s First Class experience, including complimentary food and drink served to your seat, access to First Class lounges and spacious seats.

Seatfrog is available to download now from the App Store for both iOS and Android devices. Travellers simply enter their journey details before upgrading to First Class at the touch of a button.

With auctions available from 24 hours, right up to 30 minutes before departure, upgrades will be available across the Great Western Railway network 1 (excluding the Pullman Dining service and Night Riviera sleeper trains) for business and leisure travellers seven days a week.

Train services on the GWR network will be transformed from this December offering faster journey times and more frequent services to key locations. Creating more chances for customers to grab a last-minute upgrade to First Class.

Additional train services will help reduce train times into London by as much as 17 minutes when GWR introduces its first wholesale timetable change since the 1970s.


Research conducted by Censuswide on 2,000 UK adults in July 2019.

*Calculated using ONS population data

Eligible routes include Paddington, North & South Cotswold, South Wales, Bristol and West of England