New research from InsureandGo Travel Insurance reveals that two thirds of people (67%) say the experience of a scorching-hot summer last year has changed the way they are thinking about when and where to travel this year – with only a third of holidaymakers (33%) saying they will stick with the summer holiday period and adjust to the prospect of extreme weather.
After a year when 12 European countries broke monthly temperature records, as the continent recorded its hottest ever summer in 2022 , InsureandGo asked a representative sample of 2,103 adults how the prospect of rising temperatures would impact their holiday planning for 2023.
CHANGE OF SEASON
Nationally, 44% of respondents said they are thinking about changing their travel season – with 36% now more likely to holiday in the spring or autumn months, when temperatures are cooler. A further 8% of people said they would even think about switching their main family holiday from summer to the winter months.
CHANGE OF DESTINATION
24% of survey respondents said they would stick with the summer period for a main overseas holiday but they would now look for cooler destinations in order to avoid soaring temperatures. For these people, Scandinavia (18%), Northern Europe (15%), Canada (21%) and Ireland (17%) emerged as holiday destinations that would now be considered.
AGE GROUP VARIATIONS
When it came to the age of traveller, there was a clear divide in approach between the older and younger generations. For those under 45 – and for families still bound by school holiday dates – there was a greater emphasis on looking for cooler destinations to avoid soaring summer temperatures (31%). In contrast, older travellers over 55 were those most likely to consider switching holiday timings to off-peak periods, in order to avoid both the crowds and also the higher temperatures (53%).
In five UK regions – London (33%), South East (33%), South West (28%), Scotland (27%) and the East (27%) – only between a quarter and a third of people were pressing ahead with the usual destinations for a summer holiday. People in the East (43%) and South West (42%) were most likely to consider a switch to a cooler time of year, whereas people in the Midlands were most likely to be drawing up a short-list of cooler countries to visit (27%).
 The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)