We asked you about your Holiday habits…

We asked thousands of people on our database about their Holiday habits right now, to get a feel for where people’s heads were at regarding holidays and short breaks at the moment.

This is a report on the findings of some questions we posed to our database in July 2022 (for future readers).

Fortunately, as I write this in July 2022 we’re still extremely busy, but we know things are a bit strange out there. We wrote to say that we were scratching our heads a little to see what people were thinking.

We are always looking to stay ahead of the curve, so I wanted to ask how people feel about taking a holiday right now. Are they looking to go abroad again? Is the chaos with the airline industry and the airports putting people off? Are they looking to holiday here in the UK for the foreseeable future, that kind of thing?

Overall the responses boiled down to two things affecting your holidaying decisions, whether UK or further afield:

The chaos at airports and the cost of living situation.

Right now these are clearly the two factors influencing people’s holiday decisions.

Airport chaos

Unless you live abroad, which very few of our guests do, you don’t need to get on a plane to take a holiday or short break at Woodfarm, and that’s great. I’ve seen some of our competitors focus on the chaos at airports to ram home the advantages of a UK holiday, or Staycation. That’s not what we do though. I just don’t think that reminding people of the misery they have endured, or are about to endure, is a nice thing to do. I’m going to cover it here purely because it was the biggest factor in the responses we had to our request for information.

Here’s some of the comments we had back;

  • Chaos & queues at airports are off-putting plus not sure we’ve seen the last of covid.
  • Still very unsure about airports and going abroad mainly because of the possible delays 
  • Chaos at airports and ports means we have given up on foreign travel for this year
  • Yes, I am put off by the hassle of traveling overseas at the moment. We have the ongoing problem with airports and now the chaos at the ferry terminals – exactly who thought the French were going to make things easy after Brexit?
  • Why have the hassle of airport chaos when we have such fantastic places to visit in the UK?
  • We are not looking to go abroad at this time. Who wants to get caught up in airport and airline chaos?
  • The thought of going through a crowded airport with the additional potential problems of flight cancellations etc., isn’t something I would contemplate.
  • Thanks for email, we don’t go abroad anymore, we don’t like the hassle and to be honest England is so beautiful.
  • We cannot tolerate the kerfuffle at airports and all the hassle involved, so we will staycation in UK which is beautiful. Thank you for everything you do Carl, your clients appreciate it.
  • Staying in the UK is a bit of a no brainer, we hope to be venturing into the skies in 2023 but it’ll be the first time since 2017. 
  • I couldn’t think of anything worse than queuing for planes.

Cost of living

Quite a lot of people said that our prices are very fair but not the cheapest. And we know this. This is not what we are about. We have never set out to win business based on price. Ever. The Woodfarm team work their socks off every week to ensure that everything is as good as we can get it, for every single guest. And we have worked tirelessly for 13 years to build up our reputation, securing almost 700 Five Star Tripadvisor, Google, and Facebook reviews. 

I have always spent a lot of time, effort and money on our websites, as they are our ‘shop window’. I’ve spent money on amazing photography and videography to represent our Barns & Barges as well as we can. I spend so much on maintenance to ensure that everything is ‘just so’. And I don’t mind doing this. Because I want to have properties I’m proud of.

I spoke with a tradesman this week who said he’s never chased the money, but has always tried to make every customer happy. THAT is the guy I want repairing windows for me, as that is the way I’ve always done it. I’ve written countless times about this. About the fact that I never set out with financial targets, like I had to in my previous corporate life. I set out to make sure every guest loves what we do, wants to come back, and to tell their family and friends about us. That’s it. It ain’t rocket science! I knew if I did that, and did it well, I would make money.

I don’t usually share this information, but our average rate of repeat business has built steadily over the last few years to 26%. This is one of the proudest factors of my business. 

Now we know that price is a consideration right now, so we had already temporarily lowered our prices. We wanted to ensure that we could meet the demands of the market, and felt that we just needed to do this in order to try to help where we can. We did write to let our VIP Rewards Group know, so they were aware. We didn’t go shouting about it on social media or putting huge ‘discount banners’ on our websites though as that’s just not our style. We simply wanted to let our audience know that we had dropped our prices for a little while to make a break with us more affordable. And we’ve only told our audience about this blog post. If you happen to come across it and you’re not on our database, then that’s fine, but the vast majority of readers who get this far will be within the ‘audience’ we have already connected with.

Nothing in life is too expensive. Nothing. It might be too expensive for someone, but not for someone else. Some might say that a brand new Bentley is too expensive. I don’t think it is. It’s just too expensive for me! It doesn’t stop them selling though does it? Everything boils down to two questions; 1) Do I want it? 2) Can I buy it?

The results of our question…

We had hundreds of responses to our reaching out, and this is what we found;

14% categorically said that they have no intention of flying anywhere on holiday

17% said that they will only be holidaying in the UK – most citing two factors – airport chaos and holidaying with their dogs (obvs!)

5% said they had been abroad this year or would be

5% said they are staying in the UK but need to do it on a budget due to the cost of living crisis

10% said they were unable to afford a holiday this year

2% are staying at home due to ill health

We had quite a few entertaining/random comments, which we thought we’d share with you too…

  • I do enjoy following you on Facebook and some of your posts make me laugh out loud!
  • What would make me book to stay with you would be a family gathering – my commitment-phobic boyfriend lives nearby, but I dream of the day I need to put far flung relatives in most of your adorable properties.
  • I love following you on FB – your lockdown posts were amazing – and maybe one day we’ll feel flush enough to book a stay!
  • Your posts and blog let us know that you are a mad Englishman with a humor to match.
  • You are amazing and gorgeous. Even though we have a static home in Saxmundham we still love to stay at your barns, which we did for my mum’s 80th birthday last year, you were the go to place, wouldn’t have taken them anywhere else and they loved it. 
  • I love the barns, they are more effective when loved up and not single.
  • I follow your page because you always entertain me.
  • If I had someone to have a romantic weekend with I would pay these prices. 

Well, I hope you found this interesting. What was really reassuring is the incredibly positive things people were saying about us, what we offer, the way we operate, and the way we are prepared to tackle this kind of thing. We will keep doing what we do and hope to see you soon, either aboard one of our Barges, or in one of our Barns or Cottages

Reasons to Stay at Woodfarm, Suffolk

We happen to think what we have on offer is pretty bloomin' good. However, we thought you might like a bunch of reasons to stay, other than we think you should!

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all accommodation

Brilliant beaches! Suffolk has an incredible Heritage Coast, with great beaches, all in easy reach of us.

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all accommodation

Dogs stay FREE, and we don't just tolerate them, we welcome them! We've built our reputation on this, and we're proud of it!

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at the barns

Pawesome, fully-enclosed two acre Pooch Paddock for your Dogs to go bonkers and make new friends in.

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all accommodation

Free Doggy treats, Dog bowls, and Dog towels. Our furry friends even get Woodfarm branded poop bag holders!

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all accommodation

Visit England Gold Awards coming out of our ears, as well as their coveted ROSE Award for Service Excellence.

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all accommodation

Well in excess of 1,000 Five Star Tripadvisor, Facebook & Google Reviews. Over 25% of our guests come back!

hot tubs illustration
all accommodation

Private Hot tubs with seven of our eight Barns and Cottages. The ultimate in relaxation, just because you're worth it.

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all accommodation

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yes, plural. Two AONB's on our doorstep! Suffolk Coast & Heaths, and Dedham Vale.

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on the barges

Stunning river walks directly from your gangplank on either Barge! Wildlife and breathtaking scenery in abundance.

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