Staycation nation! A fifth of the Irish public are planning to spend at least €800 on their Irish staycation this year


New Circle K research reveals the nation’s holidaymaking plans for the coming months

Key findings

  • Six in ten (59%) were not planning to take their holiday in Ireland before COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place, yet 86% have now made plans to staycation this year
  • Over half (54%) plan to take a holiday within Ireland as they feel safer staying closer to home
  • 16% of those who are planning to staycation are doing so to support the local economy
  • Kerry is this year’s most popular (19%) staycation destination for Irish holidaymakers followed closely by Galway (14%), Cork (13%) and Wexford (8%).
  • Over half (58%) were influenced by their childhood staycation memories when choosing a destination for their holiday this year.

Circle K’s strategically located major motorway service stations at M6 Athlone, M9 Kilcullen and M11 Gorey – as well as its unrivalled network of motorway service stations across the country – are the perfect pitstops for holidaymakers as they journey to and from their staycation destination 

As the final bank holiday weekend of the summer approaches and just a short time remains before children start to go back to school, many people in Ireland are planning to make the most of the next few weeks of warm weather and take a staycation. New research by Circle K, Ireland’s leading fuel and convenience retailer, has revealed that a staggering 86% of the Irish public plan to take a holiday in Ireland this summer.

According to the Circle K research study of 1,302 adults, 54% have chosen to holiday in Ireland due to COVID-19 related safety concerns regarding overseas travel while a further 16% are staying closer to home to support the local economy. Despite 59% admitting that they were not planning to stay in Ireland this year for their holiday, almost all polled (94%) are now looking forward to exploring more of the country they live in.

Even though many of us are spending more time at home these past few months, when it comes to packing for a break away, half of respondents (50%) confess that amidst all the holiday excitement, they can forget to pack an essential item for their break. With 93% planning to drive to their holiday destination this year and 88% intending to use one of Ireland’s motorways as their route, many holiday commuters will be passing by one of Circle K’s three major motorway service stations, located on the M6 in Athlone, M9 in Kilcullen and M11 in Gorey respectively.

Circle K M6 Athlone, M9 Kilcullen and M11 Gorey are the perfect pit stops for any commuters seeking to refuel their vehicle with miles advanced premium fuel, relax in one of the station’s socially distanced seating areas or recharge with the many items that each store has to offer, including delicious food, coffee, beverages and snacks.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for those going on a staycation to the sunny southeast, wild Atlantic west or journeying down south, Circle K’s state of the art service stations at Gorey, Athlone and Kilcullen are the perfect stops along the way and are full of items and services to cater to all holiday needs. Additionally, Circle K has the largest network of service stations in Ireland – covering every motorway route across the country – so no matter where your staycation journey takes you, Circle K provides the perfect pitstop.

Ireland’s Kingdom

When it comes to the staycation destination of choice for Irish holidaymakers this summer, the kingdom of Kerry (19%) came top for those polled, followed closely by Galway (14%), Cork (13%) and Wexford (8%).

The saying goes that people use the head or the heart to make decisions, but for holidaymakers in Ireland, it’s all about nostalgia. Over three quarters (80%) holidayed in Ireland as a child with the majority (98%) remembering these childhood breaks with fondness. Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that over half (58%) have taken inspiration from those memories when choosing their spot to staycation in this summer.

A much needed pitstop before motoring on

Even if 59% have had their foreign holiday plans impacted this year, the journey to any holiday destination can be a long one. When it comes to taking a pitstop, over a third (35%) stop to refuel while a quarter (24%) stay to have a meal and stretch their legs (11%). At Circle K M6 Athlone, M9 Kilcullen and M11 Gorey, a superb range of products and services are available, including Circle K’s high quality fresh and delicious deli food range of items such as gourmet sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and rustic pizza, a fully serviced barista serving Circle K’s own Simply Great Coffee as well as its signature flavour range of Froster frozen soft drinks, perfect for the summer weather.

Almost all (97%) believe stopping off for a short break on a long journey is very important and Circle K has developed its motorway service station network to make customers lives easier by offering the perfect facility for customers to do so. Services available at each of the three sites include a WC changing and showering facilities, Wi-Fi, a Fáilte Ireland tourist information point, and extensive parking for customers.

Judy Glover, Senior Market Director at Circle K Ireland commented on the research “It is great to see so many choosing to holiday at home this year in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions and we look forward to welcoming holidaymakers to our network of sites across the country. Taking a rest is very important when on a long journey and the motorway sites offer all customers a chance to refuel and relax with our top of the range facilities, our delicious food and beverage offering including gourmet sandwiches, hot meals and Barista coffee.”

For more information on Circle K’s motorway sites at Athlone M6, Kilcullen M9 and Gorey M11, visit or @circlekireland on Twitter and Instagram.