What’s your favourite kind of holiday? The image of cheap holidays that readily springs to mind for most of us is surely a lazy sunny day on the beach, with an umbrella keeping off the glare, a drink in your hand and a half-read cheesy novel by your side.
It would appear that this mental image holds true in the real world as well, according to the latest Consumer Trends survey published by the UK travel association ABTA. By far the largest proportion of respondents – a hefty 37 per cent – said that the kind of cheap holidays they most looked forward to were the old-fashioned beach break.
However, the massive growth in holiday options among Britons, thanks to such innovations as cheap flights online, direct booking and personalised breaks, has also led to other types of holiday becoming popular. City breaks are an increasingly important choice for the budget-conscious traveller and are also very convenient, since a city break can take place over a weekend with just a two or three-hour flight to short-haul destinations in Europe or north Africa. Such city breaks can be combined with a holiday focusing on the cultural attractions of a destination, or a holiday can be entirely built around such an aim, with “cultural pilgrimages” across a country’s historical sites or art galleries.
Both holiday types also made a good showing in the ABTA survey, with 17 per cent of respondents saying that city breaks were their favourite kind of holiday and 11 per cent backing cultural escapes. Family holidays were considered the most conducive to good company, with 42 per cent opting for this choice, compared to 35 per cent who enjoyed holidaying with just their partner the most and 16 per cent who preferred booking cheap holidays with friends.