I get it. It’s cold and dreary, with the fluffy snow having long gone to brown mush. It’s been a strange and unpredictable year. You got socks again and even the Christmas dinner table wasn’t spared a heated debate about whether to watch Strictly or the Great British Bake Off. Families gather; issues come up. But this year, reaction to the festive strife is stronger than ever.
Who can blame those who want a bit of escapism, to get away from it all, even for a week? I suppose it’s not surprising that over three million British holiday makers are expected to book their summer holidays this week alone. Talk about fight or flight!
Where are you all going?
Funny you should ask, because so did we. Surprise, surprise – Spain is still the most popular destination for British holidaymakers. Almost a quarter of you are headed there to soak up some sunshine in 2018.
In fact, the only region to buck this trend is London, where only seven per cent are planning to visit the Mediterranean hotspot on their next trip, instead preferring to explore Greece and the USA.
After enjoying adventurous gap years, millennials are apparently keener to make the most of Europe and holiday a little closer to home. Spain, Italy and Greece are all top destinations of choice and Portugal is rapidly closing the gap—thanks to its buzzing food scene, photogenic cityscapes and a growing taste for Port amongst young Brits.
The older generation, meanwhile, can be found on long-haul flights—travelling to far-flung destinations such as New Zealand and Australia.
2017 in travel
It’s no secret that the last year has been far from quiet for the travel industry. We know it’s been a challenging year for a lot of holidaymakers. Very sadly, we’ve all seen 14 travel company failures this year, including the Monarch Airlines collapse. However, the good news is that UK aviation is showing healthy signs of growth. More passengers than ever passed through Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham airports in the first half of the year.
This all shows how important it is to take proper care and do your research before you book. Like a lot of things, people tend to only think about their protection when things go wrong— it’s just human nature. So, we need to make sure that as many people as possible are educated and informed about how they can safeguard their holiday.
Here’s my three top tips for booking holidays this season
1. Check for ATOL protection—it means that your holiday is financially protected, so if the worst happens and your travel company goes bust, you will still be able to get home and will not lose your hard-earned cash.
2. Make sure Alternative Dispute Resolution is part of your airline’s complaints procedure—it’s proven to be effective if something goes wrong.
3. Be aware of hidden costs—things like extra baggage and airport transfers can often cost more. No frills means no frills.
Then you can get back to your turkey sandwiches, and look forward to your next holiday with peace of mind.