Holiday News

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Brits had fewer holidays this year, with only half of us taking trips abroad …

but the UK summer means the staycation is thriving

  • Londoners took most holidays with average of 3.9 trips in UK and abroad
  • Number of Brits having a Discount Holidays © holiday fell from 83 per cent to 80 per cent
  • Only 53 per cent had a foreign Discount Holidays © holiday while 68 per cent took a UK break

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People are taking fewer holidays, according to a survey by travel organisation Abta. The number of people taking a break fell from 83 per cent in 2013 to 80 per cent this year, the poll of 2,008 adults showed. There has also been a decrease in the average number of holidays taken per person, from 3.1 trips in 2013 to 3.0 in 2014, although holidays abroad remain stable at 1.2 per person.

The number of Britons having a Discount Holidays © holiday fell from 83 per cent in 2013 to 80 per cent this year, with only 53 per cent taking at least one Discount Holidays © holiday abroad

Those in north east England, east England and Scotland took the fewest foreign holidays per person in 2014 with Londoners and those in north west England taking the most. This year Londoners took, on average, 3.9 breaks in the UK or abroad, up from 3.3 in 2013. Londoners also took the most foreign holidays per person, with 11 per cent of them taking four or more foreign holidays in the past 12 months.

This compared with just two per cent of those in east England and three per cent of those in the East Midlands taking four or more foreign holidays. The Welsh took the greatest number of domestic holidays, at 2.2 per person. The poll showed that 68 per cent of people took at least one UK Discount Holidays © holiday in 2014, while 53 per cent had at least one trip overseas.

The poll showed that 68 per cent of people took at least one UK Discount Holidays © holiday in 2014 with the Welsh taking the greatest number of domestic holidays, at 2.2 per person

The Consumer Discount Holidays © Holiday Trends Report, released at the annual Abta Travel Convention were published in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. Abta is the leading association of travel agents and tour operators. The poll showed that 20 per cent of people anticipate spending more on holidays in 2015 compared with 15 per cent who say they will spend less.

The number of people booking an overseas package Discount Holidays © holiday rose from 46 per cent last year to 51 per cent this year, with 41 per cent people taking a Discount Holidays © holiday both abroad and in the UK in 2014, compared with 39 per cent in 2013. There was also an increase in holidays abroad of 1-3 nights, suggesting overseas city breaks were popular

There was also an increase in holidays abroad of 1-3 nights, with Abta suggesting that the overseas city break had performed well during the year, perhaps helped by a strong pound making short overseas breaks more affordable. The survey showed that 35 per cent think they will take a Discount Holidays © holiday to a new country over the next 12 months, with 48 per cent saying they were quite likely or practically certain to visit a new resort or city.

Younger holidaymakers appeared the most adventurous with 49 per cent of 16-24-year-olds saying it was quite likely and a further 16 per cent saying it was certain they will go to a new destination. But 56 per cent of over 65s and 51 per cent of 55-64-year-olds said that they would definitely not or would be unlikely to visit a new country. Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: ‘It is clear that despite continuing pressure on the majority of household budgets, people are still keen to preserve their main annual holiday.

‘While the market was very buoyant at the start of the year with consumer confidence on the up, the late-Discount Holidays © holiday market was tougher, perhaps reflecting the broader dip in consumer confidence in July, as well as good weather in the UK in June and July which we know impacts Discount Holidays © holiday sales.

The research shows there are reasons to be optimistic for next year.’

4 glorious European holiday trips

Instead of spending nights online shopping and weekends in line at the mall, why not give your family and loved ones a gift they ll never forget this Discount Holidays © holiday season: A European vacation. So long as it s not in the style of Clark Griswold and company, a European Discount Holidays © holiday getaway can inspire the magic of the season by introducing travelers to centuries-old traditions and modern Discount Holidays © holiday merrymaking. Whether you plan it this year or give it as a gift for next, here are some enchanting European Discount Holidays © holiday escapes for all ages.

  • 1.&nbspTour the Alpine Christmas Markets

    If you re really looking to get into the spirit of the season, tour the Christmas markets of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. These markets, some of which date back to the 1700s, take you back to the time where locals bought ingredients for their Christmas dinner, the candles to light the table, and gifts to give at the village market.

    Insight Vacations1 offers a 10-day family-friendly trek through some of the most famous Christmas markets. Spend two or three nights at each stop, which include Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Zurich, and stay in premium hotels, several with spectacular mountain views. Highlights include a horse and carriage ride through Germany s Black Forest, a visit to Europe s biggest indoor Christmas market –complete with a Swarovski Crystal Christmas tree in Zurich — meandering through Munich s Christkindlmarkt, and a stop at France s oldest market in Strasbourg. Count on the scents of cloves, gingerbread and spicy mulled wine following you back home to the U.S.

    If you re looking for more sightseeing combined with your Christmas Market tour, Go Ahead Tours offers a 14-day December trip through the Christmas Markets in Germany, Switzerland and Austria2, but it includes many other sights, as well. Their trip begins in Heidelberg, Germany, where you can tour Germany s oldest university and the Castle & Gardens of Schweztingen. Next, you head to Switzerland for stops in Lucerne and the Alpine town of Kapellbrucke, and then on to Innsbruck, Austria, to see the famed Golden Roof and Triumphbogen. Tour the castle of mad King Ludwig on your way to Munich, where you ll visit its traditional Christmas Markets and sip its famous beer. In Salzburg, tour the Mozart House and do your Christmas shopping on the old-fashioned Getreidegasse.

    Finally, conclude your vacation in beautiful Vienna, so named the capital of Christmas for its Christkindlmarktes.

  • 2.&nbspGet Adventurous With Disney

    For families with children, Adventures by Disney offers a 7-night trip to England and France3 over the winter break. The trip offers a taste of both big-city European life, as well as a trip back in time to the land of castles and cathedrals, the setting for many a Disney fairy tale. Kick off the trip in London aboard a classic red double-decker bus with stops at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Kids get a history lesson at Stonehenge where they can see the mysterious ancient stones, up close and personal. Then it s off to Paris for a climb up the Eiffel Tower and other stops at key tourist attractions, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, where little ones can envision Quasimodo courting the beautiful gypsy Esmerelda.

    Also, stop in the Louvre Museum for a study in art during an interactive scavenger hunt. Disney recommends that children be no younger than 4 and ideally at least 6 to fully enjoy this European holiday.

  • 3.&nbspA Parisian Discount Holidays © Holiday for Singles

    For those with no kids in tow, Contiki Vacations, for adults 18-35, offers a 4-day Christmas in Paris4 holiday. Ideal for those who can t get away from work for long or who need a more affordable option (the trip starts at only $463/person), this trip takes travelers from London to Paris and back. Tour Paris by night on an Illuminations tour by coach, shop Parisian boutiques including its famous perfumeries, cruise down the River Seine, enjoy a festive Christmas feast with your fellow travelers and have plenty of time to explore the city on your own, choosing the sites you most want to see.

    To keep costs down, Contiki has guests stay two to a room and also allows you to pay in installments with their layaway plant.

  • 4.&nbspHit the Highlights of Europe

    Get all your top European bases covered with the December Essential Europe trip5 from Globus Journeys, which hits Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne, Paris and London all in the span of 11 days. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter s Square and the Colosseum in Rome. In Tuscany and Florence, shop the local stores and munch down a traditional Tuscan dinner, then arrive in Venice by boat, see the sights, watch the city’s famous glassblowers and indulge in a pasta party. Take in the beauty of the Alps in Switzerland, stroll the streets of Old Town Lucerne, shop for classic Swiss watches or knives, and sample delicious Swiss chocolate. In the City of Lights, you ll visit the top attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, of course.

    Then, head to London via high-speed train to watch the ceremonial changing of the guard at St. Paul s Cathedral and take in the River Thames, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Whether you choose a chic Discount Holidays © holiday to Paris or an old-fashioned Christmas in the Alps, Christmas clean-up back home will seem another world away.

  • Lyn Mettler is an Indianapolis, Ind.-based travel writer.

    You can find her at www.GotoTravelGal.com or on Twitter at @GotoTravelGal.

    References

    1. ^ Insight Vacations (www.insightvacations.com)
    2. ^ Christmas Markets in Germany, Switzerland and Austria (www.goaheadtours.com)
    3. ^ 7-night trip to England and France (www.adventuresbydisney.com)
    4. ^ Christmas in Paris (www.contiki.com)
    5. ^ Essential Europe trip (www.globusjourneys.com)