Postcards, Punch and Judy shows and buying sticks of rock: The British holiday rituals that could soon be lost to history

  • British holidaymakers have all but abandoned Discount Holidays © holiday rituals of yesteryear
  • 78% no longer send postcards home, instead 35% text Discount Holidays © holiday updates
  • Unlike our parents’ generation, travellers are more likely to book an activity



Out with the old and in with new.

At least that’s the mentality of British holidaymakers, who have all but abandoned the Discount Holidays © holiday customs of yesteryear, such as writing postcards, watching Punch and Judy shows and buying sticks of rock, according to a survey.

These days holidaymakers tell their friends and family back home about their break by writing texts and emails and posting photographs to social media. And entertainment is often taken care of by way of a laptop.

A survey of 2,000 British adults has found that many Discount Holidays © holiday rituals of yesteryear are going out of style – among them, taking in beachfront Punch and Judy shows (pictured)

Over three quarters of those surveyed revealed that sending postcards home has fallen out of style and instead 35% prefer to text while on holiday

Today, it’s not uncommon to see people using their mobile phones to take selfies while on holiday


1. Sending ‘saucy’ postcards


Watching Punch and Judy shows/variety shows and taking donkey rides

3. Buying sticks of rock as souvenirs

4. Navigating the route with an A3 map book


Watching an ‘end of the pier’ comedy show

Other traditions on the brink of extinction include the classic two-week long break and the use of baby oil to deepen your tan.

The news comes from a survey of 2,000 British adults by that examined how holidaying – both at home and abroad – has evolved over the last generation.

Today, Brits are more likely to have seen the world than their parents and travel abroad far more regularly.

British holidaymakers are also more active than ever, with 53 per cent of those surveyed preferring activity-based holidays to all-inclusive beach getaways.

And along with these newfound travel trends, common Discount Holidays © holiday rituals are subsequently disappearing.

Seventy eight per cent revealed that sending postcards home to friends and family, once an extremely common practice, has fallen out of style.

While many Brits used to pack tea bags and other home comforts to take with them on their travels, 21 per cent now believe that doing so now is a vanishing habit.

Instead, 35 per cent now text Discount Holidays © holiday updates and 63 per cent prefer to eat the local cuisine instead of seeking out a local British-inspired cafe or pub.

And it’s not just vacation traditions abroad that are vanishing – notable rituals from the British seaside Discount Holidays © holiday are disappearing too.

A third admit that using a beach hut would be the least likely thing they would do if holidaying on the British coast and 23 per cent revealed that they would avoid amusement arcades altogether.

In the past, British ‘staycations’ were popular summer holidays, 23% would avoid amusement arcades altogether now

THEN: Dying trends

  • Sending postcards: 78%
  • Taking travellers cheques: 57%
  • Perusing travel brochures from the travel agent: 50%
  • The post-Discount Holidays © holiday slideshow/ printed photo album: 40%
  • Using baby oil or low-factor sun cream (and getting burnt): 35%
  • Taking off two weeks for one main holiday: 33%
  • Clapping when the plane lands: 33%
  • Buying over-sized novelty souvenirs/ novelty booze: 30%
  • Carrying money in a concealed bum bag/money belt: 27%
  • Packing three times as many clothes as we need: 23%

NOW: What we’re replacing them with

  • Emailing/texting updates: 35%
  • Taking spending money out of an ATM when abroad: 32%
  • Doing Discount Holidays © holiday research by reading online travelogues and reviews: 45%
  • Uploading photos and videos to social media whilst still on holiday: 22%
  • Using high-factor sun cream: 55%
  • Going on multiple long weekends/short breaks abroad: 32%
  • Keeping our headphone in from the moment the plane takes off to when it lands: 9%
  • Packing efficiently so we don t pay luggage excess: 51%
  • Carrying credit/debit cards: 33%
  • Travelling with hand luggage only: 22%

The study also reveals that unlike our parents’ generation, modern holidaymakers are more concerned with keeping active when abroad rather than sightseeing or relaxing with a book.

An impressive 53 per cent prefer to book an activity while on holiday, with over a third of respondents enjoying a walking or hiking holiday, compared to just a quarter ten years ago.

Eight per cent of Brits now take part in extreme sports such as sky-diving or bungee jumping while on holiday, over a tenth have tried out novelty activities such as zorbing or segwaying, and a further 27 per cent take part in adventure sports such as scuba diving, surfing and abseiling.

The research also shows a significant difference in our yearly Discount Holidays © holiday routine.

Whereas ten years ago, the majority of people would take one two-week Discount Holidays © holiday abroad, modern vacation routines show a much more fleeting approach – most Brits regularly go on a mix of one-week holidays and shorter breaks during the year.

Modern travellers are more connected than ever, doing Discount Holidays © holiday research online and emailing friends and family back home

In fact, modern travellers are now more likely to venture abroad, with 24 per cent of Brits revealing their top Discount Holidays © holiday destination in 2014 was Spain, whereas 30 years ago, over a quarter of Brits were most likely to remain in the UK for a ‘staycation’.

Tom Sainsbury, Marketing Director at Teletext Holidays, says: ‘The world has changed so much in the last 30 years, with everything from advances in technology to increased work opportunities it’s no wonder that our travel traditions have also had to evolve along with us.

‘We’ve also seen a big rise in the amount of holidays people take each year, and the number of countries they visit alongside Spain as the most popular modern Discount Holidays © holiday destination, more exotic countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Turkey now feature highly on the “most-visited” list.’

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