/ Travel & Leisure

Guaranteed holiday sunshine – but at what cost?

As predictions of a summer wash-out continue to perforate our ear drums, many Brits are seizing the opportunity to head for warmer climes. But would you pay a premium for guaranteed sunshine?

Our obsession with the great British weather is a long-established affair. And while we may joke about our fascination with all things meteorological, I for one am a strong believer that even the smallest rays of sunshine can have a positive impact on your mood and the enjoyment of your holiday.

Guaranteed sunshine driving bookings

It was no real surprise for me when I read that tour operators and flight search engines have seen a spike in holiday searches during some of our wettest weeks.

Flight comparison site Cheapflights reported a 30% increase in searches for hot destinations during rainy periods, and some tour operators have seen a surge in last-minute bookings.

However, what really caught my eye was the emphasis on the increase in demand for flights and holidays to destinations with ‘guaranteed sunshine’. Thinking back to my own holiday experiences it’s made think about my own decision to pay a premium in a bid to ensure my chances of a sunshine-filled week.

Sunshine at a cost

As we move into the hotter summer months in European holiday destinations you’d be pretty unlucky to be hit by bad weather – if anything some may find it too hot. However, head outside of these historically sunnier periods, either in search of cheaper off-peak deals or fewer crowds and the weather can become somewhat unpredictable.

I took a gamble in mid-October last year, hoping to get some late-season sunshine in Turkey for a discount price. In previous years the weather had remained pretty good during the same period, but this year it was all change – cue five days of continuous rain and flooding, coupled with every holidaymakers’ favourite comment from the locals of ‘it’s never usually like this at this time of year’!

This experience led me to make a different booking decision this year, opting for a July holiday (still outside of the peak school holiday period) at an additional cost of £100 compared with the identical holiday in October. For me this felt like a price worth paying.

But maybe you don’t? How important is the weather to your holiday and how much extra would you be prepared to pay to increase your chances of sunshine?

Comments
Member

It depends – I like the Caribbean especially Barbados – spent a few years there – sunshine virtually non stop. But I have dogs – the cost of transporting me and the dogs there is too high on my O.A. Pension and I find kennel fees high – nor would I like to “imprison” them while I’m away. So I go camping with the three dogs instead – as it is cheap and healthy.

Member

Looking back at over 30 years of UK holidays with friends, I can remember having only one completely dry week. Coping with what the weather has to throw at us is all part of the fun. How boring life would be if we could predict the weather. If you are going to let weather spoil your holiday you might as well stay at home.

Member

Some places have a climate; we have the weather. We can enjoy a UK holiday whatever the weather. This [Sunday] morning excepted, it rarely rains continuously for more than two hours at a time and there’s always something interesting to see or do. I agree with wavechange, coping with the elements is part of the fun. Otherwise why do people go to pop festivals, Wimbledon, and the British Grand Prix? Without moisture affecting the game, even cricket can be boring. But we do like to get away to some predictable sunshine once or twice year and – apart from one holiday in Madeira that was ruined by tropical storms – we have never lost a day’s sunshine in the Canaries or the Mediterranean. And thank goodness, because in some of the holiday destinations there is not much else to do but relax in the sun. May and October are our first choice for going places. If you want to cook it, try the eastern Med in July.

Member

I prefer to have UK holidays. I find that the hassle and stress of airports, additional packing, preparation and so on, defeats the objective of a holiday.
I don’t expect sunshine in the UK, but if I get it, then it’s a bonus and certainly improves the break.

Member

I agree with what people have said above – it’s nice to have sunshine, but it’s a bonus rather than something I’d feel like I needed to have to make my holiday fun. I’ve spent many a wet weekend on Dartmoor or in Wales, and I have to say that one of my favourite things about these holidays is going out for a long, soaking wet day hike and then coming back to the warmth of a cosy pub fireplace and a pint.

Camping can be trickier in wet weather, though – I’m off to a festival this weekend and have my fingers crossed that we’re not going to have to canoe through the fields. It’ll still be fun, of course, but just a bit less so than if I could guarantee the sun would be out all weekend!

Member

I have just taken a weeks break, returning at the end of last week.
Every day we had warm sunshine with those dinky little fluffy clouds scudding across the bright blue sky. Daily walks along the coast or on the cliffs, pausing occasionally to take a dip in the warm sea, towards the afternoon a cool breeze would spring up making walking a delight. Sometimes just sitting on the beach [shingle not sand] licking a delicious ice cream to cool down, or sat by the harbour feasting on fresh local fish, lobster and as many oysters that I could shove down my throat. We returned tanned healthy and well refreshed.
The cost of this ‘holiday’ a tank of diesel to drive there and back and the use of a friends cottage.
Location ENGLAND the North Kent coast.
And we had all this during the wettest June / July on record.