/ Travel & Leisure

How do you prefer to holiday?

Holiday packing

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that more of us prefer a mini-break over a two-week escape. So what’s your holiday preference?

Back in the day when I had very few financial responsibilities, nothing could keep me from my annual two-week summer holiday.

I’d have decided on my destination at the start of the year, booked it with a travel agent or through Teletext (later, the internet) by April and would probably be a fetching shade of mahogany or at least stocking up on bottles of Factor 30 sunscreen by now, waiting to escape later this month.

Holiday plans

This year, I promised myself more of the same, but, as yet, I’ve only managed to book a train to Bordeaux, where I’ll be joining friends for a long weekend of cheese-scoffing and red wine-quaffing.

Truth be told, I haven’t managed a two-week holiday in years (I’ll get the violin out…). With a Victorian property that seems to constantly need patching up, I find that dreams of two-weeks of all-inclusive fun are often scuppered and I’ll end up cutting it back to a week.

Finances pending, I’ll then top that up with a short city break (usually wherever’s cheapest on a Skyscanner search) later in the year or have a weekend away somewhere in the UK.

I guess it means I get to see more of the world, rather than get to know a small resort intimately.

Holiday habits

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that my holiday habits are following something of a trend.

Its review of travel trends since the mid-1990s has found that while UK residents are going away on holiday more, they are ditching the traditional two-week getaway for shorter breaks of a week to 10 days. One of the most likely explanations for this is the growth of budget airlines.

It also found that Britons are taking fewer day trips abroad than 20 years ago, following the demise of the ‘booze cruise’. And when comparing the most popular holiday destinations in 1996 and 2016, the ONS report found Britons’ love affair with Spain had bloomed, with the number of holidays taken there annually up by 87% in 20 years.

France was one of the few countries that UK tourists were now visiting less than in 1996, with the number of holidays there down 9%. Guess I’m off-trend when it comes to that one, then!

So what’s your preference?

Do you prefer mini-breaks or longer holidays?

It depends (29%, 91 Votes)

Holidays of more than one week (24%, 75 Votes)

Mini-breaks (19%, 59 Votes)

Holidays of more than two weeks (15%, 48 Votes)

I don't have holidays (13%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 313

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Chance would be a fine thing, and I also have a to do list for the house that stretches out through the front door and away into the distance. Opportunity, given, I would love a two week break, since there is time to explore and do things without a timetable. A visit to the Isle of Man for instance, means a day travel and ferry each way, so a week becomes five days to explore it all. A visit to a remote Scottish isle also means travel and ferry time. It hardly seems worth the effort to go abroad for less than a week. A two day break is a wonderful refresher, and I enjoy these when I can escape, but a rail trip round the British Isles, ought to involve a few pauses to enjoy the various destinations en-route and these pauses make even a fortnight seem too small. Australia and New Zealand are monthly holidays and one could get lost in India for ever. Obviously, ones wallet needs to be deep enough to have a holiday and there is a difference between one where the roof is canvas and one where the bed is protected by four posts with a gold en-suite next door. Each has it’s merits and neither appeals to me!

I’m with you @vynorhill – working on a house renovation has eaten up my time and money lately. But, what kept us going was the long countdown to a two-week escape to Sri Lanka – that was the first holiday of more than a week that we’d taken for a few years. Short regular breaks is something I’d like to do more of, but I do hate how much time you can lose to traveling – we visit friends in York quite regularly and that drive can be a nightmare – the train is much better, but very expensive. Edinburgh is on my wish list for our next trip, I’d like to go by train as I think you see more on the journey, but my other half wants to fly… we’ll see who wins 🙂

@mtrain, Bordeaux is lovely and I’m very jealous of your holiday 🙂

They do a nice wine, but I can’t remember its name. 🙂

A two-week holiday seems like a luxury I won’t be able to afford for a long while, much like the thought of buying a house – however, it has to be said that there is something I love about impulsively booking a few days away in a city for the same price as a new pair of shoes. It might not be the luxurious relaxing holiday that some of us would dream of, but at a time where many of us live from one paycheck to the next, a short, cheap and spontaneous holiday (for me, at least) is much more appealing than spending months saving up for a two-week break (which would inevitably feel much shorter than a fortnight!)

As regards the above poll, I usually like to go away for a week at a time – does that count as a mini break (even if you don’t travel by Mini)?