In spite of a recent explosion in the number of vacation opportunities available, time-honoured beach holidays remain comfortably the most popular with Brits.
Research conducted on behalf of AXA Insurance reveals that 65 per cent of people are planning, or have already been, on a beach holiday in a hotel or apartment in 2006, which equates to around 21.6 million holidaymakers.
Coastlines also figure in the second most popular holiday option, with 60 per cent of people choosing a city and beach combination. Surprisingly, perhaps, camping has also emerged as a leading holiday idea, with 21 per cent of respondents to the survey revealing plans to brave bad weather conditions and dodgy shower facilities at a campsite.
Previously associated with boy scouts, hippies and survivors, camping seems to have re-invented itself in recent years, helped by the likes of Cool Camping: England, a popular guidebook by Jonathan Knight.
Partly because of the rising popularity of camping holidays, 68 per cent of respondents said they had chosen a holiday within the UK and Ireland this year. Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are also proving fashionable, with 37 per cent of people choosing these locations for some much-needed relaxation.
France, Italy and the USA have also attracted considerable attention, while India, South America and south-east Asia also make appearances on the destinations list.
Funding these breaks is certainly not cheap, with UK holidaymakers paying £97.3 billion during 2006 on their travel escapades. Booking the actual holiday accounts for £45 billion of this, while £29 billion is spent blithely on the usual holiday favourites including inflatables, souvenirs and snacks. A further £7 billion goes on new clothes and £4.4 billion is spent on tours and excursions.
© Adfero Ltd