Don’t get stuck in a holiday rut

For many of us, the January blues have kicked in. The excitement of the festive season is over for another year, temperatures have plummeted and we’re well and truly back in the world of work.

A popular way to get through the cold winter months with a smile is to plan and book your next big break, and January is the perfect time to do this as the holiday companies are out in force trying to get your custom. There are sales on, early booking offers and even low-deposit deals to tempt you to snap up a holiday now.

But, according to research from TravelSupermarket as part of our annual Travel Trends Tracker, nearly a quarter (24%) of British families feel like they are stuck in a rut when it comes to booking their annual break, as they choose the same types of trip year after year.

If you fall into this category, here we explain why changing your holiday routine may be easier than you think - and challenge some common misconceptions.

You never know, trying something new could do you the world of good!

“I can’t afford to go anywhere different”

According to TravelSupermarket’s research, the biggest factor influencing British holidaymakers' destination choice in 2013 will be the price of the holiday, with 42% of Brits citing cost as key. And consequently, many holidaymakers will opt for a Spanish resort or a trip to the Algarve year after year.

However, before you rush to book into a resort you have visited before, why not compare the price of holidays to other destinations such as Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, North Africa, the Caribbean, the Cape Verde islands and Egypt – destinations all fighting hard to attract holidaymakers. You may just be surprised what offers are out there.

TravelSupermarket’s travel expert, Bob Atkinson, explains: “I would urge people who want to make the most of their budget to consider the world of destinations on offer at prices that are more affordable than they actually think.”

For example, we did a quick search for seven-night holidays to Greece in the first week in August and found deals including flights and a hotel from as little as £320 per person.

“Self-catering is always the cheapest option”

Our Travel Trends Tracker revealed that a break in Spain staying in self-catering accommodation for around 10 days would be the average getaway for British holidaymakers in 2013. And while self-catering is the perfect option for many travellers as they can eat what and when they want and have complete flexibility over what they do while away, other holidaymakers begrudgingly stick to this board type simply because they believe it’s the only option they can afford.

If this sounds like you but you fancy a change, why not compare the price of self-catering breaks with all-inclusive holidays, for example?

Once you have factored-in how much you’ll spend on food and drink while you are away, as well as the cost of entertainment on a self-catering break, prices can sometimes be on a par, with all-inclusive holidays even working out as the more-affordable option in some cases. Plus, all-inclusive holidays allow you to manage the bulk of your holiday budget before you have even boarded the plane.

So, if you fancy treating yourself to some all-inclusive luxury with someone else doing the cooking, take a look at our all-inclusive holidays page where seven-night summer deals start from as little as £320 per person.

“I know what to expect when I get there”

A fear of nasty surprises or stepping outside of our comfort zones is what prevents many holidaymakers from deviating from their usual holiday haunts. But, why not think differently and see new experiences as an exciting discovery you may never have otherwise?

With so many tools available to holidaymakers, such as online and print travel guides, review sites, weather websites and even the knowledge of travel agents, if you do your homework on a destination, you can prevent most unwanted surprises.

And, if you are unsure about a new destination, ask friends and family for their opinions or use your connections on social networks to get a feel for the place.

So what’s stopping you? Get researching: you may discover your new favourite place.

“The weather is great in my usual destination”

The weather was the second most important factor for holidaymakers when it came to destination decisions according to our Travel Trends Tracker (32% chose this option. When you’ve found a destination you know is consistently sunny, you may be reluctant to try somewhere else.

But weather sites such as weather2travel give seasonal averages for all of the main holiday resorts, so why not compare a few destinations you may not have considered before?

If you want further inspiration on where to go when in summer 2013 weatherwise, take a look at the guide on our summer 2013 homepage.

“I’ve got kids and I know they enjoy our usual destination”

Once parents find a hotel or resort their children enjoy, it can be tempting to return there year after year to ensure family holidays go smoothly. But children can be surprisingly flexible when it comes to travel and, as they are naturally curious, they will soak up all of the new sights, smells and sounds they discover while they are away.

Holidays can be a great way for children to learn more about the world, and many parents welcome the chance to teach their kids a few words of a different language or get them to try new food and drink while they are away from their home comforts. So, why only take them to one place?

If you are going to try somewhere new this year, make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible by reading the useful advice and tips on our family holidays homepage.

“I don’t know where else to go”

Many holidaymakers find researching and booking their holidays stressful, with more than one in five families (21%) saying that they argue about their destination choice, according to TravelSupermarket’s research. And some just don’t know where to find inspiration for their next trip so just stick to where they know.

If this sounds familiar, get online or visit your local travel agent for inspiration, or even pick up a few travel magazines and the weekend paper – you’ll be spoilt for choice by articles recommending destinations and can have fun reading them all.

There’s also plenty of inspiration on TravelSupermarket itself, from destination guides to articles such as Bob Atkinson’s recent list of ‘The top 10 holiday destinations in 2013’.

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