Where should I go on holiday?

We presented our resident travel expert, Bob Atkinson, with some questions from the Great British public on the places that are going to be popular in 2012. Here are Bob's suggestions for beach holidays, short- and long-haul destinations...

Q1 - Which short-haul destinations are set to be popular this year?

Bob Atkinson (BA): There’s no two ways about it, to get the best value for money on your main holiday this summer head for Spain, Portugal or Greece.

All three of those economies are having a really tough time, and with the pound against the Euro being relatively steady at nearly 1.20, it's making holidays in those destinations really affordable. There are tons of offers in resorts as hoteliers, restaurateurs, shops etc all fight to get hold of your Euro spending money.

So, I would head for one of those destinations to make your money go further in 2012.

Q2 - Where is the most popular long-haul destination?

BA: Thailand is back with a bang. Despite the floods at the back end of last year, there are offers galore to the UK’s number one destination for long-haul flights searches at TravelSupermarket. So, Thailand will be very big. Of course, Florida always does well as it’s massive for the family market.

But over and above there, it’s places like the Spanish Caribbean – Dominican Republic and Cuba – and we are starting to see more and more people go to places like the Gambia, the Cape Verde Islands, and latterly the ones that have been hotly tipped are the so called ‘SLIMMA countries’ - that’s Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico (which is already a firm favourite with Brits on the Caribbean coast) and Argentina.

And one last one: Vietnam, which has now got new direct services from the UK. All of those are going to get a lot of interest in the press; lots of people are looking to go and there have been big increases in passengers year on year.

Q3 - I’m planning on going on a beach break holiday to Europe this summer. Where should I go?

BA: There are so many places that you can choose from for a beach holiday in Europe, but if you want to be away from the bigger and busier resorts, you can easily head into the main gateways and then find yourself going to a resort that is far quieter.

So, for instance, if you take the Costa Blanca, many people just think immediately of Benidorm, yet you could head north into places like Calpe, Altea and Avia which are much quieter, or you could head down to Torrevieja and rent one of the many apartments and villas and have quite a quiet holiday down there.

So, the key is to look at the places that you enjoy, the places that you’ve liked going to in the past and then look for the smaller quieter resorts that are outlying of the big, major developments, the big major draws for families, groups and for youngsters and that’s when you’ll find those quieter breaks.

Alternatively, go completely off-piste and go to areas that are very rarely visited by Brits. So, places like the Costa de la Luz down in Spain or the western coast of places like Portugal or even many of the Italian coasts where you can be well away from the big crowds.

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