With the weather miserable and unpredictable, post Christmas blues, failed resolutions, returning to work and the long stretch between paydays starting to take their toll, travelsupermarket.com expects it will see one of its busiest weekends of the year this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (16, 17 and 18 January), predicting a 25 per cent increase in searches on its 2008 daily average.
Psychotherapist Lesley Haswell at HaswellMartinRose, agrees that holidays can be central to well-being and often are an important part of living. She commented: "Getting away from it all is can be so important and gives individuals the time to ‘just be’. We are so used to rushing about and being in the ‘do, do, do’ mindset that sometimes we forget to live in the moment. This is part of the reason why we look forward to holidays so much – it gives us space for reflection and time doing nothing – which for our personal wellbeing is certainly time well spent."
Bob Atkinson, travel expert from travelsupermarket.com, said: "Looking at figures for 2008 and 2007, we anticipate this weekend is going to be a bumper one as people look to book a holiday so they have something to look forward to in the coming months. 2009 is going to be a tough year for many, however, now more than ever people are coming to travel comparison sites, such as ours, to shop around efficiently and find the best deal on their holiday."
So what’s changed between this weekend and last year’s busy weekend?
Trends in 2009:
- Package holidays are regaining their popularity while self packaging has taken a hit
- There is also a significant increase in all inclusive holidays being taken
- People are avoiding the eurozone and looking for alternatives such as Turkey, Egypt and Bulgaria
- There has been an increase in the number of people flying long haul
- Tour operators are offering generous enticements and offers
- More people are considering taking their annual holiday in the UK, particularly in holiday parks and cottages
- Customers are becoming a lot more savvy and researching their holiday before they buy
Top five tips to beat the winter blues and bag yourself a bargain this January:
- Capacity for package holidays has been cut this year, so book early as there will be less late deals around in 2009
- Look at the cost of living at your chosen destination and carefully consider your board type
- Be flexible on the dates you fly and also with the airport you depart from
- Look out for special offers and deals
- Use a comparison website such as travelsupermarket.com to make sure you find the best value holiday for you