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Holidays through the decades
  • Behaviour: Brits opted for short holidays and day trips close to home.

    Why? Affordable travel was limited to trains, buses and trams, and paid-holiday days from work were few or non-existent. As a result, Brits opted to take short breaks in local, family-owned B&Bs, either along the British coast or in the depths of the countryside.

  • Behaviour: Luxury cruise liners became available to the elite and destinations such as the French Riviera became popular for British tourists.

    Why? P&O launched the first tourist-class cruises in the early 1930s. Following this, Pacific cruises and voyages to and from Australia became available allowing Brits, for the first time, to travel to the other side of the world.

  • Behaviour: The Channel Islands and UK beach resorts saw increased tourism following the war.

    Why? Brits became reluctant to travel abroad in the post-war era and steps were taken to rebuild the country and position the Channel Islands as holiday resorts for those living in mainland UK.

  • Behaviour: Air travel became possible and more accessible to the upper classes. In fact in the 1950s, you could expect to pay 40% more for the same air ticket you would buy today (taking into account inflation).

    Why? The transatlantic route became the world's most-travelled air route and the De Havilland Comet became the world's first commercial jet airliner.

  • Elite: Large tour operators such as Thomson were founded, making package holidays possible for wealthy Brits.

    Masses: As cars became a more common mode of transport, caravan and camping holidays became increasingly popular for the less affluent.

  • Behaviour: All-inclusive holidays became the new norm – Europe remained the preferred destination for the masses, while the trend of gap-year travel to Afghanistan and exotic regions emerged among the more adventurous.

    Why?: The rise in the number of tour operators meant Brits were able to swap the Channel Islands for the Costas, where a fortnight all-inclusive in Benidorm would be a similar price to a local trip.

  • Behaviour: Brits started to visit in their masses - and put on the map - what are now considered mainstream travel destinations (i.e. Spain, Italy).

    Why?: By the 1980s most people had at least four weeks’ annual holiday by law and new transport links to Europe made holiday destinations more accessible. The InterRail pass played a huge role in opening up new destinations to travellers, with many Britons opting to travel for weeks at a time.

  • Behaviour: British tourists started to visit destinations outside of Europe (such as Turkey) and became more adventurous with travel - visiting multiple destinations and countries in a single trip.

    Why?: In 1990 the EU Package Travel Directive was introduced, offering protection to travellers on packages - in case of tour-operator or airline failure.

  • Behaviour: British travellers started backpacking around Europe and long-haul destinations in Asia; these trips often lasted for months at a time.

    Why? Low-cost airlines and hostels became accessible in many parts of the world, as the internet helped open up new destinations and offered tourists new ways of booking holidays.

  • Behaviour: Brits started taking multiple mini breaks and long weekends in Europe.

    Why? The launch of online travel deal websites increased competition and forced down prices, making weekends away and short city breaks abroad more affordable.

  • Behaviour: Brits started to believe commercial space travel was possible.

    Why? That belief suffered a setback following a crash in 2014 and concerns that Sir Richard Branson’s dream of commercial space tourism could have ended.

  • Behaviour: Long-haul destinations such as Canada, South Africa and the Seychelles became more popular for winter-sun getaways.

    Why? The combined factors of higher disposable income, unreliable weather in Europe, terror attacks in short- and mid-haul tourist hotspots, and cheaper long-haul travel meant Brits were willing to pay a little extra for guaranteed winter sun - and the same was visible in summer 2016.