With recent data showing that Brits work longer hours than a dozen of their European neighbours, more of us feel pressure to make the most of our holidays. But if you can only squeeze one week off work, how do you choose your destination to make the most of your time?
City or beach resort
City breaks are more popular than ever. If like many people you like the seaside, then combining beach with city can be too much of a juggle. The general wisdom is that a one week holiday is too long for a city break. Really big cities have lots to do and world class museums or attractions. However they tend not to have beautiful, clean beaches or scenic golf resorts. My tip is to choose a coastal resort and get your fix of culture and history in a charming village or historic old fortress in a more rural area.
Beach resort choices
Travel broadens the mind of course, but arriving at your hotel and never straying more than a few hundred yards is not so good for your soul. Grab your holiday with both hands by venturing out for sightseeing and some alternative cuisine. Choose a destination with some historic sights nearby and maybe hire a car for a few days of your one week holiday to see a whole lot more. Mediterranean destinations may have fascinating Roman remains nearby.
With just one week off work, short-haul flights are your best friend. In a little over 2 hours from the UK you can reach mainland Spain or Portugal’s Algarve. Half an hour further are the Balearic islands such as Mallorca. There are some lovely coastal walks to do in these parts of the world and seafood dishes to discover too.
If you want to tick some of the most famous historic sights off your bucket list, you may want to travel further. A five hour flight will take you to ancient Crete. Or fly just one hour further to get all-inclusive holidays to Egypt. Like Egypt, the Canaries are further south but about 4 hours flying time. They more popular in Spring or Autumn thanks to the weather.
Flight timings for a one week holiday destination
With a one week holiday it is worth going to the effort to arrive early on your first day and leave late on your last. This is definitely something I would prefer to try now my children are older as it would have been a bit fraught with really little ones. Some parents do manage it with tiny tots and of course getting a teenager out of bed has its own challenges. It’s surely worth it to get your full week.
A few people take “being prepared” before a flight to extremes. Last summer at 5am in Leeds airport I found myself in a queue behind a man wearing a colourful full body swimming costume and a pair of flip flops! He got on a different plane to me, thank goodness, but he was clearly ready to leap straight into the pool.
Have you ever packed a lot into one week in the sun? Share your experience in the comments!