Could short breaks be better for you than a long holiday?
Should you take one long holiday this year to recharge those batteries, or a series of short breaks to take in a range of different cultures?
When planning our annual breaks, one of the first questions we need to ask ourselves is how do we want to divide up our holiday leave for the year? Some people like to take one long break of a fortnight or more, whilst other people like to get away more frequently on a series of short breaks.
Long holidays – relaxing or boring?
For those people who find travelling to be quite stressful, it can make perfect sense to choose one destination, perhaps in a far-flung exotic location such as South East Asia and spend several weeks there, affording them time to fully unwind and recharge their batteries. There’s less packing and organisation to worry about and only one set of return flights to take for those who are anxious flyers. Travellers who stay in one location for a prolonged period of time can also feel that they’ve really discovered all that the area has to offer, rather than feeling they didn’t have time to see certain attractions.
Unfortunately though, some experts believe that this pattern of holidaying can lead to boredom. It is thought that “people’s enjoyment wanes as they become accustomed to their holiday lifestyle” and that a series of shorter breaks allows travellers to be more grateful of their time spent away from the office. Professor Ariely from Duke University in North Carolina claims that on a long holiday, “day seven is less good than day one because it’s not as exciting”.
The advantages of shorter breaks
In contrast, there are lots of advantages for choosing the short-break style of holiday. Office-workers with a set amount of annual leave can choose not to eat into too much of their holiday allowance by taking several short breaks spaced evenly throughout the year. This allows employees the assurance of knowing that they don’t have to wait the best part of a year before their next large absence from their desk job.
In addition, short breaks permit tourists to see a whole host of different and interesting locations throughout the year. Whether it be a cultural city break, a short skiing trip, a quick beach holiday or a visit to a Christmas market, travellers can find this pattern of holiday to be much more varied and stimulating than two or three weeks in an all-inclusive resort, for example.
Can shorter breaks save you money?
Shorter breaks also allow tourists to stagger the cost of holidays throughout the year, rather than having to pay thousands on one big holiday in a single chunk. Of course, shorter breaks usually require that you’re confined to destinations closer to home, but a possible advantage of this is that the cost of the flight is also inexpensive.
If you choose to take out travel insurance, as is recommended to offer protection against medical expenses, cancellation and pre-trip illness, then you’ll also find that annual travel insurance can help you to save money if you go away more than twice within a year of the start date of the policy, as it is often cheaper than the cost of two single trip policies.
Writer Laura Maddison is Head of Marketing at Avanti Travelcare, specialists who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and one of very few companies that have no upper age limit on their policies.
Must admit I like a combination of both 🙂 Short trips are great for a quick dose of culture or a relaxing weekend away from it all. Fav cities for short breaks include Madrid, Athens, Dublin, Bath, Milan, Prague, York – oh so many … But for longer haul trips much prefer to be able to take a few weeks. However, that is a luxury I can seldom afford! Best one was 6 weeks in New Zealand a few years ago 🙂
I remember that New Zealand holiday really well – we did the longest zipwire in NZ 🙂
It was fun wasn’t it. We’ll have to go back one day and see more of South Island.
My husband and I just completed a 3 month trip around Europe. It was perfect for us because it was plenty of time to see everything we wanted to see and still have time to relax. We didn’t feel like we were obligated to do something amazing every day. It’s nice to have the time to explore at your own pace and not feel like you missed out.
Sounds like an ideal holiday Stacia – as you say, lovely to have enough time to enjoy the trip and also relax.
On my short beach break in Phuket I also wanted to see as much culture as possible. So I booked myself on a trip to Phuket FantaSea – a Thai cultural theme park.. From dressing up into a beautiful Thai gown to riding an elephant in a really Royal style at the forecourt of the Palace of the Elephants Theater – it was packed with fun and culture things to do! The architecture in the park is a reconstruction of different era styles. The final show was really amazing with many special effects and fireworks. A beautiful evening and a great introduction to Thai culture! A must see, especially if you are on a tight schedule!
Sounds like a fun way to spend a day Meghan 🙂 Thailand is such a womderful country and that palace is splendid!