Need some holiday inspiration?

By: Keith Barrett

Statisticians tell us that we have more leisure time available to us than has been the case for any previous generation. When you combine this increase in leisure time with greater disposable incomes and the rise of budget travel, it's clear to see why holidays have become so central to many of our lives.

Of course, with the greater choice of holiday destination that we now have available to us, there are now many more options when we come to plan our holidays.

For earlier generations things were so much simpler. For many British holidays a summer break overseas meant a fortnight in France or Spain - generally as part of a package holiday.

Over the years our chance of holiday destinations have grown but the more places that we explore, the greater our need to find even more far flung places.

Where once Eastern European cities like Prague and Budapest seemed exotic, they are now just a short (and generally cheap) flight away from the UK.

For those looking to experience the real Eastern Europe, many are now looking at Bulgaria, Poland and the Baltic states.

This isn't just a factor for British holidaymakers. Backpackers and travellers from the US and Australia are increasingly looking beyond the standard vacation cities of western and central Europe.

For those who want a Mediterranean holiday with a difference, recent weakening of the barriers to entering northern Cyprus provide an opportunity to visit a part of Europe that's been off limits for some years.

With a relative improvement in the political situation in Cyprus, it's now possible to visit the Turkish half of the island (albeit only by flying there via the Turkish mainland).

Given the stunning scenery of the north part of the island and the relatively undisturbed nature of many areas, this is a part of the Med that provides a different type of break to the more crowded beach holidays of France, Spain and North Africa.

Holidays
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