Monia Dyson: A holiday in Britain? Give me a break

COASTAL DELIGHT: Holidaymakers in Scarborough in bygone day.
COASTAL DELIGHT: Holidaymakers in Scarborough in bygone day.
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I don’t usually take holidays in England. Well anything longer than a weekend that is.

And yes, I know there are some lovely places to visit, and of course I have had some really good holidays in this country in the past but with old bones now needing a bit of sun it’s the thought of the indeterminate British weather that puts me off.

Anyway, I might accidentally end up in a hotel like the one made famous by Basil Fawlty, or more recently like the ones featured in the television programme The Hotel set in Torquay. Why Torquay in both cases, I wonder?

That doesn’t however seem to be the general feeling, with 30 per cent of Brits choosing to take a staycation last year and possibly even more this year with fears about flying and the ever-increasing cost of foreign holidays. It does get increasingly stressful flying off to foreign climes, especially with the amount of security at airports these days, not to mention the interest my artificial hips generate when I go through the scanner. Those who remember Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells will know what I’m talking about, but you can’t put a price on that moment when you step out of the doors of the plane, feel the sun on your face and can already taste that ice cold San Miguel.

Despite the figures released for the number of people who choose to stay in this country, there will always be a majority who choose to holiday abroad.

It seems, according to Travel Supermarket, that this year the average Brit will spend 10 days in Spain, in June and at a cost of £1,220 but there will be 15 per cent of us opting for a holiday of sheer luxury and 17 per cent going all inclusive.

After Spain, the most popular holiday destinations remain America, France, Italy and Greece, but with an increasing number of us realising our dreams of visiting India, Vietnam or Thailand and even further afield. However, judging from a recent survey among pensioners about holidays, it seems that many go away under suffrance, possibly because they feel that they ought to as Mrs Jones down the road is going to Benidorm for the third time this year and they don’t want to lose face, or because they have been badgered into it by their other half.

Many pensioner Brits have taken the bull by the horns and decided to move abroad permanently. Last year it was close to 150,000, with only one in five who have taken the plunge, ever returning home. The most popular countries were France, Portugal and Spain and interestingly enough only 92 per cent chose to retire to a designated expat community, preferring to retain a sense of adventure and integrate into the life of their new country experiencing life as a local rather than settling down near other Brits.

I don’t think I’d ever move to live abroad, but having holidays in the sun gives you the best of both worlds.