Where shall we go this year, this summer, this long weekend? We were recommended cheapholidays.com to get some holiday ideas, such as short breaks to Malaga or Benidorm. As the England coach might say, “it’s a nice problem to have”. That gentleman’s sojourn in Eastern Europe was more of a working holiday of course, and that’s the kind of holiday not a lot of us would admit to liking. “Did nothing at all, mate. Just slapped the Factor 30 on and lined the beers up under the sun-lounger”. There are some spectacular stretches of coastline around the world that bear witness to the continuing popularity of a week’s chill while you turn red, but it doesn’t suit everyone.
When it comes to vacations that you intend to spend standing up and moving around some of the time, the global tourist industry now ensures that you don’t need to feel neglected or figure it all out on your own. Why not visit Machu Picchuand send pictures back of those vertiginous drops back to your loved ones in an instant? Check out the Dell Coupons scheme and save a heap on the technology you take with you on safari or that walk up Kilimanjaro. Even if you are being very intrepid indeed you may need at least one item from the list of laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, handhelds and digital audio players to capture the moment or call the Red Cross helicopter in.
You’ll have already noted one occupational hazard of thinking about that longed-for break from the daily grind. In a trice, the insertion of the word “adventure” before “holidays” on the browser has you trekking in Peru while wondering of Bolivia or Ecuador might have been even more adventurous. And asking the locals, in basic but imaginative Spanish, whether the most dangerous road in the world, the one you saw on Youtube, is anywhere near and whether you could rent a 4×4 to drive it.
At least one perceptive critic of the human condition declared that travel narrowed the mind but you couldn’t sell anything but the clichéd opposite to the travel industry. No need to even go online if it’s a calm Sunday and the garden is sunny. You could (EU regulations ignored) wrap a lot of chips in the weekend supplement of just one broadsheet. It’s like reading an atlas without the pictures. Cruise among the fjords or along the Dalmation coast. Beachcomb the chilly but glittering strands of Caledonian islands. Learn to cook the classic way inFranceprofonde. Or succumb to the eternal pull of the south and share a Majorcan villa with some friends.
A dark shadow crosses these happy visions as your eyes alight for a moment on the warnings of travel insurance premiums rising, the stern figures showing legal alcohol limits in European countries whose wines you remember enjoying, the warnings of traps for the unwary concerning hire car excess premiums. Perhaps it isn’t worth the hassle. Maybe we could stay this side of the Channel and still have fun? What about a week by the sea in an un-exotic green patch of this land. The sea not far, fields around, a view from the top of the Downsthat will have even the children stop and gaze for a bit. We could hire bikes, smell Ozone, eat proper fish and chips. Sounds like a nice change. Yes, let’s rent a caravan and have a cheap holiday this year.
Better avoid the town, though. Didn’t do that last year and glanced at the Travel Agent’s window.Corfu, 7 nights, self-catering, all for … “Hey, that’s not a bad price”
Then I found an even better one online!