Overview of the Holiday Accommodation Sectors
There is a huge choice of holiday accommodation. There needs be because Globally there are over a billion international tourist arrivals each year! There are approximately 200,000 hotels in the world to choose from. Of course not every tourist stays in a hotel. Many hotels are marketed towards the business travel market only. Yet the choice of holiday accommodation for would-be holiday makers depends on many factors outside of cost. Within a holiday budget we are all restricted by the type of planned activities, the time of year, the resort location and number of travelling companions. For example, couples are not as restricted as families to booking accommodation during school holidays periods, and so can be more flexible and spontaneous in their booking mentality.
Since the 1950’s camping and caravanning has been a popular low-cost form of holiday accommodation for many families. These days over 16 million UK camping and caravan trips per year. Camping in your own tent or towed caravan provides the flexibility of selecting from a huge number of popular holiday hotspots. Mobile accommodation also creates the opportunity to make a last minute decision to stay somewhere. These days tents are made from strong, lightweight materials, designed to withstand a range of weather. The school holidays usually dictate when family holidays can be taken, (as long as the unpredictable weather behaves itself!).
Caravan accommodation comes in different forms. Touring caravans are usually towed whereas motor homes have their own engine. Some motor homes can be extremely large and sleep 8 or 10 people. Static caravans are fixed accommodation structures that remain on the caravan park site for an entire holiday season. Some may be moved at the end of the season, while others remain in situ until their lifespan (typically 10 years) is up. Many private owners rent their static caravans out to guests. Other static caravans are owned by the holiday park company, and are rented out during the holiday season when the caravan park is open.
Booking accommodation with the holiday park company usually means a wider selection of available caravans, with different grades and prices. Generally, the newer the caravan the more the cost of weekly bookings. Whereas, booking directly with the owner of a static caravan is generally a cheaper option. Always be careful to check what is included in the cost of your holiday accommodation in the static caravan in advance of booking. To avoid the winter weather most holiday parks tend to open from March to the end of October. Camping and caravanning are firm favourites for families and couples. Some campsites offer a toilet and washing block facilities and an on-site shop for daily essentials. Other campsites may offer all manner of entertainment activities, swimming pools, children’s clubs, restaurants and coffee shops and so on.
You might want to experience a new activity or adventure sport, in which case a hotel close to the action is need. City breaks with sightseeing usually require centrally located accommodation, where location and star rating become pivotal buying criteria. Online travel Star ratings and reviews are a great way to narrow the search down to find a list of decent hotels. The growth of hotel recommendations using online social networks is enhancing another way to find trusted opinions from friends and colleagues. Alternatively, if you want the fun of self catering holiday home but don't want to camp, then a holiday cottage or apartment may be worth considering. Renting holiday cottage accommodation can be a great way to give you the comforts of being at home, the ability to cook what you want with the flexibility that that brings, in a new destination by the sea or in the countryside.
If you like to holiday in the same place every year, a holiday timeshare may be an option. A timeshare typically is an investment in a week or two weeks holiday, in an apartment or holiday cottage at a chosen destination, that may be worldwide. Timeshares did for some time have a bad reputation, in that some companies offering them would use high pressure selling practices and consumers were unaware of what they were signing up to. Nowadays, timeshares and the way they are sold is highly different. The location of your timeshare holiday can be changed as can the week or weeks when you use your vacation from year to year. Therefore they are not so restrictive as they used to be and they may work out a more value for money option, however you must undertake lots of research and take independent advice before you sign any contract.
Timeshare accommodation is another popular choice for holiday makers. There are approximately 6000 timeshare resorts worldwide. Many timeshare properties are let on a self catered basis. Resorts offer the holidaymaker a complete holiday package all in one place, accommodation, meals, entertainment, activities, kids holiday clubs and shopping. Holiday makers opting for an 'all-inclusive' package do not have to leave the resort to have a complete holiday experience. Many timeshares are sold in hot and exotic places. However outside of a resort the country may not be the safest place to go exploring alone, and so resorts give the visitor a taste of a country in the safer confines of a holiday resort.
Other types of holiday accommodation are the complete opposite of a contained resort. Where you book your accommodation and thereafter you are free to explore and travel around. For example, holidays on water, (barges or floating hotels). This destination is the focus not the type of holiday accommodation. Floating hotels are popular in parts of India such as in Kerala. Boats for hire in Greece and Turkey are another floating holiday accommodation option. The crew may take you around the islands, catch fish and prepare meals for you, whilst you soak up the sun or take in the small villages on the islands that you visit. Barge holidays in the UK may not have the same weather or views, but can be still be an extremely enjoyable holiday. A group of friends travelling the Norfolk Broads, stopping at a typical English pub or eating fish-n-chips on board can be a very relaxing holiday. Similarly, hunting and fishing lodges are situated near angling sites and as part of the cost of accommodation, you may be entitled to fish, sometimes without restrictions. Lodges are usually comfortably furnished and make a welcome home-from-home, in beautiful surroundings.