It seems easy to divide the nation between those chomping at the bit to take to the skies, rails and roads — and others who baulk at the prospect of going beyond their newsagent.
So where do you stand?
Ruthless Air Miles Accumulator (RAMA)
It seems easy to divide the nation between those chomping at the bit to take to the skies, rails and roads – and others who baulk at the prospect of going beyond their newsagent
A typical conversation between a RAMA and his or her partner runs: ‘Darling, I’ve always wanted to see Victoria Falls.’
The reply: ‘Absolutely. I promise that when all this is over, we will cruise the Zambezi.’
After checking their air miles situation, the talk is different. BA no longer flies to Zambia and the miles don’t stretch that far. Instead, it’s two return economy flights to Kosovo. Romance is dead but, with just another 17 years of constant flying, the RAMAs might be able to bump themselves up to an ‘economy plus’ flight to Gdansk.
Perpetual Grumbler (PG)
This is a golden age for the PG traveller. The cost of travel insurance is sky-high, flights are ludicrously expensive and private Covid tests aren’t cheap.
For PG tourists, who have spent 20 years complaining about having to remove their belts at security and the cost of a beer in Prague now compared with 1991, this is a time of hollering to all who will listen.
Holiday planning is reduced to snarling at emails from cruise lines and reminiscing about when you could go out in Bangkok with 25p, enjoy a three-course meal and still have enough money left for a tailor-made suit.
Budget Obsessive (BO)
The days of 1p Ryanair flights are gone – but that doesn’t stop Budget Obsessives from conducting forensic research if it means they can book the cheapest mini-break possible
The days of 1p Ryanair flights are gone — but that doesn’t stop BOs taking the same attitude to holidays that nuclear scientists do to solving cold fusion.
Forensic research means a mini-break can never be booked until currency exchange rates, metro fare carnets, flight transfer bus costs and prix fixe lunch-price averages in town squares have been explored on a laptop loaded with a calculator app so powerful it is coveted by NASA.
The result is two weeks in Moldova once restrictions allow, haggling over the price of polenta before taking a 4am flight back to Luton without a suntan.
Over-Optimistic Adventurer (OOA)
‘Oh, of course, Uzbekistan used to be fantastic until they relaxed the visa policy. Now it’s awfully touristy.’
Such is the dinner party lament of the OOA, who can’t complete a sentence about their holiday plans without uttering the words ‘authentic’ and ‘un-touristy’.
Never mind that on their last trip to an insanely obscure destination (probably Honduras), they had their bags stolen by ‘cute’ beggar children and slept in a hotel with more cockroaches than fellow guests. They still steadfastly refuse to go anywhere ‘touristy’ and are researching flight options for a fortnight in Nauru. ‘Lovely at this time of year,’ they will assure you.
Spontaneity Guru (SG)
One couple of Spontaneity Gurus who should have gone to St Petersburg, Florida, for a concert ended up in St Petersburg, Russia, pictured, instead – but they still had a great time
A few years ago, a friend booked a surprise trip for him and his partner to watch Eminem (a rapper) in St Petersburg. When they arrived and couldn’t find the venue, it took two minutes of Google searching to find that the gig was taking place in St Petersburg, Florida.
Undeterred, the SG couple spent the next three days imbibing Russian culture and vodka in equal measure and had one of the greatest travel anecdotes of all time. So, salute the ‘non-planning planner’.
They simply don’t care if Cluj-Napoca is in Romania or Rwanda; if Ararat is a brandy or a mountain. They will find the nearest bar regardless and refuse ever to buy a Lonely Planet guidebook, check the time difference or bring their own sandwiches to eat on the plane. We love them.
Escapist Dreamer (ED)
Every winter morning, there will be a satisfying thud when the post drops through the letterbox. For EDs sign up to every glossy holiday brochure they can find.
The most satisfying way to spend an evening for ED is to browse glossy mags promising ‘holidays of a lifetime’ to Belize with no intention of booking any of them.
Because with travel insurance as it is, the threat of future lockdowns and the thought of the state of the lawn if it’s left unmown for two weeks, the solution is obvious.
Take the weekend spa break in Bath and leave the Cook Islands to hasty types who don’t care what happens to their brassicas while they’re away.
Safety Net Traveller (SNT)
Safety Net Travellers like tried and tested holidays – they know their days of reckless adventure are over
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The SNT holiday planner couple just needs to email Amanda who owns the villa in Tuscany to ask if they can have their usual two-week stay.
They know their own days of reckless adventure are over. But they also know that, for every day of their holiday, they are guaranteed to be able to open a bottle of Prosecco on the stroke of noon while looking out over undulating hills from their terrace. Smug?
No, just tried, tested and always tipsy before lunch.