Will you be flashing your white bits this summer?

I recently came across an article on the Travel Weekly website. Well actually, it rather stood out to my selective eyesight when I saw the title, ‘Hottest ever’ summer could hit trade’. I think everyone across the UK is wishing the summer here. And I know full well that I am. There’s only so much snow I can take in one year – and I know what people say when it feels like this winter has gone on forever!

According to Positive Weather Solutions (PWS), this summer is going to break records. And could well be the hottest summer since 1976 – hooray! But are the predictions just another set of false hope or a string of inaccurate information? I don’t know about you, but the recent lift in temperature has left me feeling a lot more positive, upholding that feeling that summer’s finally on its way. With the clocks going forward and the lighter evenings, it can only get better.

For the travel industry, is this ‘news’ really a threat to sales? Whether you’re optimistic about this year’s British summer, or you’re a pessimist (you’re usually right to be), would it really stop you from taking your annual trip abroad? Last year, the Met Office wrongly predicted a ‘barbecue summer,’ leaving many sun-worshippers feeling particularly anguished. Do you take a holiday to escape the British weather, or do you take a trip to escape the woes of British culture? For me, it’s both. I need to get my dose of sunshine, and a taste of another culture. The daily grind gets a little bit too much and it gets to the point where I need to get away. So, whether it’s going to be a sweltering summer, or an absolute washout, there’s no doubt that I’ll be jetting-off from the UK this year.

Looking at it from a different angle, summer in the UK is obviously the time when we have some of the best weather. We have long autumn and winter months, and our climate doesn’t start to improve until springtime. So, why do most choose to go abroad when our climate is at its warmest? I’m sure many of you, like me, enjoy having a good moan about how cold or how wet it is during winter – so why not escape to a sunnier retreat when we’re feeling at our lowest about the British weather?

Some, that are lucky enough to get away multiple times during the year, may like to spread out their trips. But what about the rest of us who take our only getaway, during the only ‘hot’ period of the year? You could say it’s a ritual, or the ‘common thing’ to do. And I guess, if you tend to take a trip in Europe, the weather only improves more so during the summer months there too. In this case, Europe is the cheaper option, especially if you have a family and you’re tied down to the six weeks’ school summer holidays. You’ll also find that many resorts in Europe close down, particularly the tourist areas which are seasonal. That means you won’t get the atmosphere you’d usually get in the summertime if you go during the winter months. In fact, you may feel slightly deserted!
The Canary Islands, however, are renowned for their all-year-round sun and being particularly close to Africa. So, for a cheaper winter sun getaway, it’s an ideal destination to grab some rays, without having to fork-out on expensive long-haul trips to places like the Dominican Republic or Mexico.

So, would you change the habit of a lifetime and make your escape during the winter? I don’t know about you, but it makes sense to me to take full advantage of the absence of snow and sub-zero temperatures in the UK – even if it’s not the ‘hottest ever summer’.

Published by Ross Barnard on March 30, 2010

summer sunset, used under creative commons licence from laserguided

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