Sporting Holidays: are they on the rise?By Lauren Sutton
Almost everybody likes to take a holiday each year but they tend to have very different ideas of what they expect from their break away. While some people like to head to the beach for a quiet week of pure relaxation, others like to head to cities for shopping and sightseeing. However, there may be an increase in the number of people taking sporting holidays as well. But is there really enough to call it a resurgence?
It has long been the accepted standard that people head on holiday to relax. Even those who work out at the gym religiously five days a week have a tendency to put their exercise on hold while they're on holiday. Heading somewhere with better weather than what home can offer is also the popular choice for many holidaymakers.
The general idea seems to be to visit a beach and sit in the sun for a week, eating a bit too much, enjoying a few cocktails and not doing too much of anything. Of course, there are those who prefer something a bit more active and this might be overtaking the traditional beach holiday as a type of break.
After British success at London 2012 and the Tour de France, it seems that Brits are keen to get into sports. Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee became the poster boys for the triathlon after taking home gold and bronze medals respectively at the 2012 Olympics. As a consequence, it would appear that the general public is keen to get in on the action themselves. Triathlon holidays are becoming more popular, with companies increasing the number of these types of holidays due to strong demand.
Skiing has long been a popular option for holidaymakers who fancy something a bit different to the sunshine. On top of that, it is often a great choice for those who are looking for a break in the middle of the winter. Rather than having to head a long way south to get some hot weather, they can simply head over to France and spend a week in one of the many ski resorts there.
Obviously, a summer holiday to a luxury beach resort isn't for everyone but that doesn't necessarily mean sporting holidays will become the most popular choice for holidaymakers. One of the key problems is the amount of money it costs to have all of the equipment for this type of holiday. Wetsuits, footwear and other equipment can soon start to add up, rapidly pushing up the total cost of the holiday.
Many people try to save money on their holidays by booking last minute or cutting back on certain things when they are there but this isn't really an option with a sports-oriented one. On top of these costs, there is also the risk that you need to get a more comprehensive travel insurance policy. If you plan on doing extreme sports in particular, you will need to carefully read through your policy to ensure you are covered for every activity you wish to take part in, otherwise you could find yourself landed with a rather expensive bill should anything go wrong.
Lauren Sutton is a brand journalist and avid traveller who writes this post for award-winning sports insurer Holidaysafe.co.uk.
For information about places you can go to do (extreme or not so extreme) sports, have a look at The Gap Year Travel Guide site or pick up a copy of The Gap Year Travel Guide 2014 - available in April!