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Spain 'remains top destination' for British families

Holidays in Spain remain particularly popular among British families despite the relative strength of the euro against the pound, it has been claimed.

According to Elizabeth Young, editor of the guide publication Travel for Kids, families from the UK are keen to holiday in a single location each year with Spain undoubtedly among their favourites.

Explaining why so many families from the UK set off for holidays in Spain and other parts of Europe each year, Ms Young suggests that it is straightforward and relatively inexpensive to do so.

"With inexpensive airlines, families can plan a weekend in Barcelona, for example, more easily than having to drive to the beach in the UK," she said.

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Kids get golf lessons during their holidays

A number of children from South Wales are being taught how to play golf this summer as part of their holiday activities.

A scheme designed to get youngsters in the Neath and Port Talbot areas playing sports and staying active is underway and is being organised by the George Best Foundation and supported by the Ryder Cup.

The 70 or so children involved, who are aged between seven and 15, have been instructed on some of the basic shots in golf and it is hoped that they will get a taste for the game and look to hone their skills.

A local representative of the foundation behind the scheme Pat Lyons told the Port Talbot Guardian: "Their first day saw them fire shots towards a hole 40 yards away with the nearest players getting towels and shirts as prizes.

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Irish making more trips to Europe

Irish consumers have been taking more and more trips to Europe in recent years, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

During the first three months of this year, close to 960,000 journeys were made between Ireland and parts of Europe outside the UK, which was an increase of almost 180,000 from two years ago.

Other areas of the world are also becoming increasingly popular with Irish tourists, while holidays in Spain are proving to be particularly well liked in the republic.

Indeed, holidays to Spain were the most common kind of overseas break taken by people from Ireland in the first quarter of this year, with the exception of the UK, the CSO has revealed.

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Holidays spending habits highlighted

A report from the Cater Allen Private Bank has highlighted some of the spending habits among British holidaymakers.

Over the course of a year, British tourists spend a collective total of close to £64 billion and for almost one-third of people their holiday expenses account for ten per cent or more of their annual budget.

There are plenty of good deals available on holidays to Spain and to the La Manga Club and Britons tend to be happy enough to splash the cash when it comes to travelling to their favourite sun-drenched destinations.

On a regional basis, people living in the south-east of England are among the biggest holiday spenders, while those in Wales generally keep a tighter reign on their purse strings, Cater Allen reports.

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Holidays 'are a necessity'

Holidays in Spain or in other parts of the world tend to be viewed by British consumers as a necessity and not a luxury, one expert has asserted.

With this in mind, many people have already planned and booked their 2009 getaway despite the financial constraints millions of families in Britain are feeling, suggests Ian Bradley, a spokesperson for the Association Independent Tour Operators.

Tennis holidays in La Manga and trips to the southern Mediterranean in general are among those being booked by British tourists and the aim for many is to save regularly to make sure their holiday plans become a reality.

"People are deciding that they are going to take their holiday next year and want to budget for it at the moment - book it now and save up in the meantime," explained Mr Bradley.

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Spanish Villas

Villa rentals in Spain are not, as it is sometimes believed, the preserve of older couples who are veterans when it comes to holidays in Spain. Nor are they favoured only by families with children - although indeed this demographic undoubtedly accounts for a large portion of the Spanish villa rental market.

Indeed Spanish holiday villas are becoming an increasingly viable option for all types of holidaymakers, in particular those travelling from Britain who are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch.

Spanish holiday villas are also popular properties to rent for those who are perhaps not feeling the effects of the credit crunch as much as others, such as celebrities.

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Rail holiday bookings on the rise

An increasing number of British consumers are planning to travel by train to their holiday destinations, new research suggests.

The desire to save money and to travel in a more environmentally friendly manner than flying is believed to be behind the growing trend towards rail travel.

According to tour operator Travelsphere, next year will see a dramatic increase in the number of Britons getting to their holiday homes or hotel rooms by train.

As with the British population as a whole, holidays in Spain are notably popular with people who choose to make rail rather than plane journeys.

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Eco worries 'not affecting travel plans'

Concerns about the environment are not having an effect on the travel plans of most people from the UK, according to a recent poll.

Thousands of Britons enjoy their holidays in Spain each year and their travel habits are not being adjusted as a result of concerns about the contributions their journeys could be making to carbon emissions.

Most people are worried by the prospect of climate change but even so-called green taxes designed to deter travellers would be unlikely to deter Britons from taking their families on Spanish holidays.

The reason is that such trips are a major priority for consumers across the country, according to Savillis the firm behind the research.

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Brits need to 'learn how to relax'

British holidaymakers need to learn how to relax, according to a recent study.

Figures compiled by the mobile home supplier Keycamp have suggested that many people from the UK find it very difficult to unwind on holiday in Spain or elsewhere in Europe.

For many British holidaymakers the lack of relaxation stems from financial problems back in the UK and close to one-quarter of people find it impossible to switch off while taking a break.

Taking a relaxing break in a Spanish villa is enough for many Britons to unwind and forget their troubles but work-related issues tend to play on the mind of thousands of stressed out professionals.

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Short breaks becoming more popular

British tourists are increasingly taking short breaks to Spain and to other parts of Europe and the world, it has been suggested.

More and more people are looking to "squeeze in" holidays that do not require them to spend lengthy periods away from their workplaces, according to Ian Bradley from the Association of Independent Travel Operators (AITO).

Given the relatively proximity, European destinations are proving popular for these purposes and the popularity of adventure and activity holidays in Spain is growing, Mr Bradley suggests.

Explaining why short breaks are becoming more common among British consumers, he said: "You don't have to take three weeks off to do an adventure holiday or an activity holiday you can do it pretty quickly without taking too much time off work.

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