Life is either a daring adventure or nothing
We spend a third of our day working and saving money for the future. But we also deserve a rest now and then, don’t we? Are you one of those people who enjoy a break away whenever they get the chance? Can’t you go ‘x’ months without a short holiday? Then you can count yourself among the 33% of Spaniards for whom travelling is a priority.
Here at Muchosol we include ourselves among that same third of the Spanish population — we believe it’s necessary to travel if we want to discover new cultures and traditions, see wonderful places, and, most importantly, get away from the day-to-day routine and return to our everyday lives with our batteries recharged.
Total travellers: the numbers
The Nielsen consultancy firm researched those areas of our lives that we prioritise, and their findings leave tourism in a very healthy position. The study was carried out last year, between 23 February and 13 March, and over 30 million people, from 60 different countries, took part. Although survey samples from all five continents were analysed, today we particularly want to focus on Spain and the rest of Europe. The results show that almost half of all Spaniards, 44%, believe health to be the most important consideration, followed by 39% who think a productive career is what matters most. And as already mentioned, 33% of Spaniards believe that being able to travel is a basic priority.
But by no means are we the only Europeans to think that way, and in some other countries there is a higher proportion of the population who can’t live without a holiday away somewhere. The Russians occupy the top spot — 37% consider themselves to be fully-fledged holidaymakers. The Dutch are also natural-born tourists, with 36% of people in the Netherlands saying they love to travel. And with 36%, both the Greeks and the Portuguese are ranked higher than the Spanish. Within Spain itself, it’s people from Madrid who are the biggest travellers, followed by the Basques, the Aragonese and those hailing from Navarre. At the other end of the rankings, Balearic and Canary Islanders, along with people from Melilla, show the least interest in travel.
As a matter of interest, the Europeans who place least importance on travel are the Hungarians. They are closely followed by the 21% of Danes, the 23% of Croatians and the 24% of Germans who share their view. Who would have thought that of the last-named nationality? You’ll no doubt be used to seeing a lot of German tourists in different parts of Spain over the summer months. As you can see, enthusiasm for travelling is not linked to geographical location, with those who most like to holiday away from home to be found in both northern and southern regions of Europe.
Travel is synonymous with happiness
Did you know that we’re at our happiest and most excited when we’re getting ready to go away on holiday? Indeed, even more so than when we are on our actual travels. But it’s not the only thing that makes us happy; according to another study, we get more pleasure from travelling than from compulsive buying. The research in question was carried out by San Francisco State University, and it showed that what we really find fulfilling is generating the experiences, memories and images that we can then recall after our travels away. And even though we may think that finding the perfect dress will make us happy, the satisfaction quickly fades, unlike the feelings generated when we go on holiday.
But what is it that makes us happy? Taking our own decisions. We can choose to be alone or to share our time with someone: our friends, our family, our partner, etc. And of course, we can also plan the things we want to do and see while away on holiday, such as enjoying nature, practising our favourite sports, discovering monuments and museums, sharing in cultures and traditions that are new to us, savouring the flavours offered by cuisines that are different to our own, and many other things besides.
What are the things we consider most important for a holiday?
As we’ve already seen, simply having sufficient time and money to enjoy a break away makes us happy, but what are the things we consider most important for a holiday? What aspects do we take into account when it comes to choosing one destination over another? Firstly, visualising the things we want to do on our break, based on whom, if anyone, we are going with (perhaps we’ll be going on our own, or with our partner, friends, family, etc.).
The ‘when’ is also very important with respect to our holidays, because the dates and time of year are decisive factors when choosing one place over another. In truth, it’s the weather more than the time of year that limits our choice because travelling to a coastal destination in the middle of winter is not the same as going there when it’s warm and sunny. Although we can’t always control it, when it comes to choosing the weather, we can let ourselves be influenced by the temperatures that are normally recorded at the time of year and in the destination in question.
And of course, one of the most important factors is the budget we are able set aside for our holiday. In general, we haven’t given up travelling, but we do keep a closer watch on how much we spend on our holidays, and our idea of tourism has changed. Previously, we would choose holiday packages or even let travel agencies arrange our trips for us. But these days we prefer the ‘freedom’ to search, compare and choose, and, moreover, to do so on the Internet, quickly, easily and at any time of day. And today, different languages and even cuisines are some of the aspects that give us least cause for concern because globalisation means that cultural differences and problems in understanding are no longer a hindrance to travel.
Are you among the 33%? Remember that here at Muchosol we would like your top priority to be a holiday away from home, and we want you to be able to get it at the best possible price. So, where’s your next destination going to be?