The British holiday traditions that could soon be lost to history

    • Top 10 vanishing holiday customs of Brits revealed, including the traditional postcard, browsing through travel brochures and holiday slideshows
    • Holidaymakers more active than ever, with over half of Brits preferring activity-based holidays
    • Over a tenth have tried out novelty sports such as zorbing or segwaying, and 8% now take part in extreme sports such as sky-diving or bungee jumping while on holiday

Sending postcards, two-week breaks and packing home comforts are three of the traditional British holiday customs which may soon be consigned to the annals of history, according to a new study released today.

The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned by to find out how holiday-making both at home and abroad has evolved over the last 30 years.

Results show that once common rituals such as sending postcards (78%) or packing tea bags and other food home comforts (21%) are dying out, having been replaced with texting holiday updates (35%) and eating only local cuisine (63%).

 Then: Those Dying OutNow: Replaced With
1Sending postcards (78%)Emailing / texting updates to family and friends while still on holiday (35%)
2Taking travellers cheques (57%)Taking spending money out of an ATM when abroad (32%)
3Perusing travel brochures from the travel agent (50%)Doing holiday research by reading online travelogues and reviews (45%)
4The post-holiday slideshow/ printed photo album (40%)Uploading photos and videos to social media whilst still on holiday (22%)
5Using baby oil or low-factor sun cream (and getting burnt) (35%)Using high-factor sun cream (55%)
6Taking off 2 weeks for one main holiday (33%)Going on multiple long weekends/short breaks abroad (32%)
7Clapping when the plane lands (33%)Keeping our headphone in from the moment the plane takes off to when it lands (9%)
8Buying over-sized novelty souvenirs/ novelty booze (30%)Packing efficiently so we don’t pay luggage excess (51%)
9Carrying money in a concealed bum bag (27%)Carrying credit/debit cards, and a little cash (33%)
10Packing 3 x as many clothes as we need (23%)Travelling light with hand luggage only (21%)

Also featuring on the list of rituals we think are dying out include seeking out the local British-inspired café or pub (18%) and saving all our paper travel tickets throughout the trip (20%).

It’s not just vacation traditions while abroad that are vanishing – notable rituals from the British seaside holiday are also dying out, as a third (33%) admit that using a beach hut would be the least likely thing they would do if holidaying on the British coast; and 23% say they would avoid amusement arcades altogether!

Top 5 British Seaside Holiday Traditions that are dying out

      1. Sending ‘saucy’ postcards (66%)
      2. Watching Punch and Judy/variety shows and taking donkey rides (53%)
      3. Buying sticks of rock as souvenirs (50%)
      4. Navigating the route with an A3 map book (43%)
      5. Watching an ‘end of the pier’ comedy show (42%)

The study also reveals that unlike our parent’s generation, modern holidaymakers are more concerned with keeping active when abroad rather than sightseeing or relaxing with a book. An impressive 53% of us prefer to book in an activity whilst on holiday, with over a third (35%) of respondents enjoying a walking or hiking holiday, compared to just a quarter (26%) 10 years ago. 8% of Brits now take part in extreme sports such as sky-diving or bungee jumping while on holiday, over a tenth (11%) have tried out novelty activities such as zorbing or segwaying, and a further 27% take part in adventure sports such as scuba diving, surfing and abseiling.

The research also shows a significant difference in our yearly holiday routine. 10 years ago, the majority of people (38%) would take one main two-week holiday abroad, whereas modern vacation routines show a much more fleeting approach, with Brits most regularly going on a mix of one week holidays and shorter breaks (41%).

In fact, modern travellers are now more likely to venture abroad, with 24% of Brits revealing their top holiday destination in 2014 was Spain, whereas 30 years ago, over a quarter of Brits (26%) were more likely to remain in the UK for a ‘staycation’.

Tom Sainsbury, Marketing Director at Teletext Holidays, says “The world has changed so much in the last 30 years, with everything from advances in technology to increased work opportunities – it’s no wonder that our travel traditions have also had to evolve along with us! We’ve also seen a big rise in the amount of holidays people take each year, and the number of countries they visit – alongside Spain as the most popular modern holiday destination, more exotic countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Turkey now feature highly on the ‘most-visited’ list.

Notes to Editors: 2,000 British adults were surveyed in July 2015 by OnePoll.