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Great Britain

More Brits prefer exploring local towns to spending a day at the beach

HOLIDAY HABITS

BRITISH holidaymakers are now more likely to explore the local area than lounge on the beach, according to research.

A survey of 2,000 holidaymakers found more than half look forward to exploring nearby towns, compared to just three in ten who get excited about going for a dip in the ocean.

Half also enjoy trying out the local cuisine when they travel abroad, with 53 per cent looking forward to spending time with family and friends.

And a quarter get excited about unearthing local culture on a guided tour, according to the research commissioned by online car hire service Rentalcars.com.

More than eight in ten go as far to say they get "irritated" by the beach - with other tourists, sand in unusual places and noisy children among some of the most common bugbears.

And one in 20 even find the sea annoying when spending time at the coast.

Nigel Wolstenholme, head of consumer brand at Rentalcars.com, said: “Far from just switching off and stretching out on the sand, this research shows that Brits today are looking for adventures and new experiences on holiday.

“They’re ditching their sun loungers to see new sights, taste new foods and try new things.

“That means getting out and about, whether on foot or on the road, to get under the skin of their destination."

Area 47 is the perfect adventure water park for grown ups with massive slides, diving platforms and even a beach bar

The sand and sea are no longer prime spots for the culture vultures of the UK, and seven in ten are willing to venture an hour or more away from their accommodation to explore their new surroundings.

But not everyone likes to explore, as around one in 20 would rather just stay put in their hotel or resort while nine per cent wouldn't explore anything more than a 10-minute walk away.

The study also found six in ten would go exploring on foot, but in a bid to go further afield more than a third would look at bus or coach travel options.

And 37 per cent would want the ultimate freedom by driving themselves to new places.

More than a fifth of those polled admitted they have become more adventurous on holiday in the last three years, and are now more likely to see the sights than indulge in rest and relaxation.

The typical holidaymaker goes away an average of twice a year and just over half of those surveyed, via OnePoll, have been on an all-inclusive vacation.

A quarter agreed holidays with all the trimmings thrown in are great for the kids, but a third prefer to eat out in the local area instead of dining onsite.

And plenty of sightseers are put off all-inclusive holidays because of their rigidness, with a third believing that all-inclusive trips discourage exploration beyond the resort.

It also emerged 16 per cent reckon all-inclusive trips are overpriced and as a result, nearly a fifth would rather stay in a villa or apartment.

Beaches from Mexico down to Miami are facing a seaweed invasion that's ruining the tourist resorts.

But tourists can also be a hazard as one was recently spotted burying a dirty nappy in the sand.

In some areas of the world, it's illegal to take sand or stones from beaches.

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