Lifestyle Travel

The return of the 90’s package holiday… and nostalgic destinations to match

lastminute.com reports a surge in ‘build-your-own booking’ package holidays

  • Trend driven by travellers, including millennials, who want tailored experiences in 90’s destinations
  • The popularity of TV shows such as Benidorm and Celebrity Love Island fuelling interest again in popular resorts

Dig out the boom boxes, tie-dye t-shirts, jelly sandals and bum bags and prepare for a 90’s style holiday, back when all your cares and woes were left on the runway and the Vengaboys were telling you “we’re gonna have a party …. in the Mediterranean Sea.”

While the Vengaboys are yet to launch a Steps-style comeback in 2018, the trend in beach-based TV shows, such as Ex on the Beach (filmed on the Costa del Sol in 2018), Benidorm, Love Island and 5* Hotel etc has also undoubtedly contributed to renewed interest in nostalgic beach resorts in the Spanish Costa’s, Greek Islands and Algarve regions of Portugal. This is amplified by a recent WTM survey which states that 1 in 10 people now book holidays based on TV shows.

Which means the much-maligned “package holiday” is enjoying an unexpected renaissance and holiday destinations that were popular in the 1990’s are making a strong comeback. According to data released by lastminute.com, bookings of package holidays surged 28% in the UK in 2017 compared to 2016, and this trend has continued into 2018, with package holiday bookings growing a rapid 38% in January and February compared to last year.

And following a period of dwindling popularity, due to their ‘Brits Abroad’ connotations, these much-loved beach resorts are now coming back bigger and better than ever, with some of the world’s leading hotel chains opening there.

According to booking statistics, lastminute.com can reveal that the Top 10 most popular destinations this summer are:

  1. Benidorm (Spain)
  2. Albufeira (Portugal)
  3. Nice (France)
  4. Magaluf (Majorca)
  5. San Antonio de Portmany (Ibiza)
  6. Playa Blanca (Lanzarote)
  7. Alcudia (Majorca)
  8. Torremolinos (Spain)
  9. Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife)
  10. Palmanova (Majorca)

Back in 1998 it was all about simplicity, but now as the iconic brand celebrates their 20th birthday  the package holidays of 2018 are all about flexibility – giving customers the chance to build tailored packages of flights, hotels and experiences that suit their tastes.

Reigo Eljas, Country Director for lastminute.com, explains more: “For many people, the term package holiday evokes a bygone era of prescriptive – and dull – holidaymaking. And back in 1998, when we disrupted the travel industry, booking these destinations online was very much a novelty.  Now the package holiday of 2018 is all about customers picking the perfect holiday components for them by allowing them to package up their choice of flight or train with car and hotel to fit the times and places they want to visit, creating the ultimate flexibility to meet the needs of savvy holiday makers. The fact they can take control over their holidays gives everyone the chance to have personalised experiences, be financially protected and save money in the process.”

While lastminute.com’s official birthday isn’t until September 20th, 2018, they’ve never really followed the rules, so the celebrations have started early, with special competitions and exclusive deals from travel partners, formed over the last two decades, availablenow.

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