Vintage Holiday Destinations from Yesteryear

With holidays, as with fashion, times are constantly a-changing, with everyone eager to find out what’s the next Big Thing, the up-and-coming and the one-to-watch. And like with fashion, to get ahead of the curve it’s always worth having a look back at previous trends too, vintage destinations if you will, to uncover hidden or forgotten gems.

Holiday Like It’s…the 1950s

Lourdes cathedral and riverside
Andy Hay

The 1950s saw the very start of UK holidaymakers taking an aeroplane to go on holiday, although it was certainly only for the wealthy. This opened up several destinations in Europe and even beyond. One of the most popular was Lourdes in France, way before Madonna gave her daughter the same name. Today it’s most often associated with religious pilgrimage and indeed many visitors may have had this as their objective too. There’s much more to the area though, with great access to the Pyrenees, delicious food and wine, a Medieval fortress and of course – that quintessential French town feel.

Holiday Like It’s…the 1960s

Longleat Center Parcs lake

Most normal families in the 1960s stayed in the UK for their annual holiday, with holiday camps the norm – there were over 100 at the peak of their popularity. And they are still a great bet for a cheap holiday today, although there aren’t quite as many Butlins holiday parks around anymore. The focus these days is on family activities rather than entertainment productions, so you can expect water parks, archery, tree-top courses, canoeing and much more besides.

Holiday Like It’s…the 1970s

Cycle in front of Zell Am See with Mountain Backdrop
matt hutchinson

In the 1970s Spain shot up in the popularity stakes, with more and more people flying over, but Spain, like the Little Black Dress, never goes out of fashion. Also popular were lakeside resorts in Austria and Switzerland. Try Bregenz or Zell-Am-See for sunbathing and lake swimming with a healthy side of mountain air, charming little towns and stunning views. Top tip: it’s easy to get cheap holidays staying in ski resorts during the summer, and you’ll have miles of gorgeous trails to explore on foot or by bike.

Holiday Like It’s…the 1980s

Miami Beach
Ricmayar Photography(Thanks Everyone!!!!)

If you found yourself on the wealthy side of the fence in the 1980s then the USA was the go-to destination. Celebrity culture was really starting to take off, so holidays to the celeb-endorsed hotspot of Miami were all the rage if you had the cash to splash. It’s lost a little of its star status these days, but we can’t imagine its Art Deco buildings, glorious beaches, palm tree-fringed drives and sunny weather ever truly going out of style!

Holiday Like It’s…the 1990s

View from Rock of Gibraltar

Gibraltar may seem like a quaint outpost of the UK to you and me, but in the 1990s it was a popular destination for its mix of Anglo-centric shops, beautiful weather and the possibility of day trips to the exotic Tangier in Morocco. This ferry no longer runs, but Gibraltar is a fascinating place for a holiday – complete with home comforts such as sandwiches from Marks and Spencer! You can see Africa in good weather, meet wild monkeys, relax by the sea or go on a dolphin safari! And all this without losing any value from the pound – you can use your normal money here, although any Gibraltar pounds you get will have to be exchanged before you return as you can’t use them in the UK.

Holiday Like It’s…the 2000s

Neuschwanstein Castle
Nite Dan – Enjoypixel

The Noughties are not that long ago, are they? But still, a little nostalgia has already set in. The trend for taking your holiday at a music festival really kicked off in this decade, and as sales of Glastonbury tickets show, it’s showing no sign of stopping. Cheap holidays to Spain, were, as ever in vogue, and Turkey started its road to becoming the successful hotspot it is today. It seems only Germany has been forgotten. Featuring beautiful cities, gorgeous lakeside resorts and more historical castles than you can count, if you’re weary of the new it’s certainly not lost any of its old-time charm. Plus, fewer tourists mean cheaper hotels for you!