What makes a perfect holiday?

Monday, 9 February 2009 09:44

Airport nightmares, horrible hotels, crowded beaches, family arguments, soaring costs – holidays are not always the away-from-it-all bliss we hope for. And yet most of us cling to the belief that one day we really will have that "holiday of a lifetime".

But what makes a truly memorable holiday? The age at which you take it may have something to do with it, according to travel operator Kuoni. When it recently asked 1,000 British holidaymakers about their favourite trips, it discovered that more people have their best-ever holiday at 34 than at any other age. As Martin Conway, an expert on memory from the University of Leeds, points out, "Thirty-four is when a lot of people are thinking about 'nesting' so they are either likely to be enjoying those last holidays without children or perhaps taking their young children on a first holiday abroad."

On the other hand, the survey also notes that a third of respondents over 65 had their most memorable holiday in their retirement.

The truth is that a great holiday has nothing to do with age, or even cost, but everything to do with where you go and who you go with. Here, a cross-section of those who responded to the Kuoni survey tell us about the best holidays they have ever had. And, in case their memories inspire you, we have added details of how you can make a similar trip – whether you're 25, 55 or 75.

The Maldives

"It was our last big holiday before my wife and I started trying for kids so we pushed the boat out and went for a one-week holiday at Huvafen Fushi. We decided to go to the Maldives primarily for the diving, which was an amazing experience."
Henry Grafton-Grattan

"We went to the Reethi Beach Resort for our honeymoon. After a hectic six months preparing for our wedding and then the excitement of the day itself, Reethi Beach was the perfect desert island for recharging our batteries."
Tony Mays

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