If there’s one time of year when we need rest and relaxation, January is surely it. There’s a reason why, with Christmas over and summer still distant, people traditionally start planning their holidays around this time of year. From a short European city break to long-haul holidays in the sun, the thought of warmer climes or a week off work can help to get us through the short days and slow weeks. At Holiday Discount Centre, we did a bit of investigating to see whether this traditional picture still holds true and, if so, what people are searching for in 2016.

Most Popular January Searches

In line with popular expectations, sun is at the top of the agenda for HDC customers. In fact, almost four-fifths of the searches on our website this January have been for sun holidays, both winter and summer. The second most popular category is long-haul, with Mexico and Florida the top destinations. Interestingly, when we compared the figures with those from January 2015, we noticed an increase in the relative popularity of ski holidays, with holidaymakers apparently looking to make the most of heavy snowfall in the Alps and elsewhere in Europe.


Leaving it Late

Another trend, which may be linked to the jump in ski holiday enquiries, has seen an increase in the number of HDC customers who are looking for a last-minute holiday deal. The number of January searches for holidays in the first quarter of 2016 are up by almost 10% compared to 2015 figures, while searches for the rest of the year have remained relatively steady.  This may also be related, of course, to the increasing affordability of long-haul travel as falling oil prices influence the cost of fuel and flights.


Old Favourites

One thing that hasn’t changed this year is the most popular destinations. Here we can see that the old favourites such as Spain, Greece and Turkey continue to attract the most searches from HDC customers. The warm weather, affordability and variety that these destinations can offer practically guarantee their enduring popularity. The Canary Islands are another seasonal favourite, consistently attracting holidaymakers who are after winter sun, sea and sand.


Whether it’s that people are craving the sun more than ever this year, or just a holiday in general, Google searches for ‘winter sun deals’ have increased by 511% year on year. Whether the intent is to buy a holiday or just wistfully look at the images for destination inspiration, it seems winter 2016 is the time to be searching for those all important sun holidays! In a similar manner, Google searches for ‘long haul holiday deals’ have increased by 325% year on year. We have to admit, here at the HDC office we’ve probably contributed to a high proportion of this search data – both on Google and on our own website. We highly recommend a quick browse as a great 10 minute work break!*

*But take no responsibility for those 10 minutes turning into an hour, or two. 

Have you been thinking about a city break this spring? Or perhaps a long-haul holiday to somewhere more exotic? Follow us over on Instagram for some inspiration! 

Images via Flickr: Calin CheoreanMassmo Relsig, El Coleccionista de Instantes, rjime31