Holidaying like the French


August is here already... The juillettistes – those who like to take time off in July – have already packed up to head home, while the aoûtiens, who prefer August, are getting ready to enjoy their holiday destinations at long last. For many people, summer is an opportunity to spend time with their families and leave everyday cares behind. France, which is one of the world’s leading nations for tourism, is the perfect destination for those who want to take French lessons or simply discover the country.

The French, France and holidaying abroad

But what kinds of holiday do French people themselves like to take? Well, 80% of French people prefer to spend their summer break in France, confirming the commonly held notion that they are not keen on long journeys. This might seem strange to those of you who are used to travelling great distances to learn French in France. Is it a sign of chauvinism or should we understand it as a decision imposed by economic constraints? Regardless, almost 65% of French people head off on holiday for an average of two weeks during the summer. The french seaside continues to be their favourite destination, winning out over the mountains or countryside.

Some popular international destinations

Mediterranean countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece have long been hugely popular. Next in line are Asian destinations, with a preference for Thailand and Vietnam. Many people in France also like to visit Tunisia and Morocco. Choosing Spain or the Balearics, for example, guarantees sunshine at an affordable price. One other interesting fact to note is that it is mostly those who live in Paris and the surrounding area that opt to spend their holidays outside the country.

Changing trends

The French don’t mess around when it comes to holidays, and football’s not the only discipline in which we’re world champions! We’re also the overall winners with nearly five weeks of holiday per year! It all began in 1936 with the introduction of paid leave. Back then, all workers got was two weeks’ rest a year, but even this was a huge step forward... Finally, a new development in recent years has been the expansion of e-tourism, use of the Internet and the boom in low-cost holiday companies, with 72% of French people going online before they travel to compare prices, check customer reviews, or find a private home to rent.

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