Short and sharp becomes holiday trend

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Alice and Dan Woods are joining a growing number of Bay residents choosing to holiday differently this summer.

The Pillans Point couple are opting to take a series of mini-breaks throughout the summer rather than a traditional single long holiday.

Tourism insiders say long weekends and breaks of three or four days are a style of holiday growing in popularity nationwide.

For the Woods, the weather is a major factor in their plans to take several short trips in their caravan this summer.

"If you take a long break, you pin all your hopes of fine weather on one or two weeks," Mrs Woods, 37, says.

"It's easier to do long weekends because if one isn't so good, then the next one will be."

Mr Woods, an IT consultant, says a long holiday also has the disadvantage of feeling like your summer is over once the holiday is done.

"You're back into the monotony of week after week of work," the 41-year-old said.

He said shorter breaks extended the holiday time he and his sales consultant wife got to spend with their 5-year-old daughter, Olivia.

"It's probably beneficial to the employer [for the employee] not to take a big block of leave too," he added.

Mrs Woods said the cost of holidays could be spread over summer, and her family could be more spontaneous and discover more destinations.

"For us in the caravan now, it's nice to have a few days somewhere and not get bored with it."

Short holidays have emerged as a trend in the past 18 months to two years, according to the Holiday Parks Association of New Zealand.

Chief executive Fergus Brown said weather was the driver for people pursuing this option.

"They don't want to put all their eggs in one basket. They want to spread the risk."

The Motel Association of New Zealand does not believe the traditional long summer holiday is lost but agrees there is a definite trend towards people taking lots of little breaks throughout the year.

Chief executive Michael Baines said it was a pattern not seen since 2007 and reflected people's reduced debt levels and comfort with the economy.

Elizabeth Cafe owner Annemarie Cambie is a fan of short breaks, saying it is hard for her and chef husband Andrew Targett to leave their thriving business for a long holiday.

"A mini-break is like a power nap," she said. "It's not for long but it's amazing how refreshed you feel afterwards."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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