24 May 2012
Too scared to explore?
Imagine the scenario – you pick your perfect holiday, look forward to getting away, arrive in an exciting new country… and then never actually leave your hotel complex because you’re too nervous to step outside. How depressing.
I’ve landed in unfamiliar cities and had moments of feeling overwhelmed – I don’t know where anything is, I’m tired, I feel vulnerable. But after a good night’s sleep, or a bit of time with a map, I always venture out, and I never regret it.
But more than one in 10 people actually said they would fear for their safety if they left their resort, in a new study from Eurocamp. Where are these people travelling to? Afghanistan? Around a fifth never leave the hotel’s grounds at all, a timid third rarely venture out, and 22% confessed they just didn’t have the confidence to explore.
Another third were prepared to travel, but only up to 10 miles away. Fine if your hotel’s a two minute walk from all the sights, but unless it’s a city break, I’m willing to bet you’re missing out. Four in 10 British tourists agreed, admitting they never got a true feel for the destination as they didn’t get off the beaten track, and 18% said they felt bad when they got back home without any more idea of the country’s culture and traditions.
And families were most likely to hang around the pool for the whole break. It hardly seems the right way to introduce kids to travel – I’m not arguing against some time chilling out, and hitting the pool, but surely one reason to go abroad with children is to show them some more of the world.
Teaching them that anything apart from a sanitised Western-style experience is unpleasant or actively dangerous, is just heart-breaking.