Great escape: A crash course in summer holidays

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

School summer holidays are in full swing - but the Great British exodus to the sun is a relatively new invention

TIMELINE

BOOK IT

1841

Thomas Cook starts the first 'package' tour, taking 500 people on a 12-mile train journey from Leicester to Loughborough

GOLD COAST

1868

Blackpool Central Pier opens as the working classes swap rural camping for the golden age of Victorian seaside holidays seaside breaks.

IT'S CAMP

1936

Butlins holiday camp opens in Skegness complete with 'redcoats' entertainers. Becomes a cheap post-war holiday destination

FURTHER AFIELD

1950

More Britons start to travel abroad, with one million people heading overseas for their vacation by 1950

OLE DAYS

1957

British European Airways launches a service to Valencia, rebranding Alicante as the 'Costa Blanca' to attract British tourists

BRITS ABROAD

1965

Club 18-30 is created to fill night flights to tourist destinations, but it becomes a byword for boozy, sexed-up holidays and everything wrong with "Brits abroad".

NO FRILLS

1995

Easyjet launches, with the low-cost airline and its competitors allowing British tourists to take cheap holidays right across Europe

HOME LAND

2009

The 'Staycation' is popularised during the recession. Trips abroad slump by almost a fifth as people cut back

TAKE OFF

2013

More than 11 million Britons visit Spain each year, but holidaymakers are getting adventurous with trips to the likes of Burma on the up

Profile: The airline CEO

By Holly Williams

If EasyJet's flamboyant founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and arch-rival, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, are the gobby-mouthed Ugly Sisters of budget travel, then Carolyn McCall might just be a fairy godmother. Flown in as chief executive of the then-troubled EasyJet in 2010, McCall was a surprise choice: after a stint as a teacher, she'd worked in the Guardian's commercial area (and later as CEO) and on the boards for Tesco, New Look and Lloyds, but had zero experience in the aviation industry.

But she waved a magic wand over the orange airline, increasing business travellers, improving punctuality, and introducing the hugely popular allocated seating. It's made her a hit in the City, too.

McCall, as a female chief exec, is a rare breed within the FTSE 100, and was awarded an OBE for services to women in business in 2008. Juggling a globe-trotting career with her own family – she has three children – she's spoken out about the need for companies to be more flexible in order to hold on to top female talent after they've started a family.

How to: Board a plane

By Simon Usborne

The modern menace that is the Ryanair gate queue; the even more frantic seat grab; the overflowing overhead lockers: getting on a plane can be a nightmare but there are ways to make flying more bearable...

If you can't avoid the check-in queue, it's expedient to profile those ahead of you. A group of pensioners? You decide. See also: prams or Victoria Beckham-levels of luggage. Speedy group bookings, however, are the best.

Window or aisle? Apart from the obvious considerations – views, bladder size – see also a 2009 Lancet study. It showed those confined to windows had a higher risk of developing blood clots. Pleasingly, there is no advantage in business class.

Which seat? Those afraid of death should take aisle seats at the back, near an exit. A study found crash survivors move on average just five rows before escaping. Those worried about post-flight queues should stay forward.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss