The weekend break is a tradition peculiar to specific strata of British society – namely couples who don’t have children. Or, rather, couples who may or may not have children, but who have left those children, if they have them, in the tender care of grandparents while they go away for a well-earned recuperation.
Grandparents themselves, an increasingly active, younger and more affluent bunch these days, also take advantage of the weekend break to get a change of scenery and to enjoy their new lives without the children at home – children who, presumably, are now off having children of their own.
Either way, the demographic is generally a clear cut one. There are weekend breaksand there are weekend breaks – but they are almost all, to a one, attended by people who have no immediate obligations to look after kids.
The elements that make up a weekend break go some way towards defining it. By definition, for example, the weekend getaway is a holiday of absolute convenience, where nothing is left to chance and the majority of the stay is mapped out in advance. That means quick convenient travel and access to a hotel in a central location; a hotel from whence the travelling person or persons may easily enjoy the delights of the city that he or she has booked his or her holiday in.
The majority of weekend breaks are taken in cities, for the same reasons of convenience: the city tends to have most things on the doorstep of the traveller, provided he or she has done his or her research and is staying in the right part of town. With good access to the entertainment and attractions of the district in question, the holidaying person or couple will be spoiled for choice without having to spoil his or her stay with long bus and train rides, both of which clearly eat into the fabric of the weekend.
A weekend, of course, is not a long event. So every second counts and location is clearly everything. Some weekend breaks may even be taken specifically for the qualities of the hotel in question, which is either advertised as or known to be a place where a person can enjoy many of the most important qualities of the break – intimacy; good food; pampering; and relaxation – without even having to step outside.
In short, the weekend break is a specific kind of holiday requiring a specific kind of planning. From the moment that a person puts his or her car in at the Manchester airport location of his or her choice, to the moment that he or she comes back to that car, he or she is looking for convenience and relaxation alone. He or she wants to go from the destination airport to the hotel with ease; and ether stay in that hotel, or visit the surrounding area, without any hassle and with no real loss of time.
Choosing the proper location of the hotel is therefore one of the most important parts of the weekend break. There’s no point, after all, in arranging for a nice relaxing weekend in the city only to find that you’ve wound up in the periphery of the airport, with no attractions close by and nothing particular to recommend the hotel itself to you. Choice is important – information is key.
Helga Wertemburger is a travel writer. She has used www.aph.com to research the destinations she writes about.