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By: Robin Richmond
When most British holidaymakers think of a weekend break abroad, they tend to think of a city break. Indeed, city breaks have rapidly become one of the most popular short holiday choices for the British public. Cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona are busy throughout the year with Brits enjoying a little break from their everyday lives. To many the thought of going on a beach holiday for a short break would break with tradition, however growing numbers of savvy travellers are discovering the joys of being in work one minute and then basking on a sun kissed beach a couple of hours later...

Traditionally, the British are very predictable when it comes to holidaymaking. Every year literally thousands of people take there usual two weeks off to find some sunshine in Spain, Greece or Florida. Beach holidays are seen as the main annual break where people can switch off for a fortnight, sit in the sun and unwind. Long weekend's and shorter breaks throughout the year usually involve visiting a hotel in the UK or a perhaps a city break abroad. However, forward thinking companies such as"> have started to challenge these traditions and open up UK consumers to the idea of beach breaks that can be enjoyed over a shorter period of time.

Perhaps one of the main reasons why such breaks are becoming more accessible are the discount airlines such as"> or"> offering cheap return flights to popular sunshine resorts such as Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Cyprus. Combining these discount flights with the abundance of hotel and accommodation deals that are on offer means that beach breaks are becoming increasingly competitive.

Popular Destinations

Until the escalation of the problems in the Middle East, Dubai was seeing year on year increases in volumes of tourists. Since 2003 numbers have dropped slightly but in reality Dubai is an extremely safe destination - with a host of beautiful beach resorts available to the avid sun seeker. The consistent climate means that sunshine is guaranteed all year round - with only five days of rainfall expected in the average year. However, beware - in the summer months the heat can be unbearable and temperatures can sore to the high forties!

Slightly closer to home the Canary Islands have always been a popular destination for the British public. Set off the coast of West Africa the archipelago enjoys a warm sunshine all year round, duty free prices and are home to some of the best beaches in the world. Gran Canaria is the perfect getaway for a beach break. Almost 60 of the 236 kilometres of the islands coastline consist of beaches - many of which are famed for their white sands, transparent water and cleanliness - a paradise only a short flight away from the UK.

Similarly to Gran Canaria, with its mild climate and wondrous scenery, Majorca has long been a favourite with the British holiday makers. The largest of the Beleric Islands, Majorca offers everything that the Brits look for in a traditional beach holiday - sun, beaches and nightlife. As a general rule the beach resorts on the south of the island - such as Magaluf - are more lively and suited to the younger crowd. However, island has something to offer everyone and the relatively short flight mean it is an ideal venue for a short beach break.

Overall, taking 2-3 days to top up your tan is becoming easier to do for the UK traveller and the appeal of being on a beach in an exotic location a matter of hours after leaving your work is strong. All you need to do is pick your destination, get your hotel and make the last crucial decision...factor 8 or 9?
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