PR Insight 8 minute read
Daney Parker, Editor, PRmoment.com
Looking for a spring break? We asked PR professionals where they are going, and why, this springtime.
For Laura Sutherland, founder of agency Aura PR, this time of year is perfect for hitting the slopes: “I’m off skiing this week, to Chamonix, France. We tend to book our skiing holiday later in the season when it’s a bit quieter, missing all the school holidays. It’s a good time of year to take a break. January is always a busy month, getting back into the swing of work after the Christmas break and new business is always busy at the start of the year, too, as businesses try to get their own plans in place for the rest of the year.
“If I look at how I split my year up, and when I usually take my holidays, my next holiday isn’t until June, so going skiing now splits the year up nicely. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the sun, in fact, we were in Dubai last October. People often say they’d rather go to the sun than to the Alps, but I get the best of both. It’s great for skiing, but when the sun is out in the mountains, you can’t beat bluebird skies, fresh powder and the fresh air. I won’t lie though, the après ski is just as much fun as skiing!”
For a bargain break, it is hard to beat Vilnius says Howard Robinson, consultant at marketing and public relations consultancy Astute: “We decided a while ago that a couple of short three- or four-day breaks each year would be a good way for us to get away, clear our heads, and hopefully come back with some renewed energy. Keen for us to spend some time somewhere completely different, I opted to take us to Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in the icy blast of February.
“The first point to make is on value for money. Because we went out of peak season, we managed to secure four nights bed and breakfast in an excellent art hotel in the Old City with flights for little more than £230 per person.
“The Old City of Vilnius is picturesque and walkable and offers something for everyone. Art features heavily in the city both in street art, including the now famous Trump kissing Putin mural and in Užupis, a small bohemian self-proclaimed republic located within Vilnius, and home to the artists’ quarter. The city also offers excellent shopping and has an enormous range of outstanding restaurants.”
Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire and fly-drive in USA
It must be exhausting going on as many holidays as Kally Carder, head of campaigns at agency Nobull Communications: “Spring is always a time that my partner and I go away – we love weekends to boutique hotels, in late March we are off to both the Hotel du Vin in Stratford Upon Avon – love this chain as the food and rooms are perfect! And the Fuzzy Duck in Armscote – we find a couple of days and nights away with yummy food and long walks recharges the batteries enough.
“In May we are off to America for two weeks as well. I haven’t had a two-week holiday for 13 years, so I think it will be a shock to the system. We’re doing a fly-drive holiday. First stop Seattle, then Portland (they have a great craft beer scene) then down to Napa Valley for wine tasting (there’s a theme here), San Luis Obispo for mountain walks and beach chill, LA just because it is LA, then over to Pittsburgh to visit friends and last stop NYC! Not sure it’ll be a relaxing break but I’m really excited. May is also good for taking longer holidays because of the bank holiday weekends, you don’t have to take so many holiday days off work.”
A European tour starting in Berlin, Germany
This trip for Ann Mariah Burton, intern, at PR firm Dimoso, starts off as a journey back in time: “When my university and my internship in public relations gave me a week off at the end of March, I had to take advantage. I will first travel to Berlin, Germany to experience the heart of German history and culture. My family emigrated Germany to come to the United States back in the 1800s, so I am looking forward to experiencing the places in which my relatives lived. From Berlin, I am flying to Prague. From Prague, I am traveling to Paris.
“I chose the spring to travel and take off work mostly because of my schedule, but spring is the best time to travel. It is right in between the busy holiday season and the chaos of summer. The weather, fingers crossed, is usually quite nice and the swarms of tourists have not descended upon many popular destinations just yet.”
Music and Paris, what’s not to love? Kara Buffrey, account executive at agency Clearly PR: “There are fewer things I love more than music and travel – so, why not combine both? This weekend I took a chilled-out Eurostar to Paris with two friends to see Bastille live in concert.
“We could have gone to see them in London, but the convenience of hopping on the under-sea train, the allure of French food and the promise of a glass of Bordeaux near the Eiffel Tower was too good to pass up!
“With Sunday to play with too before our evening train home, we made it our mission to do the entire Paris tourist trail in just six hours. Moulin Rouge, the Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame, Musee du Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc De Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. 18,000 steps later our lovely weekend in Paris was over, just in time to get back in the office Monday – although I think I may need another holiday now!”
For those who want to avoid passport control, the UK it is. And for Fiona Nicolson, director at content and communications agency Continuous, Whitstable ticks all the boxes: “I love the seaside, so I am going to Whitstable for my spring break. It’s far enough away, that it feels like a proper holiday, but it’s also just a short drive away, avoiding airport queues. It’s lovely to arrive in time for a lunch of fresh seafood, outside, with a glass of wine – preferably from one of Kent’s lovely vineyards.
“Whitstable is so different from London that the change does me good straightaway. The sea air, beautiful scenery and sunshine (usually) are the perfect combination. I don’t have to be there for long, to feel refreshed and raring to get back to work.
“Also, summer holidays are still a good few months away, which is why it’s so important to take a break now and celebrate the end of winter – assuming the Beast from the East is not planning to have a spring break here again!”
It was important to find the perfect destination to take a toddler for Lucy Werner, founder of PR consultancy The Wern: “I absolutely love my job, but taking regular breaks and having a digital detox is essential for sparking ideas. It’s only by stepping away that I can check back on my goals and plans for the year and give myself space for creativity. I try to make sure I take a substantial (four days minimum) break every quarter and with a looming deadline for my first book manuscript and baby number two, this is my last chance for international sun. I’m going away for five days to a family-friendly hotel in Lisbon, I’ve got a toddler so having something on site to entertain him is an essential. I also wanted a bit of guaranteed blue sky that wasn’t too far and this is a destination that has been on my hit list for a while. Particularly interested in any museum, gallery and toddler-friendly food tips if anyone wants to pass on any notes.”
All these trips sound very exciting. I may be particularly envious of the St Lucia trip, but this is silly considering I myself am heading off to the stunning Isle of Wight! What could be better? Okay, no need to reply to that…