Daney Parker, Editor, PRmoment.com
After the last two years’ myriad travel restrictions thanks to Covid, many PR folk are desperate to make up for lost time this summer. So, undaunted by the threat of flight cancellations and transport strikes (not to mention rising rates of Covid infection), here are some of their exciting plans to jetset abroad, combined with plans to make the most of what the UK has to offer too.
Sophie Moore, senior digital planner at PR agency Bottle: “It seems hard to look back at summer two years ago, when holidays abroad were near enough impossible and none of us we’re dosed up on Covid vaccines. But it did open up opportunities to get creative with summer plans, and as lovers of creative thinking we fully embraced this.
“As for summer 2022, here at Bottle PR, we’re making the most of trips to chase the sun (albeit the threat of airport delays), as we’re off on an all office trip to Morocco, for some Bottle-bonding and cultural inspiration. We do a summer school every year, but since we’ve all been slightly UK confined over the past two years, we’re making the most of this year’s trip.
“As for me, whether my holiday is abroad or in the UK, what’s important is having time to switch off, some outdoor space and time with my loved ones. The pandemic hasn’t squashed my holiday spirit that much.”
… France and the UK
Catherine Warrilow, managing director of daysout.com: “Our summer holidays (bookings) are nearing on feeling like a pre-Covid summer.
“We’re off to France late August on the tunnel to stay on a family holiday park - a trip that was originally booked for 2020, then 2021… We literally booked it three days before France shut down.
“Other than that, summer 2022 is all about day tripping and the great British staycation - we’re definitely part of the trend for rediscovering what’s on your doorstep which not only helps the UK tourism economy and saves costs when it comes to travel and accommodation - not to mention petrol!”
Lindsay Ephgrave, founder and CEO of agency Announce PR: “As a working mum and owner of a PR agency, the summer holidays for me stretch across six weeks and mean lots of juggling! In July I’ll be spending two weeks in Tenerife with the family and then it’s business as usual, literally, albeit with the odd day here and there doing something fun with the kids, particularly if the weather is playing ball.
“And it wouldn’t be summer without some live outdoor music, so I also have plans to see Pete Tong at Newmarket Races and support a festival client DSCNNCT with its event in September.
“Sprinkled with lots of BBQs, evening dog walks in our local countryside, and reading in the sun in the garden, hopefully that’s my summer sorted, and a very different summer to when Covid was in full swing.“
Leszek, head of marketing at Passport Photo Online: “I'm going to Portugal this summer. My holidays will definitely be different than pre-Covid because a lot of things have changed since then (such as social distancing measures and travel restrictions).
“I think it will be interesting to see how the country is doing since it's one of the most affected by Covid in Europe. I'm also curious to see how people are coping and if there are any major differences from when I was last there in the winter.”
Emily Keogh, co-founder of agency Palm PR: “We’ve just launched remote working at Palm, so I’ll be working from Europe on and off throughout July and August. It’s a way to cultivate curiosity, creativity and be inspired by new environments.
“I’ll spend a lot of time on the cosmopolitan Greek island of Hydra. It’s the perfect antidote to the city, with no cars (only horse-drawn carts) and it is small enough to get around easily. There’s a great food and drink scene there also, which is super important to me.”
Jasmine McKenzie, marketing manager at agency Absolute Digital Media: “Summer is going to be so different this year, but in a good way. After spending far too much time in the UK, I’m pleased to be working from Spain for the next few months, which is all down to Absolute Digital Media’s perk of being able to work from anywhere in Europe. It’s refreshing to not only work somewhere completely different, but be able to take advantage of that ‘holiday’ lifestyle for a prolonged period without maxing out your annual leave allowance. It really is a work/ life balance dream!”
Carolyn Hughes, freelance PR consultant, Breathe PR: “I’ve just spent two weeks in Mallorca, which is the first time we’ve been abroad in five years and it’s been many years since I spent two weeks abroad. It was everything I needed it to be - sun, swimming, culture, fun, relaxing.
"As a freelancer, I can never 100% switch off and walk away, but just knowing I am available via the powers of iPhone and broadband means it’s not a huge worry.
"As I relaxed and switched off, I could actually feel my imagination and creativity coming back to me. The pandemic years were tough for everyone, with work worries, the horrors of home schooling and concerns about family and friends.
"This summer is important for people to feel a little bit of normality if they can and make sure any time off is restorative."
Alice Price, junior PR and content executive at agency Rewind Creative: “After two to three years of disastrous summer plans due to Covid, I'm actually looking forward to getting away for a bit.
“I've never been abroad before, I know! Shock, horror, 22 and yet to set foot in an airport. But this year I've been able to plan a trip to Croatia for two weeks. I'd be lying if I said I'm not majorly excited; discovering new places, and seeing different cultures and ways of life has always been something I've wanted to do more, and this year that's happening. Usually I'm an avid heat hater (give me winter any day), but I’m looking forward to the break, to escape the hectic busyness for a while.”
… New York
Gareth Waters, co-director of marketing agency Alliance: “I’ve been fortunate to have already been abroad this summer for a family holiday, and I’m due to fly to New York in July for a city break. It feels as if this year we’re set to put the fear of Covid firmly behind us and push forward with our travel plans, some of which have been put on hold for nearly three years.
“Judging by current events in the travel industry and from recent experience, the biggest disruption to our summer we seem to be facing is the threat of cancellation to our flights and long delays in the airport due to staff shortages.”
… South West of England
Sarah Lloyd, founder of agency Indigo Soul PR: “I am spending the summer holidays in true 1980s style. I am gifting myself three solid weeks holiday this year, it feels quite decadent. We are touring the South West of England, staying in holiday camps and campsites. Now my girls are bigger we can spend more time exploring the countryside being out in nature. Last year, I jumped around a week off here, working, and juggling kids and my business, not relaxing at all and narrowly missing burnout. So, I’ve started to save up so I can afford to take the time, and hired support to keep things ticking over and to give me the space I need to be present with the kids mentally, physically and emotionally.”
… Unknown (too many options!)
Ben Bucknill, account manager at agency Aduro Communications: “The summer has officially begun here in London and I’m excited for our first proper one for what feels like forever. Across our travel clients, notably Tourism Seychelles, we’ve already seen increases in bookings over the last few months, so there’s definitely an appetite for some overseas adventure. Closer to home, we’re launching campaigns for domestic tourism brands like Forest Holidays to help maintain the trend for UK-based summer staycations. Personally, after a few years of uncertainty, I’m more than ready to get my suitcase packed and get away this summer, no matter how far or close.”
Natalia Brzezinska, marketing and outreach manager at PhotoAiD: “The pandemic had been a game-changer in terms of holiday planning in the past and now that there’s a chance of enjoying normal summer vacations, I’m set on taking full advantage. In fact, I imagine a lot of people have similar ideas and are desperate for a (finally) regular summer holiday.
“I’ve got a few trips on my mind already, and there’s no shortage of plans that went unfulfilled within the last two years. We all need a regular summer holiday, and I’m no exception. I just need to take a good look at the calendar and schedule two or three one-week trips, and once that’s taken care of, It’s go time. After all, variety is the spice of life.”
If you haven’t quite decided where you are going yet, we hope the above will inspire you (or not, if you wish to avoid other PRs!).
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