It seems that holidaymakers in Italy have stretched to its limits the notion of the last-minute weekend getaway—even to places as distant as the USA. According to an item in the Italian travel trade journal, Guida Viaggi, the trend is described thus: “More and more holidays organized at the last second and often even for a weekend. From time (it takes) to turn off the computer in one’s office on Friday afternoon, to turn it back on in the morning of the following Monday … And the trend in the last year is affecting the ‘snap-packers’ and ‘five-to-niners,’ or, to put it in Italian, tourists (who) hit-and-run. Those who absolutely do not want to give up a few relaxing days, but who are unable to arrange this well in advance, for lack of time or for risicate (very small) budgets.”
In the last year, according to research conducted by the London-based ICM Unlimited on behalf of Hostelword, this type of bookings grew by 17 percent vs. to the previous twelve months. Such reservations to travel agencies almost always involve an overnight stay from Friday to Sunday night, in places not very far from their place of work, at most cities of neighboring countries, and for the most part, they are agreed to not more than two weeks before departure—sometimes even the day before.
As many as 64 percent of those surveyed admitted that he or she had already made a thought to a new upcoming weekend to enjoy within a few weeks, a kind of long trail of the summer holidays.
Among “hit-and-run” destinations:
—Italy has the destinations most favored with 43 percent of the bookings.
—Second place is tied between France and Spain (18 percent).
—The remainder of the favorites (in order) are Austria (10 percent); Germany and Greece (9 percent); Switzerland and Portugal (7 percent), and Croatia and England (5 percent).
—Among the most popular destinations for hit-and-run holidays is the USA … the only country outside Europe to appear in the top ten, with 7 percent of the bookings.
Twenty-two (22) percent of the snap-packers said they had booked in order to meet new people.
“Try to get the most out of their lives, does not mean certainly stop traveling,” said Otto Rosenberger, chief marketing officer Hostelworld. “And it does not even need to take six months off to discover the world. We are seeing that increase more and more people who decide to take shorter holidays, but more frequently. Managing to wonderfully handle the rest of their lives. Given that, just the journey, it is a fundamental part of their lives. “