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The Rise and Rise of ‘Coolcationing’

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A new travel trend is taking off: the “coolcation.” With temperatures hitting the high 40s in parts of the Mediterranean, like Spain, Italy, and Greece last year, many people are rethinking their holiday plans for this year.

Earlier this year, Google Trends data showed a 300% jump in searches for “cooler holidays” compared to the same time last year.

More recently, InsureandGo found that four out of five people say recent changes in global weather have affected their travel plans this year. This includes picking cooler places for their holidays or changing when they go.

What is a Coolcation?

Escaping the city heat in the summer isn’t exactly a new idea (think of the summer palaces used by European royalty throughout the ages, or the seaside resorts that were a feature of British holidays in the Victorian era), but with rising global temperatures and hotter, more extreme summers, there’s new interest, new demand and, yes, a new buzzword.

More broadly, the coolcation also incorporates the other trends that have seen a rise in interest recently, such as the timing of the holiday to avoid peaks in temperature, and research into the accommodation itself. Again, looking at our own research around one in seven now prefer to travel just after the summer peak, with roughly the same proportion choose a pre-summer getaway to sidestep harsh weather. A further 16% said they would check potential destinations had adequate facilities, such as air conditioning, to cope in extreme temperatures.

If you were thinking of coolcationing this year, here are a couple of ideas we’ve put together to consider, to make sure you have a great time without melting.

5 coolcation holidays to consider:

Beach Holiday  – the beaches of Germany

Couple enjoying romantic sunset on a German beach.

You may never have heard of Germany’s northern coast, but here incredibly beautiful beaches and cooler (but not cold) summer climates await. Explore the sandy shores and charming seaside towns of Sylt, Rügen, Usedom, Fehmarn, and Heligoland. Enjoy beach activities like windsurfing and kite surfing, scenic cycling and hiking trails, and indulge in local seafood delicacies. There are also a variety of family-friendly activities to enjoy.

Romantic Getaway – Reykjavik, Iceland

A man with mud mask on his face stands in hot spring. Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Reykjavik offers a unique romantic experience with its cool climate, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Soak in the Blue Lagoon, take a scenic drive along the Golden Circle, and enjoy a cosy dinner in a charming local restaurant. The Midnight Sun provides extended daylight for exploring the beautiful surroundings together. Visit Reykjavik for an unforgettable romantic getaway.  

Adventure Holiday – Canadian Rockies

Hiking man in Canadian mountains.  There are a lot of picturesque trails to choose from in Canada.

The Canadian Rockies are ideal for adventure seekers with activities like hiking, rock climbing, and white-water rafting. Explore Banff and Jasper National Parks, take on challenging trails, paddle in crystal-clear lakes, and experience the thrill of white-water rafting. The scenic drives, such as the Icefields Parkway, offer breath-taking views of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls.

Camping – Camping in the French Alps

View from inside a tent of tourist relaxing and enjoying the Main De Crepin peak with herd of sheep walking through in Claree Valley on autumn at French Alps, France

The French Alps provide breathtaking mountain views, cool alpine air, and a range of outdoor activities. Enjoy hiking, climbing, and exploring picturesque alpine villages. Popular camping areas include Chamonix, Annecy, and the Vanoise National Park.

Festivals – various locations

Street musicians performing acoustic in summertime at outdoor cafe. Amsterdam. The Netherlands.

Europe offers a plethora of incredible festivals that cater to every musical taste, many of which take place in cooler regions perfect for a summer coolcation. Among the top choices are the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, which celebrates Celtic culture and music; Storsjöyran in Sweden, featuring a diverse lineup of international and Swedish artists; the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, known for its wide range of jazz genres; and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Geneva.