Culture(s) / Holiday calendar and destinations

A1 Breakthrough
French people like to travel. Who? When? Where? Find the answers in this help section.
Holiday calendar and destinations
In your country, in your culture, do people go on holiday?  Is it common or rare? Is it possible to go on holiday every year? Several times a year? In your own country or in another country? To an exotic destination? Do you go to an accommodation that you have to pay for or not? How long are the holidays? In your culture, what is associated with holidays? Sunny weather, heat, sea, mountains, countryside? Rest, family, walking, adventure, luxury, comfort, culture, festivals or entertainment?

French people and holidays

How many? More than 50% (explanatory note: 51% in 2004, 64% in 2019, 54% in 2021) of French people go on holiday every year. 

To which destinations? Above all, French people like to go ... to France. 81% of holidays are spent within metropolitan France. And for good reason: 56.9% stay with their family or go to their second home. Hotels account for 11.6% of bookings, camping and rental accommodation for 8.8% each. French people mostly prefer to spend their holidays by the sea (45% of stays) then in the countryside (30%), even if the mountains are the most popular for winter stays (17%).

Retired people and wealthy households are most likely to go on holiday. As regards modest households, only those with free accommodation (family, friends) can afford to go on holiday.

How long?
Unlike the average number of stays, which is increasing, their average length has been steadily decreasing for forty years. Since 1999, the average length of stays has stabilised at around 12 days, regardless of age or generation.

Holidays are mostly and traditionally taken in June, July and August, but the share of summer holidays has been decreasing in favour of the winter ones since 1979. In 1979, 69% of holiday time happened in July or August, compared to 57% in 2004. Outside the summer period, the most popular months are February, April and December, which correspond to the “short” school breaks.

Practical exercises

Plage en Corse, Santa Giulia

Culture: Calendar and holiday destinations

4 exercises
Listen • Intercultural (travel)