The 34 Different Types of Holidays

There are different types of holidays you can choose for yourself and your family.

From the simple solo trip to long specialized holidays where you can book a certain activity, you can choose the type of getaway that’s right for you. Here are the main types of holidays to consider for your next travel adventure.

Table of Contents

1. Activity holiday

Activity holidays are recommended for active people, as the name suggests. You book one of these holidays if you want to keep moving either in a combination of activities also called a multi-activity holiday or a single type of activity.

One of the prime examples of how an activity holiday looks is triathlon holidays such as those held in Northern Spain. You and up to 3 more friends can book such a holiday (typically 8 days) with a triathlon coach.

During this holiday (with included meals and accommodation) you will get to practice your triathlon skills under the supervision of a coach. This includes working on your swimming skills and on your cycling and bike repair skills to get ready for your next race.

These types of holidays are normally held in remote locations out in nature. You might be able to secure them even during the Covid-19 pandemic as these are all held outdoors with proper social distancing.

2. Adventure holiday

Adventure holidays are similar to activity holidays but they normally involve a more quest-like activity. From specific dog-sledding holidays to snowshoeing, there are plenty to choose from around the world.

One of the best examples of how an adventure holiday looks is a 3-day ice climbing escape. These are popular in regions of the Alps such as in Southern France or Switzerland. You can practice your climbing skills in an intensive 3-day course.

A small frozen waterfall is typically the type of place where these holidays take place. For most people, they are the first experience in climbing and this is why they are considered technically accessible. All the safety gear you need, accommodation, and food are typically covered in such a holiday which can cost a few hundred dollars if not longer than 3 days. These types of holiday packs don’t include travel arrangements.

3. All-inclusive

The all-inclusive holiday has risen in popularity considerably over the past few decades. As its name suggests, it includes everything from transportation, accommodation, and 3-4 meals per day. Some all-inclusive holidays also cover activities which means you will not be responsible for anything else than enjoying your free time away from home.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Mexico’s Nuevo Vallarta is a prime example of a world-class all-inclusive resort. With constant 5-star reviews, this resort includes multiple swimming pools, delicious local and international meals, complimentary refreshing drinks, and a view dominated by beaches and palm trees.

An all-inclusive holiday is mainly recommended for those who want to sit back and relax and it’s often seen as the complete opposite of an adventure holiday where you rarely get to sit back and relax at a pool or in your hotel room.

4. Babymoon

A babymoon is a type of holiday where you and your partner go on a vacation before your baby arrives, typically during the pregnancy months. It typically lasts a minimum of 1 week and while it resembles an all-inclusive vacation, it can be a bit more active or a bit more diverse.

The Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples Florida is one of the prime examples of how a babymoon can look like. This is where you can get all of the perks of an all-inclusive with the ability to venture off into the local town for a bit of shopping or to simply hop from one coffee shop to another.

An important point to make during this babymoon is the relaxation part of the parents-to-be. This is why this Naples resort offers a specialized mommy massage which helps the future mom relax before the stressful birth. This massage typically lasts 50-60 minutes and it can be a rejuvenating experience.

5. Bucket list

Did you know there are now travel agencies that can arrange all of your bucket list travels? These holidays typically cover a few years and they include visiting multiple destinations according to your bucket list.

The main advantage of this type of holiday is the savings as it can be cheaper compared to you doing all of the booking work for each destination.

Bucket list destinations vary from person to person, depending on what you appreciate the most. But you can see up to 100 locations in such a vacation which can spread over 10 years or even more. A good plan involves splitting your destinations into cultural, natural escapes, and activity-based.

This is why you can start your bucket list holiday at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican to admire Michelangelo’s work of art. You can visit great outdoor destinations such as The Grand Canyon or the Everest Base camp. If you like unique activities, you can add them to your bucket list as well. One of them is swimming with fish and turtles in Australia.

6. City break

A city break is typically a type of holiday that lasts 1-2 days. As its name suggests, you choose a city where you travel (typically over the weekend) to see some of its main attractions. City breaks are very popular with millennials or other typical professionals.

An example of a perfect city break includes a short stay in New York. It would cover flights, accommodation, and tickets to attractions such as the Statue of Liberty. A popular European destination for city breaks in London. This city offers so many attractions that it’s impossible to see them all in just 2 days. But you can expect to see Buckingham Palace and London Bridge during your stay. A typical meal at a local restaurant can also be squeezed-in into this tight schedule holiday.

City breaks are the easiest if you live next to a large airport. You can simply check which flights depart and arrive within a few days’ distances and you can board the airplane without losing any time. Europe is one of the best continents for city breaks as most of its large cities can be reached within a 2-hour flight if you depart from the continent.

7. Cultural

Cultural holidays involve some type of immersion in the local culture. Such holidays are frequent throughout the world in almost any country. Among all, a few tend to stand out due to their popularity.

Cultural holidays in India is an example of a trip that stands out. India is a country and a subcontinent which amazes travelers. Its rich culture, history, religion, and culinary heritage makes it a country like no other.

A cultural trip in India typically lasts at least a week and it can even last up to a month. It includes a visiting circuit where you can expect to visit Delhi, Jaipur The Pink City, or the Agra Taj Mahal.

Such holidays include accommodation in local Indian hotels. Many of these hotels are made according to traditional local architecture rules which makes even the accommodation experience unique. It is believed the cultural holiday is superior to others in terms of meeting locals and learning more about a country than simply checking one attraction after another.

8. Cruises

Cruises are some of the best holidays to see multiple countries. Many cruises last weeks and months and you can expect a typical holiday on a cruise ship to be a unique experience. Cruise ships sail through the world and they stop at various port cities. By their nature, these holidays include accommodation and meals.

There are multiple popular cruise lines to choose from. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Carnival cruises are just a few of the main international operators. These offer an almost all-inclusive experience. You still have to pay for drinks and port taxes.

However, cruises often include onboard amenities such as casinos, live music, pools, bars, and game nights. Many of the modern cruises are so diverse that some holidaymakers don’t even step off the cruise ship when stationed in a port city as entertainment and food are already of a top-level on the ship.

9. Cycling

Cycling holidays are growing in popularity in the cycling community. The idea of this holiday is to cycle to new countries for a few days, typically up to 1 week. These holidays require you to travel either with your bike or with a rented bike.

Some of the best cycling locations around the world are free from high auto traffic and they’re known for the picture-perfect locations that challenge cyclists. The Dolomites in Northern Italy is one of the classic cycling destinations and the training ground of some of the most successful road cyclists in history.

You can find specialized hotels here with bike storage areas to use as a base. This area of hundreds of square miles is quite difficult to fully explore on a single trip. But you can choose a new route every day and since you’ll be doing a lot of climbing and descending, this is the holiday to consider your lightest road bike. Alternatively, you can hire one at one of the multiple bike shops around these twisty mountains.

10. Diving and snorkeling

Diving holidays can be split by your skill level. As a novice diver, you can consider diving locations with an instructor. If you’re already experiencing diving and snorkeling, you can venture to some of the most remote locations around the world for a new holiday experience.

The bad news is that some of the best diving locations in the world are very remote. But the good news is organized holidays can still take you there. Take the Galapagos Islands as an example. Situated hundreds of miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos can be reached by boat.

Once there, you can enjoy unique animal species such as the water iguana. You’d have a hard time seeing it anywhere else in the world. These islands are mainly known as a destination for experienced divers. But the good news is diving is sustainable here all around the year. If you make the financial effort to get there, it’s worth staying for at least 7-10 days.

11. Ecotourism holiday

Ecotourism holidays rely on principles of minimum impact on the environment. These types of holidays have probably seen the highest growth over the past few years due to growing environmental concerns.

At a minimum, such a holiday can last a couple of days where you can stay on a farm and help out with traditional chores. At extreme ends, ecotourism holidays can last up to a month.

A world-class example of an ecotourism holiday is visiting Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) in Colombia. Tucked away in the jungle, this old city is very remote. There are no roads to the city and no taxis to take there either. The only way to reach it is to hike for 5 days. A tent, sufficient food and water, a group of friends, and a local tour guide are the must-haves for this type of adventure.

Since it’s based entirely out in nature, you can expect to bathe in rivers without the luxury amenities of a hotel.

12. Excursion

Excursions are mini-holidays within a holiday. You can find them all over the world as extras or as included activities within a holiday. Excursions are particularly popular on cruise ships.

For example, you can take a one-day excursion to Aruba when visiting the islands. You will walk along the local beaches and you will enjoy breaks to take photos of the local lighthouses and the interesting rock formations. Excursions can also be multi-day, as seen on the Mount Everest multi-day climbs which can be part of a longer Tibet holiday.

13. Escape

By definition, an escape holiday is a remote vacation. You go on an escape when you want to cut off your daily activities and daily walk of life and simply forget about stressful jobs or situations.

Some of the top escapes are those out in nature where forgetting about Facebook notifications and about answering emails tends to be the most important. One of the best escapes in the world is Torres del Paine in Chile. Located in a natural park, this remote escape brings you to Chile’s best natural sights. A holiday here typically lasts around 1 week.

14. Family

Family holidays are some of the best for both parents and children. Many tourism agencies now offer dedicated family packs with a holiday duration anywhere between 3 and 15 days.

A top family destination is Lapland. Located in Finland, Lapland is packed with tourists or families with kids every winter. It’s here kids get to meet Santa. They get to see real reindeer and real sleighs pulled by dogs.

As a holiday destination, Lapland is the busiest just before Christmas. Given the rather specialized nature of this holiday, you need to book accommodation and meals through a tour operator as hotels are few in this remote area of the world.

15. Farmstay

Farmstays are similar to family holidays, but they are popular even for those who don’t have any kids. You go on a farm stay when you want to reconnect with nature and forget all about the busy lifestyle problems of the modern world. You go on a farm to see animals, to eat food made from scratch, to hike, or to cycle exploring the countryside.

Some of the best farms stay in the world are found in England. Devon is one of the counties where there are hundreds of farms to choose from where you can get an all-inclusive service or where you can also go on a self-catered holiday.

Farms here are known for their natural location and great food. Cheese and beer are popular here. If you’re traveling with kids, you can also see plenty of sheep as well as horses and other animals the little ones could be interested in.

Some farms even allow tourists to get involved in daily activities. You can feed animals, help keep the farm clean, or give a helping hand in preparing traditional meals.

16. Fly-drive

Fly-drive holidays are some of the most popular in areas where you need to cover large distances. You hire a car and you drive to see some of the most important landmarks of an area on a fly-drive holiday.

One of the most popular fly-drive holidays in Iceland. Since it opened its doors to tourists, this island nation sees more people travel here and drive through the scenic countryside.

You can hire a car at the local Keflavik Airport and drive around the Ring Road, a circular highway going around the island. This trip can take a few days. Along the road, you can stop at amazing villages, cities, and Iceland’s famous waterfalls. It’s also the place where you can see some of the most impressive.

Since you need to hire a car, fly-drive holidays can be some of the most expensive. However, if you travel in groups of 2-4 people, this can be a rather affordable method of traveling where you get to travel at your own pace.

17. Gap year

A gap year can be an excellent time to take a break to learn new skills and experience different cultures. Gap years are popular among students who travel abroad and who might also get a job during this period so that it feels more like an experience than a holiday.

Australia is probably one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world. You can even find a job here easily if you want to work and learn while being away from home. Most youngsters can get a farm job in Australia easily.

What would be the point of such an extended holiday? It’s all about experiences, learning how a farm works, and meeting new people. You could also work on your language skills if you come from a non-English speaking country. As for the timeline, a gap year typically lasts a full calendar year.

18. Group holiday

Group holidays are some of the leading shared experiences you can enjoy with friends or family. Small groups of 3-4 people commonly travel together. Seniors usually travel in even larger groups of up to 40 people. These types of holidays are normally best for experiencing various activities and sampling of various foods.

Las Vegas is one of the capitals of group holidays. You rarely see solo travelers heading to the gambling capital of the world. But the good news is this city is excellent for groups who want to have fun.

From late-night casinos to visiting some of the most renowned hotels in the US, the city is recommended for groups of all ages. While not the best for underage travelers, Las Vegas has plenty to offer to groups of adult holidaymakers.

19. Honeymoon

The honeymoon is the holiday you go on after your wedding day with your partner. Honeymoons are so popular that couples tend to spend thousands on this once in a lifetime opportunity. For most holidaymakers, honeymoons are about the romantic time spent with the partner.

Paris is the world capital of romance and honeymoons. People come to the French capital from all over the world for its poetic atmosphere, its walkable streets, quirky restaurants, and the incredible fashion scene.

You can spend time with your partner sampling local wines in Paris such as merlots at one of the many wineries and restaurants around the city. The food here is also very good.

Since the city is also a capital for artists, it could also be a good place to have a sketch made after you and your partner. This type of street art is found daily in Paris and it adds to its romantic side.

20. House swap

Homestay and home exchange are just a few websites offering interesting house swap opportunities. The idea of this type of holiday is to live in another house (typically in another country) while the owner of that particular house lives in your home in exchange. Practically you get free holiday accommodation.

France and Italy are popular house swap locations for those in the US. With a different architecture and way of life, these countries can offer an interesting escape away from your home. Tuscany is one of the most sought after house swap Italian regions. People here know internationals want to visit their country and to live in a rural house with breathtaking views. Sampling Italian wines during your stay is a must here as well as visiting the local restaurants to taste authentic Italian food. A typical house swap lasts around a week rarely exceeding more than 2-3 weeks.

21. Jeep safari

Jeep safaris are a unique experience that can be part of any holiday. This activity typically lasts a day. However, some travelers only prefer this style of comfortable exploring and this is why they can even last more than a few days, particularly in group safaris.

A popular US destination for jeep safaris is Arches National Park in Utah. You can rent out your jeep here or hop on a jeep with a tour guide to see the park and what it has to offer. Various rock formations are popular attractions here.

It can take a few hours to see all that the park has to offer from the comfort of a 4 x 4 vehicle. For most people, this is the opportunity to get into landscape photography as well. Most jeep safaris in Utah last 4-5 hours.

22. Luxury

Luxury travel is a niche segment for people willing to spend money to feel pampered. These types of experiences are seen around the world but there aren’t as many as you’d think. By its nature, luxury travel doesn’t have a time constraint as you can stay on holiday as long as you have money or as long as you want.

Many people consider Dubai the capital of luxury travel. Even if you drive the latest Lamborghini here, you will still be one of the many who do it. This is why rich people prefer to travel here where their expensive tastes don’t bring them the wrong kind of attention.

High-end shopping is one of the areas Dubai is known for. All major designers have shops here. Some of the best car manufacturers have representatives in Dubai as well. From helicopter rides above dunes to booking an entire safari trip for your friends for days out in the desert, Dubai certainly has the potential to attract the affluent traveler.

23. Lecture tour

Lecture tours are a very rare type of holiday with a very specific traveler in mind. You go on a lecture tour to work on a skill. This can include anything from history tours to learning how to build a house.

One of the most popular lecture tours is held in Malvern Hills in the UK. You come to this remote location to become a writer or to work on your writing skills. Authors or lecturers hold presentations here. The remoteness of the location might even inspire you to write stories of your own.

A lecture tour can take at least a week, by its nature. It isn’t unusual to be on such a holiday for up to a month. On occasion, those on such a writing holiday are even requested to go on walks just to get a break from writing and come back with fresh ideas hopefully written in a more digestible manner.

24. Pilgrimage

The classic pilgrimage is one of the most special types of holidays you can take. Based on religious reasons, pilgrimages are held around the world. They typically last from a few days up to a month.

One of the most important pilgrimages which also feels like a holiday is walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This classic pilgrimage is usually covered by foot as you walk hundreds of miles for days until you reach the city of Santiago. The starting point of this route is different varying from Madrid to Southern France. Historically, it’s one of the most popular Christian pilgrimages in the world and a type of spiritual holiday of rediscovery.

25. Safari holiday

Safaris remain the most appropriate holiday if you like nature and animals. You will feel like Indiana Jones when embarking on a safari. The idea of this type of holiday is to see nature and animals in their natural habitat, an experience which simply cannot be recreated in zoos.

The Masai Mara Safari in Kenya is one of the most popular in the world. You come here with other tourists to go on a multi-day safari and see wild animals as close as possible. Thousands of zebras are admired here every year by people from all over the world. If you’re lucky, you will also see lions in their natural habitat sometimes even chasing zebras.

26. Self-catering

Self-catering is similar to a home swap, but there’s nobody at your home. Instead, you typically rent out an entire building where you holiday yourself, with your partner, or with your family. It’s where you cook your food and you make your itinerary.

Self-catering holidays are popular around the world. A typical countryside self-catering experience can be had at Graig Wen Cottages in Northern Wales. This small country is known for its rich history and you can make the most of its relaxed way of life by booking one of the large cottages if you love nature. Situated next to a lake, these cottages are perfect for long walks and evenings preparing a delicious barbecue. Most times there are no other people around and you will enjoy a holiday at your own pace here.

27. Special interest holiday

Special interest holidays are made for hobbyists who want to experience a vacation while also pursuing their passion. This holiday lasts at least 5 days and it can be one of the most immersive experiences you have according to what you like. Ideal for solo travelers or couples into the same activity or hobby, special interest holidays are some of the best under the radar types of vacations.

Did you know you can learn salsa dancing on holiday? You can learn salsa dancing in Cuba. This unique holiday teaches you all about this Latin dance from some of the best dancers in the world. Classes are held every day and even multiple times per day. The purpose of these classes is to make you a great dancer at the end of your holiday. Furthermore, you also get to experience the fantastic country of Cuba on this special interest vacation.

28. Summer camp

Summer camps are ideal for kids. If you want your kids to learn social skills and to become a better person while spending an unforgettable summer, the camp is the right answer. Summer camps for kids are found all over the world but they are even more popular in the US where there’s a strong emphasis on skills.

Lake Bryn Mawr Camp is one of the country’s most popular all-girls summer camp. You send your little girl here to learn basic skills such as hiking, cooking, and playing sports. Various activities such as gymnastics are highly sought after here. The official feel of the camp is underlined by the girls wearing uniforms. Since it’s an all-girls camp, it’s also considered safe. Girls typically stay in camp for around 7 weeks here.

29. Solo

Solo travel has exploded with the internet. Since there’s more accessible information on multiple destinations, you can rest assured traveling alone is easier than ever. This being said, solo travelers still need to choose generally safe destinations where they can feel secure even without friends and family.

New Zealand is one of the most popular solo travel destinations if you love the outdoors. It’s also a country where you can meet plenty of other solo travelers. But the remoteness of the destinations makes it one of the hardest to reach for solo travelers. Madrid is a great alternative if you like welcoming people when traveling alone. The Spanish capital is the place to go if you want to make new friends quickly.

30. Sporting events

Large sporting events are known for gathering thousands of fans. You choose a sporting event holiday based on a specific sport and you stay in the area a few days before and a few days after the event.

A good example of how a sporting event vacation looks like is the Daytona 500. This event for a car enthusiast is held every year on February the 14th in Daytona Florida. People from all over the US come here to see various preferred drivers race to the finish line while also visiting the famous Daytona Beach.

31. Vacation

Vacations are typically longer holidays. When someone asks where you plan to have your vacation, you are expected to answer with the destination of your summer’s holiday. Lasting at least a few weeks, a vacation is the free time of the year you use to travel.

Italy is a popular vacation destination. During the summer, it’s one of the tourist hotspots of the world. Rome is the landing destination, particularly from flights from the US. From here, you get to see the Colosseum and to travel further into Italy. Venice and Florence are popular cities in Italy also worth visiting. Sicily is one of the preferred destinations for US Italians who all have roots here following the great migration processes to North America.

32. Walking tour

Walking tours are small gateway events you can organize yourself when on holiday or plan as the main activity during a vacation. Walking tours are also organized for groups given they are so enjoyable if the weather is right.

The Azores in the Atlantic is one of the main walking tour destinations in the world. You can walk these islands with clearly marked paths and tracks from April to October. Taking you up and down the mountains in serene landscapes with just a few people around, the walking tours of the Azores are typically full holidays which can last up to 14 days.

33. Wellness and spa holidays

If you’re only interested in traveling for wellness, spa holidays can be right for you. These last only a few days but you can feel invigorated after returning from such a vacation. Spa destinations are found all around the world. For some people, exclusive spas are the only way to go on a vacation spa.

But for others, having access to as many public spas as possible is the right way to go on a wellness vacation. One of the most popular destinations in the world for spa holidays is Budapest. There are multiple public spas and baths here, some as old as a few hundred years.

Tickets are sold daily and the first to come to these spas gets a secured spot to its pools and treatments. Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Gellért Thermal Baths are the most popular spas in the Hungarian capital. They can fit hundreds of people at the same time and private massages and therapies are available if you’re interested to spend a full day relaxing at the spa.

34. Working holiday

Working holidays tend to be the new way to travel for those limited to disposable income. Digital nomads are those most interested in working and traveling at the same time. Digital nomads work online and this gives them the ultimate freedom to move around the world.

Thailand and Vietnam are popular destinations for working holidays. With a low cost of living, you can enjoy some of the best activities these countries have to offer to an extent you wouldn’t afford in Western Europe or the US.

Working holidays tend to last longer as well. It’s not unusual to see digital nomads settle in a country for a few months or even hop from one country to another for about a year. This is how they can see different attractions and cultures while still earning a living.