The Spanish stay in Spain, the Greeks go to their birthplaces or to the islands, the Swedes leave for South-East Asia or pretty much anywhere around the world, the young Austrians all plan to get to South America and Dutch youngsters opt for the beaches of Spain and Turkey. Or Australia to travel and work. Today`s question: Where do people have a chance to run in to Czech people this summer.
Highest on the list is Croatia, for young people as well as for families. It`s considered to be a cheap destination, with good connections to Czech Republic, better weather and most importantly: sunny beaches. Zuzana (24, photo) is one of the many young Czechs who will be spending some time in Croatia this summer. `I will go there for 10 days, together with my parents. I went to the same place last year and we enjoyed it lots. I have also been on holiday with friends a few times, mostly camping or going to music festivals. For the longer holidays I still regularly join my parents. I like to go skiing in wintertime and most of my friends don`t. And so I also went to Italy, France and Austria along with them and my brother.`
`I`ll spend the summer holidays with my parents in Croatia`
`Traveling has become much easier over last years`, Zuzana says. `It`s now much easier to get to Spain, Italy and France, which are quite popular destinations as well. Weekend trips to Paris, Vienna and Rome are becoming increasingly popular. Several discount airlines have included Prague in their programs: Easyjet, Norwegian, SkyEurope, Smartwings. Direct intercontinental flights from Prague are however quite rare. I must add that I only known few people who travel outside Europe. Destinations East of Czech Republic are not really popular either. Some elderly people may go to Hungary or Slovakia to visit thermal baths, but that will be about it.`
Lukas (26) did get to distant places in recent years. `I was in New Zealand for five months last years`, he says, adding that this is probably the reason why he will not celebrate extensive holidays this year. I am actually doubting whether I should buy an apartment or whether a motorbike would be a better idea. I would drive around Europe, hopefully with a friend. Or, if I can`t find anybody to come along with me, I`ll just do it on my own. I also went to New Zealand on my own, so that shouldn`t be a problem. I would at least like to visit Greece, Germany and Spain.`
Lukas likes to use his holidays to feel free, more so than for relaxation. `I would prefer to go hitchhiking over getting a package holiday. Robert (26) explains that only rich people can afford to buy entire holidays. `It`s more common to arrange a place to sleep before leaving, then simply drive their by car. Many young people take buses to their holiday destinations. Air travel is becoming more popular, but I would say that international bus companies still transport the lion`s share of young Czechs traveling abroad.`
Robert will go to Croatia this year, together with his girlfriend Michaela (23): `It`s easy to get there, it`s cheap and the people are friendly`, Robert says. `Many Czechs now also go there for yachting. They just rent a boat and sail to different harbours and islands.` Karel (27) tells me about another Czech holiday idea that seems to enjoy nationwide popularity. `Czech Republic has three rivers that are suitable for canoeing. Many people take short holidays to canoe down the rivers, while spending the nights camping on the river banks`, Karel explains.
`There is also the tradition of people spending weekends and summer holidays in small cottages on the country side. Older people are likely to spend a lot of time refurbishing their cottages, or providing maintenance to the flowers and/or vegetables in their garden.`
Karel tells me about the traditional holidays, but will do something different this summer himself: `I will stay home to prepare for a trip that I will undertake only after summer. I am planning to spend three weeks in Morocco, hiking and traveling around.`
Although most Czechs like to travel to the West or to the South, Nikola (28) wants to spend his summer holidays in Ukraine. `I am getting married in two months from now and I would like to take my future wife on a holiday to Ukraine. I was born there, even though I have lived in Czech Republic for almost all of my life. I didn`t go to Ukraine a lot before four years ago. I don`t have a Ukranian pass port, so I had to produce a visa and all. Now I can just travel in and out. Last year, a befriended truck driver lent me his truck so I could drive there myself. On other occasions, I joined other truck drivers or took a bus.`
Michaela (23) feels lucky when it comes to her new job, but is less amused to expect that she will not have time for holidays this year: `I will start working as an human resource consultant on the first of June. I also spent most of last summer at work. I just made a quick trip to the Czech mountains of Krusna Hory with my friends.`
Radim (20) also has to work, despite his wish to travel to Australia one day to see kangaroos. Radim has not been abroad very often yet. `To Slovakia and Germany only`, he says. `German is my favourite so far, especially for speed limitless motorways.`
Antonin (25) is currently preparing for his summer exams, which has eaten pretty much most of his time for the last couple of years. `I will think about it later. For now, all I have on my schedule is to go see the film festival in Karlovy Vary. The rest of it remains to be seen. First things first`, is how Antonin summarises the situation.
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