Oct 3, 2012

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Does your holiday destination have the X Factor?

Have you ever booked a holiday after seeing snaps of your favourite celebrity on one of their many exotic breaks? Or perhaps you’ve watched a film or documentary and been inspired to plan a trip to the destination that looks so tempting on your TV screen? Well, you’re not alone.

Taking holiday inspiration from the celebrity world is not a new trend as it’s a great way to discover places you may not have considered before. And, following on from last week’s X Factor episodes in judges’ houses, TravelSupermarket has seen a surge in interest around the exotic destinations Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger whisked their contestants away to – but Brits seemed unimpressed by Gary Barlow’s choice of Northamptonshire.


Tulisa and St Lucia – holiday searches up by 259%

St Lucia

Tulisa enjoyed great success last year as not only did her group, Little Mix, win the coveted X Factor prize, the setting she chose for her judges’ house caused a huge surge in flight searches to the Greek island of Mykonos. Following the 2011 show, flight searches went up by a staggering 433% – and her choice of destination was by far the most popular choice with holidaymakers. You can read all about this and the other 2011 destinations in our blog post.

This year she proved to be the most influential judge holiday-wise again, and following the episodes which saw her take the “girls” group to St Lucia, TravelSupermarket saw package holiday searches to the Caribbean island go up by 259%.

If you too were inspired to plan a trip to the island north of Barbados, don’t forget to check the weather before you travel as the hurricane season there runs from June to November. You could spend your holiday sunbathing on the beautiful beaches and admiring the iconic Pitons, exploring the rainforest or even scuba diving in the sparkling blue sea. And, if you don’t quite have Tulisa’s budget, take a look at our St Lucia holidays page where you will find seven-night holiday deals for as little as £650 per person.

Louis Walsh and Las Vegas – flight searches up by 236%

Las Vegas

Louis Walsh may not have mentored a winner on the X Factor since Shayne Ward in 2005 but his choice of destination was a hit with Brits this year. On TravelSupermarket, flight searches to Las Vegas increased by 236% following the show – he’ll be hoping his “groups” category is just as popular.

Autumn and spring are perfect times to visit Las Vegas as you’ll miss the stifling summer temperatures that often hit the 40s. But you certainly won’t be bored whatever time of year you visit – whether you take in the world-class shows such as Cirque du Soleil, want to splash the cash in the high-end boutiques or the outlet malls, try your luck in the glamorous casinos or even take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. And, make sure you save your pennies for the slot machines, 24/7 entertainment and shops, by comparing the price of booking flights and a hotel separately with that of booking a package holiday.

Nicole Scherzinger and Dubai – holiday searches up by 88%


New girl Nicole was obviously keen to make a good first impression this year as she whisked the “boys” away to the home of luxury and bling, Dubai. Viewers may have questioned one of her decisions when whittling down the contestants to her final three but they were obviously inspired by the setting of the auditions. Holiday searches to Dubai went up by 88% on TravelSupermarket following the judges’ houses episodes, while flight searches went up by 76%.

If Dubai tops your must-visit list, winter is a lovely time to plan a holiday – while all of your workmates are drawn and sniffly, you can waltz back into the office with a superstar glow. Plus, while Dubai enjoys year-round sun, even the most devoted of sun worshippers might wilt in the summer temperatures that can reach the 40s. Instead, preserve your energy to shop in the high-end malls, to haggle in the gold souks and then sit back and enjoy the high level of service in your hotel.

If you don’t have Nicole and on-off boyfriend Lewis Hamilton’s holiday budget, you’ll probably have to shop around for your Dubai holiday. A good starting point is our Dubai holidays page where seven-night breaks are on offer from £413 per person.

Gary Barlow and Northamptonshire – no change…

While Gary Barlow is used to topping the charts, his judges’ home destination flopped this year. Perhaps because of the dreary weather in much of the UK last weekend, there was no increase in searches for holidays in Northamptonshire. Let’s hope his “overs” category enjoys more success.

But if you don’t like to follow the crowd and Gary is your favourite judge, perhaps you’d like to visit the home of the shoe industry, Northamptonshire? You could explore the county’s traditional villages and impressive country houses or visit the largest collections of objects illustrating the history of shoes in the world – and it would be rude not to treat yourself to some new footwear!

Need more celebrity inspiration?

But perhaps the X Factor isn’t your cup of tea and your inspiration comes from other celebrity sources? Well, why not follow in Kate and Will’s footsteps on their Diamond Jubilee tour and hot foot in to a far-flung destination such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or even the tiny islands of Tuvulu?

If you are fan of the Royals, take a look at our article about the Queen’s extensive travels too to see if you’ve visited more destinations worldwide than she has.

The name on many people’s lips at the moment is Bond, James Bond as the 23rd film about the suave spy is released in the UK on October 26. Why not celebrate Bond’s return by planning a Bond-themed getaway? Popular settings for past films (apart from London) have included Venice (which the spy has visited four times), Istanbul (twice), Hong Kong (three times), The Bahamas (twice), Jamaica (twice), Switzerland (twice) and Cuba (twice).

Travel like a star for less

You may want to travel like a celebrity but chances are you don’t have the budget of a world-famous popstar or royalty. If not, here are our top tips to have a celebrity holiday – for less. You can then spend the money you have saved on some superstar sunglasses, a designer handbag or to hire a luxury James Bond-esque car?

  • Travel at anti-social times – such as weekdays, early morning or late night – as you’re more likely to snap up a deal when other people don’t want to travel.
  • Sign up for your favourite travel companies’ newsletters – such as TravelSupermarket’s – so you know all about deals before anyone else.
  • Compare all of the options – such as all-inclusive holidays with self-catering breaks and DIY holidays with packages to find the best deal for you.
  • But, before you book, check what the weather is like at the time of year you want to travel and research your hotel and resort as some deals that seem too good to be true are reduced for a reason.

Please note: All deals were correct and available at the time of writing (October 3, 2012)

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