British Airways are encouraging Brits not to become a nation of holiday commitment-phobes and ensure they are taking enough time away from the office. However, new research from the airline found that shockingly, more than half of the population (52%) have left over holiday allowance – the majority of which (64%) have ended up losing days completely. With the best part of a week (four days) being lost by Brits on average, the research proves how the nation is missing out on valuable holiday time.
It may come as no surprise that one of the main reasons for Brits not taking their full quota of annual leave was due to being busy at work (49%), followed by almost a fifth (16%) feeling guilty for using all their holiday allowance each year. This could explain why an eye-watering 69% of Brits did not take a two week holiday last year.
Refused the right to relax, 33% of Brits were unable to get the time off work to enjoy a longer holiday and more than one in three Brits (35%) have not been on a two week holiday for more than two years, as it seems finding a work-life balance does not come easy.
Over a third (38%) believe that two week holidays are frowned on, or discouraged at their workplace and even when we do manage to seek out some sunshine, 62% of the UK population noted that on their return they felt as if they had not managed to properly “switch-off”. Perhaps as more than half of holidaymakers (56%) spent a lot of their holiday thinking about work and wider commitments. On top of this, sadly a fifth (20%) admitted they came back home dreading their return to work.
It seems Brits are reluctant to jet off in general, as holidaymakers in the UK went on the least amount of holidays abroad in 2017, compared to our international counterparts*. With two thirds of Brits (41%) spending on average 5-9 days on holiday abroad, after only one week on holiday over half (52%) felt they had not had a long enough break, with 55% wishing they had spent more time at their destination during their time on holiday abroad.
Nick Hewer, ex-advisor on The Apprentice said: “As an employer, a happy work force is key to having a happy, and most importantly, a successful business. Employees need time off work to unwind and relax in order to perform to the best they can and it’s shocking that so many UK employees not only don’t take two weeks annual leave, but when they do, find it hard to switch off and enjoy their time out of the office.”
Although, it seems we may be creatures of habit. A whopping 81% of Brits have been back to the same holiday destination more than once, visiting their favourite destination eight times on average, with the over 55s the worst culprits – The majority (91%) are most likely to re-visit a favourite location than venture further afield to adventures new.
Duncan Roberts, Head of Commercial at British Airways said: “Going on a summer holiday is always exciting. We all enjoy watching the countdown to our holiday date creep closer, yet it seems we’re reluctant to venture somewhere new. Many of us return to the same destination, and maybe that is down to lack of time to plan our holidays, as work commitments take over.”
“Booking your flight and hotel through one website simplifies the process, so people should use the technology available to make researching and booking and seamless as possible. As more and more destinations become easier to access than ever before, we want to encourage as many Brits as possible to embrace their holidays and sense of adventure and try something new this summer – It’s time to commit to our holidays.”
For those ready to commit to a summer 2018 holiday, the most popular holidays Brits are longing for is a European beach break (45%), followed by a European city break (40%), a long-haul flight to the Caribbean (25%) and 15% would like to go on an American road trip.