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Brits spend three times longer planning a holiday than they do enjoying it

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Brits spend more time planning and researching their holiday than they do actually enjoying it, new research has revealed. The average holidaymaker will spend a total of 18 days planning their whole holiday – but just SIX days having fun.

Researchers found the average person will book themselves a 10 night break abroad, with many booking breaks up to 12 months in advance.

But the first two days of the holiday will be spent desperately trying to relax and unwind, and the last two days worrying intensely about how much work they’ll be returning to.

Amy Patel of Teletext Holidays, which commissioned the study of 2,000 holidaymakers to mark the launch of their new Holiday Price Alert Service, said:

”The Internet has opened up a travel window to the world, but it sometimes feels like information overload.

”It’s clear that in searching for the perfect break, Brits are stressing themselves out spending longer planning than they do actually enjoying the holiday and over half have put off any holiday preparation this year in a bid to ease their Pre-Holiday Tension (PHT).

”We want consumers to enjoy the Pre-Holiday build up and get excited about the holiday; after all, relaxing as soon as you step off the plane is what it’s all about.”

The study also found people will take 14 days to choose their final holiday destination, with 19% booking their next break shortly after landing from the previous holiday.

On top of that, they then spend just over 13 hours researching the accommodation, and 11 hours sorting out all the transport from the flights to car hire.

A further 11 hours are spent shopping for the trip, while nine hours are dedicated to washing and ironing the clothes, and eight hours are spent on trips to the hair and tanning salons.

And Brits spend another two whole days packing the suitcase before finally jetting off to sunnier climes.

Flight delays, lost luggage and bad weather are just some of the things which Brits worry about while on holiday, while the prospect of getting lost and having to navigate around a new place also lead to unwanted anxiety abroad.

A fifth of couples admit they always argue on holiday because they can’t agree on what to do, and food causes tension because they don’t know where and what to eat.

Many people find it impossible to stop fretting about work on holiday, with 22% unable to stop thinking about the work which is mounting in their absence, and one in 20 people get fed up with work constantly trying to contact them.

The language barrier, understanding local menus, getting sun burnt, running out of money and the children’s safety are all cited as reasons why people may not enjoy the holiday they have spent so long planning.

When it comes to next summer’s holiday, a quarter of people have already booked the flights and accommodation.

In addition, one in 10 have already decided what attractions they would like to visit, made an itinerary of where they are going to eat and drink and booked the appropriate insurances.

One in 20 people have even sorted out currency, started buying holiday clothes and booked the hire car.

But 43% of people admit even booking the holiday can be stressful – the top concerns being finding a holiday they can afford, agreeing on where to go, reading conflicting reviews, and wondering if they are getting a good deal.

Other woes include whether the accommodation will be okay, getting good flight times, juggling transport and accommodation arrangements and arranging time off work.


14 days selecting the destination
11 hours organising transport
13 hours researching accommodation
11 hours shopping for the holiday
9 hours washing and ironing before packing the suitcase
2 days spent packing
8 hours preening your body

= 18 days in total planning a holiday


1. Flight delays and lost luggage
2. Bad weather
3. How to navigate your way around
4. Where to eat
5. How much work you have left behind
6. Getting lost
7. Language barrier
8. You and your partner argue about what to do
9. You don’t like the accommodation
10. The resort doesn’t meet your expectations