Holidays can improve your skin, make you feel younger and even boost your sex drive – according to a new psychological study.
The findings, from travel company Expedia.co.uk, reveals that of the 31 million Brits who have been on holiday in the past 12 months, 81% come away feeling better as a result.
While the top benefit is, understandably, feeling more relaxed (46%), others are more surprising, such as skin conditions improving (10%), a boost in confidence (10%), feeling younger (10%), and being more creative (8%).
In addition, while a fifth of people slept better (20%) following a holiday, others may well have been getting less rest, with one in ten (8%) men reporting a higher sex drive. See Table 1 for full breakdown.
Overall the ‘post holiday glow’ lasts for just over three weeks (24 days) on average, while one in 10 holidaymakers (10%) said it was over three months before the effects wore off.
To accompany the research, Expedia.co.uk has come up with the top 10 signs that it might be time for a break:
1.Wearing Bermuda shorts in March
2.Turning the heat up to 30 degrees at home of an evening and “sunbathing”
3.Binge watching holiday-related movies
4.Buying three-for-two deals on sunscreen even though it still feels like winter
5.Putting cocktail umbrellas in all your drinks – even a cup of tea
6.Spending far too much on fake tanning
7.Jealously reporting any holiday photos on Instagram or Facebook as inappropriate
8.You organise your daily meals by nationality – Monday is croissants and Camembert
9.You wear sunglasses everywhere, even if that means tripping over now and then
10.Keeping your passport on you at all times in case you make an impromptu run for the airport
The psychological effects of a trip away can be linked to holidaymakers using their break to take in their surroundings and look inwards. Whether appreciating nature (33%), reflecting on themselves (17%) or even contemplating the meaning of life (10%), the trend for seeking enlightenment on holiday is still going strong.
According to psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who assisted with the study, the benefits of a holiday can also be attributed to a combination of the psychological impact of breaking daily routines and new experiences, with environmental factors such as absorbing more sunlight. She comments:
“One of the best things about holidays is that by coming out of your routine you don’t have to worry about ‘must dos’ and can have new experiences on your terms. You’re free to do as much or a little as you like, which in turn makes you feel more relaxed, this can help reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which when significantly elevated in the body can have a negative impact on organs such as the skin. As stress and anxiety decreases, mood increases – bringing many, often unexpected, positive benefits in how we perceive ourselves, motivation and productivity, and our general outlook on life.
“Exposure to a healthy amount of sunshine is also believed to increase the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin, which is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. What’s more, simply being in warm weather and going to the beach lets us reconnect with our bodies. Not only does physical activity mean that we engage with our bodies in terms of their functionality thus allowing us to value them for what they can do rather than just how they look; but the simple act of seeing parts of ones body, feet and legs that are usually hidden behind clothes makes us more comfortable, increasing body confidence and self-worth.”
Alex Platts, Commercial Director, Northern Europe, for Brand Expediacomments: “At Expedia, we inspire people to travel because we know experiencing the world and other cultures can enrich your life tremendously, and our study highlights the other physical and mental benefits the come with a holiday. From a boost in confidence to greater creativity, there’s now even more reason to get away.
“We also want people to find the best trip tailored to their specific needs, and we have far more combinations of flights and hotels than anyone in the world. When arranging summer travel, we encourage travellers to always check the package price because by booking your flight and hotel together you can find fantastic savings.”
Featured package deals for top savings:
- Algarve, Portugal – Flights and 5* hotel Hilton Villamoura from £611pp. – a saving of 24% or £198 each
- Split, Croatia – Flights and 5* Hotel Park from £1,465pp. – a saving of 24% or £454 each
- Nice, France – Flights and 4* Hôtel La Pérouse from £877pp. – a saving of 14% or £144 each
- Male, Maldives – Flights and 5* hotel Per Aquum from £2,795pp. – a saving of 29% or £1,143 each
- Los Angeles – Flights and 4* hotel Viceroy Santa Monica from £1,878pp. – a saving of 21% or £490 each
- Dubai – Flights and 5* hotel Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort from £790pp. – a saving of 15% or £135
Data taken on 30 March 2016 from https://www.expedia.co.uk/cheap-deals for one room, two adults for six consecutive nights between 18 July 2016 to 24 July 2016. All flights from London airports.
Expedia® is one of the world's leading full-service online travel agents offering access to hundreds of thousands of hotels including boutique hotels as well as major hotel brand names and access to over 400 airlines along with a wide selection of car hire and destination experiences. By combining choice with specialist tools to help refine these options, Expedia.co.uk helps travellers to find and create the trip that best matches their individual requirements. Now with the award-winning Expedia mobile app you can plan and book flights and hotels on the move. The Expedia app offers helpful tools to manage your trip including: airport terminal maps; hotel check out time and flight status notifications; maps to your hotel and a host of other features. Expedia.co.uk partners with loyalty programme Nectar in the UK enabling its customers to collect 200 Nectar points on flight only, hotel or car hire bookings and 1000 points on package purchases through www.expedia.co.uk.
For travel inspiration and tips visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/expedia.co.uk
Expedia.co.uk is owned and operated by Expedia Inc.. The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia(r) Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us atwww.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2016 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50
About the research
All figures, unless otherwise stated are from an ICM Unlimited research study, conducted between 3 March and 7 March 2016. The sample was 2,000 GB adults aged 18+ with interviews conducted via the ICM online omnibus. Quotas and weighted to be representative of the population.
Table 1. Top benefits, their causes and number of people who experienced them on their lastholiday
|Rank||Benefit||Causes according to Dr Linda Papadopoulos||How many Brits experienced it on their last holiday(actual number / %)|
|1||More relaxed||Breaking routine and physically removing ourselves from stress, more positive focussed and relaxed possibly leading to reduction of cortisol||14,099,000 / 46%|
|2||Happier||Increased Serotonin released as a result of sunlight, new experiences and breaking routine||13,012,000 / 42%|
|3||Reduced stress||Fewer things you ‘have to do’ allowing full control to do as much or as little as you like. Sun causes more Serotonin to be produced which boosts mood, while less stress decreases cortisol||10,672,000 / 35%|
|4||More energised||More inspired to do activities because you have full control, while new experiences/sensations inspire us into activities which give us more energy. Decrease is stress and less routine also aids sleep||8,832,000 / 29%|
|5||Closer to friends/family||More time to connect and share new experiences, combined with boosted mood within whole group which makes people more ‘open’||6,437,000 / 21%|
|6||Sleeping better||Removing yourself physically from daily routine also removes you psychologically, distancing yourself from any issues or concerns which help to reduce stress and aid sleep||6,198,000 / 20%|
|7||Reduced anxiety||Fewer things you ‘have to do’ allowing full control to do as much or as little as you like. Serotonin boosts mood, helping people to feel in control||4,862,000 / 16%|
|8||More healthy||More time to consider and implement behavioural change, and a new routine allows us to eliminate unhealthy habits. Also become more aware of our bodies because of hot weather and shedding layers of clothes||4,275,000 / 14%|
|9||More sociable||Less stress and increased mood makes us more likely to want to engage with others positively. Also new experiences provide more discussion points and the desirability to share feelings and emotions||4,261,000 / 14%|
|10||More motivated||Change of routine opens your eyes to new experiences, proving a new sense of inspiration and motivation. Also, more time allows us to see the bigger picture away from everyday concerns||4,110,000 / 13%|
|11||More confident||Improved mood and decreased stress/anxiety increases confidence in our own ability. Also warm weather and shedding layers of clothing helps to reconnect with our bodies, often resulting in a healthier approach to food, drink and exercise||3,188,000 / 10%|
|12||Skin conditions improving||Reduced Cortisol levels due to relaxation and reduced feelings of anxiety. UV light has been shown to have a beneficial effect in medical setting and has been used by doctors to treat conditions including psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne||3,157,000 / 10%|
|13||Feeling younger||Physically, we’re more likely to engage with our bodies and feel more confident about them, increasing body confidence. Mentally, new experiences and time to consider our lives unleashes a reinvigorated and youthful zest for life||2,985,000 / 10%|
|14||More creative/inspired||Having new experience triggers inspiration and creative thoughts, while increased levels of Serotonin means we have a more positive thought process in addressing creative challenges||2,465,000 / 8%|
|15||More productive||Increased energy as a result of improved mood which has a positive cyclical effect, the better you feel the better you do and the better you do the better you feel||2,206,000 / 7%|
|16||Higher sex drive||Body confidence increases as we become more used to our bodies, improved mood makes us more predisposed for closeness, and more time provides more opportunity||1,909,000 / 6%|
|17||Weight loss||Part of overall more healthy behaviour. Holidays provide a new routine, allowing is to break unhealthy habits. Physically more aware of our bodies While being more active makes people feel more energized and ‘fit’|
1,715,000 / 6%