Britons find it difficult to switch off on holiday and many continue to work, survey reveals

Experts recommend booking longer breaks between 10 and 14 days to allow time to wind down

Four in 10 adults admit they continue to check work emails and make work calls throughout their break
Four in 10 adults admit they continue to check work emails and make work calls throughout their break

Holidaymakers get just nine days of complete enjoyment in a two week break, according to a survey.

Poll makers have identified a “window of relaxation” which starts two days into a two week holiday, and ends three days before you get home.

Instead of enjoying their full holiday, during these five unfulfilling days Britons find it impossible to switch off from the stresses of work and home life.

Four in 10 adults admit they continue to check work emails and make work calls throughout their break – with one in 20 checking their emails as soon as they wake up each day.

Even the lead up to a holiday can be stressful, with workers putting in an extra two and a half hours a day to ensure things are tied up before they leave.

Wayne Perks, managing director of Teletext Holidays, which carried out the survey in conjunction with its summer campaign offering holidays from just £199 per person, said: “in truth, having a holiday is not always plain sailing for many – particularly those who work long hours and struggle to tie up loose ends before they leave for sunnier climates.

“Which is why booking a longer break, between 10 and 14 days, can be beneficial for some as this allows time to wind down from the stresses and strains of everyday life.”

The survey, of 2,000 holidaymakers, found those who can’t switch off from work will dip into their emails around six times a day and make up to eight phone calls during the two week period.

But only one in 10 adults believe their boss expects them to carry on working, with 36 per cent of those who do keep in touch with the office doing so because of fears they will miss out on something.

And 27 per cent claim they don’t have anyone else to hand their work over to.

A further three in 10 don’t feel they can leave their work with others, while 27 per cent are just passionate about what they do and don’t want to leave things alone for two weeks.

Psychologist and life coach Honey Langcaster-James said: “in today’s connected world it can be so difficult to switch off from work, even while on holiday or in a beautiful remote location.

“The temptation to check emails and keep in touch with colleagues can be strong.

“The survey is quite fascinating because it shows that people really do find it difficult to unwind, therefore longer holidays, lasting a couple of weeks or more, may provide greater benefits to well being.

“It seems people should make allowances for a couple of days at the beginning and end of a trip to be lost in the efforts to really unwind.

“The survey findings also suggest arranging your holiday at the last minute might offer some additional benefits.

“Many people who were surveyed reported they experienced stress in the run up to a holiday when it’s been pre-booked, so perhaps booking last minute could get around that.

“Overall, it seems the recipe for relaxation success is being spontaneous yet taking a longer holiday.

“That way you’ll have less time to worry about everything you need to do before you go away, and more time while on holiday to switch off and recharge.”

Researchers found almost half of those polled admit they tend to stress about a holiday in the days leading up to it, with the average person worrying for up to a week before.

Chief concerns include whether or not the accommodation will be satisfactory (34 per cent), packing (46 per cent) and what the flights or travel will be like (46 per cent).

Three in 10 polled worry about how much everything will cost, and 29 per cent worry about the weather.

And 29 per cent say the further in advance they book the holiday, the more stressed they get about going.

For four in 10 Britons, late availability holidays provide a cheaper value option, less time to worry and guaranteed weather.

Mr Perks added: “We all know the importance of switching off from work and taking a holiday.

“A morning commute consisting of travelling from a sunbed to the sand is always going to win over the 07:52 train to Manchester Piccadilly or back to back traffic on the M1.

“In today’s ‘always on’ world, booking a last minute holiday is the perfect escape.

“The inbox will still be there when you return, but 14 days of sunshine, sand and the odd sangria might just put a renewed spring in your step.

“We’ve been sending Britons on hassle free, great value holidays for over 25 years and have plenty of last minute deals available this August to be snapped up at incredible prices.”

Head to Majorca, Turkey, Greece and the Canaries with Teletext Holidays (www.teletextholidays.co.uk) this summer from just £199 per person.

South West News Service

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