Britons take 46 hours and 42 minutes to feel relaxed on holiday

UK’s Most Stressed Out Travelers revealed, with London and Manchester holidaymakers taking the longest to relax

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Holidays are a time to switch off, spend time with the family and sample the culture, food and lifestyle of an area that is not your norm. But do us Brits ever really switch off from our day-to-day lives completely, or do we still take habits and routines with us to the airport and even the beach?


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Tots to Travel decided to investigate…

When it comes to easing ourselves into our holiday and starting to feel relaxed, we found that the average British holiday maker takes 46 hours and 42 minutes to settle in completely.

By asking 2,000 British holidaymakers to pinpoint the moment they feel relaxed when they travel abroad, the investigation found that the average British tourist takes 46 hours and 42 minutes to fully get into the holiday spirit.

When it comes to getting into holiday mode, women seem much more adept at leaving their stresses at home than men. Stating they feel fully relaxed after 42 hours and 24 minutes of being on holiday, which allows them to enjoy 9 hours and 6 minutes more of their holiday than their male counterparts.

Travelling with children may seem like a daunting task, however whilst those without children may worry about the stresses of taking children on holiday, parents actually take 3 hours and 18 minutes less to feel fully relaxed than those without children.

Looking at tourists across the country, Sheffield holds the most relaxed tourists whilst those from Manchester seem to take the most stress with them when they jet off on holiday. Holidaymakers from the Steel City take only 32 hours and 48 minutes to fully relax on holiday, whilst Mancunians take a full 54 hours and 54 minutes before they begin to relax.

CityAverage Time it Takes to Relax on Holiday
Sheffield32 hours, 48 minutes
Norwich34 hours, 42 minutes
Birmingham37 hours, 0 minutes
Leeds37 hours, 30 minutes
Liverpool38 hours, 18 minutes
Southampton40 hours, 36 minutes
Glasgow41 hours, 6 minutes
Bristol42 hours, 0 minutes
Belfast43 hours, 36 minutes
Newcastle46 hours, 12 minutes
Edinburgh48 hours, 54 minutes
Nottingham49 hours, 6 minutes
Cardiff51 hours, 48 minutes
London54 hours, 0 minutes
Manchester54 hours, 54 minutes


One key factor in relaxing on holiday is removing ourselves from our day to day lives and fully embracing a break from our routines, however the study shows that a large number of holidaymakers are struggling to do this.

21% of Brits continue to read their work emails on holiday, even when by the pool. Women seem to be the worst culprits here with 29% logging into email accounts at regular intervals.

It’s not just email time that cuts into our holidays. General screen-time spent scrolling iPhones and tablets abroad doesn’t cease either. Over a third of Brits (34%) don’t cut down at all from their usual device usage, with 12% of this total even increasing their time spent on social media or other apps.

Over half of British holidaymakers continue to watch their favourite TV shows whilst on holiday, preferring to know the latest news from the Love Island villa or catching up with Corrie than enjoying the holiday scenery. And whilst it may be tempting to relax in front of your favourite entertainment on holiday, a more worrying trend shows that 21% of holidaymakers continue to do work whilst on holiday.

Dennis Relojo-Howell, psychologist and founder of Psychreg, backs the idea of cutting yourself off from the outside world in order to enjoy the full benefits of a holiday;

“We are not machines, so it’s important that we take a break from our usual routines. However, these routines could be so well embedded into our lifestyle that we often carry them with us while we are on holiday. Holidays can break the cycle of stress that we get from those daily routines, so the important thing while on holiday is to prioritise rest and fun.

My top advice would be to shut the world out – and that includes social media. You’ll enjoy the scenery much more if you’re not so caught up with the number of likes you’ll get. Also, for a moment, forget thinking what happens at work or at home. Think of holiday as a form of self-care.”

Wendy Shand, Founder and Director at Tots to Travel, commented on the findings: “Holidays are a time to switch off, spend time with your loved ones and enjoy the culture, food and lifestyle of a new environment. However, as technology brings us closer together, it also makes it harder to break away from our day to day routines and take some time to relax.

“With the research showing the average holidaymaker is losing almost two days of their holiday before feeling fully relaxed, it’s clear that we need to do better in embracing the holiday mindset.

“Whilst it is interesting to see that parents are able to relax faster than non-parents on holiday, If you have a holiday planned this year and want to fully maximise the benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing, then make a conscious effort to share some responsibilities with other people on your trip in terms of childcare, tell your colleagues not to email you while away and pre-record your favourite shows to watch when you return – hopefully all chilled and relaxed”.

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