The lead up to a holiday should be an exciting time, but for over a quarter (27 per cent) of holidaymakers the planning, booking and preparation is a source of great stress.
It presents a catalogue of concerns that range from the more serious, such as finding somewhere that is within budget (36 per cent), to the more practical, such as packing enough pairs of knickers (17 per cent of women), according to a study released today.
The study, commissioned by travel comparison site KAYAK.co.uk, examines which elements of the holiday booking process we find the most taxing.
Contrary to popular belief that the younger generation is more adventurous and carefree, the study identifies they are amongst the most worrisome when it comes to organising a holiday, with nearly half (47 per cent) confessing that the entire process really stresses them out . Nearly a third (29 per cent) of this age group stumbles at the first hurdle finding it a challenge to agree where to go with friends . They then spend the lead up to the holiday worrying about a series of factors that range from making sure the resort lives up to expectations (51 per cent), to getting to the airport on time (22 per cent). It seems these youngsters would do well to take a leaf out of the book of their more laid back elders , 82 per cent of which find planning a holiday a breeze.
Whilst the study reveals a number of key stress factors in the holiday planning stages, making sure that all of the essentials are packed was one of the top concerns for 13 per cent of us. Unsurprisingly, forgetting travel documents topped the league table of items for two thirds, followed closely by making sure they have packed the right sort of clothes (44 per cent) and medication (35 per cent). The results also affirm the strong bond between a woman and her shoes, as packing enough pairs was a top concern for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of females .
In the unthinkable event of forgetting to pack an essential belonging, most said they would respond calmly by purchasing the item at the airport (19 per cent) or when they arrive at their destination (53 per cent). It comes as no surprise however that for more than one in 10 (11 per cent) of the stressed out 18-25 year olds the default response would be to panic .
It would seem the worry doesn't end there then contending with the apprehension of what may befall them whilst away. Falling ill is a main concern for over a quarter (26 per cent) of holidaymakers, whilst six per cent stress about having to deal with badly behaved children. Brits are also advised to choose their travelling companions wisely as arguing with friends or family on holiday is a big concern for 10 per cent.
It's not all doom and gloom however. The study suggests an ebb and flow of stress in the lead up to a holiday and pinpoints the problem areas to look out for. Planning is a key stressful time, but once the holiday is booked Brits appear to relax, with 81 per cent claiming this period is calmer. Yet this respite doesn't seem to last long. As the holiday approaches the pressure begins to mount again as holidaymakers start to worry about the logistics of preparing to go away, such as getting to the airport on time (18 per cent), making sure things will be alright at home (18 per cent) and ensuring the holiday lives up to expectations (13 per cent).
Top five tips for a stress free break:
1. Plan ahead. Data analysis carried out by KAYAK reveals that booking your flight three months before departure means you could save around 20% rather than leaving it to the last minute. Travel search sites also help you to find somewhere within budget, but that also meets your holiday requirements
2. Be flexible. The more flexible you can be with travel dates the more likely it is you can get a great deal. KAYAK's flexible date option lets you search between three days and a month around your ideal travel date, making it easy to find the cheapest options
3. Do your research. Research the area you are travelling to beforehand in order to find the best places to visit.
4. Make a check list. Create a 'don't forget' essential item check list highlighting everything you need to have the perfect holiday
5. Buy travel insurance. Making sure you're covered for any unexpected incidents while away will relieve the worries before and during your holiday. Don't forget, if you travel more than twice a year, an annual policy can often be cheaper and give you peace of mind for the whole year