Do holidays wreak havoc with your stress levels? According to a new survey you’re not alone, with a quarter of Brits saying that they actually end up more stressed after their holiday than before it.
The poll of more than 2,000 UK adults by Nationwide Building Society also revealed that one in four felt that it took two or three days for them to truly unwind while 40% said that they felt rundown or ill while away.
The top post-holiday worries included coming back to reality (32%), getting delayed (32%) and lost luggage (29%), while pre-holiday woes included forgetting something, missed flights and being covered if something went wrong. As for during the holiday itself, financial stresses came up top with holidaymakers worrying about whether they would have enough money (29%), overspending (24%) and the whereabouts of their money and bank cards.
In addition, the figures revealed that two in five holidaymakers claimed they’ve been ill or felt rundown once they reached their destination - perhaps unsurprising due to the survey also showing the extent to which many people stay ‘switched on’ to life at home while on vacation. 80% said they used their mobile phone while away, while one third said they used them every day; the average person spending an hour a day glued to their phone. Worryingly, over one in seven (15%) said they still take work calls while on their break.
Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis, Chairman of the research consultancy Mindlab International, said: “Holiday stresses often stem from unrealistic expectations of a completely care-free vacation. Worries don't disappear just because you are in the sun; in fact when the mind doesn't have the usual day-to-day challenges and demands to cope with, it typically finds other things to occupy it, such as money worries.
“Taking up activities, learning a few phrases in the local language and exploring the culture are just a few ways to keep your mind busy, helping you un-wind more quickly. You can also keep money worries at bay by taking sensible precautions before leaving home, such as remembering to book your travel insurance and making sure you carry cards that charge no commission when abroad.”
Phil Smith, Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, added: “It is perhaps unsurprising that holidays can be a source of stress, with people fretting over missing their flights, the prospect of delays, having sufficient money and being fully covered if things don’t go to plan. We would always recommend making sure you’ve got all bases covered by taking a good quality travel insurance on its own or as part of a current account, such as Nationwide’s FlexPlus account. That way, if something does go wrong, you’ll have one less thing to worry about, freeing up more time and money to enjoy your summer getaway.”