A new study has revealed Brits take a third of their annual holiday allowance – around eight days a year – to relax into their holiday, while more than one in ten (11 per cent) are never able to fully switch off while away.
With more than 1.5 million passengers expected to pass through Heathrow this half term (October 22 – 29), the UK’s only hub airport has opened a pop-up park in Terminal 5 to give passengers a relaxing space to de-stress in.
The park looks out over the airfield and provides the perfect environment to enjoy some plane spotting through the terminal’s enormous windows. As well as the view, soft grass, real hedges and plants, aromatic Rosemary bushes – a proven muscle relaxer – and Jasmine, will enhance passenger wellbeing pre-flight.
No park outing would be complete without a picnic and Heathrow’s eateries have launched a pre-flight relaxation menu of dishes developed for al fresco dining. The food uses ingredients scientifically proven to help people unwind and includes a nutritious smoked chicken and mango salad from Gordon Ramsay Plane Food, tempting avocado and crab Maki rolls courtesy of Itsu and Caviar House’s fish tartar canapés made from Norwegian salmon.
The initiative follows research which found that a third (33 per cent) of people take up to five days to get into holiday mode. Almost half (42 per cent) continue to check emails, texts and voicemails instead of relaxing with more than a third (37 per cent) unable to leave their work blackberry or mobile at home. A third of people blame work as the main killer of their holiday mood.
Holiday working can have a potentially negative effect on relationships too. Almost half of people (42 per cent) say that their partners get annoyed with them for on-holiday working.
Ben Crowley, Head of Food & Beverage at Heathrow commented: “Holidays are precious, providing us vital time to relax and recharge our batteries. We want to help our passengers start their holiday the moment they arrive at the airport, and make sure their time away is as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Our indoor park adds a completely different dimension to Heathrow’s departure lounge and our menu of specially developed relaxation dishes really completes the experience.”
The research identified a number of other reasons for not being able to wind down on holiday including financial woes (affecting 35 per cent), family stresses or arguments (24 per cent) and places crowded by other holidaymakers (18 per cent).
Those aged 25 to 34 years old are the most affected by work distractions abroad, with almost half (46 per cent) saying they think about work every other day of the week.
The survey also highlighted some strong regional differences. Those from the north were quicker to forget about their worries than those from the south; Scots take one day to relax while people from London take three. Work is furthest from the minds of people from Yorkshire with just 17 per cent thinking about work while on holiday compared to 41 per cent of Londoners.
Those from the Capital also find it the most difficult to resist checking on work emails, voicemails and texts with 84 per cent doing so.
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Notes to Editors:
This year, Heathrow was awarded Best Airport Food and Beverage and Worlds Best Airport Food at the Food and Beverage awards for its diverse food offering.