According to the research, Brits’ failure to relax and unwind stems from the need to be constantly connected when abroad. A third (35%) turn on mobile phones within minutes of touching down and half of travellers (51%) will check social media up to fifteen times a day during their holiday; explaining why hotel Wi-Fi is considered important when booking for just under two thirds (61%) of people.
With research showing that four in ten spend up to eight weeks planning what to do on their trips, the value placed on holiday time, is clear. However, though travellers take time in advance of their trip to plan activities, many fail to set aside time to wind down.
To help travellers make the most of their time away, American Express has partnered with meditation expert, Will Williams, to develop four easy to use meditation podcasts. The Switch-Off Series includes: visualisation, breathing, mindful awareness and a mindful mantra, which should be practised before the holiday, so that on arrival, travellers feel relaxed and better able to immerse themselves in their trip.
The study also shows that once abroad, only a third of travellers use their devices for holiday-related reasons. Nearly half (47%) will spend valuable holiday time reviewing their personal and work emails, whereas a fifth (20%) will catch up on sport, celebrity gossip and even the weather back home.
To complement the meditations and help Brits transition into holiday mode, travel expert Simon Reeve, who has visited over 110 countries, has provided his top tips on how travellers can make most of every minute that they are away.
Simon comments: “Switching-off is always easier said than done but to get the most from your time abroad, you need to make a conscious effort to unwind: practising meditation is a great way to combat tension in advance of your trip. Most importantly, put down your smartphone and throw yourself into the local culture. I like to aim for extreme: whether it’s extremely exhilarating, exciting, beautiful, thrilling, or surprising, the more unusual and different it is the better!”
Nicholas Stefanovitz from American Express adds: “Of course everyone takes their smartphone away with them but our research shows that this constant need to feel connected impacts our ability to switch-off and enjoy the holiday for what it is. The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card is already packed with benefits, discounts and privileges and now we’re giving Brits the tools to unwind as well, helping them to re-discover a truly absorbing travel experience.”
To download the bespoke meditation programme and to find out more about the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card visit: www.amex.co.uk/goldswitchoff
Gabby Crawford MHP Communications