Research out today by Hampton by Hilton has revealed a trend among Brits to forgo the big, annual holiday in favour of regular short breaks, to seek value for money and to covet travel experiences over material possessions. These so-called ‘Seekenders’, have discovered the exemplar way to holiday, according to health expert Dr. Dawn Harper and psychotherapist, Robert Stewart.

The survey of 3,000 adults across the UK revealed that travel ranks top (63 per cent) in the list of treats that people will spend their money on, ahead of gadgets (26 per cent), designer clothes (11 per cent), handbags & jewellery (20 per cent), dining out (16 per cent) and days out with the family (41 per cent). 

The research showed that taking several short trips and being clever with costs (42 per cent) rather than one blow-out getaway a year (17 per cent) is the most common way of taking holidays, with staycations (19 per cent) proving as popular as foreign escapes (20 per cent).

When questioned about how they feel on return from a holiday, the data demonstrated that travellers feel just as “refreshed and raring to go” following a short-break (32 per cent) as they do after an extended getaway (33 per cent). 

Speaking exclusively about the findings, Dr. Dawn Harper – who has appeared on TV shows such as Embarrassing Bodies, This Morning, LBC Radio – said: “We are leading increasingly hectic lives and a getaway allows people to physically and mentally recharge. We react to stress with an adrenalin surge, which was useful in caveman days where stress came in the form of a mammoth on the horizon, but today’s stresses come from work, home and modern life hassles. Taking the foot off the pedal and getting away from it all can make a big difference. Sometimes it can be easier to fit in a mini-break into busy schedules, and this can be just as beneficial as a longer holiday.”

Psychotherapist Robert Stewart added: “Our working life involves a considerable amount of running on auto-pilot, whereas holidays elicit our conscious mind as we pay attention to all the details and absorb new experiences. A well-planned short-break can refresh the mind and body just as much as an extended getaway can. When we take a mini-break, there’s also less stress around spending money and workload or chores building up while we’re away. It’s heartening to find that Brits value holidays and experiences more than material possessions. The dopamine kick of a new toy is very short-lived, whereas the feel-good oxytocin and serotonin factors gained from a holiday will last long into the return to daily life.”