When do family holidays start?

When do family holidays start?

family

It doesn't matter what type of holiday it is, long or short, with family or friends, midweek or at the weekend, UK residents' holidays start when the key is turned and the front door is locked behind them suggests research commissioned by rail service Heathrow Express.

JOURNEY

So when does your getaway get going? Over 30% of UK people surveyed feel the moment they leave their house is when their holiday really begins, whether it's with family or friends, proving that - in a lot of cases - with bags packed and all the preparation complete, the adventure of the journey is as valuable to people as the getaway itself.

Certainly, listening to my young son sitting in his car seat shouting "Adventure! Woo-hoo!" not five minutes after setting off from home en route to a family holiday in the UK, fills me with a clear sense that the journey is indeed a significant marker.

But perhaps it starts even earlier for you? Leaving work for the last time before your days away? Or perhaps a bit later instead? Not until you arrive at your destination, or even until you unpack your bags?

'LET GO'

Whatever your trigger point, that's when the natural biology takes over... our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and the mind relaxes, the body releases Serotonin (an important chemical in mood regulation) and we finally 'let go' of our anxiety and drop into a state of reduced stress.

Saving us from more scientific terminology, it's the 'let my holiday begin' state of mind!

But what about all the stressful efforts associated with the preparation of a short break? What about the planning, the logistics and all the other associated aspects of a getaway?

PREPARATION

Well, it seems the process of just thinking about a break is enough for people to enjoy themselves, with 60% saying that arranging things is one of their favourite pre-break activities. 

Which tours and excursions to plump for when you get there, lists of clothes to pack, making one or two new last-minute wardrobe additions that'll get a special 'holiday debut', or even just deciding which bag to pack it all in!

The research says people start putting things in their bags about four days in advance, but I definitely know people who get started earlier than that!

It's perhaps unsurprising then that the research also shows that as many as 70% of people feel a strong combination of excitement and anticipation before their break. You know the feeling... mind wandering off to relaxing surroundings, delicious food, refreshing drinks and a few laughs among friends and loved ones.

Can you taste the drinks and hear the laughs?

ANTICIPATION

An accumulation of the most common responses indicates that 14 days ahead of a trip is about the time we begin properly looking forward to it, and about six days before is when the focus at work starts to slip as our anticipation ramps up.

And it seems that enthusiasm is mostly carried over into the break itself with a majority of people feeling that the best part of their holiday is the beginning, with the first dinner, the first drink, or the first activity leaving the clearest and most enjoyable positive memories.

YOUR SUMMER

Whenever it is that you feel your holiday starts, or however you enjoy yourself when you get there, abroad or in the UK, we all know that summer = holiday time, but what will YOUR SUMMER look like in 2018?

Family breaks during Potters' #SummerOfFun Family Festival will be full of adventure, fun, excitement, laughter and top-quality entertainment, and...

It's not too late to come and join us
See our Summer Breaks