Jetting off – when does your holiday begin?

New research commissioned by Heathrow Express has shown that for those of us lucky enough to take overseas holidays, they really begin on the journey to the airport – and not when you arrive at the destination, according to holidaymakers.

Jetting Off graphicResearchers polled 2,000 holidaymakers and found most – one third – think a getaway truly starts the second we lock the front door behind us and make our way to the airport.

This came ahead of leaving work for the last time before a break (15 per cent), boarding the plane (11 per cent) – and even when arriving at the accommodation (13 per cent).

Amid this, 53 per cent of those polled reckon the best part of a holiday is the beginning of it. The research also found we start to look forward to our holiday 14 days ahead of the trip and start to become less focussed at work six days before departure.

A spokesman for Heathrow Express said: “We all love that feeling of excitement when we’re setting off on holiday.

“The research certainly appears to suggest this is the case – especially when it comes to enjoying a break somewhere nice.

“Holiday anticipation is arguably at its peak when we set off on that journey, which might explain why for most respondents a break starts when we are travelling to the airport.”

Although seven in 10 said they feel excited prior to a holiday, one fifth said they get nervous and 19 per cent said feel stressed in the days preceding a trip away.

Typically those polled start packing four days before departure and start shopping for items specifically for it 11 days in advance.

Hardship to happinessWhen it comes to planning what to do on the holiday itself, holidaymakers typically begin this 14 weeks before heading off.

In fact, for 60 per cent planning is among their favourite aspects of a trip.

Sadly, every year 2.7million families in the UK miss out on a week long holiday. And yet we all intrinsically know how important a break can be for our well-being. For the families we help – typically with a simple day out or UK seaside caravan break – they provide welcome respite from daily hardship, a new sense of optimism and can create happy memories that will enrich their lives forever.

Evidence shows that our work results in stronger, healthier and happier families and communities

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Research carried out through on behalf of Heathrow Express