Jumping off the hamster wheel

By | Category: Travel news
do we pack too much or not enough? © Dan Sperrin

do we pack too much or not enough? © Dan Sperrin

As Just about Travel mentioned, last month was the celebration of the 175th birthday of the package holiday – the day when Thomas Cook organised what is claimed to be the first holiday outing.

The Nationwide Building Society took the opportunity to run an independent survey in the last ten days of the month to learn a little bit more about our holiday habits and it has thrown up some interesting thoughts. Given my known cynicism about surveys, this one is not just about money or any of the products that the society sells.

It says we spend about £100 on buying things for a holiday yet we then spend about another £40 at the airport getting things we had forgotten to buy such as toiletries and currency suggesting a number of us never heed the perennial advice that it is cheaper to order foreign currencies in advance and either have it delivered to our homes or collect it from our high streets or at the airport.

The society suggests we are a nation of over-packers because for a seven night holiday, on average, we would pack

  • Six pairs of socks
  • Seven t-shirts
  • Four pairs of shorts
  • Two swimsuits
  • Eight pairs of underwear
  • Two pairs of sandals
  • Two towels
  • One pair of sunglasses
  • One hat
  • Two pairs of trainers/shoes
  • One jumper
  • One bottle of insect repellent
  • Two bottles of sun cream

Quite frankly, this doesn’t seem too much to me unless you were going to use the launder facilities at your accommodation to cut down on the amount of clothes you take. Even then, after a shower before going out in the evening, wouldn’t you want a change of shirt after lounging around in an increasingly smelly t-shirt all day?

But It’s nice to see that this looks like a holiday rather than a different location for staying in contact with the office. No laptop or notepad is included but probably that’s in the hand luggage.  As Dan King of Nationwide says, “It’s important that we jump off the hamster wheel to enjoy one or two weeks each year where we can relax and switch off.”

Alarmingly though, about a third of us don’t take out travel insurance when travelling abroad. After the collapse of lowcostbeds which has affected over 170,000 people, that should have been a spur to check your insurance covers you against holiday problems. It looks, from this survey, that people are still not heading the message.

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