Holidaymakers waste one whole day of a week-long trip worrying about work, deciding what to do, spending time on social media and waiting in line for attractions.
A study of 2,000 UK adults, who’ve holidayed in the last year, found people spend 17 ½ hours over a seven day holiday – the equivalent of 6am until 11:30pm – wasting time.
The average holiday-goer spends nearly an hour a day venturing between their accommodation and sights, 45 minutes choosing what to do and researching places to eat, and nearly a quarter of an hour worrying about work.
However, they still manage to squeeze in a 22-minute nap, nearly an hour and a quarter is dedicated to activities and sightseeing, and just over an hour a day is spent properly relaxing.
Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, which commissioned the study, said: “There’s now so much choice when it comes to accommodation and activities that, if you don’t plan ahead, you might find yourself wasting your time away and not truly enjoying your break.
“A little time spent researching restaurants in advance and deciding what to do can make a big difference to your holiday.
“It’s really worth it when you think about how easy it is to find recommendations and make bookings online.”
The study also found that, despite spending more than an hour a day going for walks, 45 per cent of travellers would like to enjoy more of this during a break away.
And regardless of a similar amount of time spent eating out, two-fifths would like to devote more of their vacation hours indulging in delicious restaurant dishes.
A quarter of holidaymakers think they squander too much time deciding what to do, and the same amount reckon they spend more time doing what others want – than what they’d prefer themselves.
As a result, 27 per cent have argued with people they’ve holidayed with over plans for the trip ahead.
In fact, before the break has even begun, adults say they spend two and half hours planning their break, with a third thinking planning is key to having a successful holiday.
However, working long hours, looking after children and getting chores done at home are among the barriers to holiday-goers being able to plan in advance.
More than one in 10 will even expect someone else to take the reins, while nearly a fifth leave things to the last minute when it’s often too late to make any advance plans.
A quarter of travellers think it’s easier to plan holidays in the UK than abroad, and 14 per cent say having children can hinder the ability to pre-plan trips.
But regardless of what planning – or lack of – has taken place, more than half said they make the most of their holidays.
The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found holidaymakers will enjoy three excursions and four dinners out during a typical week-long break.
Those polled make the most of their trips by trying new things, getting some ‘me’ time and completely switching off from work.
Graham Donoghue added: “We all need to set aside time to enjoy what we want to do while away – whether that’s ticking off all local attractions or simply spending the day with your feet up.
“Holidays are all about new experiences and making memories with the people that matter most, and travelling, planning and indecision shouldn’t get in the way of this.”
How holidaymakers ‘waste’ their time during a typical day away:
Travelling (to and from the destination and between attractions) – 51 minutes
Deciding what to do – 25 minutes
Waiting in line at attractions – 23 minutes
Researching restaurants – 21 minutes
Getting lost – 18 minutes
Worrying about work – 13 minutes
How holidaymakers spend their time during a typical day away:
Going on planned activities / sightseeing – 73 minutes
Going for walks – 69 minutes
Eating out – 68 minutes
Relaxing – 65 minutes
Reading – 41 minutes
Shopping – 33 minutes
Watching TV – 33 minutes
Napping during the day – 23 minutes
On social media – 21 minutes
Playing board games – 19 minutes